This is what your beloved Health Insurance Companies would love to have in place for those they refuse to cover or cannot afford coverage.
Am I the only real life redneck who thinks that this shit is absurd?
Stan Brock says it all when he says, “This could be Guatemala. There is no difference.”
h/t Organizing Notes:
These “health care fairs” are popping up all over the country as currently almost 50 million Americans have no real health care. Is this the kind of reform the health insurance corporations suggest we have?
Last night at the cultural rally in Seoul one of the songs had a chorus line that went: “Say good-bye to the world you thought you lived in”……a fitting way to describe America’s race to the bottom of the barrel.
Isn’t it past time that we began to demand more and to fight for it?
We have become a colonized people in the US by the corporate powers but we still seem to suffer from the illusion that we are a democracy and that the people are in charge. The sooner we wake up from this misbegotten dream the better for us all.
And then California does THIS (h/t WorldProutAssembly):
A state board voted Thursday to begin terminating health insurance for more than 60,000 children Oct. 1 as a result of the budget amendments signed into law recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Those children would be up for an annual review of their coverage next month, but instead they may be dropped from the California Healthy Families program under the action by the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board. The board is scrambling to secure funding from other sources, including money set aside by voters for early childhood education, but so far it has come up short. If additional funds are not found, board officials said, the program could ultimately drop 669,296 children in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010. Currently, 921,000 people age 18 and younger are enrolled in Healthy Families.
By Patrick McGreevy and Evan Halper
Yes, cut healthcare for the neediest. I know I ain’t no California Dude, but this sure seems fucked up to me.
Heather, at C&L, has a clip of Real Time’s Real Reporter, Dana Gould, as he examines the difference between visiting the right-wing nutcases and the RAM gathering in California. Can you imagine the upside down rationale for the people WITH healthcare being all pissed off about Single payer (or any kind of change), when the people hurting the most are the most cordial and helpful?
But the Brutal Truth About America’s Healthcare is described by the founder of RAM, Stan Brock in this interview and article first published at The Independent/UK and also featured at CommonDreams. You keep hearing the Rush maniacs scream at TownHall events, but they are mum about this issue. Here is a snippet:
President Obama’s healthcare plans had been a central plank of his first-term program, but his reform package has taken a battering at the hands of Republican opponents in recent weeks. As the Democrats have failed to coalesce around a single, straightforward proposal, their rivals have seized on public hesitancy over “socialized medicine” and now the chance of far-reaching reform is in doubt.
Most damaging of all has been the tide of vociferous right-wing opponents whipping up skepticism at town hall meetings that were supposed to soothe doubts. In Pennsylvania this week, Senator Arlen Specter was greeted by a crowd of 1,000 at a venue designed to accommodate only 250, and of the 30 selected speakers at the event, almost all were hostile.
The packed bleachers in the LA Forum tell a different story. The mobile clinic has been organized by the remarkable Remote Area Medical. The charity usually focuses on the rural poor, although they worked in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Now they are moving into more urban venues, this week’s event in Los Angeles is believed to be the largest free healthcare operation in the country.
Doctors, dentists and therapists volunteer their time, and resources to the organization. To many US medical professionals, it offers a rare opportunity to plug into the public service ethos on which their trade was supposedly founded. “People come here who haven’t seen a doctor for years. And we’re able to say ‘Hey, you have this, you have this, you have this’,” said Dr Vincent Anthony, a kidney specialist volunteering five days of his team’s time. “It’s hard work, but incredibly rewarding. Healthcare needs reform, obviously. There are so many people falling through the cracks, who don’t get care. That’s why so many are here.”
Ironically, given this week’s transatlantic spat over the NHS, Remote Area Medical was founded by an Englishman: Stan Brock. The 72-year-old former public schoolboy, Taekwondo black belt, and one-time presenter of Wild Kingdom, one of America’s most popular animal TV shows, left the celebrity gravy train in 1985 to, as he puts it, “make people better”.
Today, Brock has no money, no income, and no bank account. He spends 365 days a year at the charity events, sleeping on a small rolled-up mat on the floor and living on a diet made up entirely of porridge and fresh fruit. In some quarters, he has been described, without too much exaggeration, as a living saint.
Though anxious not to interfere in the potent healthcare debate, Mr Brock said yesterday that he, and many other professionals, believes the NHS should provide a benchmark for the future of US healthcare.
“Back in 1944, the UK government knew there was a serious problem with lack of healthcare for 49.7 million British citizens, of which I was one, so they said ‘Hey Mr Nye Bevan, you’re the Minister for Health… go fix it’. And so came the NHS. Well, fast forward now 66 years, and we’ve got about the same number of people, about 49 million people, here in the US, who don’t have access to healthcare.”
“I’ve been very conservative in my outlook for the whole of my life. I’ve been described as being about 90,000 miles to the right of Attila the Hun. But I think one reaches the reality that something doesn’t work… In this country something has to be done. And as a proud member of the US community but a loyal British subject to the core, I would say that if Britain could fix it in 1944, surely we could fix it here in America.
Health spending as a share of GDP
Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)
Health spending per head
Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)
Nurses (per 1,000 people)
Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)
Source: WHO/OECD Health Data 2009