I am always hesitant to place credibility in single case episodes about any assessment of society functions. However, my own family experience with health care of life threatening conditions is interesting (at least).
Several years ago, I fell 11 feet to concrete and suffered a fractured arm, pelvic fractures, and several vertebra fractures. Within minutes of arriving in the ER (I had my wife drive me as I hate ambulances), I had IV lines and was on the way to xrays. In a couple hours, I went to the OR for repair of the humerus fractures. Three weeks later, my spleen began to bleed and we returned to a small country hospital (70 beds) where I was admitted in shock, resuscitated and underwent removal of my injured spleen with no incidents (five units of blood). Neither facility in which I was treated asked about insurance until certain that I was stable and emergency care being rendered.
Last week, my son was on a motorcycle dream trip (BMW’s “Tail of the Dragon” ride) when he lost control of his bike in the mountains. He was taken to a facility not much larger than a clinic where he was stabilized and diagnosed as a fractured spleen (must be in the genes) plus a badly fractured ankle. Since there were thunderstorms in the area, helicopter medivac to Ashville was out of the question so he went by ground ambulance to a 70 or so bed hospital in Sylva where he was taken immediately to the OR for spleen removal. The ankle will be repaired tomorrow. He only needed four units of blood since the care was rapid and efficacious. He, too has good insurance but the assertainment of that came after life saving resuscitation occurred.
I have no idea if US health care is the best ever seen in the world or not. I do know that it is excellent and deserves better recognition than is given from politicians and many pundits who have axes to grind other than whether the care is good or not.
PS, We are going to pick him up tomorrow in order to return him home after he is discharged on Wed or Thurs. His kids miss him.