Well today is the day. I just checked in and ready for surgery. For those of you who follow along, this isn’t the first surgery I’ve had. I’ve had two surgeries a year for the past four years. It’s a lot, but each one offers the promise of a slightly better life.
While waiting to be called back for pre-surgical prep, a sort of halfway point to the surgical floor, I get stuck in a waiting room and just hang out until it’s time.
I’m a few hours from my scheduled time, but I’ve never had surgery when it was scheduled, they always run behind schedule and it can be anxiety inducing. Not because I’m nervous about the surgery, I’m not. Instead it’s just the pressure to get it done and get out of this place I hate so much.
I’ve made my feelings about the VA healthcare system known before, but it never hurts to say it again. The VA is more a slow moving slaughterhouse than it is a hospital. Partly due to the people they hire, partly due to the high workload and lower pay. Some do it to help vets, some do it because it’s hard to be fired, and some do it because no one else would hire them.
It’s the lack of funding. The VA isn’t funded well…. at all. It’s the closest we get to socialized medicine here in the US and it could be a glowing example of what that could look like if it were expanded to everyone. Instead there are senators who use the horror stories of the VA as a way to keep healthcare for all a distant dream. If that sounds like a conflict of interest, that’s because it is.
I acknowledge that crap care is better than no care at all. I’m lucky to have care period, I am aware and grateful that I have access to any sort of care at all. But the point is it shouldn’t be a choice between bad care or no care. The VA shouldn’t be used as a cautionary tale for why socialized medicine is a bad idea by the people who caused the problem.
All that said, I have a surgery to wait for so that’s what I’m going to do. The point of today’s post is simple, healthcare should be free for all and the VA is not an example of why that’s a bad idea, it’s actually one reason it’s needed.