Recently, emergency room doctor Joaquin Arambula voiced his support for the formerly funded Medically Indigent Services Program in Fresno County because it “helped provide this specialty health care to hard-working and taxpaying Valley residents.”
How precisely did Dr. Arambula determine the work ethic and tax-paying habits of the Valley residents who visited his emergency room? Did Dr. Arambula’s hospital use admissions paperwork or conduct interviews to verify his representations of these patients?
When a commentary writer such as Dr. Arambula automatically describes the poor and uninsured as “hard-working”, it gives the impression that he considers Valley residents who possess savings accounts and health insurance to somehow be “less than hard-working.” Poor people and wealthy people can be hard workers or lazy workers. Similarly, both poor people and wealthy people have varying taxpaying habits. Don’t attempt to stereotype behavior based upon a person’s checking account balance or insurance status.
The sick, elderly and poor are entitled to basic health care in any humane and caring society, and we need to join together to develop a way to reliably provide and deliver that care. However, using hot-button phrases to describe people does little to advance the cause.
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