Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Letter to the President by Dr. Jones on Healthcare

From my E-Mail Bag:

This doctor's 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 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 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.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Barb said...

I think the issue is more complicated than that --as regards the crisis in costs of healthcare --and doctor shortages --but he's got it right about this dependence on gov't to cover the results of our unhealthy choices for free. We want gov't to be the generous, caring parent who takes care of us --not realizing that all the care-takers have to be paid by someone to work their hospital shifts and study at great expense to themselves to have the knowhow.

I want employers to be the route for health insurance --as now --that motivates working and self-reliance --but those employers have to prosper in order to do it and we have to keep costs within reason. Belt-tightening is needed. no more fraud --and no money for transgendering and abortion. I think the homosexuals should probably pay a higher premium for their well-documented higher STD risks. they can usually afford it.

steve said...

sounds like an internet myth hoax letter. Regardless, it is all healthcare workers ethical and moral obligation to treat everyone to the best of their ability without regard to personal prejudices, judgments, or the patient's ability to pay.

Could you imagine going to your minister. "Pastor, I have a problem, can you pray with me?"

Then the minister says "Sorry, I don't like the way you look, God hates you, get the heck out of my church".

Similar situation to what the racist (context) hoax letter is implying: That people of a certain culture - ahem - shouldn't receive healthcare based on certain external criteria.

It's also a red herring argument. Because I'm certain those external cultural vises the letter mentions could never equal the 50,000 dollar procedure she needs, or the 3000 dollar a month dialysis to keep her alive.

But I see where you guys are coming from. And I'm in agreement. If you can't pay for healthcare you should just go to a special floor on the hospital where you can die a painless death. There we can harvest the poor's organs and use them in deserving white church folk that might need a kidney or a cornea. When these poor ghetto girls come for an abortion, we can whisk the baby away and run it through a meat grinder and harvest the fetal collagen for our hair care products. I think you are on to something.. Why stop at the poor. If you can't pay for healthcare, you die! plain and simple.. harvest those organs! Protein! and Minirals! Old people on a fixed income? Into the shoot granny! we need your various chemicals for our industrial processes.

Christian Apologist said...

Whether the story is true or not, the mindset is. Poverty, in America, is often the result of the inability of people to prioritize their spending. Basic neccesities like food and shelter become secondary to things like shoes, cars, cell phones, drugs, and alchohol.

For example I saw recently a comercial where two grown men were sitting in a living room playing a video game. The one says to the other "when are you going to get a bigger place?" and the other guy tells his friend 'as soon as the credit fairy gives me more credit.' The answer should have been, as soon as I get a better paying job.
What is the answer to this problem. The good old christian values of temperance, self-denial, self-control, and fiscal accountability.

mud_rake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

Steve, seems the obvious point here is that if people do not smoke and drink a lot, and sleep around promiscuously making babies out of wedlock, it is much less likely that they will be on the gov't dole or need costly cancer and heart and liver remedies as early in life as they do.

Granted, obesity also causes MUCH workplace disability and bad knees and hip joints--and we should work to prevent it, too. But we can't "never start" or "go cold turkey" on eating as with other addictions.

So far, I've not cost my insurance co. very much --until recently -- and I hope I check out gracefully by God's will before I do cost a lot or have to suffer a lot.

Admittedly, I don't earn my own keep economically any other way except as my husband's wife. I am blessed in that regard --and know the value of a committed, hard-working, supportive husband and strong marriage --something else that we should all plan and work to have. And I do earn my keep in having raised and civilized the children, running the house, paying the bills, doing the tax prep, doing his laundry, keeping up in the kitchen, spending his money, etc.

People like this girl described could take their cigarette and beer money, etc., and buy a policy with it --at least for a young, non-smoking single person it would usually be less than their car payment.

