2007/08/15

24 Hours of Good News - Locally Universal Health Care

After only 6 weeks of operation, San Francisco's foray into the world of universal health care has already signed up all the participants it expected before the end of August. The 1000th member enrolled late last week, and with 30 to 40 people joining the program each day, the goal of covering the city's 82,000 eligible uninsured will be reached in just 18 to 24 months.

Though the program is not insurance and is does not extend outside the city limits, it provides basic preventative health care, urgent care, prescription drugs, and surgery to adults who do not qualify for Medicare or Medi-cal and who don' t have access to insurance. So...for the unemployed, underemployed, self-employed, and those excluded by insurers due to pre-existing conditions, the program is a boon. Only time will tell if this kind of health-care experimentation will pay off with wider adoption because, if it does catch on, it's sure to put the fear of God into the for-profit managed health-care industry, not to mention the GOP.

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2007/07/17

Health Care Myths - The Same Day Appointment

A day or two ago, I was surfing Zen Yenta's World when I came across a wholly foreign concept. Ms. Yenta mentioned that she hadn't been feeling well and went to the doctor. "Do you mean," I replied, wonder in my voice, "...on the same day? Is that even possible?"

Out here in the Sodom by the Sea, the same day appointment is like winning the lottery. In other words, it doesn't happen to real people. At my GP, nurses and administrators screen everyone who calls to determine whether or not your complaint is life threatening. If not, you get an appointment one to five days in the future which guarantees that either: 1) You'll be over it or 2) You're dead. Either way, they don't have to treat you. And the response if you happen to disagree with their 20 second diagnosis? "Well then go to the emergency room." Which is just another way of saying, "If you don't mind paying for it out of pocket, you can get all the health care you need."

Consequently, I've found that the only way to get timely access to care is to game the system. Go without an appointment and sit in your doctor's lobby until they see you. Coughing a lot, sneezing-- in short making a germ spreading ruckus--seems to speed things along.

How are things where you incubate?

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2007/05/21

BlognonyBITS - FOX News and The Devil's Ice Skates

And in the world of journalism...hell freezes over! From FOX News:
Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary, "Sicko," deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity.
I suspect that when I see it, I won't describe Sicko as 'uplifting', but is this really FAUX News, the outlet we all know and hate? Have the times changed this much?

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