The 4 C's And 1 B

By: Guy Lerner | Wed, Jun 17, 2009
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I came across this quote from Professor Mark J. Perry of the Carpe Diem blog. I have often thought similar things.

Dr. Perry writes:

"Bottom Line: If you can afford a cell phone or cable TV, you can afford basic health insurance. In Michigan, you can get basic health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield starting at $47.14 per month for those 18-30 years old (about the cost of a basic cell phone plan), and starting at $168.13 per month for another plan for individuals under 65 and families (not too much more than a cable TV plan with premium channels, and about the same as two cells phones at the monthly average of $77)."

Now I have spent over 20 years in health care and over of 80% of my time has been spent taking care of indigent patients - i.e., people who cannot afford health care. I have never once denied care because a patient couldn't pay, and I have never seen my colleagues do the same. In fact, I have never, ever seen any health care person not do the very best they could because a patient was unable to pay. It doesn't happen. As much money as I have written off over the years, I have never ever understood the concept that Americans don't have health care. It can be found, and it is always rendered by very capable practitioners. No questions asked.

Yet, while no patient is denied on my watch, one does question the sanity of system that does guarantee certain inalienable rights for patients while casting aside certain personal responsibilities to care for themselves. So Dr. Perry's remarks often remind me of what we use to think and see everyday. Patients couldn't afford their medicines or to pay their medical bills, but they could afford cell phones, cars and cable TV. In fact, we use to state that as an American citizen you were guaranteed the 4 C's and 1 B even if you could not afford health care.

The 4 C's are: 1) you have the right to smoke Cigarettes; 2) you have the right to own a Cell phone; 3) you have the right to Cable vision; 4) you have the right to own a Car.

What was the 1 B? Of course, you have the right to get Body piercings and tattoos!

As an American citizen, these are your rights even if we cannot afford health care.

Seriously, folks we have tough choices to make. More personal responsibility would be welcomed; sacrifices and choices need to be made. And I would agree with Dr. Perry if you can afford anyone of the 4 C's and 1 B, then you can afford to pay for your health care. It is your choice.



Guy Lerner

Author: Guy Lerner

Guy M. Lerner

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