I've mentioned before my good friend who, when she got a little money, ran off to the movies and bought the food there, with her family--instead of getting the phone back on. She called it "my fix." Just so you know, we got her a car once, fixed her cars, paid some bills, cleaned her place often, took them to the lake, to movies, to restaurants --out of compassion for a struggling fellow believer and her kids who were suffering for her bad decisions --and I counseled for hours on phone to lift her spirits and help her cope --to seemingly no practical effect--except to keep her going. Guess my counsel had no clout. Though, I do think life would have been worse for them all without the help of church and Christians. I felt it was God's prompting to occupy myself with them.

Barb said...

All the med personnel I know take care of people equally and are equally compassionate to all. My husband has carried a lot of people who don't pay or pay much --and they get as good a care as others.

If he writes anyone off and sends them a letter of dismissal it is rare --but it happens if someone is terribly and repeatedly rude to him or the staff, complains about waiting while wanting to take a lot of doctor time for themselves and family who may come with them, and ON TOP OF THAT, never pays anything--sometimes their co-pays for insurance they might have. They expect him to float them and then have a nasty attitude? He puts up with that only for so long before concluding and informing them that he believes they might be happier elsewhere.

Some payment plans don't pay enough to run the office if everyone paid the same.

Interesting that all health care staff expect annual raises whether or not the office brings in more revenue. Do we really think all the healthcare personnel should be on the gov't payroll and all the non-paying patients should get gov't freebies paid by working tax-payers?

Where will all this money come from? With insurance companies, it comes from investments and profitable ventures by those companies. The problem comes when ins. companies fail to do well enough to keep up with the rising costs of our ever-increasing tech. And the gov't healthcare programs are all spending in deficit. But ins. companies shouldn't let down their clients for exorbitant profit and refuse expensive patients. We need more conscience and compassion at the top of the pay scale --and more diligence and self-care at the bottom --instead of this attitude that someone else owes me and I shouldn't have to pay anything for health care and their employees.

It will just be another bankrupt program if gov't runs healthcare.

Barb said...

Mudrake said I think that THOSE people are ruining our tidy society. Just imagine [John Lennon] if THOSE people weren't part of the American society!! How wonderful everything would be. Rainbows, lollipops and moonbeams!

Now, Mudrake, get off your soapbox, thou hypocrite, who suggested boxcars for
"deluded, ignorant, not-as-smart -as-Mudrake, kool-aid drinking, O so righteous fundamentalist Christians" --many of whom are the very poor you think are being insulted here.

Why so venomous and hateful? this is a reasonable discussion about a cultural trend in America --for people to spend their money on unnecessary pleasures and expect gov't (or parents) to provide the necessities.

You seem to think that people trying to come up with solutions of self-reliance and wisdom are the evil ones. I don't call it evil to want gov't healthcare; I just don't think it's the RIGHT or WISE or cost-effective way to go. I think there are other solutions to try first that do begin with abstinence from harmful drugs and risky activities --and the restoration of family life in America.

steve said...

Look at it this way, say someone eats some tainted chicken packed with ecoli because there is no longer any serious federal oversite / regulation by the FDA of the poultry industry. This person went to college and is paying off 100 thousand in student loans. This person has a masters in gerintology and works with alzheimers patients for 12 dollars an hour and works another job delivering pizzas to pay off the student loans. Neither employer offers health insurance. The ecoli turns this kids liver to paste so now she needs a liver transplant. The bill is a million dollars! We can't pay that cost as a society so sorry to say we need to just let this now worthless mouth die and harvest her good organs. Its not like she is an insurance CEO or someone of worth like a money manager, banker, or stock trader! She helps alzheimer patients! (Other worthless mouths) its not my fault she didn't get an MBA or become a lying weasel radio personality!

Jump in the chute granny!

Barb said...

Who would suggest that the FDA not do their jobs? not me.

Are you saying this is a real situation? I also know of a baby who needs a liver transplant because of biliary atresia. And they, too, said it is a million dollar procedure. (There's the harvesting of the organ from someone else, the preservation of it, the air transport for it, and umpty dozen highly skilled, wanna-be-well-paid medical and other personnel who expect their checks for their part in this process.)

