Monday, January 16, 2017


I know everyone hates Obamacare, but there's this thing called the Affordable Care Act that's actually pretty good, and I hope it sticks around.

Seriously though, I would say that I'm a fan of ACA and I think it will be a mistake to repeal it with no replacement in mind.  Some stuff about ACA that is really great:

--No denials for pre-existing conditions.

--Free preventive services for women

--No copays on birth control -- something that's actually CUT BACK on abortions

--Premium equality that keeps insurance companies from charging exorbitant amounts just because you're over 50 or a woman

--End of lifetime caps on medical spending.

Just to name a few things.

One thing that some people argue about is the mandate to purchase insurance.  For the record, I read that Republicans were in favor of this mandate prior to it becoming a staple of ACA.  Anyway, there SHOULD be a mandate to have health insurance.  Because hospitals have a mandate to treat people who are having an emergency, which is something that you don't have in any other industry.  You can walk into an ER and be treated without any proof that you can pay.  Where else can you do this?  You can't walk into a car dealership and get a car without proof you can pay for it.  You can't walk into a supermarket and buy a candy bar without proof you can pay! Yet you can easily wrack up tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills without any money in the bank or health insurance.

So until we start saying that hospitals can turn away people from the ER (which obviously, would be horrible), then there NEEDS to be a mandate that people should have health insurance.

Everyone needs health insurance.

But if there are any better ideas out there than ACA that Paul Ryan is keeping secret from us, I'd certainly be open to listen to it.  God knows, the ACA isn't perfect.  But it's just better than taking away health insurance from 20 million people.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Don't worry, cashiers

I read an article recently about how self-checkout will eliminate cashier jobs, so it's a bad things.  But that seems slightly hard to believe.  First of all, about 80% of the times I've done self-checkout, there's been some error that required someone to come over and assist me. Like I don't put my item in the bag fast enough and the whole thing crashes.  And I'm relatively checkout savvy.

But today I realized that as long as there are old people, cashiers will always have jobs.  Today when I was at the supermarket, there was an elderly woman ahead of me who was attempting to do self-checkout, but completely defeating the purpose of self-checkout.  She needed help with every single item she scanned in.  She didn't know how to scan fruits or vegetables.  She didn't know what to do when she didn't bag her item fast enough.  After three different clerks came over to help her at different points, I went over and helped her through the rest of the scanning process.

Then she was unable to figure out how to pay.

The best thing I can say is that she didn't try to pay with a check or scan in a dozen coupons.  But it was an excellent demonstration of why cashiers are needed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Most Useless Family History EVAH

There was another post I made where I said a patient had given the most useless family history I'd ever heard.  And it was.  Until yesterday:

Me: "Do you have any family members who have had a stroke?"

Patient: "My dog had a stroke."

Is this going to be a new thing?  Do I now need to specify human family members when I ask that question?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday reruns

I got the idea from Dr. Grumpy that it's okay to post reruns of older (better) material during the holidays so that I don't have to actually think.  So I'm going to spend the holidays posting some old cartoons, from back in the days when the name of this blog actually meant something...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holiday shopping

I was recently shopping at Target on a weekday morning, not so much for the holidays but because my underwear and socks are hanging together by threads and I happened to have the day off.

Anyway, a friend of mine called me just as I got to the megastore within the mall, and I put on my handsfree device so we could chat while I shopped.  We were talking while I was comparing two socks I was thinking about buying, when this woman suddenly yelled at me:

"You're being really obnoxious!"

I looked up in total shock.  This middle aged woman was standing in front of me, glaring at me angrily.

"What?" I said.

"You're just being really obnoxious," she said.  "I'm trying to focus on shopping and I can't concentrate because you're talking on the phone.  It's really obnoxious."

I think there was a time when I would have mumbled an apology, but maybe it's just that I'm older or maybe it was my friend on the phone saying, "What the hell?"  Or maybe it was another shopper who was looking at that woman and shaking her head like she couldn't believe it.  But I wasn't going to be yelled at for OMG talking on the phone at a department store.

"So you're saying I'm not allowed to talk at Target?" I shot back.  "So if I had a friend standing next to me, we wouldn't be allowed to speak?"

"That's different," she said. "What you're doing is obnoxious."

"How is it different?" I said.  "Are we all just supposed to shop in absolute silence so that you can concentrate?  Nobody is allowed to talk in this whole store?"

"Look, I'm sorry I said anything," the woman finally said.

"Yeah, happy holidays," I said.

I mean, WTF?  I get that there are times when being on your phone would be obnoxious.  Like, if I were on a train, where we were all trapped there, I wouldn't talk on my phone.  But I was at a huge store that was noisy as hell already, and in all likelihood, if she hadn't said something, I would have moved on in about two minutes anyway.  I mean, how long can you spend looking at socks?

I would never consider going up to a complete stranger and criticizing their behavior.  Speaking of obnoxious.