I picked up this nurse that worked in the emergency room in the hospital and we chatted. I mentioned that I have this blog where I put interesting stories and asked her if she had any. I thought nurses would. Like gun shot victims or gangs or you know but no she said the most interesting people that came to the emergency room were poor people. Some gangs and life threatening cases do come in but not much.
I was how many poor people come into the emergency room? She said about half. I was shocked. Are they really sick, how can they afford it?
She said, “They come in because they know they can get a good meal, stay warm and some know the system really well. They say my chest hurts we will have to run some tests. They stay longer get a good meal, if they are more in pain they get a room to stay over night. Some come so often they even ask ‘Can I have that soup’.” They name the soup by ingredient they contain. Because they are poor they are in medicare or medicaid and the government picks it up. It’s free for them.
“Kind of sad”, I said. Wow, the only way they can survive in the cold is to do that and it puts a needless strain in the emergency system for something that can more effectively be handled by a simple shelter and treating people like people.
I don’t know why, but the tips I make from my rides, I don’t get much but when I do I give them to the people who live in the streets and ask them for their names first, treat them like a person, and tell them to have a nice day.