Start demanding health care answers from our leaders

May 11, 2012 12:35 pm

People who sneak a peek in my diary aren’t apt to let me off the hook.


When I get to feeling complacent about something I’ve entered in my book of privacy, it has a way of coming back to haunt me.

Take my No. 120 entry Jan. 27, 2012, about health care.

A simple statement regarding a knock on the door ending my discussion with my doctor has had ongoing repercussions.

You see, Diary, the world seems to be in a Catch-22. You know what that is, don’t you?

I didn’t know, either, for sure, but I know how it feels when I say it. I know that it became popular after the publishing of a book, but I didn’t really notice it until the movie came out with the same name “Catch-22.”

Even more popular was a TV series on the movie called “Mash.” It was about doctors working in a war zone where they were continually trying to heal the injured in order for them to go back into battle where they stood another chance of being injured again or, even worse, killed. I guess that’s what war is all about when the leaders send their followers out to do battle for them instead of taking on the task themselves. I wonder if that should be reversed.

This book/movie/television series seemed to be based on World War II, but I’m not here to talk about any of those.

It’s the word “Catch-22” that takes one’s attention when you know there seems to be no way out of a difficult situation, even for yourself.

That’s the way it seems to be with health care.

Ah hah! That word again, health care. Is it a “Catch-22?”

I decided to look up that word in my 1962 dictionary laying beside my chair, but it didn’t have it, so I walked all the way into my office to check the newer 2002 edition of the dictionary beside my computer.

There it was in Webster’s New World College Dictionary on page 231: “Catch-22.”

It is a word of American origin and this particular one came from a 1961 novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. It appears that the book, the movie and the TV series all became representative of the meaning “a paradox in a law, regulation, or practice that makes one a victim of its provisions no matter what one

Applying it to health care, one can see that everyone should receive medical care when they need it. Everyone can’t afford it individually, so attempts are made to share the time and cost with everyone.

With the economy the way it is and the soaring costs, we become caught in “Catch-22.”

We must share the medical personnel, equipment, medicines and all else that goes into it, sometimes at a cost to ourselves. So, where do we start besides complaining? We ask questions that seem to have no answers.

Because we are not part of the decision-making but are caught up in the laws that are made for us, we become afraid because we don’t know what is going on and no one seems to give us answers that we can understand. Maybe they don’t know, either, so does it become the blind leading the blind?

Still, we ask ... or grumble ... or stand in fear.

Why are medical care and medicines so expensive? What can be done to make them more reasonable?

Why do doctors no longer have the time they need or want to treat their patients?

Why must doctors work-in so many patients in a day in order to keep the system running financially?

What can be done for people who cannot afford to pay? Why can’t they?

When will Medicare give further coverage to chiropractics and therapists?

What is going to happen to the folks on Social Security for whom it was a good insurance program in the early days? They are assured that nothing will change, and, yet, they see it every day because of what, seemingly, was mishandling of their funds by their government. They wonder whether or not this is true.

According to the number of persons who contacted me after No. 120 came out in Dory’s Diary, these questions constitute general problems deserving answers. I wish I had some.

The problem-solvers appear to be trying to solve it for us, but we wonder if we are getting in a deeper and deeper quagmire.

Are we in a “Catch-22” from which there is no escape?

Are we victims of our own desire to help others?

Have we become a socialistic nation already?

Are we all No. 131 pencils or pens?

Why aren’t we told any of the specifics in the Obamacare health law to be enacted?

I wish I were in a position to make things better and less worrisome, but I’m not, folks. I only worry along with the rest of you because I don’t know the answers and can’t solve it.

But, thanks for asking, for we know that we aren’t concerned alone. If a set of circumstances hadn’t brought a knock on the door for me, I wouldn’t have realized the depth of our problem from you, and I wouldn’t have written about it to begin with in wonderment.

Your responses have shown how the new laws have already affected so many in a negative way. Thank you for responding. Start demanding answers from our leaders.

What, actually, is in the Obama health care law? Give us specifics, somebody!


Veteran newspaperwoman Dorothy Swart Fleshman is a La Grande native. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it