Wednesday, April 08, 2009


How many years now, have we heard the cries for healthcare reform? How many reports to we have to study to realize just how cost affective it would be to provide inexpensive preventative medicine to all Americans?

Is it any surprise that with the continued rising cost of medical insurance and the instability in the job market, we have a surge in the number of public forums on this subject?

Well, last Friday, a number of us went to the St Johns Church on Albany Avenue to attend such a forum. Hosted by the Hudson Valley Progressive Coalition.

The two panellists who spoke on the two coverage options were
Len Rodberg PhD from Physicians for National Healtcare: advocate for Universal Single Payer and Jessica Wisneski from Citizen Action of NY: advocate for Health Care for America Now. HCAN

It was a good turnout considering the short notice. I have to say getting people out on a Friday evening to talk about health care is impressive.

The Universal Single Payer concept has been out there a while but has had continued resistance by prior State and Federal administrations. What's new is the change in leadership in both, and that the President has offered his own version of comprehensive universal coverage.

Admit it, our current system is'nt affordable to most middle class families and with the exposed greed on the corporate level, being exposed on all ends, you can expect the public to start clammoring for a system overhaul in every department.

It's become common thought that if you create larger client pools, like county or state wide, you can achieve affordable - quality coverage for the entire population and share the burden equitably.

Obama's plan offers the American Public the option of keeping your current private plan oir joining in a national plan. The Single Payer advocates are uneasy about the ability of the two options to work together.

Both of these plans are expected to make coverage supplied by employers less of a burden financially and administratively. Resting on standardised claim forms, secure medical records and community purchase power to bring down the cost of medication.

U C Democratic Chairman Julian Schriebman challenged both panellists to define the differences in their efforts more clearly, while State Senate candidate Larry Delarose, who's daughter works as a nurse, pressed them for who was backing them on this promotional roadshow. The answers seemed to satisfy the audience (sort-of)

Phil Guirirri stated his position on the lack of comprehensive testing by physicians while reminding everyone of the dangers of pesticides in our households. He certainly is consistent.

When you consider the importance of rethinking our health care options and comprehend how much is at stake for the next generation's care, you understand why the question was asked..."Where is the Freeman coverage?" There was none. They didn't even bother to send anyone out to get pictures.

There are over 48 million Americans without any coverage and millions more with inadequate policies. Streamlining these bureaucratic procedures though a complete system overhaul would greatly reduce the overhead for most companies. Including the Daily Freeman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't there but here's my take on the issue.
First off there is a political push to have a single-payer plan that really was embodied by Hillary Clinton. Let's say for the sake of argument such a plan is passed this year and becomes law. Even in such a case, does this cure all that is ailing the health care system? In my opinion the answer to that is a resounding no--which I say based on a literal lifetime of experience on a personal health issue. The remaining issues I say all have to do with quality of care and adequate physician education and putting some measure of power in the hands of the patient than the system allows for now.
That is not to say the issue of affordability has no merit. But Kingston being what it is and politics being what it is, because I did not express total enthusiasm for the single payer plan at that time, that was a mark against me in running for alderman. That's right, the Working Families Folks sitting interviewing me at the union office Uptown decided to make this AND abortion AND other national issues seemingly more important than more grass roots things like speed limits, road repair, and so forth. I thought I had walked into a parallel universe with this stuff, with the only person in the room with seemingly any sense at all Mr. O'Connor from RUPCO. So some folks think about this stuff all the time and take it to extremes in my opinion.
Getting down to more local issues, we just had a merger between the two hospitals. Benedictine, long used to TELLING people what to do(much like many people who run Kingston), bowed to now cooperating in running health care in the city. However from what I hear the new CEO of the parent company, Health Alliance, seems to bow a great deal to the administration of Benedictine, who, for example, has fought mightily to stop the nurse's union from being formed--along with other things I do not agree with(I truly believe for good cause) but some of which I cannot discuss at this point due to careers being on the line-- which have impacted local health care.
As such, the more things "change" in Kingston, the more they stay the same. Sad to say there are very few thinking people who stop to question their own premises or comfort zones to improve much of anything in Kingston,and as exampled above, those who seem to have a different perspective on things in the end don't really act to do much of anything to make any real impact, sad to say also. And there is barely a glimmer of hope in the journalistic community, save for the editorial today in the Kingston Times, in which Dan Barton makes not only a bold opening statement rarely seen in Kingston in the past 50 years, but one in my opinion really defines the situation accurately.