The Season of Poverty and Thanksgiving

Street Art (unknown artist) photo: jparadisi

You know it’s going to be a long shift when you open your first chart of the morning, and the doctor’s orders are written on a Post-It.

I admit it: I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed this week. November begins what I fondly dub “The Season of Poverty.” I’m not really impoverished. It just feels that way in November, as soon as the property tax bill arrives, followed by Thanksgiving, a couple of family members birthdays, then Christmas, then more family members birthdays clear through the end of February. *  Before spinning out of control, I remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and regain my perspective. Holiday anxiety is a luxury.

In the midst of this angst, something happened last week and I keep replaying it in the YouTube of my mind.

I was walking on a downtown street, minding my own business, when seemingly out of no where a man walked up to a metal street sign and, with his bare fist, slammed it with such violence I thought he was going to bend it. Shouting obscenities, he hit it again and again, barely a few feet in front of me. I froze where I stood, looking for the nearest exit to safety, as the man came forward in my direction. From behind, a woman wearing dirty clothes said, “Ma’am, come here, behind this chain,” as she lifted the chain blocking off a driveway. Grateful, I did as directed, waiting until the man I was afraid of passed by.

That’s it, nothing more. But I keep thinking about the concern this woman showed for my safety. If someday she seeks help in the emergency department of a hospital or becomes a patient, I hope she receives the same concern and courtesy she gave to me. She didn’t judge me by my clothes for not belonging in her neighborhood. She did not think that I deserved to suffer violence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She simply extended safety to me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

*Dr. Dean Burke offers financial advice to nurses at The Millionaire Nurse Blog.

You can show your concern for the homeless in Portland, Oregon by donating to Sisters of the Road.

Health Care Reform? What the…..??????

     Senator Max Baucus  (D) Montana, along with five other “architects” is writing compromise legislature for Health Care Reform, which includes financially penalizing the uninsured for not having health care insurance.

Under the Baucus plan, all Americans would be required to carry health insurance. For taxpayers with incomes from 100 percent to 300 percent of the poverty level, the penalty for not having coverage would be $750 a year per person, with a maximum penalty of $1,500 for a family.

For taxpayers with incomes over 300 percent of the poverty level, the penalty would be $950 a person, with a maximum penalty of $3,800 for a family.

The poverty level is $10,830 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four.

  We all know how well mandating automobile insurance works. The insured still pay for the uninsured. It must be a complex piece of legistature, because this piece doesn’t make sense. Will the uninsured receive the money to pay for their insurance? That’s not addressed in this article.

     Read the article in the NY Times:

Democrats Promise to Send Health Plan to Obama