Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Healthcare for Everyone: Prime Time Crisis?

In middle school, I was in love with Doogie Howser, M.D. In college, I watched "ER." Now, it's "Grey's Anatomy." My sister is a big fan of "Scrubs" and my dad, strangely enough, likes "House M.D." It seems like doctors are more popular than ever in TV-land, which prompted Todd to wonder, while healthcare for everyone may sound good, what would it do to the Prime Time medical dramas?

In my limited experience: nothing. I'm trying to think back and remember how much time these shows spend on the nitty gritty of paying for healthcare. How often they talk about insurance and HMOs, or a patient has to spend 6 months calling the insurance company and doctor's office, while being threatened by a collections agency, to correct a mistake the insurance company made in the first place. (This happened to me last year, true story. Extremely irritating.)

Every once in a great while there may be a passing reference to the rising costs of healthcare, but for the most part they take place in a world completely separate from financial concerns. The doctors are all good-looking (of course!) and they show just the right amount of drive to succeed, mixed with tender concern for each and every patient. But, in my experience, these shows don't address the issue of paying for healthcare, which concerns so many Americans.

I think there's many obstacles to a public healthcare system that would provide free services to all citizens. But concern for our Prime Time medical dramas isn't one of those obstacles. Our beautiful, brainy doctors will be just fine.

No comments: