Starry-eyed Liberal Meets the Reality of Medicaid Patients
President Obama addressed health rights in his August 17 radio address, but he didn't mention what happens inside an inner city emergency room. Wait until his lemmings find out what having a "right" to healthcare means according to the single-payer collectivists. If the dulled masses, schooled in the evils of capitalism these last forty years, don't wake up in time to the connection between free market principles and the genius of American medicine, the progressives' long yearned for single-payer system, already in the works, will become a reality.
Those of us in the healthcare field have seen up close what government programs like Medicaid mean in terms of a "right" to medical care. Our emergency room happens to be in a major southern urban area. If any one of the 20-somethings who voted for Obama would be willing to volunteer for at least a month at our facility, I can almost guarantee these same hoodwinked young people would be singing the praises of capitalism, warts and all.
Just ask Samantha (name changed to protect identity). With so many college graduates looking for work, we recently hired the 24-year old at our registration desk. Samantha is a die-hard liberal, but it just so happens her boyfriend is a 28-year-old conservative-minded accountant. When first hired about three months ago, she talked a great deal about their political differences.
Samantha was very sympathetic to the plight of the poor and their need for assistance. Moreover, she felt her boyfriend didn't understand the situation with this segment of the population which would be unable to survive without help from the government.
After one month of doing her job registering 45 ER Medicaid patients daily for various reasons like STD's, painkillers, child abuse, infected fingernails from having their nails done, old gunshot wounds, and pregnancy tests for as young as 12 years old, Samantha was visibly on the verge of a breakdown or a breakthrough, I couldn't tell which.
By the end of 90 days, Samantha told me what really affected her was the cold reality that most of the Medicaid patients treated her like dirt. They showed no gratitude for the fact that Samantha's taxes were going to help them. On top of their sense of entitlement, Samantha noticed many welfare mothers and fathers mistreated their children while the kids were the ones waiting to be seen!
She witnessed many, many Medicaid patients slap, spank, push, pull and yell obscenities at their children as young as 2. If that's not egregious enough, the mostly black perpetrators had no problem yelling at Samantha. They called her "stupid," and told her repeatedly "you don't know what the hell you're doin'."
One afternoon I came in and she was in tears. She told me that some irate friend of a patient had demanded to see the doctor. Samantha relayed the message from the nurse that the physician was busy. The guy called her a "heifer'. She had to finally call security when he wouldn't get off her case. I tried to cheer her up by telling her that one day a woman patient said I looked like "one of those tea party b-ches. "
Samantha no longer thinks everyone has a right to healthcare. She thinks we have an obligation to help those with chronic, genetic conditions and those struggling mothers and fathers truly interested in the welfare of their children. Like most people brought up with loving parents, Samantha cringes when she hears mothers telling their kids to "shut up, or I'll give you something to cry about," or "I'll take you into the bathroom and whip your ass." This goes on throughout her shift and it's getting to be too much for her, I can tell.
Recently she brought reading material, coloring books and crayons for the kids because she never sees the caretakers bring little toys for their children to play with during the long ER visit.
Instances of insanity occur often.
When security or Child Protective Services is called because a child has been hit, and it's on camera, the parent becomes irate instead of admitting fault.
In one incident, a white nurse approached a teenage black mother because another patient in the waiting room reported she heard the child screaming in the bathroom. The teenage mother told the nurse, "that's what's wrong with you white people, you never hit your kids, you think you're all that."
Samantha appears to be coming undone from this day-to-day contact with real, generational hardcore government addicts. She would love to quit this job tomorrow, but she needs the money. I try to ease her mounting frustration by telling her she might be here for a reason. I even attempted some oral history to let her know she's not alone.
I related something my Depression-era father once told me. He had to quit school to help the family when he was still a teenager. Later on, after he was able to earn a degree and get a decent paying job he said he was actually grateful for the experience. He had learned many life lessons being in the real world at such a young age, especially during one of the worst periods in the country's economic history.
My father said there are two kinds of education -- the kind you get between the ears and the kind you get between a rock and a hard place. Both are valuable. Samantha's getting the second kind now. Unfortunately, she says, the first kind didn't prepare her for this job, or the fact that she's helping to subsidize the kind of craziness she sees every day. She says the DC politicians that have made her complicit in this madness sometimes make her angrier than the patients do.
Since she's open to real conversation, I'm trying to fill in the historical blanks for Samantha. I tell her, for example, that when a progressive/Democrat/so-called liberal says the word "right" they are not talking about the kind of rights our founding fathers had in mind. It's the pursuit of happiness we have a right to, not happiness.
All the free cell phones, subsidized housing, phony mortgage loans, education programs, ADC payments and trillion dollar healthcare plans have made most people more broke and miserable, not happier. She now agrees.
There may be some bad fat cats out there, sure, but the ruling class of government planners have eaten up more of our financial resources, through redistribution to corrupt companies, NGO's, Baby Mamas and non-profits than any greedy capitalists.
I discovered Samantha and most of her contemporaries have no clue how long this sore has been festering. I explain to her that part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty program was the signing of Medicare and Medicaid into law in 1965 as a way to not only extend health insurance benefits to the poor and elderly, but to calm the stormy waters of racial division.
Some civil rights leaders may have been giving speeches about the content of one's character, but legislation being passed was all about color. The shakedown by various leftist civil rights organizations in the 60's gave birth to the massive welfare state and the mess we have in the inner cities today.
At this point in our discussion, Samantha made an astute observation. She said, "Nobody seems to care about all of this, how some things begin, until it gets so bad, and then it's too late."
Well, it's been almost four months since Samantha began her employment with the hospital. The young woman who started out a typical, idealistic, middle-class, white liberal railing against those mean, cold, dispassionate conservatives unmoved by the poorest of the poor in America's inner cities, has started to see the light.
Like the reality show, Scared Straight, where delinquents are forced to sit around listening to hardened criminals talk about prison life, Samantha has experienced firsthand what people become when the Collectivist State takes over and gives us 'rights.'