Gates on worthy mission

I read with interest, the article, “Doctor: Medicaid takes away dignity” in the Mirror on Feb. 7.

Dr. Zane Gates, a local physician well known for his founding and support of two free medical clinics in the area, offered his opinion that Medicaid should not be expanded in Pennsylvania, but instead a system of free clinics should be enhanced.

His feeling is that use of this state-sponsored health care system “takes a lot of people’s dignity away.”

He supports his position by comparing the Medicaid system to the food-stamp system and described the apparent embarrassment he felt as a boy when having to use food stamps for purchases.

I would submit that whether it be Medicaid, food stamps or a free medical clinic, it is all essentially the same – others (taxpayers or philanthropists) are providing resources to those in need.

I would assert that the very embarrassment that Gates described in his anecdote played an important part in him becoming motivated to improve his and his family’s lot in life and placed him in a position where he could be of help to others – and I applaud both his accomplishments and his generous philanthropic efforts.

I believe that the example of character that Gates provides does more to elevate and to motivate the needy in our area to strive toward bigger and better things than any social services or charities ever could.

Dean Greg Marcaurelle