The Zen of Health Care


What Health Care COULD Be
Or is this what health care used to be like when I was a child in the nineteen-fifties?

I am not positive. That was so long ago. But I think it was very similar to this.

Nevertheless, I like the concept and cost of health care that the Surgery Center espouses in the video below. I think if I ever needed surgery it would be worth my time and effort, not to mention easier on my pocketbook, to drive to Oklahoma City and be cared for there.




I have some personal experience with hospital cost creep. This was back in the early nineties, 1993, or 1994. I had a series of dental surgeries then. For one of the surgeries the doctor wrote me a prescription for what he called a ‘high powered pain killer.’ He wanted me to take these pills three days before the surgery as this would help lessen the pain on the day of the surgery.

I got the prescription for the pills filled. However, I was shocked when I saw what the prescription was for; even more surprised how much they cost.

The prescription was for ibuprofen. Or in other words, Advil. They were 800 mg each. OTC ibuprofen is 200 mg each.

Here’s the kicker!!!!! Each 800 mg ibuprofen pill was $16. So one pill a day for three days was a grand total of $48.

Today on Amazon, in 2013, I can buy 360 Advil pills for $17.15. I can get them WAY cheaper here but let’s just use that figure to make a point. That is $0.05 cents a pill. At today’s cost I could take 4 OTC pills a day, or 800 mg, for $0.60. Yet my insurance company was charged $48 for those pills.  Even taking into consideration some overhead the markup on those Advils was WAY up, up, and away!!!!! It was highway robbery and hospitals do it cause they can get away with it.

I think it is time for Zen Health Care. What say you?

What do you think of the video and The Surgery Center? What do you think about the cost of my Advil.


Featured Recipe        Roberta’s Knockoff Recipe of Bruegger’s Apple Salad


Today I share my knockoff version of a wonderful salad from a fast food eatery.

Every once in a while I get a strong hankering for a smoked salmon bagel. As I really like Bruegger’s bagels that is where I head for when I get such a hankering.

A few months ago I was there and they had a poster about a new salad – Blue Apple Salad. The ad poster showed almonds, cranberries, green apples, chicken chunks, and blue cheese.


I don’t care for blue cheese, so I ordered it without.

Let me tell you, it is one delicious salad; a little on the expensive side. But I don’t mind paying a little more for quality and something that delicious and fresh!

However, I was able to make the salad much cheaper at home. It would have been that way even if I used cheese. A large salad in the store goes for $6.99; the small $5.99. I made two for $4.93. And there is so little chicken in the store bought salad, it would not change my cost so very much. [Check picture below to see for yourself.]

I knew that very first time I tasted this salad I would share it with you here at More Thyme Than Dough. I waited till fall since apples are a fall fruit.

I use Granny Smith apples. They are slightly tart but so delicious in this salad. The cranberries soften the tartness. I am pretty sure that Bruegger’s also uses a Granny Smith apple.

When I do make this at home (Yes, I still get the salad at Bruegger’s some times.) I do not add the chicken to the salad. I just sauté a chicken breast and serve the salad next to the chicken. This makes for a nice protein meal with a salad.

As for the cheese, you can use blue cheese as the original recipe does, or any cheese you want. I make my salad sans any cheese at all.

Since, as many of you know, I am a Lazy Cook Extraordinaire I do not always make my own salad dressing. I use bottled Champagne Salad Dressing for this salad. If you prefer to make your own there are dozens of recipes on the net for you to choose, from the simple one by Martha Stewart to those with ten or more ingredients.

I do not know for certain, but my bottled Champagne dressing tasted and looked a whole lot like the dressing Brugger’s uses.

One last note, I made 2 large salads. You can easily make 3 smaller ones, maybe even four (4).

This is what you will need for 2 salads:

1 bag of spring mix lettuce

1 tart green apple

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

3 tablespoons Champagne Vinaigrette or salad dressing


Here is what you do:

Toast the almonds and set aside to cool completely.


Wash the lettuce and dry completely.

Wash the apple and slice and then cut into medium sized chunks.



Divide the greens between the two plates.


Toss on the apple chunks, almonds, and the cranberries.


Add a bit of salad dressing. Toss lightly.


Serve with a chicken breast or even a nice, juicy steak!


The Breugger’s  Apple Salad.



Bon appétit!!!


1 bag of spring mix lettuce              $2.00

1 tart green apple                          $0.59

3 tablespoons sliced almonds           $1.07

3 tablespoons dried cranberries       $0.49

3 tbspn Champagne salad dress       $0.07

Total cost = $4.93
Cost per salad = $2.47

Quote of the Day

Nothing is more fatal to health than an over care of it.

Benjamin Franklin


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8 comments to The Zen of Health Care

  • Roberta

    Let me begin the discussion.

    The Surgery Center is not alone. In Wichita, Kansas some doctors have dumped health insurance and charge patients less.

    You can read the short article by clicking the following link:

    I do not know how The Affordable Care Act will affect any of this.

  • I love that news but I think about families on just above minimum wage who wouldn’t have $3000 for surgery or a company who’d help with the cost. I hope more cities come up with a change like this. It’s really inspiring.

    I love chicken and apple salad and probably if we ate like this every day we might not need so many doctors. 🙂

    • Roberta

      Yes, Oklahoma City and The Surgery Center certainly came up with a winning idea. I too hope it catches on.

      And best thing about the salad is how delicious it is. 🙂 I am such a hedonist! 🙂

  • I’m so upset about healthcare reform I can barely type – my husband is a physician, I’m a nurse. The average person does not understand what’s going to happen to his and her health care costs. Healthy people are in for big time sticker shock. People who can’t afford to pay for healthcare will be sitting pretty. I’m not being mean. Our system needs reform, but this will not work. Those healthy people will opt out and take their chances, maybe pay in cash for their healthcare needs – screwing up the entire misguided premise of Obamacare.

    • Roberta

      I hear you, Julia.

      Imagine being on Medicare. I still do not know how all these changes will affect Medicare. Or how much it will cost this year. The COLA for Social Security next year is, on average, a whopping $17 a month. Will that cover Medicare?????? You got me.

      Not a way to run a health care system, nor a country.

  • Here in Canada, we have the much vaunted equal health care for all system paid out of taxes. It is wonderful for life threatening health issues but a disaster for minor problems. It is also heading for massive problems due to an ageing population.

    It sounds unbelieveable, but it is illegal here to pay for private treatment, or for a doctor to provide such treatment, to a patient who is a citizen or permanent resident. That is why many who have the means to pay for quicker treatment visit doctors and hospitals in the USA. For procedures like knee replacements, the wait time can be so long that the patient could have deteriorated beyond the point where surgery would be successful.

    Back in both South Africa and the Rhodesia of old we had a 2 tier system that worked. Lack of tolerance for frivolous litigation kept doctors malpractice insurance premiums low. Health insurance providers checked bills carefully. General Practitioners (family doctors)performed minor surgical procedures and delivered babies. The result, world class treatment at affordable cost for the majority of employed people and a safety net of government funded hospitals and doctors for those without income.

    That system allowed South Africa to perform the first heart transplant and provide a reasonable standard of health care to a population of which only a minority were economically active.

    • Roberta

      I have heard that before about Canadian health care. America too will be experiencing real challenges to health care due to the graying of the baby boom of which I am a part. Did not know about paying for private treatment – and yes, I find that unbelievable.

      Sounds like South Africa has it pretty well under control. Is that same system still in place? I doubt here in America there could or would be a crackdown in frivolous lawsuits.

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