If medical people would work cheap, like your friend working with alzheimers' patients, maybe we could get the price down for liver transplants. But let's remember that to get a liver, one has to wish for someone else to die. And no one feels they can afford to work cheap --after getting an expensive education to pay high-priced professors and administrators,etc.

We would like all healthcare to be charity --but someone has to pay because everyone involved has to BE paid.

Nevertheless, many doctors do give their services or charge less than they could --or give people a long time to pay back what they owe. And I suspect many people just never do pay the full price tag. And there are charities who help and insurance policies that cover.

Ironically, we never protest the high cost of cars, car insurance, and auto repair the way we do healthcare.

Life just doesn't turn out rosily for all of us --and I don't really think it has anything to do with who you are when it comes to liver transplants (unless you have your own million dollars.) I suppose, however, that the decision-making teams, regarding organ transplants, do sometimes regard the prognosis: will this patient do well if given a new liver, or is he likely to die soon anyway? Then, in that case, you'd expect them to give it to the one who could most likely benefit. These are decisions we don't want gov't making --but medical personnel with hearts and common sense wisdom.

steve said...

Health care professional of all stripes could probably get compensated much more if you took out the middleman - the insurance industry. Many billions of dollars go to administrative costs to support the bloated middleman vs direct patient care and support of health care professionals. This bloat is only there to maintain and funnel insurance company profits - it's a complete waste of resources that could be dedicated to patient care. It's the precise reason why the rest of the industrial world can deliver superior health care at more than half the cost. It's a total no brainer to get rid of insurance company control of the health care in this country. Their year on year increases in cost at twice inflation is destroying our countries economic ability to compete with the rest of the world. I've said it a hundred times. The government does big projects like managing the highways, putting a man on the moon.. and yes.. delivering health care much better and much more efficiently than privatized entities. The evidence is right in front of our faces if people would just open up their eyes. We are the laughing stock of the industrial world. Would you trust the national defense of the country to a company like Blackwater? Would you trust Dick Rutan to get us to the moon? Would you want to see the highways privatized where you have to pay a toll every mile to get to the mall? The right is so dead set against nationalized health care because they know it will be a RESOUNDING SUCCESS and it will be another nail in the coffin toward GOP irrelevancy; plus they want to hang healthcare's defeat around Obama's neck like an albatros. Don't you think that is sad and pathetic? That they have put politics above the health of the citizens of this country? All those little nit picky arguments you make up against nationalized health care are just existential moralizing. Actual people are dying this moment because they don't have health insurance. Where's you're "right to life" concerning the cancer patient that is dying in agony because they had a pre existing condition? It's monstrously inhuman. A recent Harvard study concluded that 45,000 people die a year as the direct result of not having health insurance. 45,000. That's a small town wiped out. You could say that the insurance industry is likened to an American Al Queda terrorizing the citizens in order to sustain a system that puts profits above the lives of people. How is that moral? Each insurance industry executive can be likened to Osama Bin Laden, loading up jetliners to crash into skyscrapers.. snuffing out the lives of 45,000 thousand citizens a year. 3000 People died in the world trade center buildings. But 45,000 people is like 15 world trade center collapses a year; 15 al queada attacks per year by our own merchants of doom.

steve said...

Oh, I don't have a friend that works as an gerontologist, I created a fictional character to make a point that all the people who suffer at the hands of for profit health care are not ghetto people gaming the system - as you and others seem to believe.

Barb said...

Steve, insurance companies are the best way to go --they just need good leadership and wise investment practices --and less greed at the top --and fewer lawyers hassling them in order to make livings by suing doctors and ins. companies. That's not to say an ins. comp. should never be sued for failing to cover something.

Insurance companies take our money and INVEST it to make lots more money with which to cover our auto accidents and our health --and as a windfall in life insurance when we die. If the insurance companies really prosper, they can afford to cover us, spending more on us than we paid for our premiums. That's why we buy insurance!!! it's a way to afford catastrophic care and reimbursements.

