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every now and then
...outta nowhere, comes a story that grabs you by the throat and reminds you how fragile life really is with its' raw emotion and intensity. This is one of those stories. Thanks for sharing it with us Cowboy.
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The front page of my local newspaper today was covered with pictures of the local sheriff's department arresting county citizens for TennCare fraud. The sting worked like this: Undercover agents set up buys with people for presciption drugs on the street, then checked the TennCare rolls to see if the seller was receiving these presciptions FREE from our state healthcare program. Recent reform measures have set a cap at 5 FREE prescriptions per month for enrollees, but prior to this year there was no limit. If the seller was a TennCare enrollee, the bust was made when the sale on the street was finalized. My humble opinion is a question... Why hasn't this been done years earlier? The state of Tennessee is going bankrupt trying to salvage this program that is abused by thousands and needed by thousands more just to get basic healthcare. From the start, the system was riddled with problems, mainly due to fraud at the contractor level. News of the first scam broke shortly after TennCare began, involving the pharmaceutical branch of the program. The fraud and abuse has continued with politicians using it for personal gain. The emergency room of the facility where I work is a revolving door to those who abuse the system while the truly needy wait their turn. In case you are feeling smug that you don't live in our state, consider this: TennCare is a federally subsidized program. Meanwhile, many of the thousands that have been cut from the rolls are very sick and un-insured. I cringe at the start of flu season every year, knowing that we will work our tails off taking care of those who use our emergency medical services as a clinic because it's "paid for" there by the state. Doctors have the luxury of refusing patients based on ability to pay. Hospitals that receive Hill Burton funds do not.

Before you blast me for being un-sympathetic and callous, let me remind you that I have held the hand of many an indigent patient during pain and suffering and death just as I have cheered them on when they got well and returned to their families. There are those who truly need medical care and cannot afford it. Where are the high dollar churches in these situations? Usually they are paying the ministerial staff a bazillion bucks and having a building fund campaign for the next sprucing up. There is no need to name denominations. They all do it.

Here is a different approach that reaches out to the un-insured and works with them where they are to maintain health through preventive medicine and reasonably priced services. The ministry of this organization is financed primarily by private donations and staffed by volunteer medical professionals.

How about next time someone asks you for a pledge of your hard earned dollars, you consider something like contributing to the "least of these". I feel sure that Jesus would say "Well Done".
Here's the real 23rd post in all its' glory. Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
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