Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Harry and Louise's Golden Years

In the early 1990s, they were on TV all the time, a middle-aged, middle-class American couple named Harry and Louise, sitting around the kitchen table, worrying that Hillary Clinton’s health care plan would get between them and their doctor.

Today, that Clinton woman will be back again with her radical ideas about insurance for everyone, but will Harry and Louise still be worrying about socialized medicine?

Not Harry. When his company went bankrupt a few years later, he and Louise lost their insurance and couldn’t get new coverage because of Harry’s asthma and coronary history.

They lost the family doctor they loved so much, too. He switched his practice to “concierge care,” but Harry and Louise couldn’t afford the $2000 annual dues to stay on his roster of patients.

Louise can’t be sure but, if Harry had been getting his annual checkups and follow-up visits, he might have avoided or survived the heart attack that killed him at the age of 60.

As a widow, Louise has now reached the age of being eligible for Medicare. She is still free to see any doctor she chooses, but it bothers her that the government is involved in her health care and she is waiting with some annoyance to see what mischief Hillary is up to now.

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