Monday, January 18, 2010

Humanity is an endangered species

"I have great news Mr./Mrs. every day American! We have given you all the medicine and/or treatment that we would ever give a person who doesn't have insurance(like yourself). Even if you just so happen to have insurance, we have done as much as we financially can before your insurance stops paying us. So since we have "stabilized" your previous condition, we are more than happy to send your semi-well(or semi-sick) self out of our hospital. Thank you and come again when you can afford better health care!"

No, the doctors and/or nurses at your local hospital or clinic won't be honest enough to tell you the above spiel, but no matter how much it is sugar coated with "outpatient treatment" or "following up with your family doctor", the above rhetoric is exactly what is being said. Some of us go to the hospital hoping to find a doctor like House who has the medical knowledge of every possible ailment. Others hope to find doctors and nurses who are passionate about their career just like the people on TLC or Discovery Health who are willing to work countless man hours until our particular sickness is correctly identified and we are fully healed. Personally, I still have the blind faith that God will either put people like this in our lives or He himself will touch us and rid us of our infirmity. The one thing that strikes me the hardest is that our humanity is slowly dying.

I am thankful for those among us who willingly donate their time and/or money to worthy causes like the restoration of Haiti, but too many of us only want to help in the "popular" causes. I feel for human suffering anywhere, but I especially hate when it's happening in my own country...the land of the free and the home of the brave. I'm tired of triage no longer being about the person with the gaping head wound being treated before the person with an upset stomach. Now triage is becoming more about the person who has the insurance or the better insurance getting seen first. I realize that money sets a lot of things in motion and unfortunately proper health care is one of those things, but there's something important that many of us overlook.

For every janitor that can't afford insurance means that there's one more person who is forced to take a sick day from work. This means that they lose a day of getting paid to work which can lead to them not having enough money to pay their bills. One of those bills just might be their light bill and if it goes delinquent long enough, their lights get turned off. The more people that can't afford their electricity bill leaves the electric company having to cut costs which will lead to a couple of layoffs. Then what happens when the janitor can't pay their medical bills and the hospital has to cut costs? For every sick person that goes untreated, there's a few less dollars being put into the pockets of more people.

I'm not a genius, but the answer seems painfully clear to me. When we care more about the bottom line than making sure there's fewer people below the poverty line, we are failing ourselves as human beings because humanity at its basest meaning stands for benevolence. There are no "self-made" people anymore because Bill Gates himself wouldn't be a billionaire if you or I had never used Windows. Politicians must come together to enact a universal health care plan that makes sense because they won't be in office for very long if their constituents are at home sick on voting day, and every one in the medical field needs to stand up for their fellow human beings because if they aren't willing to treat us when we are sick, then eventually we will die and they still wind up losing money.

If this sounds like a rant, then it just might be one but all I want to say in the end is that it's up to me and you to show the next man or woman that we will not allow humanity to stay endangered anymore.


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  2. Thank you so much for not only observing this situation, but finding it in your heart to speak on it. I only wish your words were heard by all that have the power to stop treating individuals less than human, sending them home, to allow them to die. It almost feels like, your not worth living because you can't afford proper insurance, so this is their way of eliminating you.

  3. Thank you Black Butterfly. It both pisses me off and saddens me that hospitals turn patients away just because of money, and I pray that change is brought about so these incidents eventually stop happening.