Surprisingly, a physician had the courage to send this politically incorrect letter to the editor of his local newspaper:
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.
Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.
STARNER JONES, MD
Here's a less-than-perfect response from a local lefty:
I'’ve been stewing about an Aug. 23 letter to the editor (“Why Pay for the Care of the Careless?”) in which Dr. Starner Jones questioned the worth of a patient to receive Medicaid because of her gold tooth, tattoos, R&B ring tone on a new cell phone, cigarette-smoking and beer-drinking.
This kind of personal attack is nothing new with the hateful rhetoric of late. But it’s a real slippery slope when one questions whether another human merits support for health care because of appearances and choices. There are a lot of folks in this state who make less-than-perfect choices about finances and health. We are the poorest, fattest state, after all.
We need to turn off our TVs and radios and do our own research on health care reform. All the Fox-fed and MSNBC-led masses are out spewing the same language the pundits are using.
Look at entities who, bottom line, want to raise their ratings and celebrity, not facilitate a meaningful or productive discourse.
This country deserves more. Read the health care reform bill. And learn the real issues of our entire community. We’re all Americans.
This is no “us vs. them” issue. We are all in this together.
Accountability? That's not fair. No one should ever be required to feel the stinging consequences of bad behavior and stupid decisions. Let those who work hard and make good decisions pay the price!