Ben Ehrenreich’s op-ed in today’s LA Times is meant to point out that poor minorities suffer the most in hospital emergency rooms. His unnamed Chicana girlfriend (her name doesn’t matter, but her ethnicity does?) broke her ankle, and being “between jobs and between health insurance plans”, had no choice but to shuffle off to County-USC at 4 am, because Ehrenreich took some friend’s advice on the best time to go. They waited 5 hours for a gurney. Ehrenreich, his blue eyes and well-known last name “required an introduction to this sort of indignity.” Ehrenreich needs an introduction to a dope slap. At 4 am in an urban ER, bleeding takes priority, anything else can wait.
Free-lancer Cathy Seipp, who has her own health insurance and with a rather more serious complaint, waited the same amount of time at Cedars. She too has blue eyes, but pain and suffering are no respecters of persons.
FBLA had fun imagining the coversation between earnest Ehrenreich and his young lady:
GF: Why do we have to go now? It’s still dark out, and I’m freezing!
BE: Sshh, it’ll be okay, if undocumented immigrants can do this, so can you. They never get any sunshine. Besides, it’s better for my piece.
GF: You look like a ghost–you could use a little sun. I’m getting tired of my life being turned into your material.
BE: You knew I was a writer when we met!
GF: I thought you said you were Ben Affleck! I met the only white guy in LA who doesn’t want to write screenplays. Go find me a doctor, fronchi.
BE: I can’t–that would be abusing my white priviledge.
GF: Â¡Recoje un doctor o le corto las huveos! Entiendes? Pinche puto pendejo basoso…
Hospital emergency rooms are burdened enough trying to care for those who have no other choice for medical care. Writers who chose those services just because they’d rather not borrow money, max out their credit cards or work out a payment plan shouldn’t be adding to that burden.