We, along with the country, have talked a lot about healthcare lately: the role of employers, the impact of doctors’ salaries, the importance of health promotion and more. Now we’re going to take a turn from what the system is providing (or may provide in the future) to what you expect and value. What is most important to you as a patient, client, or customer of the healthcare system — as a consumer of healthcare? Cost? Timely delivery? Quality? Convenience? Does valet parking at hospital mean anything to you? Or do you just care that there is a hospital nearby? Do you prefer low co-pays or smaller premiums?
As an epileptic I have had a few cases of seizures occurring in public places. While not life threatening, this can often impact strangers intensely. A stranger’s first response is usually to call an ambulance and get me to a hospital… The simple act of being picked up off the ground, transported to the hospital and ingesting a Tylenol offered by doctor there would run me over a thousand dollars. When I checked my bill I discovered that the two Tylenols I had ingested alone cost me over 50 dollars… Since I was working a part time minimum wage job, I could not afford to pay those bills and my credit was destroyed for years.
What’s your story about using the healthcare system? What do you hope for in the future? Please note, we are really looking for personal experiences from consumers of healthcare in this show, not general thoughts about how the whole system should change (though we understand that one can lead into the next!).
- John Laird: Editorial Page Editor for The Columbian
- Jenifer Hood: soon to be uninsured after being laid off from her position at the City of Oakridge
- Jason Atkinson: Republican State Senator from Central Point (District 2)
- Phyllis Best: Chief Financial Officer for The Factory Company International and a Trustee of the Group Health Cooperative Board
- Michael Kaplan: HIV positive and the executive director of the Cascade AIDS Project
(Note: For the first ten minutes of today’s show we will discuss Washington’s Primary election.)