Why Are We Paying For This?

I found this posted on a friend FaceBook status today.  It sparked a very passionate stream of discussion about the state of health care in this country.  Read the letter and then read my comments at the end:
Pictured is a young physician by the name of Dr. Roger Starner Jones. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a “Culture Crisis” instead of a “Health Care Crisis”..
It’s worth a quick read:

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.


So here is my take on the whole thing and I think many of my chiropractic colleagues would agree.  Dr. Jones has hit the proverbial nail on the head.  We have a MAJOR Health Culture Crisis.  Sure this is America and we have a right to be as sick or as healthy as we want to be.  It is confusing why so many people choose to be sick.  Before I go further I want to make clear that my comments are in reference to the type of person that Dr. Jones is describing in his letter to the White House.  I know that there are plenty of people out there who really do their best to stay healthy but fall on hard circumstances.  But this is about those who are not just putting other things ahead of their health… they are putting EVERYTHING ahead of their health.
This is not just about Medicaid though.  Every day I see people with great health insurance and plenty of money who claim that they want great health.  When you look at how they live and what the put into their bodies it is easy to tell that this is all just lip service.  So take away the politics, the classism, the money, and the system and what do you have left?
It’s not the fault of BurgerDonalds.
It’s not the fault of the lunch lady.
It’s not the responsibility of the Federal or state government.
It’s Mom and Dad.  It’s the individual.  None of this other stuff even matters if we aren’t interested in our own health.  Doctors can’t help you if you aren’t interested in your own health.  Chiropractors can’t help you if you aren’t interested in your own health.  Insurance companies for darn sure aren’t going to be more interested in your health than you are.  The Government can’t legislate a cultural change that will help us save ourselves.
It starts and it finishes with YOU.  So what are you going to do about it today?


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