New York City Values!

Harlem Hospital

Frequently when listening to members of the GOP or Right they are fond of tossing around terms like “Hollywood values’, “San Francisco liberal” or say things like “well that might be the way they do things in New York City but here in the real America….”.  Trust me,  these are not meant as compliments!  Well this New Yorker is getting tired of it and am living proof that compared to the vast majority of the country our values here in NYC are just fine thank you very much.  The picture above is of Harlem Hospital Center where I recently had surgery.  Harlem Hospital like many inner city hospitals is greatly overtaxed (the hospital in the middle of a major capitol improvement program with a brand new hospital building under construction, funded in total by both city and state)  Here is a few facts from the hospital’s wiki:

Administratively, Harlem Hospital Center is a member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. It is designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center and an Area Wide Burn Center that includes a specialty in plastic and reconstructive surgery to reduce the scarring unique to the African-American community.  It is also designated as a Heart Care Station by the American Heart Association and participates in the 911 Receiving Hospitals Advisory Committee. It is affiliated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University since 1962.

The Harlem Hospital Center has engaged in many innovative programs specialized for its inner-city location, such as one of the few specialized asthma centers.  While four percent of the national population suffers from asthma, that figure approaches 20 percent in Harlem.

The hospital provides health care to an economically disadvantaged community; the median family income for its primary service area of Central Harlem is $24,230. Harlem Hospital Center is an important social, political and economic force within the community, and one of the largest US training centers for minority and female physicians.

Harlem Hospital Center provides 450,000 outpatient visits, 76,000 emergency department visits, and 13,000 inpatient admissions per year, and operates a School of Nursing and a Physician assistant program.

Needless to say, the vast majority of  the hospitals patients are without private insurance, dependant on either Medicare, Medicaid, or one the programs offered by New York City  Health and Hospitals Corp, a network of 20 hospitals owned by the city. 

When I was forced out of the private health care system due to spiraling premiums I enrolled in Health & Hospitals Corp Options Program.  This program is based not only on my income but also takes into consideration just how much care I require.  After being enrolled in the program for about 6 months  my fees were reduced due to the frequency with which i require medical care.  I do not pay a monthly premium, I pay 20 dollars per doctors visit and all my meds are 6 dollar per prescription.  The cost of this most recent surgery including pre surgery testing,  labs and meds ran about 500 dollars.  I can only imagine just how large the debt would be right now if I lived on one of those so called places where the “real Americans” live, or for that matter if I would have even been able to receive the care I desperately needed and will continue to need for a very long time to come. 

So the next time you hear one of those head up their ass “real Americans” go on about how “real American values” think about how they treat their sick in a place like Tennessee, Kentucky, or Texas and how we treat our sick here in New York City! 

P. S. A long overdue thanks to the fine and compassionate staff of Harlem Hospital who have always treated me with kindness, compassion, and respect and provided with me with state of art, first class medical care!  And btw some of the best hospital food I ever ate, really, it’s good food! 



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29 responses to “New York City Values!

  1. nannymm

    Excellent post, Brian! Every hospital I trained in or worked in in NYC cared for patients in a respectful, humane and dignified manor regardless of income, class, race, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, or ability to pay. I was damned proud to work in NYC hospitals! The same can not be said of hospitals in other places.
    When NYC was attacked on 9-11, we New Yorkers pulled together and worked our asses off. We took care of each other. We were family. New Yorkers, contrary to the bad rap they get, DO NOT turn their backs on people in need.
    Like you, Brian, I am sick of the constant slams against NY, the East coast, MA, San Francisco, ,etc. It is the repug/conservative states that not only deny medical care to their residents, they also treat outsiders like pond scum. They look down on gays, foreigners, “city slickers,” “damned yankees,” the poor, liberals, and anyone who doesn’t fit the mold that suits them.
    I will take my liberal,New York, East,coast inclusive values over their narrow mindedness any day.

  2. tonyb39

    Very good piece,Brian!
    Wish we had that kind of wonderful system here in Central Florida! I just had my physical a few months ago,all the bills are in $937 with GM Blue Cross.How many people with insurance have $1000 to put out for a yearly checkup?This shit never happened with Blue Cross of Michigan,but when you move to Florida, you come under Blue Cross of Florida and every thing changes.The insured person has no control,its BS.Its the reason I want a Public Option or Medicare buy in,under the Presidents bill nothing changes for most of the insured,were still held hostage by private insurance.

