- The Washington Times
Saturday, May 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Here’s a story the liberals don’t want you to know — a real Jimmy Kimmel-type tearjerker, with a twist.

In April of 2008, my husband, Doug, suffered a massive heart attack. It happened during the work day; his boss called me and said the ambulance had just transported my husband to the hospital. There’s a call you never want to get.


So I drove to the hospital, only to find emergency workers were going to airlift him to another facility, one about an hour’s drive from home. I said goodbye to my husband, who was in considerable pain but still conscious and talking — though barely — and told him I would meet him at the next hospital. I had to go home and get our four kids, ages 13, 12, 6 and 1 at the time.

Unbeknownst to me, Doug’s potassium levels dipped to dangerous levels during the helicopter flight, and he nearly died. As it was, he fell into a coma.

Hours later — this is the Washington, D.C., area, the traffic nightmare capital of the free world — I arrived at the hospital, kids in tow, and met with a doctor. The news was not good.

The physician, now retired, Dr. Siriprakorn, kept shaking his head as he looked at my kids playing in the waiting area, saying over and over, “this isn’t good.” Basically, they couldn’t keep his heart beating. It just rattled in his chest, is how someone described it to me.

It was a long night. Within hours, hospital staffers had sent along a grief counselor who offered to call family and friends so they could be notified Doug was dying. I couldn’t remember the name of my in-laws — imagine that, right? But I mentioned a pastor’s name, and my parents; I told her, too, my husband’s best friend, a coworker, was on the way. She suggested I tell my children their father wasn’t going to make it through the night. Tough moment.

For the curious, here’s what I finally told them: “The doctors say daddy’s going to die. But let’s just wait and see what God says. He has the final word.” Or it was something to that effect.

There’s a long story that could come here. But here’s the summary: Doctors and nurses worked through the night to get Doug’s heart pumping, shocking him time after time with the defibrillator — way more times than is recommended. He received three stents, and was kept in a medically induced coma for 10 days. In the midst of all that, medical personnel inserted a balloon pump above his leg in order to keep the blood flowing. Complications developed, and doctors were forced to amputate his leg — all the while insisting the amputation was probably useless, that he was going to die, anyway.

Ten days later, on the heels of the diligent work of two intensive care teams working around the clock to provide nonstop care — and much to the astonishment of all the medical professionals — Doug came out of his coma. And without a lick of brain damage, either.

Over? Did you say over?

Nope. That was just step one in a long medical process that included home health care, followup surgeries on the stump of his amputated leg, a gall bladder removal — all the defibrillation had zonked his internals — and several stomach surgeries and procedures. On top of that was the fitting for the prothetic leg — a frustrating, painful, lengthy and trying adventure in itself.

But here’s the point: When the time for bill tabulation came, the financial bottom line dent to us was — get this — about $1,200. That was the copay cost for the helicopter flight.

BlueCross-BlueShield, a private insurer, provided through my husband’s work, picking up everything. Everything.

And when our insurance some months later switched to Aetna, there were no headaches about preexisting conditions when it came time for the next prosthetic fitting, or for the new $60,000 leg (or maybe it was $80,000; I can’t recall). There were no denials of service when Doug had to enter the hospital again, as he’s had to many times through the years, to receive either emergency services or followup care for various health issues.

This was pre-Obamacare days, mind you. The days when so-called evil private insurers were routinely denying necessary services and screwing poor sick victims out of proper health care.

It was a few months after my husband left the hospital from his heart attack that we ran into one of the nurses who cared for him — at a presidential campaign event, no less. One chat led to another and the subject of socialized health care was raised. And this is what the nurse said: Had my husband been on Medicare or Medicaid at the time of his heart attack, the doctors would have quit their life-saving efforts long before his 10 comatose days had ended. Why? Because the government health care plan wouldn’t have paid for the around-the-clock intensive care. The situation would’ve quickly evolved into a pull the plug, wait and see what happens type of deal.

As it was, BlueCross-BlueShield, the private insurance company, approved all the doctors’ service requests. And so my husband went on to live another day — another nine years, and counting.

That’s not how Barack Obama and his socialist Obamacare supporters would tell it. According to them, private insurers were — still are — evil money-making grubs, concerned only about the profit statements they can deliver their boards.

The truth?

Had Obamacare been the law of the land in early 2008, my husband probably would’ve died. And even if he didn’t, we probably would’ve had thousands and thousands of more dollars in medical expenses than we did. We do now, for crying out loud: post-Obamacare, the ongoing health needs of my husband cost thousands of dollars more in deductibles and copays than we ever paid in the freer market.

Thanks Obamacare.

Pretty much everything Obama and his ilk said was happening in the medical world to justify the passage of Obamacare — the high copays, the burdensome deductibles, the limited choice of doctors, the inability to visit the physicians and hospitals of preference — actually only occurred after Obamacare passed.

The lies of the left.

Want another left-busting anecdote?

While sitting in the hospital cafeteria, maybe around day three of the heart attack ordeal, wondering if my husband died how I might provide financially for our four kids, my cell phone rings. It’s my husband’s boss, a man I had only met once, and briefly. He cut right to the chase. After asking about Doug’s welfare, he came out and said — and this is a paraphrase, but a pretty accurate one — “Don’t worry about money. Doug will keep getting paid, he’ll keep getting his paychecks, same as usual.”

Bob Swiger’s his name. He owns golf courses and is a guy Obama would likely label a “fat cat,” a wealthy, greedy capitalist type who cares only about the bottom line — who simply uses employees as a means of increasing his personal wealth. I prefer the word “saint.”

Well, there you have it. The personal tale of woe — the type the left likes to use to advance their political agendas. But unlike Jimmy Kimmel, whose big takeaway from his newborn son’s heart defect emergency fix was to advocate on behalf of Obamacare, while deceptively conflating emergency care and ongoing medical service, no less, mine’s a bit different.

Mine ends like this: First of all, all the glory goes to Jesus.

And secondly: Government provided healthcare is not your friend. That’s a deception of the left — a dream of the socialist who aims only to control. Obamacare, I’m sure, would have left my husband dead.


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