The gov't took social security and other taxes for their entitlement programs and neither invested it nor even protected it letting it draw interest --as people could have done for themselves with that money. As Gore said, we needed a lockbox on the money as it was just used for whatever the gov't needed. And thus all the gov't entitlement programs are BROKE!

Tell me, Steve, whom do you know that died because they didn't have health insurance and no one would treat them? I don't know anyone. That hasn't been my husband's experience either --that people just didn't get the care because they had no insurance or were poor.
The people I know getting knee replacements and open heart surgeries are not rich people.
There is already a lot of gov't healthcare and various social programs to help the needy.

Harvard may be right --I'm skeptical--that uninsured people died --but did they die because they wouldn't spend as much on their health as they would if it were a new car they wanted? Did they die because they gambled and didn't want to buy health ins? I read once that many of the uninsured had salaries around 80,000 --they could afford the insurance --and they preferred paying as they went to the doctor to paying a big premium.

I'm all for requiring catastrophic (major medical they used to call it) health insurance the way you require driving insurance.

The indigent get MediCaid. The elderly get Medicare.

No question about it: lifestyle choices kill more people than your insurance companies do. Don't make them the scapegoats for all those who take the first cigarette and get addicted -and all those who refused to pay in for the care of all the insured because they didn't want to spend the money on health --not because they really couldn't afford it. I'm not saying, "Let them die," but I do think people need to KICK this idea that everyone else should take care of them --instead of taking care of themselves with some responsible choices.

Austin Beeman said...

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live. Happy Birthday Chuck Norris. He is 70.

Also he is a Christian.

steve said...

Let's shift the debate away from the ethics of providing or denying scarce health care resources to various classes of people. Let's just look at it from an economic perspective. The facts are, the insurance industry increases their rates arbitrarily at almost double digit percentages year after year. And who do they saddle these increases with? The saddle the costs with American Employers.. The big auto industries, the small businesses. All these industries have to absorb these arbitrary cost increases in their bottom line. It has a profound effect on profitability. The rest of the industrialized world doesn't saddle their industries and businesses with this unsustainable ball and chain. That is why the asian economies are coming out of recession much faster than we are. A nationalized health care system will be GOOD for capitalism! It's getting so bad for businesses that they are looking at employees cost / benifit from a health standpoint. If you utilize the companies health insurance in any major way - it could cost you your job. I have a friend that worked here where I work. His wife developed breast cancer and subsequently he was laid off, and I guess that a major factor in the decision to lay him off was the fact that he cost the companies health insurance big bucks treating his wifes breast cancer. I suspect that because they hired a single guy a couple months later that probably doesn't have any health issues. My wifes friend worked for a consulting agency that looks at companies profitability and cost / benifit of employees and their use of health care benifits provided by the company are a major factor in an employes cost benifit analysis. For profit health care is wrecking the country. Those are the facts. I agree with you that there are more factors to the solution than just eliminating insurance companies, and Pres Obama appears to be embracing some of those concepts like tort reform and allowing competition across state lines. But those GOP ideas will not be enough.

steve said...

^sorry such poor grammar and spelling. I started taking my A.D.D. medication today and it's effecting my thought processes a little.

Barb said...

Welcome Austin --I'm going to see what you are up to at your blog which I assume is still there?

Happy Birthday to Chuck!

I think you are one of those into the chuck norris jokes! and you really DO buy evolution theory as I still do not.

Barb said...

YOu too? Steve --ADD and meds? What is YOUR med? I have a relative doing the same thing in contemplation for going for a 3rd degree.

I didn't notice anything about your grammar and spelling--are you quoting someone else, by any chance?

steve said...

Adderal - It changed me immediately, it's kind of scary. It's like I'm a robot just doing what ever task is at hand.

Barb said...

Well, comfort or not, you sound like the same ornery Steve!

mud_rake said...
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