SICK AND TIRED

I recently cared for a patient who was gainfully employed who is now, unfortunately, in the throes of a serious and expensive illness. In providing emergency hospital care, physicians, myself included, do not routinely ask questions about insurance coverage. However, since this individual required specialized care that would require a hospital-to-hospital transfer, I gave a couple of options, knowing that  insurance coverage can be an issue. His response, that he hadn’t bought health insurance because he was waiting for Obamacare to kick in for him in a year, triggered a visceral reaction in me.

I’m sick, too. I’m sick and tired of paying, in addition to my federal and state income taxes, a burgeoning array of fees and surcharges including property taxes, car registration fees, sales tax, a slew of new local fees, the hidden tax that goes unrecognized and unmentioned in my kids’ college tuitions to cover the people who pay no tuition … it goes on and on. And the ones demanding it all are still going broke. So they want, and will take, more, even as the cost of living steadily rises.

I’m sick of paying for the myriads who work under the table, reporting only a fraction of their income, poor on paper and earning almost twice as much per hour as their tax-paying compatriots while collecting subsidies and benefits. Although I have to admit I sympathize with their desire to avoid giving their hard-earned cash to overgrown, corrupt, governments at every level that spend the largesse like funny-money. I’m sick of being bombarded with yet the next silly video and lavish meeting I’ve shelled out for. And these are only the instances we’ve uncovered.

I also sympathize with the millions of honest, hard-working government employees who are frugally going about their business, painted as they are by association with the same scandalous brush as the rotten apples. I don’t know, and doubt anyone does, how many tainted apples are in the barrel. I only know government is too big a part of the economy and, operating outside the checks and balances of the real world, is making a big problem bigger.

I’m sick of the safety net being continuously raised so that more and more people find it acceptable to be on some flavor of welfare.

I’m sick of having my charity stolen by people who feel they are better qualified than me to decide where my hard-earned dollars should go.

Will the poor patient referenced above be bankrupted by medical expenses due to an unwise gamble? I hope not, for his sake—and mine, as a taxpayer, a health care provider … and a human being. I’ve worked hard for what I have, but have also had help along the way, from family and, to a lesser extent, government assistance. So I’m happy to give back. But I must say, the line has shifted in my lifetime from providing a helping hand to becoming the hand that provides, through an intermediary known as Big Government that’s grown beyond its ability to sensibly sustain itself.

It’s enough to make you sick.

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