"..and so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work ... and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities."
Pres. Obama, 4/13/11
Last week I saw a patient in the ER who presented for chest pain with tightness radiating occasionally to his left arm, with an occasional dull radiation to his jaw, and facial numbness. These symptoms were all intermittent over the past few days, and he remained symptom-free in the ER. He was a smoker, in his late 40's ("aw doc you know, it's hard to quit"), whose father had died of an MI in his late 40's. Despite driving himself to the ER, and walking in briskly, laughing, with no limp or other visible difficulty, he informed me that he had been on disability for years. While waiting for the results of his cardiac workup and brain CT scan, the patient became more fidgety, standing outside his room, checking his watch, and finally walking to the nurses' station. "Will this take much longer?, he demanded, "I've got to get to my grandson's birthday party!"