+3 votes
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We just got the news yesterday; the Indians are paying again this year. The US gov't has been trying to drop the senior lunch program in Rochester, WA (pop. 2400) for couple years now...unworthy of gov't notice, here...

But again this year we just learned, the local Indian tribe said no, you cannot kick the old folks to the curb, we will pay! So their little one-horse casino tucked off on the prairies, in addition to their own much-needed poverty programs they now fund the (all-white) senior nutrition the government refuses...

I go out there for lunch regularly, just to support them, and I have learned that several of those oldsters have not seen a physician for at least a year; they just do their best at home with keeping up with meds, exercise, nutrition - and they are coping with life-threatening stuff like high blood pressure, diabetes, one lady even living with terminal cancer, etc...

But there is no doctor anywhere around the area, and they cannot make it to Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia for their medical care.

This photo gives you an idea of the general terrain...the local tribes maintained this country as prairie long after the weather turned colder, for the sake of the edible camas lily bulb, a dietary staple.


3 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

It's just heartbreaking that Medicare can't employ at least some itinerant doctors to serve in towns like this.

And the Indians are marvelous, much more human than our government.

" Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


O'Tink, I have tried to learn what is going on with the Drs., and I am not sure the seniors themselves really know; but when I was growing up about 50 miles from Rochester, my home town population 3,000 supported TWO physicians!

But now, it is something about a clinic; and the doctors come planning to stay forever, and leave within 18 months, my senior friends say they think the Drs. get worked to death and don't have much say in medical policy. So they go to Seattle, where the Drs. can organize somehow and have more control over their own practice. 

Anyway, I am wondering are we seeing the predatory hands of corporations controlling/strangling medical care here now? But then, why can't the M.D. just set up his/her OWN practice P.C., like Dr. Moore and Dr. Lindell did in my home town in the 1950's???  idk...strange...scary too...


I think part of the problem is that there is a shortage of GPs all over the country.  Being a specialist is much more lucrative, so that's what increasing numbers of med students do.


Whew! Not sure I would want to get my medical care from a specialist who chose his/her field because it was so lucrative...


Virginia, I think the days of the dedicated country doctor have mostly passed.  :'(

That reminds me of an ancient Dr. Kildare movie from the 30s.  The med students are sitting around talking about what specialty they might pursue. One of them says obstetrics, because everyone is happy when a baby is born.

But another says, "Dermatology, because your patients never die, but they never get cured either (so you have them forever)."  :)


Interesting film, O'Tink...speculating on the insightful commentary done by the scriptwriter, using a popular film to illustrate those kinds of contrast...

I just did an online search to review the Hippocratic Oath, supposed to originate from the 5th century B.C.; and I know you will appreciate this, I saw incidentally that in 1995, a Nobel winner in his acceptance speech suggested there be a Hippocratic Oath for scientists! 


LOL, Virginia, that would put half the climatologists out of business, if people took the oath seriously.  :D

Unfortunately, an oath to support and defend the Constitution is not taken very seriously by many politicians.  :ermm: :angry:



O'Tink, that fiasco about climate change was kinda last straw for me...actually, it was PAST the final straw but I got taken in anyway...

(I still am guessing there really IS global warming human-caused, I just don't think the so-called proof is adequate/appropriate. And you treat a guess VERY differently from scientific accuracy.)

Anyway, from now on I only accept my own research results, or John Stuart Bell or Ernest Rutherford!


Yes, Virginia, it is a hypothesis that has not been rigorously proved, but which many who stood to make a quick fortune quickly embraced.

+3 votes

Also kind of ironic how horribly the white man treated the Indians and now they are helping you! I think that's great and support the Indian Casinos. It's about time they were able to make some real money.

It's a terrible shame how this nation treats it's seniors. You would think that they could at least send a P.A. or an R.N. on a bi-weekly basis to help treat and help those people. Or at least a clinic! Hard to believe but I've seen it enough.


I also see the irony there, Rooster! Supposed to be gov't subsidized, but our own government is trying to get rid of the Rochester program...it's too small there...