  3. Jim DeMint’s bid to embrace tea party irks Senate GOP colleagues

    Read more:

    • dnd

      Rev. Jim Wallis was on Stephanie Miller this morning talking social justice. If you want to send an email to your congress critter, they’ve got a template on their site:

      • dnd

        The really entertaining thing Rev. Wallis had to say to Stephanie Miller:

        “Glenn Beck recently told his listeners to leave any church that teaches social justice, and to report its pastor to church authorities. Since Sojourners’ mission is “to articulate the biblical call to social justice,” we thought we’d better turn ourselves in. But before reporting to any church hierarchy, we’re going to report ourselves to Glenn Beck.”

  4. tonyb39

    “The Democrats’ scam becomes more transparent
    By Glenn Greenwald”

    “As I’ve noted before, the column I’ve written which has produced the highest level of hate mail over the past year (in terms of volume and intensity) was when I compiled the evidence back in August that the White House was working to ensure there’d be no public option in the final bill at exactly the same time Obama was publicly insisting he favored it. The very idea that the President might be saying one thing in public and doing the opposite in private was outrageous and conspiratorial; a politician (or, at least, Barack Obama) would never do such a thing. Yet all along, that’s exactly what the White House was doing, and it continues to do exactly that even though there is, at least, a significant chance that there are sufficient votes to enact the public option. That’s the reason their explanations and excuses make no sense: because the real reason there’s no public option — they don’t want one — is the one they can’t or won’t admit.”

  5. tonyb39

    “Obama’s reluctant populism irks left”

  6. tonyb39

    “Health Care’s Last Holdout”

    “As House leaders prepare for a final vote, Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks to Benjamin Sarlin about being the lone liberal “no” vote and Obama’s 11th-hour campaign to win him over.”

  7. Morning peeps,
    Tony I seriously doubt there is much effort on the White House’s part to win over Kucinich, this is just another excuse for Dennis to talk about Dennis’ favorite subject, Dennis.

  8. Dems Confident That Senate Parliamentarian Was ‘Misinterpreted’ On Reconciliation

  9. tonyb39

    Think your probably correct about the White House and Dennis.I like Dennis,did a candidate match-up during the 2008 primaries and I matched Dennis the most,at the time i was shocked considering my choice was Hill.I also agree that Dennis tends to be about Dennis,yet on most of the issue’s he’s spot on..Good link on Stupak.Rachael sure has been spot on with her coverage and his phoniness.

    Hope your feeling better!

  10. Yeah thanks I’m starting to feeling better, I usually matched up with Mike Gravel when I took those “who’s your candidate quizzes”

  11. tonyb39

    Listened to Larry O’Donnell on Friday,don’t get the whole role of the Senate Parliamentarian in this reconciliation .Larry said most of the Senator’s don’t even know the rules.

  12. tonyb39

    After reading your piece again,i started thinking,maybe this whole Medicare type by in will start from states like New York offering it to their citizens?I think i heard somewhere that’s how Canada got their National Health Insurance.

  13. Tony, NY has been a right to health care state for years, and besides Mass and San Francisco I’m not sure the concept has taken hold any place else so I’m not you should be so optimistic the concept will spread. It really is a values things, if it doesn’t come from the Fed it’s just not going to happen in many parts of the country.

  14. tonyb39

    Makes sense.What do you think about Grayson’s Public Option bill?Maybe a stand alone bill will have a chance?

    “HR 4789 and The Public Option: The Way Forward”

  15. As I said before earlier Tony, I’m for a Medicare buy in, Grayson’s plan on a quick read looks like a good one.

  16. nannymm

    More proof that Beck is an idiot:

    “You wouldn’t think this was possible, but Glenn Beck had apparently never actually sat down and listened to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA,” never heard the lyrics, never formed a familiarity with the song’s storied history in American politics, until this week, I guess? Anyway, now that he’s heard that the song isn’t some glorious tongue-bath to American exceptionalism, he’s denouncing it on the radio.”

  17. Reagan made that same mistake nanny. I think being bashed by Beck thrills Bruce.

  18. nannymm

    Can’t say that I blame him. I’d call it a badge of honor.

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