Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welfare Queens are Back

Facebook people have been commenting on this doctor's posting. He apparently sent a letter to The Clarion Ledger of Missippi (according to Snopes) explaining why healthcare is in trouble. This one seems to have been embellished, but only a tiny bit.

As well as being an arrogant bastard, he makes some invalid points and some amazingly judgmental comments about one of his patients. She is, according to him, making bad life decisions and that is why the country's going to hell.  Get rid of her and others like her and "all our health care difficulties will disappear."
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 pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, 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.

He "happened to notice her payer status was listed as Medicaid." Okay, a doctor "happened" to notice? Bull. Doctors are all about the money. Try going to one without it. Don't act all innocent, Roger.

The patient had lifestyle choices that disapproved of. His obvious feeling is that she should be thrown off Medicaid because she can afford to have a gold tooth, tattoos, sneakers and a cellphone. She also smokes and eats fast food. "What a welfare queen," you can almost hear him saying. "Damn nigger" also comes through clearly -- though he never quite said that word -- but he made sure to mention the gold tooth, R&B ringtone.

Apparently gold teeth are bad - news to me. I have a gold tooth as well. It was cheaper and better than composite and my dentist recommended it. Should I be denied health care if my financial situation takes a turn for the worse?

Tattoos are stupid, in my opinion, but that's only my take on it. I really couldn't care less if your 18th birthday present to yourself is a tramp stamp. It lowers my opinion of you, but that's all. Likewise the pair of sneakers - yes, a TI-84 costs as much as AirJordans, but AirJordans are better for people on their feet all day than a calculator. The shoes could also have been one of Marbury's $25 shoes; I doubt this guy would know the difference. He also points out a new cellphone - as opposed to what in this day and age? If it was a replacement for a landline, it's actually cheaper and far more convenient. Lot's of people are doing that, including a $1 ringtone.

Then, in a veritable tsunami of evilness, she smokes and eats fast food. Like THAT is a reason to drop her from health care through Medicaid - she's in the category that MOST needs a doctor to counsel her instead of judging her. You would also need to make smoking and fast food illegal across the board for all poor people. All Jewish deli sandwiches, Polish kielbases and "Italian" pizza joints, McDonalds and Burger King, and Subway, and the sidewalk pretzel carts.  How does this smarmy little twerp care to judge the relative worth of all that?  I'm not so sure that we should be dictating personal dietary choices - isn't Bloomberg enough of a cautionary tale?

Finally, I think of all of my lower-income FRL students.  Do they deserve to be left without health care because some doctor disapproves of the choices their mother made?  The life of a single mother is difficult enough these days.  Grow up, Doc.


  1. I'm a conservative/liberterian, and I would prefer to stay out of other people's affairs, but if the government is going to force me to pay for something, shouldn't I be able to have a say in how it's spent?

    I think this letter actually makes one of the best points against gov't health care--once we are footing the bill for everyone's health care, everyone's lifestyle becomes our (or the government's) business.

  2. Hummm, do you have any say in how defense spending is allocated? Did you approve of the war? Which one?
    The bailout of big banks? Or whether or not the highway gets repaved?

    Who are we, those not on Medicaid, to say what things a person may or may not have when receiving money?

    Take out the tooth? Can't have food that a bureaucrat deems too fatty? Like, say, pork? Can't smoke? Can't have a beer? Can't go to the Deli for a ham sandwich? Tossed out of health care for eating at Burger King seems a bit off the mark for me.

    Frankly, health care at this part of life is not the "problem." The far greater costs are for end-of-life medical costs. We gladly pay hundreds of thousands for a heart transplant that extends life for 20 years or for last-gasp surgeries or treatments that only prolong pain for two or three weeks. If you want to save money on health care funded by the government, start there.

    I'd rather get everyone a basic level of health care and prevent a lot of those expensive later treatments - but you're not going to do that by demonizing those who wear their pants too low or have the audacity to drink beer at a racetrack on Sunday. Sure, I'd love to see cigarettes disappear but, short of an outright ban, that's never going to happen and not even then.

  3. Wow...get over it, our President is 'black', whether you and your collegues like it. Be professional and keep your comments private.Your profession mainly consists of saving lives not destroying them.