Saturday, October 9, 2010

Letter to the Editor on Healthcare

This is a note written as a Letter to the Editor in the Clarion Ledger by Dr. Roger Starner Jones, an ER doc in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dear Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B; tune for a ring tone.

Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.

She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our President expects me to pay for this woman’s health care?

Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture – a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.

A culture that thinks I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.

You don't have to be a health care worker to appreciate what this brave and honest man has said. Sure, there are going to be some people who need some help, like the disabled, single moms, or people out of work, but people who's income are handouts are wrong.

I'm always amazed while standing in line at the store and watch as people put a cart full of unhealthy junk "food" onto the conveyor belt, then pay by food stamps. Not to stereotype, but it's often overweight women that I observe in these lines, and in summer attire, you can often see many sporting tatoos. I think tatoos are cool, but where are they getting money for something like that, and why aren't they purchasing better foods to nourish their bodies?

Better food choices will keep them--and their children--out of the doctor's office thus keeping healthcare costs down. There is truth to, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"! Thank you, Dr. Jones, for your common sense conclusion on the health care crisis. --LKR


Tim said...

Sorry to say but under Obama we have become a country that the less work you do the more government help you get, don't pay your mortgage don't worry we will bale you out. Can't find some kind of work we will extend unemployment again, and again, and again. I could go on...and on. Thanks for this post. I totally agree.

Peggy said...

Oh, I soooooo agree! I'm embarrassed to say that I have a family member that does this. One year the fire department delivered a ton of toys for their kids for Christmas; they get free clothing and food from a church they go to, and my niece sits at home all day while her husband works. She doesn't have any health problems, so why can't she go out and help support her family?! We work our buns off to support our family, so why does the government think I should help pay for things for them?

Then there's this single mom I know. She has money for a big flat screen tv, ipods, an mp3 player, etc and last year had her 4 year old daughter in 3 dance classes where you also had to buy expensive costumes for a one-time performance. And they get discount lunches at the schools (I'm okay with that) and have food stamps. Why can't these people learn how to save their money so they aren't leaching off of the goodness of others or from those of us who are hard working?

Renee said...

No names were mentioned. HIPPA was not violated...i agree with this doctor. Working in the medical field, it is so frustrating to see this happen time and time again. These ppl can afford to buy new cell phones, and all that was mentioned by the doctor and Peggy, yet refuse to pay for health insurance, or take proper care of themselves. Why should they when we pay for them.