The patient was stoic and distant as he sat on the edge of the bed waiting for me to give him the bath I had promised an hour earlier. Quickly I gathered my supplies and began by washing the old man's back. But suddenly, he burst out sobbing.
"Did I hurt you?" I asked concerned.
"No, no!" He ordered gruffly, "Go on now."
After several minutes of silence, he softly shared.
"I'm sorry. You see, my wife died 22 years ago and no one has touched my back since that day." In the longest bath I've ever given, he told me why she liked the rain and what she always planted in her garden — but it's nowhere in my charting.
The rest of the story
The poor don't deserve health care! Let them suffer! Though it is labeled as socialism by the "haves" and virtually unreachable by the "have-nots," we have found our next frontier: improving the wellness of America. And in that quest, maybe the services we give away for free are not worthless after all, but rather the harbingers of a healthier society where every citizen has the inalienable right to be well.
Amend the Constitution. It's long over due.