Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

Alaska is one of if not the wealthiest states in the country. How is it then that we are tip-toeing on the edge of a catastrophic nightmare?  The population, like the rest of America, is aging and doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients…

Couple this with an aging physician population, a decrease in the number of new primary care physicians, a low number of residency options in the state,  a lack of interest from a conservative majority state legislature and one’s view of our state of healthcare is as dismal as our recent cold snap.

Another problem is the existence of specific federal laws which tie the hands of many who want to provide healthcare to an increasingly desperate group aged 65 or greater. Medicare reimbursements to providers do not cover the costs of a patient’s visit and federal law prohibits patients to combine Medicare with any other existing private insurance plan.

There are providers who are willing. Many yet, who continue to provide care to long-time patients who turn 65 and beyond. Contrary to popular belief, many providers are spending time and thought on ways in which access to quality healthcare continues throughout life and is not based simply on a predetermined number.  

Thankfully, the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center still accepts new Medicare patients in Anchorage. The ANHC is a federally qualified community health center and therefore pays a higher Medicare reimbursement rate. 

The willing side is gaining momentum. With help from Rep. Les Gara and committed community leaders, ideas are being generated both in the short and long term needs of a state desperate for help.

For details on ideas brought forth by Rep. Gara and other community-minded leaders, visit:

http://www.adn.com/opinion/view/story/650500.html

AMA’s position:

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/01/12/edsa0112.htm

Business POV:

http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/recommend/archive/2008/medicare_reform.ncpa.html

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

America’s current state of healthcare is beyond the need of a bailout. Healthcare is a right and not a selective, top-down responsibility of government. As a 4 year volunteer at my local community health center I have been witness to an exponential influx of uninsured and working poor families who cannot afford skyrocketing healthcare costs.

 

In last Tuesday night’s debate, Senator John McCain mentioned community health centers as one solution to America’s healthcare issue and a $5,000 tax rebate for people who can find (afford) insurance. The problem with McCain’s ‘plan’ is that it does nothing to address the current state of healthcare in which insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their respective lobbyists wield unprecedented power. In Alaska, one insurance company has an over 80% market share and enjoys a relative monopoly for setting costs. As a result, healthcare costs in Alaska are the highest in the nation. As a double whammy, no physicians other than our clinic in Anchorage are taking on new Medicare patients. None.

 

The sad reality is that Alaska is bulging with oil tax revenue from record oil prices. In fact, Governor Palin and the state just gave every Alaskan a $1,200 Energy Rebate along with the yearly Permanent Fund Dividend of $2000.

 

Sarah Palin on Healthcare: ADN October, 9th, 2008:

 

…“Palin, however, ignored the council’s recommendation to extend state health insurance to more children and pregnant women in poor and middle class families. She spurned that idea even though the federal government pays more than half the cost. In Alaska, only children in families earning 175 percent of the federal poverty level, or less, are eligible. For a family of three, that’s a maximum of $38,500. Most states offer such insurance to families with earnings at 200 percent, or double the federal poverty level — $44,000 for the family of three.

 

If Palin had supported the move, legislators pushing to cover more Alaska children might have succeeded. But Palin was simply absent from that discussion in this year’s Legislature. Palin also did not take a stand on ambitious legislation that would have improved health care coverage — a bill to ensure that all residents have health insurance, without disrupting the coverage that many Alaskans already have. Supporters of the bill knew it wouldn’t pass, but they would have appreciated some support from Gov. Palin.”

 

http://www.adn.com/opinion/story/549081.html

 

In a time when Alaska is enjoying a record budget surplus, the satellite community health center located in the poorest neighborhood in Anchorage was forced to close due to a lack of funding. The now lone community health center which serves over 12,000 patients in Anchorage is overcrowded, underfunded and overworked. As a volunteer in the type 2 diabetes department (consisting of a staff of 2 including myself), we serve over 1,200 type 2 diabetics.

 

Health clinic for poor, uninsured to close Published: January 23rd, 2008

 

http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/291684.html

 

Many conservatives mention the term ‘socialized’ when mentioning Obama’s healthcare plan. McCain is a product of ‘socialized’ medicine. The son of a military admiral, McCain also served in the military enjoying government provided healthcare.

 

One of the main complaints some conservatives repeat ad nauseam is that government programs promote a hand-out society. In my opinion this backward mentality is one reason why we are in such a desperate state. George W. Bush’s tax cuts for corporations, insurance companies and the wealthy have reversed the progress and budget surplus enjoyed during Clinton’s presidency. John McCain’s tax plan not only mirrors Bush’s plan but further reduces taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The free market mentality of health insurance and medicine embraced by Bush and McCain have opened the doors for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to lobby and monopolize a ridiculously lucrative business which is bankrupting hardworking American families and small businesses.

 

The McCain Healthcare Plan: Designed to Fail

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/7/231021/923/1007/623449 

 

The patients of our community health center represent the failure of our society and of our leaders. The close to 50 million uninsured Americans are not looking for hand-outs. The millions of American children without health insurance and proper healthcare represent just how severe the situation is. There is no excuse for this blatant neglect. There is no reason to justify this abuse of America’s future. 

 

The patience and savings of Americans have dried up under a failed healthcare system. A John McCain/Sarah Palin leadership would further worsen the American healthcare crisis beyond the unimaginable mess of the Bush era. Couple this with the current global economic crisis and Americans cannot even tread water let alone afford the status quo.

 

‘Alaska Medicare patients rejected by doctors’ Oct. 21, 2008

http://www.adn.com/life/health/story/562445.html

Read Full Post »