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I had my first contact with the medical system in many, many years on Friday. Very few things in this country are more depressingly Sovietesque than the FUBAR'd mess that is health care today. You've surely heard the scaremongering that nationalized health care would make going to the doctor or hospital every bit as bad as going to the DMV.

Well, they're wrong. It's already that bad, with the big difference being that the professionals in that system are intelligent and aware enough to be obviously and painfully aware of the black hole they're being inexorably sucked into. I saw it in their faces, and in their reactions to some politically incorrect comments during my ordeal. Some had the look of death row inmates whose only remaining hope is to get it over with.

I could go into all the details of how fucked up the system is, but I won't. There's really no point in wallowing in it. But I did make one notable observation:

You definitely, positively, no exceptions, need to show an official state-issued picture ID to buy Robitussin. You do not, however, need to show any form of ID whatsoever to receive medical treatment, be issued a prescription, and to purchase controlled drugs.

Lots of people fret over what use details of their "confidential" medical history will be put to, and to whom it will be revealed. It seems that this observation presents an obvious solution to that worry.

Unless, of course, you are one of those people who think that a low co-pay for doctors' visits is something you get from anything resembling "insurance".


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