Tales From Desolation Row: God bless the child that’s got his own health care.


I get a lot of calls from people who are worried about other people that they know—someone who’s lost a job or who’s behind in their rent or who needs to get a prescription filled and they don’t know where to get help. I have the privilege of working with a group of talented and caring staff that will leave no stone unturned in trying to help. I’m grateful when friends and family call to ask if we can get involved. But sometimes, you gotta wonder.

I got a message this week about a man who’s mother works for a couple that cares a lot about helping other people. They are generous givers to lots of local charities who help “the less fortunate.” They wanted to help this man, so they turned to us.

Unemployed, struggling with mental health issues, the man had been in need of a medical procedure that he couldn’t pay for. After a sibling took out a title loan on her car, the man got his procedure. A nonprofit group helped with utilities and food. My staff is now working with the man and his family to see what long-term assistance we can arrange for to get this family some financial stability.

But here’s the part that still makes me shake my head in wonder: half of this power couple who contacted us works for an organization that is lobbying against health care reform. Like Billie Holiday sang: “You can help yourself, but don’t take too much.”

In the United States of America, don’t lose your health care. Because if you do, you are going to have to rely on “scraps of bread and such” to be tossed your way. You don’t deserve health care. It’s not a human right. It’s a privilege, that “them that’s got gets and them that’s not will lose.”

God bless the child that’s got his own.

5 thoughts on “Tales From Desolation Row: God bless the child that’s got his own health care.

  1. It amazes me. People think providing affordable health care will cost more. They don't realize that we already are paying for it; we've just chosen to use the least effective, most expensive way of doing it, that is, via emergency room. Emergency rooms will treat you if you're in crisis; they just won't treat you before you reach the crisis stage. If they did they'd save money, human suffering, and human lives. Somehow, we've got to get people to understand that what we do now is for the benefit of the very rich, the insurance companies, private (for profit) hospitals, and to some extend pharmaceutical companies. Can we not get some of God's distributive justice going here?

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  2. I want to know how this person's thought processes work. How does he/she believe that helping others AND stopping health care reform are both good things?

    Somehow, I feel like we need to understand that process before we can really change things in ways that benefit the community as a whole.

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  3. Or perhaps the title should also “God bless the child that's got his own health care or who has no health problems.” We also have the tendency to “blame” the person who gets sick. That if they would eat right, exercise, etc. then they wouldn't need health care. While it may be true there is a correlation between some behaviors and some health outcomes, it is not a perfect correlation by any stretch of the imagination. Being ill is no more “their fault” than being poor.

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  4. Here's how the thought process works: I make money off the current health care system and I give some of that money to charitable organizations that help people. If you change the system, then I won't make as much money and I can't help others any more. It's called trickle-down agape.

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  5. trickle-down agape – – now there's one to think about. But it probably makes perfect sense to he/she.

    So – – – where to go from here!

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