Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Riff-raff not wanted - mall won't get health clinic for low-income women, children
A declining 1.1 million square feet mall with empty spaces at bargain rents seemed like a good place for Metro Nashville to put in in a federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children health clinic. After all, it is in the area where 40% of all the city's WIC recipients live.
A community meeting of local residents thought otherwise and shot it down. It might cause a decline in property values and be seen as a 'stigma' was the reason given.
Antioch is the south Nashville neighborhood lovingly called 'Hispanioch' and LA (lower Antioch) by the locals who have been there a while. As in many cities, it's the area where immigrants have flocked, driving down property values in a cycle of decline.
The ruling folks have no problem with the health clinic somewhere else in the area. It just needs to be 'out of sight, out of mind.' A lady I know who works as a public clinic nurse in a city close by says approximately 70% of their 'clients' are illegals. They even have 5 full time translators. They stay busy.
I certainly don't want little babies and kids going hungry and sick. It's not their fault and as long as we have the system we do, those that come here via the sanctioned but illegal routes are going to use the system as it is handed to them. Some residents just think it's best not to have them coming into a mall for all to see. It might get people taking about 'what's going on.'
Of course there's always a double standard. A couple of years ago, Vanderbilt Hospital opened a clinic in a near ghost mall in another part of Nashville. It's a for profit health clinic aimed at those with insurance or plenty of cash and is being touted as a model for cities all over the country. Patients even get pagers so they can eat or shop while waiting for their turn. The clinic and mall are thriving.
The below is satire but it says a lot about health care in this country and those that are paid to control it.
Joe Lieberman's Health Care Memo Leaked to the Press
"The people who matter already have health care."