+2 votes

This is even worse than we thought on our side, though there have been disturbing, but controversed news since long.

But also in Europe, elderly people are increasingly exposed to precarity.

Native Americans:




Shortage of generalists and qualified medical personnel:









Marianne, it seems to me the bureaucrats wish the old folks would just die already, and reduce the stresses on an overburdened healthcare system.


Marianne, the articles on shortages of health care workers in places like Europe and Australia was VERY illuminating...and I certainly agree with the information on nursing homes in Australia; although here in the USA, it is not as atrocious as the Lifeline program was reporting in Australia.

Not sure if you will have time for this, but my computer was unable to open the FORBES article on "ways the gov't keeps Native Americans in poverty." Sometimes there is one or maybe two paragraphs that summarize the information quite nicely, and if you see such paragraph(s) and if you have time, would you perhaps do a copy and paste so I can read it? I am interested in Rooster's point, that the USA has treated the Indians badly and as we saw in Rochester they still come through for the old white people...


Yes, T(h)ink, and that is not new in Europe, technical and scientific progress involved and involves expenses, and in multi tier systems, certain groups are less privileged.

Rankings according to WHO


Virginia, I am trying to copy this article; at least the text (the graphs are gone):

5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty
Capital Flows , Contributor Guest commentary curated by Forbes Opinion. Avik Roy, Opinion Editor. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. By Shawn Regan

Imagine if the government were responsible for looking after your best interests. All of your assets must be managed by bureaucrats on your behalf. A special bureau is even set up to oversee your affairs. Every important decision you make requires approval, and every approval comes with a mountain of regulations. How well would this work? Just ask Native Americans. The federal government is responsible for managing Indian affairs for the benefit of all Indians. But by all accounts the government has failed to live up to this responsibility. As a result, Native American reservations are among the poorest communities in the United States. Here’s how the government keeps Native Americans in poverty. Indian lands are owned and managed by the federal government. Chief Justice John Marshall set Native Americans on the path to poverty in 1831 when he characterized the relationship between Indians and the government as “resembling that of a ward to his guardian.” With these words, Marshall established the federal trust doctrine, which assigns the government as the trustee of Indian affairs. That trusteeship continues today, but it has not served Indians well. Underlying this doctrine is the notion that tribes are not capable of owning or managing their lands. The government is the legal owner of all land and assets in Indian Country and is required to manage them for the benefit of Indians. But because Indians do not generally own their land or homes on reservations, they cannot mortgage their assets for loans like other Americans. This makes it incredibly difficult to start a business in Indian Country. Even tribes with valuable natural resources remain locked in poverty. Their resources amount to “dead capital”—unable to generate growth for tribal communities. Nearly every aspect of economic development is controlled by federal agencies. All development projects on Indian land must be reviewed and authorized by the government, a process that is notoriously slow and burdensome. On Indian lands, companies must go through at least four federal agencies and 49 steps to acquire a permit for energy development. Off reservation, it takes only four steps. This bureaucracy prevents tribes from capitalizing on their resources. It’s not uncommon for years to pass before the necessary approvals are acquired to begin energy development on Indian lands—a process that takes only a few months on private lands. At any time, an agency may demand more information or shut down development. Simply completing a title search can cause delays. Indians have waited six years to receive title search reports that other Americans can get in just a few days. The result is that many investors avoid Indian lands altogether. When development does occur, federal agencies are involved in every detail, even collecting payments on behalf of tribes. The royalties are then distributed back to Indians—that is, if the government doesn’t lose the money in the process. Reservations have a complex legal framework that hinders economic growth. Thanks to the legacy of federal control, reservations have complicated legal and property systems that are detrimental to economic growth. Jurisdiction and land ownership can vary widely on reservations as a result of the government’s allotment policies of the nineteenth century. Navigating this complex system makes development and growth difficult on Indian lands.

Oh Marianne, I am now concerned you copied it by hand, word-for-word; I would not ask that, I was thinking in terms of a copy and paste...


Lol, Virginia, no, I copied the whole text and pasted it (the graphs go lost in this process); and then, I just added the link for the source.