Health | Opinion

James Giago Davies: Why the American health care system stinks

The Sioux San Hospital is an Indian Health Service facility in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo: Colorado National Guard Medical Detachment

Why American health care stinks
Those hilarious Soo San horror stories
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist

I’m still kicking despite the fact the Soo San almost killed me once, not out of an honest mistake, but because the emergency room doctor was dismissive, insulting, indifferent, and sent me home with Salmonella poisoning.

Days later she had to eat crow when the bloodwork came back, the bloodwork she balked at doing but we insisted, and tell my mom I had a condition I could die from, that I needed to check myself back in for immediate treatment.

My mom told her, “Go jump in a lake, Lady. I bring him back in you’ll just finish what the Salmonella started.”

Old Ethel Giago was reservation tough when she had to be.

Over the years I have pondered what medical school would give such a person a degree and reasoned she must have got it from a vet clinic. But that is rude and uncalled for, because I’ve now unfairly maligned vet clinics.

It would be highly arrogant of me to assume my case was special, that most of you don’t have a handful of Soo San horror stories that routinely top that one. I’m betting you do.

That’s why I don’t use the place anymore. Got private insurance, the age of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You hear great things about the ACA, and it doesn’t matter if they are true, because just like my opinion of the Indian Health Service (IHS) stems from how I see them treat the people I know, my opinion of the ACA stems from how I see them treat the people I know. Like my family.

We spend hundreds of dollars a month for health coverage, but still have to pay a $30 co-pay every time we go in. Now what in the world is that fee about? Our health care dropped co-pay once, and Regional Health took upon themselves to change their own co-pay.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Why American health care stinks

(Contact James Giago Davies at

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