I Have a Gripe

March 27, 2010

A Physician’s Letter on Healthcare Reform

Recently, a letter to the president written by an Emergency Room physician was published and is now making its way around the internet. When I first read it, I wanted to stand up and applaud. However, I did what I normally do when I receive one of these email messages…I checked it out. And guess what? It is true! So, I wanted to print it here. I think it really sums up what a lot of people are thinking. You decide…

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 ” Me dicaid”! 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.



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