While I was in the Marines, I did not need to concern myself with the cost of medicine. Uncle Sam paid for it. That meant, if I could see a doctor, I was treated well. It also meant that if I had the flu, I worked sick.
The alternative was to wait three hours to be seen. Most of time, I would see a corpsman, not a doctor. He would give me a bottle of aspirins and give me light duty for 24 hours, which meant I went back to work. I learned the pattern early and didn’t bother trying to see a doctor anymore.
The hitch was that without the light duty authorization, they could make me do some heavy work. Actually, they did that anyway.
It is, sort of, a picture of communism. Everyone gets paid the same and everyone has to do the same amount of work. Unless I was falling down sick, I did as much as everyone else. Also, they had someone with a few stripes making sure I did it.
Once I became a civilian, if was sick, I called in. I was able to do that eight times a year. Mostly, I only used two or three sick days a year. When I worked for a bank, I worked 3 1/2 years straight. Didn’t miss a day. Still, if I got sick, I could take a few days off without getting an excuse from the doctor.
More important, If I felt bad enough, I could actually see a doctor, usually in an hour or two. Nowadays, I do have to wait some, but I still see a real doctor. When I was having chest pains, there was no wait at all.
The real problems with the military medical system started after I got married. I had a four year old that was having problems breathing at night. I did get him in to see a doctor twice. Both times he was diagnosed with tonsillitis. He prescribed some meds and sent him home both times.
The worst part was that the symptoms always got worse at night. If getting into see a doctor was difficult during the day, it was ten times worse at night. Actually, to some degree that is true with civilian doctors too. There seems to be an unwritten law somewhere that if you’re going to get sick, do it between 8 am and 5 pm, Mon through Fri. Fridays are frowned on too.
It was only after taking my son to a private doctor I found out that he nearly died from lack of air. He removed the tonsils and he hardly had another sick day in his life. Bear in mind that I was a Sgt at the time (E5). I cannot imagine what privates and PFCs go through. They can’t afford to go to a private doctor. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a general ever having to wait a minute for a doctor. Indeed, sometimes, I suspect the doctor goes to him.
It is sort of the way it is with social medicine. Most cannot go to private doctors. There are none. Under socialism, the state pays for the doctors. If you want to see a private doctor, you would have to go to another country. It is exactly what the Canadians have been doing for years. When their socialistic system is inadequate, they just visited doctors in the US. Going to a private doctor in Canada is not allowed.
However, if you happen to be one of the members of the Canadian government, your chances of having to wait for bypass surgery are inversely proportional to your position.
I am not saying that private medicine is perfect. It is far from it. But it is better than free medical. Take it from one who has seen it first hand. By the way, when we went on Obama care, it was far worse than private medical for me. I was paying a grand a year for my wife for five years and she only used it once. That is even worse than what I had in the Marines. It was not only bad medical but I had to pay for it too.
By the way, they only thing they can do to make Obama care worse is to put Fauci in charge of it.