News and Tribune

Columns

March 18, 2013

CUMMINS: Our nation should see a doctor

The longer we live, the more time we spend our waking hours waiting for something big to happen. No, it’s not death, but life prolonged by medical procedures administered as we seep into the twilight. If it’s a bright day, but looks like dawn to us, then we wait for an oculist to part the clouds inside our retinas. If our heart or bladder flare up, we wait to see a doctor and then specialists who scan us inside and out. The results go inside a computer, which prints out our future. I watch my doctor’s face as he reads it, which predicts life or death for me. If he frowns, it means he will discontinue collecting fees, but if he smiles, the burden falls on Medicare.

If terrorism, socialism or climate change doesn’t take our country down, the inflated health care system will. One problem is that as people live longer due to improved health care, there’s many more of us waiting for multiple procedures to keep us breathing. My wife recently waited eight hours in an emergency room, which cost $4,380 to send her home. I had two valves repaired for $163,000. The government and insurance prevented the administering of my last rites —“His spirit and body weren’t broken, but his mind was as politics finally got to him.”   

Back a few years ago, people died naturally of “old age.” Families kept old folks in the home, administered home remedies and asked God to help. Sassafras tea thinned the blood, cough syrup and salve opened passages and hot whiskey toddies relieved severe pain. Coal, cod or castor oil cured other disorders. When my old aunt Lina felt poorly, she’d take a big swig of “Hadacol,” a tonic that worked wonders for her. It contained secret ingredients mixed with about one-third alcohol.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.