Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kaiser sues Los Angeles for patient dumping

Videotape catches city police leaving indigent patients in hospital waiting rooms and driving off

Los Angeles - February 11, 2007

A Kaiser Permanente hospital made headlines recently when a video camera at a skid row mission recorded a patient wearing only a hospital robe being left by a taxi. The city's attorney general sued the hospital for 'patient dumping', expressing shock and outrage at this "inhumane and illegal practice."

Meanwhile, Kaiser has filed a suit accusing the city of similar tactics of patient dumping. The suit claims that hospital security cameras show 256 separate instances last year of the L.A. police bringing injured homeless people to the hospital emergency room . . . and then leaving.

"The city believes that it can solve its problems of urban blight and homelessness with a simple strategy: make it someone else's problem," said Ray Czusindignation, media spokesperson for hospital. "Night after night, the city's police bring these people to our hospital emergency rooms, and just leave. No arranging for payment; no attempt to assess their situation and find a permanent solution. They just leave. And they expect that, because we took a Hippocratic oath, we've got to take care of these people, at our expense, and do everything necessary to insure they are safe when they leave."

"I've got news for Los Angeles," he continued. "That's not our job. We didn't sign on for that. If you want us to take care of everyone, get off your butts and establish a system of universal health coverage, so we can actually get paid to take care of these people. Or better yet, spend the money to make sure these hard-luck cases never get to the hospital to begin with."

When asked about the unlikely prospect of the government actually establishing a universal health care plan, Czusindignation replied, "The truth is we already have a universal health care plan. It's called, 'go to the emergency room, get treated for preventable health problems, and not pay your bill.' Then the hospitals pass the costs on to the insurance companies with ludicrously high charges, who in turn pass them on to the consumer with yearly double-digit premium rate hikes. It's a ludicrously inefficient way to take care of people."

"[City Attorney Rocky] Delgadillo can get on his high horse and act all outraged if we discharge someone with no clothes and no place to go. But, hey . . . that's pretty much how they were when they got here. You think we got we some magic fairy dust to solve homelessness? You think this is our problem? Who's really doing the dumping here?"

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