Archives for posts with tag: poverty

I’m an internal medicine doctor, which means I see adult patients in Baltimore. Today I saw one of my favorite patients. She has chronic pain and a particular gastrointestinal syndrome which leads to frequent hospitalizations. Both make it very difficult, and really — in practicality — impossible for her to work. Her disability is taking a while to come through, because “chronic pain” and “back pain” are too often not considered as “real disease” by the powers that be. She can’t afford many of her prescriptions because she lacks an income. She might get evicted any day.

I realized today what medical intervention would help her the most.

You know what prescription she needs?

Money. She needs money.

My mother was a domestic worker. My father worked for Bethl’m Steel. Neither of them had any insurance. He died and they got insurance. Three thousand dollars. Eighty eight dollars a month for her and the kids. She didn’t get any Social Security because of who she worked for. Three kids! Imagine if they had gotten sick. They never got sick. We never got sick! I think everyone should get health insurance. Why don’t they want them to get health insurance?”Bethlehem Steel Mill

“They don’t like poor people.”

“It’s not their fault! I think everyone should have it.”

“I saw Selma. It was a great movie. I had four kids then. I couldn’t get up and go to protests. I saw Obama when he spoke to our church group. I didn’t think he was going to be president. I never thought a black man could be president.”