“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says Yahweh Sabaoth. (Zechariah 4: 6)
The U.S. Healthcare System Needs a Complete Overhaul
The healthcare debate in the U.S. is missing one key ingredient: personal experience on the part of ordinary citizens. Lacking that kind of experience, voters must rely on sound bites and political propaganda. In the end, we are making poor choices because we don’t understand the options that are available to us.
This is my personal experience. I’m presenting it here for your consideration.
In 2013, I had a colonoscopy. It was my second colonoscopy, so I didn’t give it too much thought. As far as I was concerned, it was just another medical procedure.
Immediately following my colonoscopy in 2013, I started having problems with my GI track, but I didn’t give it much thought, either. I have been active my entire life. Pain is something that I have learned to live with, because in my experience, it always went away with time. I thought, Why would this be any different?
I was wrong. This time it was different.
I ignored the pain and went about my business. The pain kept getting worse. After several weeks it was noticeably unpleasant. Finally, one morning as I was preparing SnyderTalk, it was about 4:00 A.M., the computer monitor appeared to move away from me. It was as though I was looking at it through a telescope. I started to feel faint, so I decided to get a glass of water.
When I stood up, I almost collapsed. Rather than falling to the floor, I sat down on the floor and waited for a few seconds. The dizziness passed, and I got the water. When my doctor’s office opened, I called and said, “I need an appointment today.” They saw me that morning.
My problem was diagnosed as diverticulitis. That was a reasonable diagnosis given my symptoms. He treated me with antibiotics, two of them, and in a day I felt a lot better. The prescriptions lasted for 2 weeks. When the prescriptions ran out, I felt like a new man.
For the next 3 years, I had intermittent problems with my GI track. Each time I had a flare-up, I called my doctor and was treated with the same prescription regimen. After several episodes, I decided that it was time to see a specialist—the gastrointestinal doctor who performed the colonoscopy. He assured me that I was fine and that I would have to learn to live with the problem.
I had never had a serious medical problem before, so all of this was new to me. At first, I accepted my gastro doctor’s advice, but eventually I realized that I had what I call a “mechanical problem” that couldn’t be solved with antibiotics. Besides, I didn’t like the idea of taking so many antibiotics.
After about a year of continued intermittent flair-ups, I scheduled another appointment with my gastro doctor to discuss what I now believed was a problem that might require surgery. He dismissed my concern and repeated what he had told me before—get used to it.
I travel a lot, and I spend a lot of time in Israel. My GI problem was so precarious that I started taking my prescriptions with me every place I went in case I had a flare-up.
Last year, 2016, I spent 3 weeks in Israel. I took my prescriptions with me and needed to use them immediately after arriving. As my visit was drawing to a close, I had another flare-up. This time I needed to see an Israeli doctor ostensibly to get my prescriptions refilled, but that’s not how the Israeli healthcare system works. The doctor would not just refill my prescriptions. She insisted on performing tests first.
Israel has a single-payer healthcare system. The first stop for Israelis who have medical problems is what we call urgent care in the U.S. It’s their triage unit. At the introductory stage of the process, the doctor determines what needs to be done and directs patients toward the medical professionals they need.
I am not an Israeli, but they treated me as though I was an Israeli. The doctor ran several tests including blood tests, analyzed the data, and gave me a complete written report in Hebrew and English. It amounted to a complete physical. It took about 45 minutes from start to finish, and I was a walk-in patient. That part of the process would have taken at least a week in the U.S., and it would have cost many hundreds of dollars.
Since I am not an Israeli, I had to pay the full freight. It ended up costing me about 650 ILS (shekels). That’s about $150. As I said, it would have cost me many hundreds of dollars in the U.S.
It was a bargain, but the report was a blessing from Yahweh. First, the doctor told me that I did not have diverticulitis, but I did have a GI problem. She said that I needed a CT scan and that I should have the procedure when I returned to the U.S. She even wrote me a prescription for a CT scan thereby directing my U.S. doctor to perform it.
Then she asked me what seemed to be a strange question: “Do you know that you have a heart murmur?”
I told her that I did not know. I said that I get a complete physical every year, so if it was a problem, I should have been told about it long ago.
She said, “You need to see a cardiologist immediately when you return to the U.S., and you need to get an echo cardiogram with contrast.” She even wrote me a prescription for an echo cardiogram with contrast thereby directing my U.S. doctor to perform one.
To me that seemed like overkill so I said, “I will have a physical in December. I think I will wait until then.”
At that point, the Israeli doctor became very insistent. She looked at me with a stern expression and said, “No! You need to see a cardiologist immediately. Don’t wait until December!”
My wife was with me. She told the doctor that I would follow her instructions.
That was in June. When I returned to the U.S., I scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist. When he listened to my heart with a stethoscope, it took him awhile to detect the murmur because it was so faint. He told me that he didn’t think it was a serious problem, but since the Israeli doctor had written a prescription, he ordered the echo cardiogram.
I got the results a week later. The heart murmur was caused by aortic stenosis. It’s a genetic condition. In a nutshell, it means that the aortic valve in my heart is failing. I expected an uneventful meeting with the doctor, but to my surprise, he said, “You will need to replace that valve in 2-5 years.”
