“Our nation’s health care crisis… is a crisis of culture”

My wife works in the medical industry.  Nearly daily, she tells me of patients who walk into her office with an attitude of entitlement as large if not larger than their usually very large waistlines.  So what follows, written by an emergency room doctor, has a ring of truth to it that hits home:


Doctor Roger Starner Jones is a seventh generation Mississippian and his extracurricular interests are golf, hunting, fishing and college football. He specializes in emergency medicine at The University of Mississippi medical Center.

This Letter to the Editor, written by Doctor Jones about health care in America, is from the August 29th edition of Jackson, Mississippi’s newspaper, the Clarion Ledger.

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.

How many honestly needy people are unable to get help because people like this are receiving aid before the truly needy do?  How many?

H/T Kathy Shaidle who suggests this doctor run for office in 2012.



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