Monday, November 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 5 - 47 Percent

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said.  "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

Although I couldn't put a number to this, before I even knew that Romney had said this, there were a lot of people saying this;  especially those of us in healthcare.  As an Emergency Medicine physician, my colleagues and I are on the front lines of the healthcare battle.  We watch while others make decisions on the type of medicine we are allowed to practice.  And, we deal with the consequences of a societal collective unconsciousness that feels that they are entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it.

As residents, we scoffed at the patients who called ambulances for medication refills.  We balked at the parents with their manicured nails, blinged out cell phones and designer handbags who asked for prescriptions for tylenol because that way they wouldn't have to pay for it.  We lamented taking care of baby number 7 or 8 whose other siblings were in child protective services' custody because of drugs, or poor living conditions, etc. but whose parents were allowed to continue collecting support as long as they continued to have children.  I have been angered by patients on "disability" who use their money to feed their drug and alcohol habits, and who complain that they don't have enough money but "can't work" because then their support is going to be "cut off."

No, I did not spend the last 10 years of my life studying and working, at times three jobs, so that I can now be living paycheck to paycheck because taxes take away almost a half of my income so that you can have "free healthcare, free medications, and free childcare."  I don't want to hear you complain about how you couldn't afford medication that was necessary to your continued recovery but could afford a pack of cigarettes and beer to help wash down the narcotic medication you demanded and which was the medication you did fill.  So, now your simple infection is a full blown infection for which you will be admitted, given high cost antibiotics for, take up a hospital room for and during which time you will leave AMA (against medical advice) because you couldn't smoke/sleep with your boyfriend/feed your dogs/make a meeting that you just had to get to.  And, that will be "free" as well.  After all, you're not going to pay a bill when they didn't bring you water with ice and a lemon slice like you demanded.  Or you didn't get your next dilaudid shot at the moment you pushed your call button.  Why should you pay for bad service like that?

Today I read a post from another ED doc in Nebraska who said the same things I know a lot of my colleagues and I say often.  And, lately, more often than not.  No matter who you vote for tomorrow, I hope that as a country we can begin to see a shift in the mentality of this country.  I was raised to work hard, to get ahead, to make a difference.  We are propogating a society where a set of the population feels that it's "nice that people that have money share it with those that don't have as much so that way we're all equal."  That's an actual quote from a patient just a couple of days ago, and I was angered by it.  I hope the other 53% of you are too... and will vote to make changes happen.

1 comment:

betty said...

I'm with everything you said, Veronica, especially about a different mentality for our country. You definitely see it in the "trenches" more than the "average" folk. I believe in giving a helping hand to get people back on their feet but not my whole body (you get the analogy). We all fall into hard times and might need the assistance of a government program to help us recover, but definitely a short term time thing with aim to make one a productive tax paying member of society.

Heading to vote at lunch; I hope we do vote in change today.


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