Your daily Letter to the Editor — Dec. 9, 2013
In her 1979 Nobel prize speech, Mother Teresa deflected attention from her work with the poor in Calcutta, noting instead that in the West the “most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”
Like dying alone or going to bed hungry, the experience of being ill and unable to afford health care feels like an affirmation of being unloved by one’s community, even if arising only from benign neglect.
Health care is not about diabetes or heart disease, it is about caring for each other in the context of illness. The act of the physician or nurse gains meaning in this context. It is why Jesus was called the “great physician.”
When health care is the exclusive domain of the privileged, is ceases to be health care.
The intent of the Affordable Care Act is to bring health care to those who cannot afford it.
Like love at Christmas, this is a simple notion that can die on the vine if unattended.
DR. RUSSELL NOBLETT