Everybody is going on and on about socialized government healthcare and what the consequences of enacting it may be. I had a rare opportunity to see government healthcare in action two years ago. Back in 2007, my brother announced to the family that his wife was pregnant and they were going to have a baby. Needless to say, we were all excited about the prospect of a new family member. In fact, my wife and I were in the process of trying to have a baby ourselves. Just two weeks after my brother's announcement, we had one of our own. My wife also became pregnant. It was a really cool time for my family.
My brother is a very hard working man. He is a concrete worker and makes a pretty good living when times are good. Times are not good now, and were worse then. My brother went from working 40 hour weeks, to barely making it. With a baby on the way, he was reduced to taking any odd job he could to supplement his income. To his shame, he could not afford the baby on his own and was forced to apply for government aid. He was accepted into the medi-cal program, to help with his hospital expenses. I, on the other hand, am lucky enough to work for a company that provides health benefits to it's agents. Our experiences were very different.
My wife and I were afforded the luxury of being able to pick our own doctors. We went to the The Beaver Clinic in Highland and received excellent care throughout the pregnancy. My brother and his wife had to go to a doctor they did not like and were forced to wait for hours at a time in a waiting room filled with illegal aliens and drug addicts. We were allowed to choose which hospital we were going to have our child at. My brothers family was forced to go the hospital they were told to use.
When my wife went into labor, we were given a private room with a nice, clean bathroom just for us. The television was a nice flat panel and there was even a cushioned bench along the wall were I could sleep in comfort. When my daughter was born, she was never removed from our presence. We were all taken to a private recovery room where we stayed for three days. Nobody was allowed in we did not want in. When they thought my little Keely might have jaundice, they wheeled in a portable light chamber for the room. She never left us and it was a great experience.
When my brother and his wife went into the hospital, it was a very different experience. They were forced to go to Arrowhead Hospital, which is an enormous edifice in the bad part of town. When I went to visit, I had to stand in a huge line to get through a metal detector manned by armed guards. The lobby was filled with illegals, gang members, and low lifes. I felt in danger even though everyone was searched for weapons. My brother and his wife were forced to share a room with an illegal alien family. There were six of them separated from us by only a curtain. I am sure it sucked as bad for them as it did for us. There was no place for my brother to rest. There were only two plastic chairs. The television was old and blurry. Because the father of the other child had to go to work at night, my brother was not allowed to spend the night with his family. He had to make the hour and a half drive home at 8:00pm and then drive back down in the morning when the hospital allowed visitors. After a birth, the mother is in a lot of pain and discomfort and needs to be in a clean, quiet environment. Being forced to share a single bathroom with a group of strangers is not in anyones best interests. As a matter of fact, they took my nephew away from his family all the time. He had to be a communal nursery for long periods of time. When they thought he had jaundice, they took him away from his parents and put him in a light box in a seperate room. The only way you could see him was through a glass wall.
When my brother and his wife finally got the baby home, their joy was short lived. The baby started having trouble breathing and had to be flown in a helicopter to the hospital. It turned out he somehow got a staph infection through his belly button. My brother is convinced that he contracted it through the poor conditions in the hospital. My baby's birth was a much better experience. Being able to pick doctor's I trusted and being in a private, clean environment made all the difference in the world. I am really bummed that my brother had to live through that. Hopefully, he will not have to use government assistance next time.