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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Culture Crisis not a Health Care Crisis

I don't know if this was truly sent to the White House but it sure makes since to me. I don't believe that the government can keep taking care of everyone. We have to take care of our self and each other.

Below is a letter a young physician by the name of Dr. Starner Jones wrote. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis". It's worth a quick read:

Dear Mr.. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ring tone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture", a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me".
Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.


Chickenista said...

I so agree with this letter!! I sure hope it was mailed to the White House. Too many people take advantage of the social programs.

A.Marie said...

Oh my goodness...can I have your permission to put this on one of my blogs? What a candid observation from this doctor and he put into words what I have been trying to tell my husband for years!!!

Just the other day, I was telling him about one of our neighbors down the street...they are driving a nice van, always have some extra cash to spend, and they just finished a HUGE remodeling project on their house. I told my husband that we could do all those things also, but we are spending about 27 percent of his take home pay on health insurance premiums, deductibles and copays. That leaves very little for other things.

My neighbor, however, has his kids on the state's Kid Care program. Long story short, they pay little or nothing for health insurance for their 4 children, and for themselves, and that leaves plenty of $$ for fun stuff.

However, I am very thankful to God that my husband still has a job and that we can continue to have insurance. I'm not bashing those who have to use state insurance. There are people who have lost their jobs and have no other choice. For those who DO have a choice, however, like my neighbor and the woman in the letter, their type of thinking needs to be changed.

Ann said...

What an excellent letter. Couldn't have said it better myself. I totally agree

2cats said...

I think I have to write my own post in response to yours. Sorry.

Vixen said...

I worked in an ER for 15 years doing the medical coding and billing and I have to tell you, this myth about Medicaid patients is nothing but a myth. There are bad people in every walk of life, but they are definitely the minority, not the majority. And since after 30 years in the workforce paying taxes I now qualify for a type of Medicaid while in disability, I am still unable to afford the health care I need let alone fancy shoes or even a visit to the dentist for my cracked, but not gold tooth.

Melissa said...

So if you are poor you should just be poor? While I agree you should not have all the amenities, and consider yourself needy, the health care crisis is way more than what you, or this doctor have stated. A cell phone bill is no where near what medical care costs, nor is a tattoo, shiny gold tooth, or the other things you mention. Not to mention you have no way of knowing whether this woman paid for these, or they were gifts. Not to mention if she is poor, she has no right to drink beer, or eat pretzels, just because you want her to afford 600 dollars per month for health care, that is usually quite crappy, and probably will not cover anything after she pays the 1500 dollar deductible because she doesn't have a decent job that will put her in a group plan, and possibly make it affordable? I agree there are people who game the system, however the system is a rip off, and is only out to make money, and does not give a crap about its customers.

siteseer said...

yikes!! Another hotbed issue. Having been poor (now middle) and using the system while being treated for polio as an toddler and child I think I need to make a statement too :) The problem is not that the poor are yucky people, it is that if you have no money for necessities then you shouldn't be spending what little you have on luxuries. I am forever grateful and thankful that we have a society that cares for the less fortunate or those that are falling on hard times, but let's not forget that there are those that are 'using' the system. I don't know the answer, but there is a lot of abuse.

Michelle said...

Wow, interesting letter. Definitely something to think about. I've actually experienced this myself many years ago. I use to work for the United Way. People would come in for food or ask for cash, ect.Yet these same people asking for help would be wearing expensive clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc. Why do they need help if they can afford all these luxuries? I've always wondered this. Thanks for the insightful post.