Monday, December 10, 2012

Read a posting on FB supposedly by an ER nurse describing a patient with tattoos, a gold tooth and an expensive cell phone. Patient reported smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day and consuming beer and pretzels. The payer for the patients care in the ER was Medicaid.  The point of the nurses story was that we as a people need to be responsible for our own care and I couldn't agree more. I am concerned that as a people we are ready to "throw the baby out with the bath water " when it comes to the many entitlement programs that we can no longer afford.  Medicaid, Food stamps, housing assistance, heating assistance were meant to help the helpless. Unfortunately we have many of those in our country.  As a nurse who has worked with patients who receive Medicaid I can tell you that there are many folks who receive Medicaid and these other benefits because there would be no other way to afford any level of health care. Without Medicaid many of these folks would not survive.
When these programs were established I believe they were created with mostly good intentions but without the benefit of a crystal ball no one was able to predict the wide spread misuse that would also be created.  At the very bottom line I believe we are faced with 2 options. A smaller government that reduces these benefits drastically and forces people to figure out their own needs or a much larger government that keeps the benefits as is but creates many, many  government jobs and tighter oversight to make sure that fraud is reduced and that truly needy people receive the help they need.  This  decision is the job of our elected officials. God bless.

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