We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
–The Declaration of Independence 4 of July, 1776.
These words are the cornerstone by which our country was founded and it’s fitting that they work for healthcare in our great country. Bring your sick, your tired, your hungry and your poor is another phrase that works for healthcare in the US.
I’d like to take a second to reflect on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and how it relates to healthcare. We are a long way from universal healthcare in the US but I’d venture to say that no American would be turned away from the healthcare machine in the US in a time of dire need.
Healthcare is a big money business but it’s an even bigger caring business. At the heart of healthcare is “care” and for all the bad press healthcare has received over the past few years with the passage of healthcare reform there has always been the opportunity for every American to receive healthcare. It may not always be the healthcare a person wants but basic healthcare needs have, and always will, be met.
There are free clinics and charitable healthcare organizations all across our great nation. There are hospitals like GVMH who have liberal payment programs. EMTALA laws require emergency departments to treat patients and stabilize them prior to discharge regardless of ability to pay, as a matter of fact, EDs can’t even ask about ability to pay until after they treat.
Ask any physician you know and I’ll bet that all of them have provided “free” services of one kind or another for a patient who’s unable to pay full price even though they are not supposed to do so.
Go online and search charitable giving, you’ll see healthcare related giving tops the list.
The United States’ Healthcare System has problems but at its core is a desire to help our fellow-man and to improve mankind. At times we are our own worst enemy. We’ve created rules that make providing care difficult and we’ve driven up costs in a way that makes healthcare unaffordable but in the end we’ve always been true to who we are – we are American Healthcare Providers, providing life and happiness.
America has the greatest health care in the world and America is the greatest country in the world. Like all families we have our problems and there are a few black sheep.
At the end of the day healthcare in America is like the 4th of July. Like barbecues and fireworks can overshadow the true meaning of Independence Day, pre-authorization and insurance requirements can get in the way of healthcare. When we look past the celebration and red tape, Independence Day and US Healthcare have the same mantra – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happpiness.
God Bless America and God Bless US Healthcare!