Serious about health care reform

Serious about health care reform


Hey, if we want to ease the suffering of millions of Americans, that means getting the best health care reform possible.

At, Nancy Scola reports how the White House has learned from the mistakes of the past:

As Johnson and Broder tell it, grassroots organizers at the
Democratic National Committee during the '90s health care battle felt
abandoned by President Clinton. Obama himself, meanwhile, got on
today's call while flying back from a fundraising trip to California,
adding some presidential weight to Organizing for America's call to
arms. "Pardon the interruption," came a voice as Stewart talked. "This
is the Air Force One operator. I have President Obama on the line." The
break seemed to stun everyone involved into silence. "Sir," said the
operator, "Can you hear me okay?" "Yes we can," said Stewart,
(seemingly unaware that he was reverting to campaign slogan).

The President got on the line. "We know what's at stake," he told
those on the call. "We know we need reforms. Health care costs are
crushing families, businesses, government budgets. Americans now spend
more on health care than on housing and food…This is our big chance
to prove that the movement that started during the campaign isn't over.
We're just getting started."

"We've got to get it done this year," Obama told supporters on the
call. "If we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it



Chris Shirey

Thoughts on the story of Little Boy’s Family refuses Medical Care.
I watched as our Country chased down a little boy and his mother to forced him to have chemotherapy to save his life. Natural instinct makes you rally to save the little boys life, but the part of the story not covered is what about his right to refuse treatment. I heard reports of how he had already had a round of chemotherapy and had said he would run away before he took more. This is not a case of someone not knowing what he is facing, this is a case of someone not wanting to submit to treatment.
This is clearly covered in the Patients’ Bill of Rights. A Patient or their representative have the right to an advance directive that refuses care. This right has been used by many groups of people to refuse certain types of medical treatment. A Jehovah Witness refuses blood, terminal patients often refuse medications, the average patient may chose to refuse advance life support, to name a few. This right was violated for us all when they took it away from this little boy and his parents. If the courts follow this judgment, you will be required to take any medical treatment the Doctor and the Government deems you should take. An illustration would be a vaccine against the next flu. You do not want to take it because it is untested and may not be safe and may cause serious side effects like Guillain-Barré. The Government wants you to take the vaccine so it can show it is fighting a pandemic flu. If the courts follow this judgment you no longer have the right to refuse this vaccine. You will be forced into accepting this even though you fear the side effects. This judgment says the Government knows what’s better for you than you do yourself.
Now, let’s take it a step further. President Obama says our Country needs National Healthcare. Anyone involved in healthcare knows this will lead to rationing. There simply isn’t enough doctors and services to treat us all, especially if it is free and the public utilities it every time they feel ill. This is exactly why insurance companies require copays. Wikipedia sums it up; “it is thought to prevent people from seeking medical care that may not be necessary (eg: an infection by the common cold)”. As National Healthcare begins to be over utilized, rationing becomes necessary and another right of the Patients’ Bill of Rights must be eliminated. The right to be informed of all treatment options. Let’s take a look at the future. Mr. Jones is diagnosed with cancer. It is in early stages and an operation would be his best chance of survival. Mr. Jones, well as many more have received early diagnosis of lung cancer which has improved their chance of survival, but the surgery centers are overloaded. His doctor knows his cancer will progress into the advance stage before he can get into one of the surgery centers. Mrs. Smith was able to get a less effective surgery known as VATS two months ago, but those centers are now overloaded as well. He is required by the Bill of Patients’ rights to discuss all of the options with Mr. Jones, but knows the two best are not really options. How long do you think it will take Mr. Jones to be on his phone to his congressman? I am not advocating letting a little boy die, I am just rebelling against taking away his right to choose his own healthcare. Our government now has legal precedents to break the Bill of Patients’ rights. It took years to get these rights and with one little boy, it is now almost worthless. We now have one less tool to fight our government dictating our health.
Yes, everyone should be able to receive healthcare. What is the solution? The solution will be found with a lot of education and can not be produced overnight. We need to actually be able to provide the services. If you want to fix healthcare, you need to realize the limitation, work on them and then we will have a healthcare system that will work for all.
(1999, April 12). The patients’ bill of rights in Medicare and Medicaid. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Web site:
“Participation in Treatment Decisions. The Interim Final rule for Medicare and the NPRM for Medicaid reflect existing and new policies that are consistent with this right, including information about treatment options and advance directives, physicians' financial disclosure and prohibition against "gag rules." Health plans will be required to provide patients with easily understood information and the opportunity to decide among all treatment options–including no treatment–consistent with the informed consent process. Managed care organizations and providers are required to discuss the use of advance directives, or "living wills" with patients and their families and to abide by the wishes as expressed in an advanced directive, except where state law permits a provider to conscientiously object. Physicians are required to disclose to Medicare and Medicaid any financial arrangements that create incentives for limiting care. Plans are prohibited from penalizing or otherwise restricting the ability of health care providers to communicate with and advise Medicare and Medicaid patients about medically-necessary treatment options.
Being a Full Partner in Health Care Decisions. Patients have the right to fully participate in all decisions related to their health care. Consumers who are unable to fully participate in treatment decisions have the right to be represented by parents, guardians, family members, or other conservators. Additionally, provider contracts should not contain any so-called "gag clauses" that restrict health professionals' ability to discuss and advise patients on medically necessary treatment options.”
2. Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases , (2003, December 10). Seasonal Flu and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from CDC Home Diseases and Conditions Web site:
“Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.”
3. Copayment. (2009, May 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:30, May 23, 2009, from
“Insurance companies use copayments to share health care costs to prevent moral hazard. Though the copay is often only a small portion of the actual cost of the medical service, it is thought to prevent people from seeking medical care that may not be necessary (eg: an infection by the common cold), which can result in substantial savings for insurance companies. The underlying philosophy is that with no copay, the perception is that medical care is "free" and then is used more often. However, a copay may also discourage people from seeking necessary medical care.”
4. Davis, Bets (2008, June 4). Lung surgery (thoracotomy) for lung cancer. Retrieved May 30, 2009, from WebMD Web site:
“Survival rates for the VATS method are about the same as those for an open thoracotomy for early-stage lung cancer. However, after 5 years, the VATS method survival rates are not as good as those for a thoracotomy. 3”


