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"Our nation's health care crisis... is a crisis of culture"

My wife works in the medical industry.  Nearly daily, she tells me of patients who walk into her office with an attitude of entitlement as large if not larger than their usually very large waistlines.  So what follows, written by an emergency room doctor, has a ring of truth to it that hits home:

RogerJones.jpg
Doctor Roger Starner Jones is a seventh generation Mississippian and his extracurricular interests are golf, hunting, fishing and college football. He specializes in emergency medicine at The University of Mississippi medical Center.

This Letter to the Editor, written by Doctor Jones about health care in America, is from the August 29th edition of Jackson, Mississippi's newspaper, the Clarion Ledger.

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.

How many honestly needy people are unable to get help because people like this are receiving aid before the truly needy do?  How many?

H/T Kathy Shaidle who suggests this doctor run for office in 2012.

Amen.

Crossposted(*).


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Comments (12)

SEIU thugs at his front doo... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

SEIU thugs at his front door in 5...4...3...

Heck you can add all those ... (Below threshold)
CDR M:

Heck you can add all those video game consoles, big screen TV's, car's that modified to death, iTouches, etc to the total. More important to have material goods than to budget for your own health care. I've seen twenty somethings hundreds of times destroying their credit spending 5 times their earnings on stuff that in a year or two will be obsolete or out of date and they will have no savings. I've seen guys that are E-4's in the military driving brand new Nissan 370Z's.

They are only trying their ... (Below threshold)
epador:

They are only trying their best to emulate the powerful they envy.

I love the pts that come in... (Below threshold)
Rich:

I love the pts that come in with the blue tooth stuck in their ears. They carry on discussions with whomever while I try to triage them. Thats about when I tell them that their phones might kill some old pt by interfering with their pacemakers.

While the picture painted a... (Below threshold)
epador:

While the picture painted above by the ER doc is graphic, it ignores the even larger picture of entitlement expressed by many more mainstream situations:

The family living thousands of miles from Mom and Dad who fly in to ask why Medicare won't pay for a live-in caretaker, because otherwise Mom and Dad will have to spend their inheritance to pay for custodial care. Somehow taking care of Mom and Dad themselves isn't even a option to consider (much less paying for it).

Unions and Federal workers who claim there is a health care crisis but successfully lobby to make their coverage exempt from any changes that come down the pike.

People that want a pill (or many pills) to correct/sooth the damage that years of poor life-style choices has made, without changing their life-styles first.

There are many more examples. Don't pick on the Medicaid folks as the sole problem - there are at least a few of them who have some scruples and common sense - they tend to stay out of the ER and really do work like the dickens to get a job somewhere other than WalMart.

I am so through with suppor... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

I am so through with supporting vampires...

http://tiny.cc/F2JXk

I've been to 'poor' countri... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I've been to 'poor' countries. I've seen 'poverty'. I've NEVER seen anything similar in the US. For those liberals who think it's EVERYWHERE in the US, I'd like to dump their fat asses in places like Haiti.

The libs started the entitlement craze, and we've been pouring money into it since the 60's. At least FDR was smart enough to start a ponzi scheme that you couldn't begin collecting on until you reached 65. And this in an era when the life expectancy of an adult male was 62.

What is being said is SO TR... (Below threshold)
mag:

What is being said is SO TRUE. I've see people come in the ER (now called the ED)for reasons as silly as their dog had puppies and they are nervous, knife wounds because they were fighting over the white meat of the turkey and tons of other nonsense.
And no matter who or why they come in they get the BEST of treatment. Of course, they won't pay because they do have that entitlement mentality. Or quite often they will give a phony name or especially an phony address so you can not track them down.
So I say....SCREW YOU Obamacare and anyone who wants it, I am so tired of taking care of these types.

I have worked in hospitals ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I have worked in hospitals for many a year. The debt we incur by those that do not take responsibility for themselves is appalling. They visit the ER for flu like symptoms but do not pay the minimal charge. I know they can. They plain refuse to. ww

Superb post. What ... (Below threshold)
Arizona CJ:

Superb post.

What went through my mind upon reading that is; why is the doc singling out her health care to object to paying for? After all, he, like the rest of us, are probably already paying for her fancy shoes, cigarettes, and tatooes and gold teeth!

Between being milked for crap like this, and being hosed by politicians who are out buying votes with our money, I no longer consider tax evasion a moral wrong. I consider it a patriotic duty.

"I no longer consider tax e... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I no longer consider tax evasion a moral wrong. I consider it a patriotic duty."

Judging by some of Barry's nominee's for public office, the Democrats have been "patriotic" for years. Ask Charlie Rangel or Timmy Geithner.

If I ever get audited and nailed for additional taxes AND A PENALTY, I'm throwing down the glove and demanding a "Rangel" or "Geithner Exception". If they didn't have to pay penalties, then neither should I.

Thanks for the post!The pos... (Below threshold)

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