Some Dr Starner Jones, posing smilingly in green scrubs from Emergency Medicine sends a letter to Mr President:
Why Pay for the Care of the Careless?
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 "Medic...aid"! 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. Respectfully,
STARNER JONES, MD
I don't know on how many levels this is inappropriate, but are the physicians in this country in the position of judging patients based on their mode of payment, choice of dress, appearance and income?
What should prevents me to think that this doctor (or any practitioner who thinks similarly) may withhold emergency treatment, if a drunk "hobo" is brought to him? What prevents me to speculate that he would say: "oh the pest of the society is better off, dead."
I was happy that I was not the only one appalled by this facebook campaign; when I came across: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janice-taylor/health-care-on-facebook-p_b_719570.html
Which made me realized the letter is an old one, it was published in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger on August 23, 2009; it raised public criticism, and to which the said doctor responded with the following
America is Still the Land of Opportunity - For Everyone
Starner Jones, M.D.
I continue to receive numerous phone calls, letters, emails and face-to-face comments about my letter ("Why Pay For the Care of the Careless") which appeared in your newspaper a few months ago. Most people express highest approval for the opinion set forth. Indeed, the truth has an illuminating quality all its own. However, a few have disagreed and all of them falsely assume that a person who holds the views which I espouse must have been raised in a privileged home. Nothing could be further from the truth. I grew up in a lower middle class, single parent home in the rural hill country of Pontotoc, Mississippi. While attending public schools, I paid attention in class and did my homework. I ran with the right crowd and stayed out of trouble. My dedication in school resulted in a full-paid scholarship to the prestigious University of the South in Sewanee, TN. After college, I left to go to medical school with everything I owned in three bags. The rest is history. Motivation, not entitlement, is the key to personal success and happiness in life.
The "Starner Jones" has attempted a failed attempt at fame by writing a book!! http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Church-Starner-Jones-M-D/dp/1933896922; rated 2/5!
I think this is where his American dream "no business like show business" was crushed!
Whether this Starner Jones is real person or just a cyborg political "probe" is unclear. Given there is no record of his practice, I suspect the latter. But the > 220,000 individuals who have shared this letter on facebook, and the comments endorsing such views, speak something about a large section of the American middle class.
I have been arguing in my previous two posts that the new-pseudo-rich middle class in America, mostly from an immigrant heritage, is the 'class' that carries the weight of this country, both in terms of running the economy and paying the taxes.
This class is raised on the notion that working hard is all there is to life: working hard and making money and spending it. This class nags about taxes and resents the government for favoring the delinquents. This class, so self absorbed in their American dream, are little but slaves of a system that valorizes having-more for the self, than building a society. Instead of raising issue against the high cost of education, against the high cost of health care, against social/labor policy, they complain about the taxes; and take pride in working all their lives for receiving super expensive education and care! Without stopping to question WHY? To "stop" and reflect is a waste of time and money! Which work horse stops to think?
And as we are confronted with the environmental crisis, the largest blame for which rests on the consumerist CULTURE of this working/consuming/spending/wasting middle class, I can't help wondering WHEN will America STOP to take a deep look at itself instead of finding foreigners to bully/blame?