Adriana Zoder: It’s sad to see the health care system transformed

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:39 PM

Raise your hand if you live in Sevier County, but have been treated by at least one Knoxville doctor in his Sevierville office. I have been seen by three such doctors. Not sure how Obamacare will affect their satellite offices here in our county, but, hopefully, they can continue to stay open. It really helps not to have to drive to Knoxville for doctors’ visits.

Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, can we all agree that our premiums and co-pays have gone up? The first time I saw a specialist in 2014, my new co-pay startled the receptionist. “Do you know what your new co-pay is?” she asked me with the meekest voice. She sounded like she was trying to avoid being yelled at. Other people may have taken it out on her, who knows? I assured her that I knew about it going up more than twice.

“It’s Obamacare, isn’t it?” I said and smiled. She was relieved I was not going to be mad at her. Why would I? She did not walk arm-in-arm in D.C. with Nancy Pelosi et al. to get the bill passed so that we may know what is in the bill...

As my daughter turned 4 last month, we saw her pediatrician. He has never accepted TennCare patients. On every wall in his practice, notices announced that a certain program from BlueCross BlueShield moved under TennCare starting this year. As such, his practice would no longer treat patients under that particular coverage.

It’s sad for me to see the American system transformed, slowly but surely, into some form of Western European socialism. I lived in Sweden for three years, and I can tell you from experience that lifestyle is not bad, but it’s not better, either.

High taxes, which pay for government-sponsored health care for those with the welfare mentality. Waiting lists and poor service, which give birth to private practices. The upper crust of Europe does not go to government hospitals and clinics. They go to private clinics.

I did not belong to the upper crust, so I went to regular clinics. Even under socialized medicine, I had to pay $50 to see a doctor – just like when I lived in the U.S. without health insurance.

Of course, before that, I lived under communism for the first 15 years of my life. While we did not pay anything to get health care, we had to bribe everybody in the system. From the guard at the hospital gate, to the nurse who gave us shots, to the doctor who operated on us, everybody expected to be greased. That way, they knew to pay more attention to your case. Their miserly government salaries pushed them to get extra money, tax-free, that way.

This young lady who works in Knoxville in the medical field told me she met Danish peers online who told her what I just told you above. She was very confused. Maybe because she was an Obama supporter and, like many of them, thinks that socialistic utopia is the answer to this world’s problems.

“So what is the difference? What have we changed with this bill?” She was embarrassed at her own confusion. I told her I knew the difference between socialism and capitalism from experience. I chose the latter not because it is perfect, but because it rewards hard work and courage. It does not punish successful people. At least, it did not used to.

Adriana Zoder, a Gatlinburg resident, is a writer and homeschooling mom. She and her husband have two children. She maintains the award-winning blog www.homeschoolways.com. Her book, 101 Tips for Preschool at Home, is available on Amazon.