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    front desk at a doctors office

    Who Deserves Medical Care?

    As a family doctor in Buffalo, I have cared for many people who died because they had no health insurance. One of those was my UPS driver, Michael.

    By Myron Glick

    July 3, 2023
    • Adele Philomena Donata

      There is an interesting relationship between medical care & religious fellowship between patients, especially in Pediatrics when a parent coordinates for a minor.


      My take if my self ever gets so sick that it would be unaffordable for the treatment. I will jut go home. Then there is a fact also. I live in a body made by God. It has been called as a temple. I did not take good care of my house. I get what I deserve. Same thing during the covid plandemic. I did not get a shot ,have never even gotten a flu shot. Have not even been to a Doctor in 30 plus years. So it is not worth burdening others because of my willfull sins against god's creation. Am ok with that.


      Health care as the call it. Have spent the last year working within the cancer industry. Results are 50 /50. It is a crap shoot. Why people will refuse any talk around the treatment table about starving cancer of using non chemo or non cutting ideas is beyond me. Have watched them as they promise things and out comes. Then the church people come along with their words. Have faith in God they say OK Fine lets look at natural therapies along with you mighty medical procedures of hack and burn, Oh No no no they say We are science. LoL ok. It is a business and the church people are like the cheerleaders for it.

    • Hubert Karreman

      Just as every human deserves healthy nutritious food to prevent illness, so does every human deserve heath care if they are not well. How that occurs is where the problem is. Doctors become doctors to help others. Unfortunately, "medicine", especially hospitals, also includes the business side of things. Doctors usually don't think about the particulars of the business Sid of things during an ordinary day of practice. They are too busy caring for patients. I'm a veterinarian so I understand (but then again there's no insurance industry in farm animal medicine). There's a 3rd option for those tired of regular health insurance. I opted out of Blue Cross in 2018 when I joined Samaritan Ministries (, a Christian health care cooperative. How refreshening it is to have fellow believers in our Lord Jesus and His ways to come together and help pay for each others medical needs. In June, there were 80,596 Member households, with $31,728,690 in medical bills that were met by the $32,604,067 in shares that people voluntarily sent to others in need. That is in just 1 month's time. Every month, I pay just over $500 for my wife and me as compared to about $1800/month when I left Blue Cross in 2018. On top of receiving many checks in the mail from real people, there is usually is also a very heart-felt hand-written prayer for specific healing included with the check. I have had first hand experience of this beautiful way of helping others cover their medical bills... In May 2021 I had a bacteremia from a dog bite that turned into needing open heart surgery in Feb. 2022. I was sick for a year and could do very little work as a veterinarian and dairy farmer. The initial hospital care for diagnosis and treatment of the initial problem totaled $74,000. I paid that off in 2 months due to the generosity of fellow believers in Samaritan Ministries. For my open heart surgery (aortic valve replacement, aortic root replacement and ascending aorta replacement due to aneuysim - a MAJOR surgery), and which needed to be paid *ahead of time*, the hospital showed me the costs in a table: with the insurance companies it would have been about $500,000 (of course that's negotiated behind the scenes between insurer and hospital to get it lowered...but still!) and the out of pocket cost was shown to be $62,000 with line item costs! So, yes, I needed to get a loan to pay ahead of time. And by the time I left the hospital some 14 days later (had some complications), the bill was just over $80,000. I had that again paid off in 3 months time - all due to individuals coming to gather and sending their monthly Share to cover my particular issue. I had an inguinal hernia surgery this past January (I'd put it off for a few years) and that's also paid off. Does any of this address the heated arguments of private insurance vs. single payer system? No. (I'm for a single-payer system if only to get rid of the insurance industry racket as are most all the doctors I've talked with during my health odyssey). But just like politics that continually divide and not unite, there is a more excellent way - one of love and connection between humans that have a love for God in their heart and are voluntarily willing to help others in need.

    • Connie

      There is no free system and no perfect system. Someone pays. Perhaps Obamacare would work better if Congress had chosen to include the public health option to compete with the private options when it was enacted in 2010. Some people can afford insurance but choose to spend their money on non-essential things at their peril. Still others just don't make enough to pay for basic care. (It would help if every type of labor in this country was fairly compensated). Many of the people who are fortunate to have insurance end up footing the bill for the non-insured who do end up getting care. Not all in healthcare are greedy. If we were to have government-run healthcare, it probably would be worse. There is rationing in every system. It's best to live within your means, plan for the worst, pay for the essentials, and try to live a healthy lifestyle. But then again, one could have a rare life -altering genetic disorder that is triggered when one least expects it. Count your blessings.

    • Catherine Foley

      Whether Plough or The Economist, I read that the USA is “the richest country in the world.” No one at The Economist has ever responded to nor answered my question, “What makes the USA ‘the richest country in the world’” when we have so much poverty in so many domains? So here is yet another article of this country’s impoverishment, but that statement. Any supportable proof based on some objective criteria?

