Your Stories: Corporate Healthcare 101 – No Money, No Healthcare
These are the first hand accounts of the human cost of greed, corruption or bigotry in our country. We are not post-racial, women are not equals, homosexuals are still reviled, corporations ruin lives and justice is sometimes not only blind, but deaf and mute as well. We have a lot of work to do and it’s important that you know you are not working alone. Others share your pain and now they are willing to share it with the world.
From reader JM:
I have been following your “Proud to be a Filthy Liberal Scum” facebook page for a while now and one of your posts requested firsthand accounts of the costs of greed, corruption, or bigotry in our Country. I would like to share my story with you. I do request to stay anonymous as I have only told this to a couple people, it is not an event I am especially proud of. My story is not a real recent event as it happened about 17 years ago so it may not be what you are looking for but here it is anyway.
I was working as a paramedic in Greenville, Mississippi. One of the responsibilities as a paramedic was to help train paramedic students when they did their internships on the ambulance. My employer’s son who was also my boss was going through paramedic school and did some internship time under me.
We received a call to a gunshot victim in a “bad” neighborhood. When we arrived on scene, a young black man approximately 16 years old was laying on the sidewalk with a couple gunshot wounds to the chest. I immediately started rendering care which included among other things hooking up an EKG machine. While we were working my employer/intern was saying the young man was DOA (dead/non viable). Then when he saw the EKG he said we were not going to work on the young man any further. As the paramedic it was my call whether to continue to render aid, my responsibility to read the EKG, etc… and I insisted we continue to render care because with any gunshot wound blood volume is decreased which stresses the heart and of course will affect the EKG printout. The young man was still warm, pupils were not fixed, and there was no reason to not continue to render what could have been life saving care. But my employer/intern started packing up our gear and turned to me saying “we are not working this, he is not going to be a paying customer” leaving me with no option but to stop care as it was impossible for me to render care and transport the young man to the hospital without equipment, assistance or an ambulance. The bottom line was my boss who was white made a judgment when we pulled up; he saw a “bad” neighborhood, a young black man (in his mind a gang member), who had been shot (therefore a criminal), and in his mind this young man became disposable because he did not have cash in hand and he was not the right color. I have no doubts that if the young man had been white the outcome would have been totally different.
Unfortunately because I was a single mother who had to worry about things like keeping a roof over my kids head and food in their mouths I could not just walk off that job. But as soon as my shift was over I headed over to another ambulance service and applied for a job. Fortunately, I was able to start that job immediately and was able to quit without a notice. But I have never forgotten or been able to completely forgive myself for walking away from this young man even though I know I was left with no real choice as there was nothing I could have done for him under the circumstances. It still breaks my heart though that some mother, father, sister/brother, or child is without this young man because the color of his skin and money was what was most important to my employer.
The recent events with Trayvon Martin have really weighed heavily on me because of this experience. As silly as it may sound, I am so thankful every time I see an inter-racial couple because to me they are a sign of hope. I believe the more mixed the races become the less racism can survive and then maybe someday America can really be a place for freedom for everyone.
My initial response: “Jesus….I’ll bet my life he votes Republican.”
JM: “You guessed it right, he and his whole family are Republicans.”
And there it is: a death panel of one. The conservative vision of healthcare in America is one where your status or money gives you the right to decide who will get help and who will be left to bleed to death on the street. I’ll also bet my life this lowlife claims to be a “Christian.” I don’t recall Jesus ignoring the injured because they couldn’t pay.
If you want to share your story, contact me here. Your privacy is guaranteed if you choose to remain anonymous or you can shout it out to the world. The choice is yours. Don’t worry about being the greatest writer ever. Not everyone can be Shakespeare. Just tell your story and let the literary critics worry about themselves.