Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Here’s an ER Doctor can not only treat you, he can size up your financial situation at a glance. He’ll also write up a helpful critique of your lifestyle and publish it in the local newspaper at no extra charge!

Dr. Jones wrote this letter to the editor back in August, 2009, but it’s gone viral and showed up today in my daily Facebook parade of Very Wise Posts, followed by comments of “So true!” and “Amen!” Thank goodness for Facebook or I might have missed this!


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.

Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.

Starner Jones, MD
Jackson

All I can say in response to that is: Well put, Doctor Jones! You’ve hit this nail squarely and soundly on the head. Anybody who’s in such desperate need of medical care that they would resort to applying for Medicaid ought to be willing to demonstrate their dire straits by not only swearing off beer and cigarettes forever, they should also voluntarily submit to blood tests to prove it! It’s an inconsequential interruption of their civil rights to secure such a huge measure of help.

You also have a sharp eye for fiscal responsibility, Dr. Jones! Now that the price of gold has skyrocketed to more than $1,200.00 an ounce, gold teeth should, of course, be pulled from the mouths of every Medicaid patient and hocked to help defer the cost of further medical treatment. I’m sure suitable replacements cost only a tiny fraction of the benefits reaped from each gold tooth surrendered.

And tattoos! Don’t get me started on tattoos! Used to be you hardly ever saw them, but now that our clean-cut American culture is going down the tubes you can’t swing a stethoscope without hitting somebody covered in tattoos. Since we’re paying for their medical care anyway, anybody on Medicaid should sign a consent form agreeing to have all their tattoos removed by laser surgery. I understand it’s almost painless and takes only a few days to zap each tattoo into oblivion.

People on Medicaid shouldn’t have the disposable income to spend on cable television, SUVs and roomy apartments or, god forbid, their own homes! Anyone applying for Medicaid ought to direct-deposit their paycheck into the system so that every penny of their income could be accounted for. Any money not used to cover their medical treatment would be refunded, of course, and ought to be more than enough to rent an efficiency apartment in a decent part of town. As for transportation, god gave everybody two good legs, and nobody’s too good to ride the bus to the ER.

You, sir, are my hero! Keep up the good fight!

You Don’t Need Medicaid, You Need A Spanking! | 12:31 pm CDT
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6 Comments

  1. 1 B said at 6:56 pm on September 16th, 2010:

    I talk to A LOT of folks who have homes in both WI and Arizona (or FL or whatever) and brand new vehicles garaged in both places. Since these folks obviously have money to burn on their perfectly coiffed blue hairdos, golf club memberships, nightly martinis, and Cuban cigars, maybe we should yank their Medicaid privileges.

  2. 2 B said at 6:57 pm on September 16th, 2010:

    Thanks for fueling the class war, Dr!

  3. 3 Tim said at 10:40 pm on September 17th, 2010:

    I agree with Dr. Jones, to a certain point.

    I guess you are mostly pointing out the fact that he is being a self-important prick by judging the need of another person based mostly on their appearance. He is.

    But I believe he is right in saying that there is a tendency in certain modern cultures to lean away from responsibility and toward decadence. I also believe he is right in implying that people should not be given handouts when they don’t make an effort to take care of themselves. Not because they don’t “deserve” it, but because part of being a decent adult human being is taking responsibility for yourself. However, I’m not naive enough to think this kind of ‘filter’ could be included in any healthcare system, because I don’t think any human being is really fit to judge fairly who is and is not in need.

    I think anyone who needs medical attention should be able to get it, and I think it is the responsibility of all taxpaying citizens to allow that service. We should all have the basic decency to chip in without complaining. But I also think that it is the responsibility of every citizen to act like an adult and tend to their health to the best of their ability before leaning on the government or on the dollars of their countrymen. Unfortunately it’s too much to ask that all people keep this in mind.

    Also, what kind of crap name is Starner?

  4. 4 Dave said at 10:02 am on September 18th, 2010:

    I think you’re right. In an ideal world, everyone would exercise regularly, eat healthful food in moderation and wouldn’t poison their bodies with drugs and other garbage. They would also visit their doctor regularly and follow his advice to improve their health.

    We live in reality, however, where only some people exercise regularly, eat good food in moderation, and quite a few of them still smoke, drink and otherwise indulge in recreational drugs.

    Dr Jones is just pissed off that his taxes are footing the bill for the medical treatment of a woman who smokes, drinks and eats bad food, and I understand why he’s pissed off. If his taxes weren’t subsidizing her medical care, though, I think he would still be disgusted that he’s essentially wasting medical treatment on a person who’s going to keep poisoning herself with bad food and drink, and letting herself fall apart from lack of exercise, because I think that’s just the kind of judgmental person Dr Jones is.

    I believe you’re right: People who ask for medical help ought to make an effort to take care of themselves. Whether or not they do is entirely up to them, though, and medical personnel are not entitled to pass judgment on the decisions of their patients, ever, full stop. That’s the kind of thinking that allows medical personnel to deny medication or treatment to their patients.

    Finally, what kind of doctor would not only grouse about his patients in a not-so-subtly bigoted way, but do it in a public forum? This guy’s not a very professional doctor at all.

  5. 5 B said at 7:14 am on September 18th, 2010:

    Crap, I meant Medicare.

  6. 6 G*J said at 9:59 am on September 20th, 2010:

    Amen! Hell yes! … Wait, what?