    • Shannon

      Thank you Myron and Joyce for loving God's people, all, and living your ministry of healing who all who He draws to you. Spiritually, physically, emotionally. May He bless you with MORE in every way and at every level to keep you in His joy while you serve. Every blessing in Christ Jesus to you, yours, and all under you.

    • Veronica Deevers

      Universal healthcare is not the answer. The healthcare crisis is real and getting worse every today. And it can be solved by getting the gangsters out of it. No other business in the world is allowed to operate the way health care does. Want to shop around? Good luck because no one will tell you the price until after the service has been rendered. Where else can you go and want a service but not know what it's going to cost until after you receive the care? This is not capitalism. It's socialism. Which never ever works. Insurance is for things that haven't happened yet. So when you have a pre-existing condition that say will cost $10,000, the insurance company has to raise that to $12,000 because they are a business and all businesses require profits. This is how and why Obamacare has failed so horribly. The decision was made that everyone will be forced to buy insurance (in your free country) to 'spread the wealth'. So now we the people are forced to pay for things we do not need. A man does not need maternity care. Women do not require a prostate exam. But you will be paying for them anyway. So what has really happened is, Obamacare has stolen money from you and given it to someone else. Medical care has become a racketeering enterprise that has jacked the prices to insane heights. It's not legal for an auto repair shop to say they will not tell you how much it costs to repair your vehicle until after they've done the repairs. And the cost will depend on which car ins company you have as well. If you went to a gas station and didn't know how much the gas was until after you filled your tank, and of course, you have to pay because the gas is now in your tank, they wouldn't have any customers. If doctors/hospitals had to tell you what something is going to cost, you may say that it's too high and look elsewhere for help. If Dr. A is $500 and Dr. B is $250, where are you going to go? That is capitalism. Another problem is there are underlying costs. If you go to the hospital for heart surgery and then you get an infection while in the hospital, the hospital gets to charge you for the infection you got during your stay! So what incentive do they have to make sure you don't get an infection? Are you starting to get the picture? I don't look for this to be solved any time soon. There are too many greedy fingers in the pot. Until we return to free enterprise with competing prices and exit the socialist regime, nothing will change.

    • Neely Owen

      I spent over thirty-six years in the legal profession. Part of our responsiblity as practicing attorneys was to give back to the community -- to do some pro bono work -- for the common good. Some were better at this than others, but everyone of us knew of this responsiblity. Why is there not the same attitude among the health care professionals? Though I hear of some doctors -- such as the one in this story -- I never hear of the medical profession as a whole determining that it is up to them to be part of the solution. By the way, my father was a country doctor back when they still made house calls -- and certainly would always help those in need and never turn someone away just because they couldn't pay. If more doctors were like this, we wouldn't have this national crisis.

    • Eve Fisher

      My husband and I spent most of our lives without health insurance because no place we worked offered it and private insurance was too expensive. When we finally got health insurance, the year before I was old enough for Medicare, the insurer upped my premiums to over $900 a month, because they could. The only hope is universal health care, single payer.

    • Ruth

      Thank you for speaking truth in this matter. I retired after working 40 years in clinical practice plus another 14 years in insurance case management. You’ve articulated my thoughts exactly.

    • Susan Ryan

      This is very sad but true. It is a form of population control. Weeding out the weak. Which hits people fighting to survive to pay bills, buy food and keep a roof over their family's heads. Basically working themselves to death. Yes the richest country in the world that is geared for the rich and super rich. Arabian Princes come here for treatment. Yet most Americans can't afford treatment needed or their insurance deny's treatment due to cost. GOD will sort it all out in the end.

    • MJ Belko

      We have insurance but can't afford our deductibles. We both need to see specialists but can't because doctors are charging $300 "new patient fees" that aren't covered by insurance. Being a doctor in America has become a ticket to living on Easy Street. Meanwhile, even working Americans WITH insurance can't afford to satisfy the greed of today's doctors. Until that greed is addressed, the problem will continue.

    • Ingrid

      Thank you for sharing this story and advocating for a new and better system. As an American who grew up on a Wisconsin family farm in the 1980s, with no health insurance, I know first hand what avoiding doctor and medical visits feels like. Now having lived and worked across Europe and Africa, it is embarassing to recount how terrible the US health care system is at serving all. European colleagues are generally astounded that Americans cannot treat health care as a basic human right. Thank you for your work, kindness and care.

    As a family doctor in Buffalo for the past twenty-five years, I have been a witness to a broken and unjust healthcare system that has failed to provide care for those who cannot afford it. I have seen medical disasters that never should have occurred. I have taken care of thousands of people who have suffered, and many who have even died, because they had no health insurance. One of those was my UPS driver, Michael.

    I first met Michael when he delivered packages to the front door of the then-small private family medical practice my wife and I had started. As our friendship developed, Michael decided to become my patient. He was a healthy man, although he had a propensity to drink too much alcohol. Through his job, he had access to affordable health insurance.

    front desk at a doctors office

    Photographs courtesy Jericho Road Community Health Center.

