Friday, September 17, 2010


Posted on Facebook more than once, from "a young physician by the name of Dr. Roger Starner Jones. His short letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a 'Culture Crisis' instead of a 'Health Care Crisis'.."

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 ringtone.

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 pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, 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.



By this same logic, we should refuse medical treatment for anyone who smokes - and then obviously for their children who have been raised in a smoky environment and have or possibly will take up the filthy habit.

Truly obese people would be denied medical treatment - I mean, we all know that can be avoided - it's like they’ve been buying food when they could be getting health insurance, right?

So how about overweight? Forty pounds? Twenty? Ten? Same reasons, right? And underweight anorexic teenage girls? They should be turned away from even the school nurse office.

This slippery slope is exactly why we desperately DO need health care for everyone equally.

Who would you want to determine if YOU are one of these "culture crisis" individuals and therefore can be turned away from the emergency room?

What if you have pierced ears - you wear contacts - you have stopped at McDonald's this week to get your kids Happy Meals?

Discrimination is discrimination regardless of the terms used - we are not the judges of who is worthy of what. We do not know who people were raised, who installed different values in them, what trials they have been through - God is the only appropriate judge of that.

"Equal under law" is something our Founding Fathers believed in - and so do I. Other people may not spend their money the way I want them to - they may dress differently - they may even be unbelievably STUPID. But they have the right in the U.S.A. to do that - and I have the right to be just as stupid in my own way. That, my friends, is freedom - people being able to do things you may very well not approve of.


nikki said...

I was one of the people who posted the letter from the ER doctor. I have had times when I used Medicaid, and times I have had private insurance and times when I have had no insurance. I also worked and payed taxes for for 17 years of my life, and now I don't work, but my husband does and he pays taxes. I was a state case worker and have seen both sides of this situation.
I also agree with your post about discrimination. I don't think a person should ever be turned away from urgent medical treatment. I do however, think that making the taxpayer responsible for so many people's medical costs isn't the answer either.
The Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies have way too much power over doctors, and the patients. People have sued doctors for so many things that the cost of being a doctor (malpractice insurance) is ridiculously high. I posted the doctors letter because I agree we are in a "culture crisis". There is no easy solution for health care but it will take various levels of reform, not just simply making it free for everyone.
I made payments to the hospital for almost 4 years to pay off the bills for my son's birth. I only paid $50 month - because the hospital wanted to get paid and I was willing to work at it, that was the arrangement we came to. The government giving free health care to so many people is not solving any problems - it only reinforces the entitlement mentality to so many Americans have today. We are not entitled to everything simply because we live in America. For generations many people have sacrificed, worked and served our country to allow everyone those rights. If we want to stay strong as a country we have to stop demanding the that others take care of us, and start finding ways to take care of ourselves.
Thanks for reminding me of how easy it is to sound discriminatory - I did not intend that.

Judy said...

I didn't post his letter, but I wanted to. I agree with you about discrimination and I also don't think anyone should be turned away for urgent care. But Free Health Care for everyone is not the answer.

Like you, for many years I have had tricare for our insurance. We don't run the risk of ever loosing that. We are blessed with that. We don't need to think about it, but we have this because our husbands earned it. Just like the retirement check we get each month because he earned it. I am thankful for this.

I agree with Nikki, the entitlement mentality many Americans have today needs to stop. We need to take care of ourselves and not have the Govt. take care of us!

Heart on my sleeve said...

Being an RN and having worked in an ER, I totally agree with the doc. I can get on my soap box about socialized medicine and why it won't work. People don't think things through and see it from a healthcare worker prospective--where we see things in action. Yes, things definitely need to change, starting with medicaid.
I always say "80% of what's wrong with us, we do to ourselves". From not taking care of ourselves in one form or another. I think health care should be geared more towards prevention with incentives to eat right, work out, maintain a healthy weight, etc.