That requires open heart surgery. It’s a big deal. The Israeli doctor detected it in seconds with a stethoscope. My U.S. doctor had missed it for years.
I now have an echo cardiogram with contrast twice a year, and I am waiting for the doctor to tell me, “Neil, it’s time to replace that value.”
The good news about waiting is that they are testing a procedure that doesn’t require open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve. Right now, only high-risk patients are being treated with the new procedure. By that I mean only obese people are getting it. If it works well enough, they may not have to open up my chest.
As you might expect, the Israeli doctor’s stock went up in my book when my cardiologist told me about my heart condition, and I was determined to get a CT scan of my GI track right away. I also decided that I did not want to see the gastro doctor who performed my colonoscopy, so I switched doctors.
The CT scan revealed that I had a blockage. When I got the colonoscopy in 2013, the doctor punctured my colon. When that happened, the small intestine moved over to press against the colon to prevent bacteria from escaping. It’s automatic. We are wonderfully made.
This is the interesting part. I had the CT scan at 7:00 in the morning in Greenville, South Carolina. I ate breakfast in Greenville and drove home. It takes about 45 minutes to make the drive. As I walked into my house, the phone rang. It was my new gastro doctor. He told me that I needed to pack a bag and go to the hospital in Greenville, because they were going to perform surgery.
It really was a problem. I could feel it. I knew it. I had known about it for years. When I told my first GI doctor about it, he treated me as though I was a hypochondriac, which I am not.
As it turns out, my small intestine had been pressed up against my colon for so long that they had fused together. That created the blockage. In the time it took me to drive home, my new gastro doctor had analyzed the CT scan and met with a surgeon who had also analyzed the CT scan. The best course of action, the only reasonable course of action at that point was to remove the problem surgically.
They cut out about 4 inches of my colon and about 1 foot of my small intestine. Many months have passed, and I feel fine. I really did have a mechanical problem, but my first gastro doctor was too stubborn to pay any attention to what I told him and too unprofessional to prescribe a CT scan to determine if there was something to what I told him. He was perfectly happy feeding me antibiotics even though antibiotics can’t solve a mechanical problem.
I learned about all of this in Jerusalem in a single-payer healthcare system. It took about 45 minutes and $150. I had been suffering through the GI problem at that point for more than 3 years. If I had not seen the Israeli doctor, I would still be dealing with the GI problem today and popping antibiotics like candy. On top of that, I learned about a serious heart problem that my U.S. doctor had never detected. I call that a good return on investment.
The U.S. healthcare system needs a complete overhaul. All the talk we hear about medical practice in the U.S. being the best in the world is hogwash. Let’s hope and pray that our legislators drop the propaganda and start examining the facts.
This is not about liberal vs. conservative. It’s not about Republicans vs. Democrats, either. It’s about what’s in the best interest of U.S. citizens, particularly U.S. taxpayers.
For an interesting read, see Ishaan Tharoor’s article “American health care is a bad case of American exceptionalism”. He said, “No country has the exact system as the other, nor is any country’s system free of critics and detractors. But you’d be hard-pressed to find any other wealthy nation in the world where the very idea of universal coverage provokes such partisan division.”
Tharoor is right. Politically, we are on different sides of the fence, but where healthcare is concerned, we are not.
Also, take the time to watch the video below. Scroll down until you see it. You’ll be glad you did.
In the U.S., we are paying a lot more than we should for healthcare, and we are getting less than the best quality healthcare. It’s like shopping at Walmart and paying Saks Fifth Avenue prices.
It makes no sense. No one would do it if they knew any better. Problem is people don’t know any better. All they know is what they are told, and they aren’t being told the truth.
Our belief that U.S. healthcare is the best in the world is delusional.
“If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7: 14)
Change that Yahweh calls “good” begins in the hearts of believers—people who are recognizable because they are different.
We are different because we belong to Him and are called by His Name. We are Yahweh’s people, His followers.
His Name is Yahweh, the website, is a companion of the book His Name is Yahweh.
To download His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition for free in PDF format, click on the title below:
- His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in PDF format
His Name is Yahweh has been downloaded and shared in congregations all over the world. Please take advantage of this opportunity to read and share essential information about Yahweh.
You have my permission to copy and print His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition as many times as you want. Please, don’t sell it. Give it away.
To purchase His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in paperback or in eBook, click here.
To see videos that explain the importance of Yahweh’s Name, click here.
Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? is a book that you will want to read.
In it, you will discover facts that most Christians are unfamiliar with. It will enlighten you about the true faith of believers dating back to the time of Abraham.
The Messiah didn’t try to create a new religion. Neither did the apostles nor His followers. For the most part, the religion that we know today as “Christianity” is either Catholic or an extension of Catholicism.
That’s a serious problem. Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? explains why.
The book is available in three formats: paperback, eBook, and PDF format. Click on the titles below to access the version you want:
- Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? in paperback.
- Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? in eBook.
- Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved?in PDF format. This one is free.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.