    Then, during one busy Christmas season, Michael had two car accidents within three days. As a result, he was fired by UPS and lost his health insurance. He and his wife lived on a small farm thirty minutes from the city, where they raised three boys and a few horses and she ran a small dog-grooming business. They weren’t rich but worked hard. Now self-employed, they were making about $50,000 per year, too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance on the open market, which would have cost them $600 per month. Since they lived on a tight budget and thought they were healthy, they opted not to get coverage.

    After that, I did not see much of Michael. For the next ten years, he did not get the basic screening and preventive care measures recommended for a middle-aged man – a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, blood work to check cholesterol and sugar, or an annual flu shot.

    One recent Friday afternoon, at the end of a busy day seeing patients, I saw that Michael had been squeezed into my schedule. He told me that he had been having diarrhea mixed with blood for six months. He was losing weight, did not have much appetite, and noticed feeling warm at night. Just looking at him, I knew something was wrong. This uninsured horse farmer would not just show up in my office on a Friday afternoon unless he was in serious trouble. I proceeded to examine him and was shocked to find an ugly, foul-smelling abscess in his scrotum and an ulcerating tumor of his rectum. What I witnessed was as upsetting as some of the worst things I have seen in Sierra Leone and Congo. I said, “Michael, how could you have waited six months to come in to get checked for this?”

    a patient at a doctors office

    He looked at me and said, “Dr. Glick, I don’t have any health insurance. I knew you would see me for free, and I figured something was really wrong, but there is no way I could afford to get the treatment that you would send me for.”

    In the richest country in the world, where we have cutting-edge medical technology and life-saving procedures, Michael had basically opted out of the system. What could have been prevented by a colonoscopy when he turned fifty would instead become incredibly expensive for him and for the healthcare system, and would ultimately result in his premature death. By the time I saw him, he was wearing a diaper. I admitted him to the hospital and diagnosed cancer of the colon that had already spread to other organs.

    The American healthcare system is built on two premises: first, that it is OK to make a profit in healthcare, and second, that only those who can afford care deserve it.

    Michael and I spent a lot of time together while he was in the hospital. Because he had no insurance, I had to do a lot of advocacy on his behalf to get an oncologist and a surgeon to agree to treat his cancer. Michael and I do not share the same political views, but he did tell me that he wished this country could set up a system so that everyone could afford to have health insurance, although he did not think it should be free, and he definitely did not want it to be a system like Canada’s, because he had heard that “socialist” systems treat people poorly.

    Too many times, I have seen bad things happen to good people simply because they did not have health insurance. A man with an inguinal hernia almost the size of a football eventually died of untreated laryngeal cancer because he was afraid of the bill his family would get if he went to the emergency room. A sixty-year-old man came in to my office, blinded because he had cataracts in both eyes and was uninsured. He could not afford the thousands of dollars he would need to pay to get the cataracts removed. A blind man in Buffalo, a city with over 150 well-paid eye doctors, is hard to accept. He told me he was “waiting until he turned sixty-five and could get Medicare before he would get the surgery.” I also remember diagnosing a seventy-year-old man with lung cancer, and as I was referring him to the world-renowned, state-of-the-art cancer treatment center in town, he told me he would not go. He was “uninsured and was going to die anyway, so no need to leave his wife with the bill.”

    a patient at a doctors office

    Despite the Affordable Care Act, over twenty-eight million people in this country have no medical insurance. Many additional millions have high-deductible plans that leave them struggling to afford basic health care. And often those who do qualify for Medicaid still struggle to get access to the specialists, medications, and lifesaving procedures that they need.

    Americans spend more on health care than the people of any other country. We have great medications, cutting-edge medical technology, and the ability to cure diseases unlike at any other time in the existence of humanity. Yet our healthcare system generates exorbitant profits for pharmaceutical companies, the health insurance industry, medical technology companies, and hospitals. This system is built on two premises: first, that it is OK to make a profit in healthcare, and second, that only those who can afford care deserve it. These two contemptible ideas are at the heart of why our system is so broken. In a country where we assure that everyone, rich or poor, has access to public school education and daily home mail delivery, we have somehow decided that when it comes to health care, we will allow those who cannot afford first-rate health care to go without.

    patients at a doctors office

    Access to health care is a basic human right. In my own medical practice, providing excellent care to every person regardless of their ability to pay flows from my belief that we are all created in the image of God. If we truly love our neighbor, and if we do to others as we would have them do to us, we will design a system of care where everyone gets the care they need, when they need it, no matter what. This is a moral issue. If we believe all people have intrinsic worth as human beings, we should provide universal access to quality medical care.

    Contributed By MyronGlick Myron Glick

    In 1997, Myron and Joyce Glick started Jericho Road Family Practice to provide medical care to underserved and marginalized communities in Buffalo, New York.

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