A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

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Inadequate Health Care System Brings Emergency Room Horrors  

A recent survey ranked the, self proclaimed world's only indispensible nation's, health care system at 37th in the world.  This was a tie with Cuba, who would undoubtedly be higher if not for the embargo by the aforementioned, United States.  The average American, as with anything remotely criticizing this country, appears to be wearing blinders, as far as health care is concerned.  An American will look one straight in the eye and say, "I understand that we are rated 37th in health care, but we have the best health care system in the world.  Some would call this arrogance.  Some would call this stupidity.
When Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, he assigned the job of restructuring the health care system  to his wife, Hillary.  She appeared to be both willing and able to tackle this task.  Clinton political enemies fought her, tooth and nail, every inch of the way.  They used the U.S. Congress to apply every legislative obstacle they could muster to frustrate her efforts.  All criticisms were political, no argument of substance was presented.  They ridiculed Mrs. Clinton and delighted in her defeat.  Only when Bill Clinton threw the dogs another bone to chew on, (this time a stained blue dress), did Hillary Clinton receive solace. An objective look at her health care plan reveals that, essentially, it was what the country needed.
Health care reform remained dormant until the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.  Many were hoping that Democrat superstar, Hillary Clinton would again take charge of restructuring the health care system.  However, she chose to take the position of Secretary of State.  President Obama took up the fight, personally, and rammed a comprehensive restructuring health care plan through a congress that fought him every inch of the way.  He devoted the first two years of his administration to this task.  It took every bit of skill, intellect and leadership that he could muster.  Opposition to anything Obama still prevailed in the Republican congress.  Republicans sought help from the conservative Supreme Court.  As it stands today, the Obama restructuring is likely to be judged to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
In the meantime the health care system steadily grows worse.  Perhaps the most glaring deficiency is the emergency rooms.  New, state of the art, hospitals are opening up without obstetrics departments and emergency rooms because these are the entry points for uninsured patients.  Older hospitals are merely closing down their emergency rooms.  The emergency rooms left standing are drastically over used and inadequate to service the public.   Too many uninsured people are using the emergency rooms as their primary health care provider.  From this scenario springs horror story after horror story.  The average wait in a southern Californian emergency room is more than 8 hours.  A veteran waited in the V.A. hospital emergency room for three days before he got a bed.  There is a report of a custodian crew cleaning around the dead body of a woman who had expired in the emergency room.
The broken health care system and the horror shops known as emergency rooms come to light in the case of Anna Brown.  St. Mary's Hospital's emergency room was the third emergency room that Anna Brown had gone to in September of 2011.  She determined that this St. Louis County hospital would be her final stop.  Actually, the excruciating pain in her leg decided this for her.  She simply could not endure the pain, she could not go any further.  The hospital suspected drug use and after an inadequate examination told Ms. Brown that she was fit to leave the emergency room.  She refused, she insisted that she was in dire pain and that she needed medical aid.  Anna Brown steadfastly maintained that she had a right to medical care.  This Catholic hospital, dedicated to medical care for all, accused her of trespassing and called the police.
As this was a private hospital, perhaps trespassing was an issue.  At this point a competent police force would have taken Ms. Brown to a public hospital emergency room.  However, the Richmond Heights Police Department arrested Anna Brown and took her to jail.  Anna Brown did not go quietly into the night. She refused to voluntarily leave the locale that could provide aid for her devastating pain.  So, the police dragged her out of the hospital into a police car.  They dragged her by her arms and ankles into a jail cell.  They left her on the floor of the cell moaning in agony.  Anna Brown was dead within 15 minutes.  The cause of death was determined to be blood clots in the leg.  Blood clots caused the pain that Anna Brown was suffering, the pain that health care professionals at St. Mary's Hospital found to be irrelevant.
It took six months for this particular horror story to gain the attention that it deserves.  Trayvon Martin had been murdered almost a month before his story received widespread attention. On the other hand the news accounts were abuzz that Kim broke up with Kris and was dating Kanye.  Wake up Brothers and Sisters.

Random Thoughts

At a town hall meeting in the hood this weekend, the Trayvon Martin and Kendrec McDade shootings were  the main topics up for discussion.  An attorney spoke and proceeded to give instructions to young Black men on how to act when confronted by the police.  Give me a break!!!  Does anyone believe that young Black men do not know how to respond to the police?  Does anyone believe that young Black men continually reach for imaginary guns in their waistbands?  Does it offer any comfort to think that these racists actually think that young Black men are reaching for guns?  They kill us not because we're reaching for guns, they kill us because we are Black and because WE ALLOW IT.

Just Asking..... With the quality of health care going down why are health care premiums going up?  


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