Those were the days

Sept. 14, 2013

I remember watching reruns of “All in the Family,” which aired from 1971-79 on CBS. (You remember: “Boy the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us we had it made. Those were the days …” C’mon, you know the words.)

I thought Carroll O’Connor was a genius, and “All in the Family” has been one of my favorite shows since I was a kid. (Remember when Archie Bunker got locked in the cellar with a bottle of 100-proof vodka? Priceless.)

Who cares? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because I just realized that thinking about the show invoked a memory remnant of at least one episode where a doctor made a HOUSE CALL! Can you imagine!?

This wasn’t that long ago, people; we’re talking about 40 years, give or take. And healthcare back then was affordable to the common working man. What has happened in the ensuing four decades that made healthcare go from affordable care delivered to your door to non-affordable care at hospitals and practices?

C’mon, all you healthcare IT vendors. Get on your respective jobs! This is ridiculous! Reduce cost! Improve care! Technology must be the answer! (I know, I know. There’s no shortage of blame. It’s the politicians. The bureaucrats. It’s the fault of the greedy insurance companies. Eliminate the middle man, anyone?)

Well, as it turns out, the aforementioned “All in the Family” episode was only partly based on fact. Healthcare was much more affordable. But the housecall? In the early ‘70s? In the U.S.? Not so much. But this was Hollywood, remember?

Like many things in Tinseltown, the house call account was fictionalized. I did some research and, by 1970, only about 2 percent of the doctors in the U.S. still made house calls. (I read it online, so it must be true!) Unless you lived at 704 Hauser St., Queens, N.Y. … er, Hollywood, Calif., that is. Those were the days, indeed …

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