Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Healthy Dose; Health Care System Also Suffers Because of a Lack of Trust

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Healthy Dose; Health Care System Also Suffers Because of a Lack of Trust

Article excerpt

Byline: Deborah Hansen

Remember that night you tried to sneak into the house two hours past curfew and you heard a parent's voice call out from the darkness, "Trust is easy to keep, but hard to get back?"

The exact words (and presentation) may have been a bit different, but the message remains the same. Trust comes as we maneuver through life and learn who we can rely on. However, once we are betrayed by those folks, we're always peeking around corners waiting for the next betrayal to blindside us again.

Our health care system seems to be experiencing a crisis of trust, one that is reflected in nearly any discussion on this topic. At the national level, many feel that one reason universal health care would be disastrous is that our government would administer it badly. We would have to wait months for appointments or surgery, all the while in pain and need. Isn't that a lack of trust in the administrator of the plan?

Others say we can't trust "those in charge" of the money to be good stewards of the funds allocated. And polls indicate the American public doesn't particularly trust politicians to do what is best for us, anyway.

According to Rasmussen Reports (www.rasmussen reports.com), which collects and distributes opinion polling information, the seven leading presidential candidates all have more people committed to voting against them than for them. Certainly not a picture of great trust, and one of them will probably oversee the major changes to come in health care.

For those on the front lines of illness every day, the issues of trust are much more personal. Julie Johnson, 50, who lives in Gainesville, has had numerous hospital stays in that city as well as in Jacksonville over the past 10 years.

"I no longer feel safe if there is not a friend or family member there with me," she said. "You can ring that button and it may be 20, 30, 40 minutes before you actually see someone, such as the time when my IV was leaking all over the bed and no one came for almost 50 minutes. …

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