Fighting poverty is a good idea


By John DiTraglia



When Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you” (John 12:8) he was making a point that in one particular instance it was ok to spend money on Him instead of giving it to the poor but he was quoting the old testament that went on to say we all have to chip in to help the poor. He also taught frequently that virtue of giving away everything to the poor that his disciples, even Judas Iscariot, were preaching.

A higher incidence of obesity is the least of the problems facing low-income and many minority communities. Those even worse than obesity problems of poverty include deficiencies in education, transportation, housing, and food security. These and many other poverty factors contribute to disease and health care costs for everybody. Not just the poor.

So it is good public policy to be doing what many private and government sponsored managed care organizations are doing in addition to traditional fee for medical services after bad stuff has already happened. Non specifically medical treatment initiatives that managed care organizations are doing are things like helping to get a GED, job coaching and other employment services, free transportation services and permanent supportive housing. While the Trump administration has proposed significant changes in these rules, it has not yet proposed to modify this particular aspect of current standards. (1)

Even non-Christians, even rich people, even Trump voters should get behind this idea because on a purely practical, non compassionate basis, it makes all of our lives better and saves money.

I read recently that Barack Obama said that we have to try and understand people who are different from us. But it’s really hard.

I think that Trump voters, who are different from me, say “yeah, right on,” whenever there is a report in the “fake” news that says “this is highly abnormal,” or “this has never happened before,” or “the administration is being sued to try to stop…” Apparently one of the reasons why people voted for (Trump) was to wrest power from the elites and shake up the government and drain the swamp and etc….

It makes you start to think maybe democracy just doesn’t work, we need a system like they have in China where they just shoot you if you don’t like what’s going on. Then I remember what Churchill said, something like, “democracy stinks but it’s the best thing we’ve got.” At least, as with science, democracy should be self correcting eventually. Churchill also said that, “the United States is a great country because they always wind up doing the right thing after they’ve tried everything else.” But I still can’t understand Trump voters.

1. Butler SM. How an expanded vision of managed care organizations could tackle inequities. JAMA June 4, 2019;321(21):2063-4.

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By John DiTraglia

John DiTraglia M.D. is a Pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by e-mail- jditrag@zoomnet.net or phone (740) 354-6605.

John DiTraglia M.D. is a Pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by e-mail- jditrag@zoomnet.net or phone (740) 354-6605.