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jimmy five

Glad to hear you're okay... my dad had a heart attack at 39, and even though it was really mild it really put a lot of things into perspective for our whole family. It made us really conscious about a lot of the choices we make, and really appreciative of the people we have around us. I'm thankful you're part of our community, and thankful it isn't something more serious.

I don't have too much emergency room experience, thank God, but for me the thought of the emergency room, particularly in a city like Los Angeles, brings up echoes of justice. Too many people end up in emergency rooms in this city and around the country with problems that would and could have been treated earlier, because they don't have access to affordable health insurance. Maybe they're unemployed, or in a few part time jobs, none of which offers insurance for them, much less their families - and so it's to the emergency room they go, when things get really bad, and even still they can't pay. For 45 million Americans and more every day, that's the reality of their lives - living every day hoping nothing happens, because even if it can be treated there's no way they'll be able to afford it. The Church needs to stand up for these people however it can - by being among the working poor, by supporting organizations like clinics and charities that provide health care, by supporting policies among our leaders that will ensure everyone's access to health insurance.

Sorry to hijack the thread like this, but it seemed a bit apropos. Too often, ironically, we disconnect this season in particular from one of the main concerns of the Law, the Prophets, and the Messiah whose death and resurrection we celebrate - justice for the poor, oppressed, and the alien among us.

Tim C

Five:

You wrote "Too many people end up in emergency rooms in this city and around the country with problems that would and could have been treated earlier..."

I agree.

I didn't include these details that in what was already a bit of a longish posting, but I shared the waiting room with many people whose stories I'm sure were pretty much exactly like what you just described.

One who almost certainly did was an older black man wearing dusty clothes he had clearly been wearing for some while, who was brought in by someone who appeared not to know him but just be a "Good Samartian." While he and I waited for about a hour to be seen, he muttered about how he was in pain and was having a hard time breathing, but also complained to himself that he had "been in here 5 times already"...

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