6/16/09 9 PM
A President addicted to nicotine talking about health reform seems somewhat of a contradiction. Also, with over two trillion being spent on supposed "health" care" as pesticides and herbides are allowed to be leached into the ground and waterways and food supply by the unregulated chemical industries is a sham and a shame. Genuine health carte involves far more than spending or decreasing expenditures of money. Regulation of the chemical and foods industries is as crucial to national and world health as regulation of the banking and insurance industries etc is to economic health. Just because industries bring in lots of revenue to government is no excuse for allowing them to ruin health and the envronment. They should be fined and the money acquired used to offset the costs for "health" care proposals.


6/16/09 Optimal health entails far more than having access to costly medications and professional medical services. Illness is not the result of not having access to chemicals or after the fact medical care. Genetic and environmental factors and choices determine health outcomes and all are impacted by prior decisions.
The trust so many give to a chemically aligned medical industry is dangerously misplaced and costly.
The increasing incidences of national obesity and diabetes are examples are rooted in dietary choices and food quality and not due to not taking ones medicine on time and in proper dosages.
More safe and less costly non medicinal ways of countering viral epidemics are already known and not awaiting manufacturing of vaccines of questionable viability; yet has the public again waiting for the next medical handout. Attempts have been made to aquaint the public with such less costly procedures but most ignore the attempts waiting futily for the next safe "miracle drug."

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The U.S. is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and others. The number of people in America without health insurance coverage at some time during 2006 totaled about 16% of the population, or 47 million people. Of these 47 million uninsured people, nine million or roughly twenty percent, reside in households whose income totals greater than $75,000 In addition, many or most of those with insurance are not sufficiently insured, with high-deductible policies, policies that do have limits on what they will pay for or policies that cost a significant percentage of their income


Illness is not the result of not having access to chemicals or after the fact medical care. Genetic and environmental factors and choices determine health outcomes and all are impacted by prior decisions.

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