Back home after nine days in Piedmont Hospital, I'm grateful for life's daily blessings.
My stay in the Buckhead hospital where my three children were born and received care for a series of childhood scrapes and where my wife and I have undergone several medical procedures made me even more skeptical about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's Medicare for All plans.
I'm covered by Medicare, supplemented by the private insurance company I kept when I accepted a buyout from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution now 12 years ago. Piedmont's quality of care strengthened my support for our private-based health-care system.
As David Leonhardt noted in Monday's New York Times, Sanders and Warren's plan to abolish private insurance companies is highly unpopular except for a narrow segment of Democratic supporters. I don't know how a profit-based hospital like Piedmont would fare under the Sanders-Warren plan, but making it a public hospital like Grady would be a mistake.
During my Piedmont stay, I was amazed at the number of people employed by the hospital, from nurses and personal-care attendants to dining service employees, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners and doctors. The Piedmont staff is a microcosm of Atlanta.
Two years ago, I spent a week at Grady because of the same heart condition. Grady's care was excellent, but I found Piedmont's more comprehensive and responsive to my needs. I fear the Sanders-Warren proposals would bring an erosion of care in both hospitals.
Joe Biden's public-private health care system would preserve the strengths of the present system, while enhancing Obamacare's gains. Rather than Medicare for All, a Medicaid expansion would benefit millions. As Leonhardt points out, the Sanders-Warren plan would be disastrous for the Democrats' effort to win back the White House and Senate.
After receiving another up-close view of the American health system, I'm happy to be back home, grateful for the benefits of our health-care system.