Last week we saw a domestic national news cycle dominated by the "glitches" that derailed the launch of the web-based exchanges where uninsured American people and their small business employers can shop for private health insurance. This week, as stories about private health insurance continue to dominate the headlines, the term "single payer" has bobbed up with increasing frequency.
A young friend and keen analyst of social change made the observation that it seems that physicians, when it comes to the contemporary state of our profession, seem a bit in shock, as if suffering a grief reaction. She referenced the stages of grief elucidated by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.*
Recently one of my patients, someone in a very frail state, insisted upon discharge the next day, over my objections. The patient's spouse was facing cancer and now was the time to be at home, not in the hospital.