Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hazleton illegal immigrant ordinance

U.S. District Judge James M. Munley has set a date of March 12 to start the trial on the legality of Senor Barletta's claim to fame. He is also allowing some of the plaintiffs to remain anonymous which is something I've never heard of before. Mayor Lou can always rewrite the ordinance again to try to keep the spotlight on his circus but I hope this date holds firm. Let's get it over with. Both sides are promissing appeals if they lose but I get the feeling that Hazleton will drop this nonsense if they lose the first round, citing financial considerations. There is only so much money you can get from invisible donors as the anonymous owners of The Times-Leader have pointed out.

5 comments:

Dr Tara said...

there's something odd with this Judge Munley: allowing the anonymity of the individuals that are part of the lawsuit (which isn't allowed by law- you'd think a judge would know that!), and setting such a late trial date (two months?!?!?! you delayed it enough already!)... there may be even more things that i and other Hazleton residents noticed but i can't think of them now. it seems reaaaaaaally shady that Munley keeps ruling with the ACLU, the PRDF, and all the other plaintiffs, but that's just me. I don't even know why the ACLU is involved. Hell, even the PRDF- Puerto Ricans are technically Americans...
But I'm not here to argue, just state my observations, thanks Gort!!

Anonymous said...

Mayor rewrite. This guy is clueless, even if you agree with him you have to be disappointed that he is so inept. Learn the law, write your legislation and go with it. What brilliantly began as his shinning moment is starting to justify the the citizens voice's questioning his depth of understanding the issues when he ran for Congress. It appears in the intervining years he hasn't taken the time to deepen his understanding nor how to write laws.

Tara said...

what i'm disappointed in is how people can post anonymously, especially when they just want to post defamatory things, such as "this guy is clueless". i don't agree, "anonymous".
there was a letter to the editor in the standard speaker today that attested to the sorry state of Hazleton's healthcare today. namely, the long wait time in the ER even though it's expanded.
it seems that the ER is the primary care provider for most non-English speaking residents (legal or not) in town (although i'm sure the physicians try to tell them the ER is for emergencies only) and the pharmacies see the prescriptions from those visits. it's crazy to wait five hours to be seen when you could have a broken limb or something...
recently, my sister had a severe asthma attack-she was literally unable to breathe- and my mother (an OR nurse at the hospital) and father rushed her to the ER. several people in the waiting area that obviously weren't in any immediate health crisis were "up in arms" when they saw my sister get taken back into a treatment area right away. she was very visibly in respiratory distress (she was blue, for Godsakes!!!), but one patient wanted to be seen before her for a finger burn from their job because they were there before her or something, but they didn't speak English very well and the receptionist and security guards couldn't understand them. if the urgent care center was still open, that patient wouldn't have been waiting. the state of affairs truly is sad...

**one possible good thing: a former ER physician and a PA and a nurse have opened up a sort-of urgent care clinic near a few senior citizen high-rises in town to i guess help take the burden off the ER, but i don't think they're affiliated with the hospital. it's a brand-new venture, so who knows how it'll go and if it'll last, but here's hoping! so far, the hours are fairly limited- not 24 hours like the ER but not too bad- and only one doctor and one PA and one nurse, but it may be enough until they see the demand they have.

Anonymous said...

I meant he is clueless about how to write legislation. I thought that was clear the way I wrote it, especially when I wrote, "What brilliantly began as his shinning moment". The constant re-writing shows how little thought went into this from the start. The initial draft was so poorly wrtitten that even Senator Santorum, who many beleive this was designed to help, took an arms legnth approach to supporting it. He went on 60 minutes and stated he would use a federal database to help enforce legislation, later turns out this federal database may not be all that the mayor stated. The Mayor is supposed to be a professional politician, yet time and time again flaws in this ordinance are being pointed out and often by reporters or talk show hosts. What started as proactive has become reactive and reactive and reactive. You may like his stance, I may like his stance, but that doesn't make his ability to implement and enforce likeable, logical, or acceptable. If he is using this to jump to higher office as a legislator isn't it a telling sign that he can't write legislation?

The problem with emergency rooms transcends the immigration debate. Over the last 30 plus years with aging grandparents, parent, aunts, uncles and on occassion for myself, I have spend countless hours in emergency rooms. I have been in ER's from here to Philly, where english speaking, non immigrants demonstrated the same seemingly illogical impatience, outrage and anger described in your post...

The ER has historically been a place where those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, regardless of immigration status, have sought primary medical care. This is not new nor is it news. The reason is twofold one a hospital can't turn someone away based on ability to pay and two many don't have a primary care medical doctor, usually because of reason one. *** (if gort is reading this I can see the wheels turning about national healthcare)***

What is sad is that because of their economic status they may, at times, be treated with less compassion. While that burned finger may not be life threatening, the time away from the job may be the difference between feeding or not feeding the family that week. When you earn a decent salary 20 dollars may not seem like much, if you are earning minimum wage 20 dollars may break you.


Another unfotunate problem is that some doctors when called after hours also tell patients to go to the ER. This happened to me about having stiches removed. I called my former doctor and told him I needed to come in and have stiches ( received in the er), removed. He told me that he was going to be out of town for a few days and to just go back to the er and they would remove them. I cut them out myslef and found a new doctor.

Triage is not a term or concept most non-health care professionals are familiar with, to those who have been waiting for hours their condition is a priority because it is their problem. Many ER's have addressed the long waits by instituting inititives that include a seperate triage and care for non life threatening conditions. This simple step has decreased wait times dramatically.

On a final note it has been my experience that the ER seems to bring out either the best or the worst in people. People are there for a myriad of reasons and from major to minor problems their problem, to them, is an emergency. Their immigration status, primary language or economic status doesn't change this one simple reality. Years ago someone had said to me that perception is reality. To those in the ER their problem is perceived to be a genuine emergency and that is their reality.

I choose to remain anonymous for, what I consider, valid reasons. If you have a problem with people posting anonymously take it up with gort, he has the option to not allow anonymous posts.

Doctor Rick said...

Dr. Tara, nice name. Your dead right on about "anonymous" losers, err, users.