This was posted on Facebook today, and I started to respond to the person that had shared it, but then decided it would be better off here. The first part is a letter from a person that works in the medical field. The second is my response, not to this person, but to the general attitude that one part of our country’s citizens deserves more criticism than another, which I do not agree. We all have problems and need to start working on them together, instead of against each other.
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 on 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.
STARNER JONES, MD
My general thoughts about this subject which I see popping up on Facebook all the time.
With all due respect, the culture crisis has to be fixed by the culture. A president that tried to intervene on these types of topics would then become a dictator telling everybody what they can and can’t buy, which by a country of people that won’t start looking to themselves to fix the issues is practically begging for it. We need to build more community and start setting better examples for one another while being less judgmental. True, there are poor people abusing the system, but not all of them are doing it just cuz they are lazy. Many have kids and no family or spouse to help, many have medical and mental issues that need therapy, and others lack social skills that make it tough to be a part of society. And society makes it tough to be a part of if a person doesn’t fit into the social rules and judged criteria of what a friend should be.
Culture is a frame of mind based on what everybody in that culture is doing. It doesn’t matter how much money we have, most Americans are still spending in lavish ways that effects not only the country but also the environment and other countries. Every cell phone we buy keeps a child in slave labor in another country. Most of the clothes we buy keeps workers in sweatshops. A lot of the food we eat has pushed people off their lands in other countries. Many American Corp have gone to other countries making a mess with their pollution. Many of our products are now made in China. The poor have issues with money, but statistics show that the middle class struggles with the biggest consumerism/pollution issues in the world. Sadly, the US doesn’t even have one of the largest populations. So what kind of culture do we want to be?
Even the person that wrote this is asking the President to fix irresponsibility and dependency. But isn’t depending on one President to fix all of our problems irresponsible and dependent in and of itself?
I remember Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys sharing a similar sentiment when he spoke at the DNC. Although the president has a job to do, so do all of us. Our issues are not black and white, for sure, and very complicated. Its going to take all of us to sort them out, little by little.