NEWBERRY — Newberry County Democrats met last week for presentations on the current state of health care in South Carolina and the United States in general.
The Newberry Opera House lobby was filled to near capacity March 9 as House Rep. Bobby Ridgeway, the Democratic representative for House District 64 which includes Clarendon and Sumter counties, and House Rep. Bill Clyburn, the Democratic representative for House District 82, which includes Aiken, Edgefield and Saluda counties, spoke.
Ridgeway is a physician and spoke about medical practice “then and now,” demonstrating medical equipment and devices for years past.
Among other equipment, Ridgeway showed a photo of a glass and metal needle and syringe.
“After each use, you’d clean it out to use with the next patient. There was also a whetstone you’d use to sharpen the needle for the next patient. Or not, depending on how much you liked the next patient,” he said. ” Obviously, those things are in the past. Now, for example, we have single-use syringes that are discarded after they’re used with a patient.
“And the changes will continue, eventually with vaccines for the various kinds of cancer, genetic treatments, and so forth,” he added. “The question is, how do we pay for these new things that can save so many lives? The answer is still out on that, but with the large number of baby boomers now retiring, it is a question that will need to be answered soon.”
“We have to make affordable health care available for everyone,” Clyburn said. “How we’re going to do that, I don’t have any clear answers either. But one thing is perfectly clear: we are indeed our brother’s and sister’s keeper. “