I have seen a viral letter to the editor go around Facebook lately. Like most things that go viral via email or Facebook, I figured that it can’t all be true.
Well, it partially is.
Dr. Roger Starner Jones did write a Letter to the Editor, but what he wrote isn’t what is going viral on Facebook at this time.
Here is what he wrote on August 23, 2009 in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger
During my last shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tatoos and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ring tone.
Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.
She smokes a costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer.
And our president expects me to pay for this woman’s health care?
Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture – a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.
Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.
Starner Jones, MD
Source – Snopes
Here is what is going viral on Facebook right now.
Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medicaid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s “health care crisis” is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a “crisis of culture” a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”. Once you fix this “culture crisis” that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you’ll be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health care difficulties will disappear.
ROGER STARNER JONES, MD
If you agree…pass it on.
It’s a bit different isn’t it?
When you spread the word of someone that is trying to send a message, you might as well send the correct message and not a distorted or “doctored” message to fit your own political conviction. If that is the case, write your own letter to the editor.