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May-27-2009 06:59printcomments

Op Ed: Healthcare Professionals Demand Remedy For 'Broken System'
Doctors, Surgeons, Specialists & Nurses Agree

Reversing their long publicly-perceived record for century-long stubborn resistance, American healthcare professionals NOW, in overwhelming numbers, clearly demand --and are working to achieve-- a new pattern of providing health care to every person in this nation.

California Nurses Association
The California Nurses Association is an example of the numerous healthcare provider groups behind reforming the current system in the U.S. that leaves millions without coverage. Courtesy: calnurses.org

(EUGENE, Ore.) - National organizations representing every part and facet of the entire professional spectrum serving our nation have made that demand crystal-clear --NOW.

They are NOW strongly working to bring about widespread change to guarantee every American can -- and WILL NOW-- receive high quality healthcare.

Every statement, by every group, considers this system as “broken, costly, ineffective”: i.e., threatening our remaining democracy by fully unsustainable costs, and by desperately increasing inequalities based on employment and income.

In a clear statement by Oregon-based specialist physicians published in a leading Oregon newspaper, we learn that every leading professional healthcare group is now on public record seeking “rapid change”. (See Reader’s Note for full documentation.)

Similar reports are being published nationwide by healthcare professionals, speaking from their ongoing experiences to offset and rebut heavy flow of distorted information from strongly-active billionaire-funded “noise machine” sources, we are informed.

From some groups, the private-profit/shaped setup broadly NOW blamed for the desperate, despairing plight of some FIFTY MILLION of our fellow citizens is facing strong professional demand for “radical change”.

Others seek IMMEDIATE “sensitive and sensible” actions to remedy and broaden the whole range of essential services for all; while remediating the deeply damaging impacts of healthcare costs; NOW widely perceived as “out of control”, “clearly unsustainable” and “demanding immediate action.” Many healthcare professionals in all groups report struggling with costs for their own employees!

BUT ALL are determined --and becoming strongly vocal and demonstrative-- about the brute facts now forcing brutal reshaping of American lifestyle for our deprived FIFTY MILLION fellow citizens.

There is near-unanimous support for the principle that healthcare s a human right and should be fully accessible at reasonable cost for every citizen. Nine in ten physicians agree that all Americans should receive needed medical care regardless of ability to pay.

Highly respected public tv pundit Bill Moyers just reported in his widely-viewed investigative program: “So why bother with the charm offensive on Pennsylvania Avenue?" Could it be, as some critics suggest, a Trojan horse, getting the health industry a place at the table so they can leap up at the right moment and again knife to death any real reform? Wheelers and dealers from the health sector aren’t waiting for that moment.

According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, they’ve spent more than $134 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2009 alone. And some already are shelling out big bucks for a publicity blitz and ads attacking any health care reform that threatens to reduce the profits from sickness and disease.

One very striking surprise is that many healthcare professionals, long exposed to managed care by way of private insurance coverage. now believe strongly that the private-profit system is “overbearing, impersonal, and laden with administrative burden” mirroring fears of government control “without the redeeming benefit of universal coverage. Something has to change and soon.”

124,000 American College of Physicians members, internists and internal medicine specialists, have come out unequivocally for single-payer national health insurance.

“Every other national primary care organization likewise now favors universal healthcare coverage”, our reporting Oregon physicians state.

Many doctors and specialists are already NOW supplying their professional services and, often, essential medicines and other supplies as their own personal contributions to the inescapable current catastrophic situation. They report that despite deep satisfaction by so doing, it is clearly “unsustainable” --and has become one more solid reason for rapid Congressional action.

More than four/fifths of physicians agree NOW our system needs fundamental changes or should be rebuilt completely. 94,000 family doctors, members of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in 2001 (!), proposed “A national health system with a basic set of benefits offered to all individuals.” The American Academy of Pediatrics, 60,000-strong nationwide, states that “quality health insurance should be a right, regardless of income...ultimately for all individuals.”

52.000 in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued a detailed plan for healthcare reform, concluding that “...our fragmented health care system impedes progress toward the quality and safety goals on which we all agree. Everyone’s health security is at risk.” It is strikingly clear that, as the Oregon doctors report, “the momentum is clearly towards radical reform and universal coverage.”

A particularly strong standard operating principle for long-proven American success in every complex field has always been: “ASK and LEARN from those who MUST DO and have found out HOW.” What better national resource should we now consult to guide our own momentum for bringing about the absolutely essential action by Congress and our national leaders at every level?

The final statement by our insightful Oregon physicians is: “ America’s health care system is sick and in immediate need of intensive care. No less urgently than everyone else, America’s physicians are calling for an ambulance.” You pays your nickel here by time and attention to share and learn.

The other side of that same coin --driven by some cogitation on YOUR part-- is what action YOU take, or DO NOT Take, on every issue we explore. What YOU NOW DO is strictly up to YOU. Let YOUR voice be heard.

===================================================

Reader’s Note: “Doctors, Too, Are Ready for Change” was published in Commentary, REGISTER-GUARD, Eugene, Oregon, on SUnday May 24, 2oo9. It was written by Dr. Todd Huffman, pediatrist, and Dr. Richard Barnhart, hospitalist. The entire content is available at www.registergurd.com; the link to Physicians for a National Health Progam is www.pnhp.org. More than 20 other Internet sites were explored for this “informed” (!) Op Ed;another 30 books, reference sources, magazines, journals and writer’s files were also consulted. Quotes are summarized, shortened, combined and some verbatim. All sources available on request with full ID and telephone number to Editor Tim.

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At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bango, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for tenyears.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.




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Henry Ruark June 2, 2009 12:38 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Commenteer responding to mine re Dr.Stiglitz horrendous declarations in HARPERS states famed Dr.Stiglitz reversed his career-long stance recently to declare his doubts re only just-begun stimulus plan by President O. He was cited as declaring the President's stimulus plan as "unsustainable" and "in process of failure", in recent appearance at Wharton, one of world's best fiscal/financial training institutions. Direct check with the best possible source (guess !) now informs us "HE HAS NOT SPOKEN AT WHARTON FOR SOME YEARS." Thus comment was one more intentional perversion of a possible situation, simply for political-pandering purposes. So much for further proof of GOPster noise machine at work. Comment is OBVIOUSLY VERY contemptuous of both S-N staff and readers, assuming we do not know Dr. Stiglitz work and his continuing constant solid economic-issue statements and many strong, diverse worldwide publications. That's why I report here and now, for the record re the continuing perpetrations of the noise machine via eager volunteers or paid shills.


Henry Ruark May 31, 2009 9:49 am (Pacific time)

To all: Corp. profits UP SIXTY-EIGHT percent, from $980 BILLION TO $1,642 BILLION, during Bush eight years. Cited it at 87% from memory in previous comment. Family healthcare costs in same eight years UP 87 PERCENT from $$6,772 to $$12,680. See TEN TRILLION HANGOVER, by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel winner economist, in HARPERS, Jan. '09. (Sorry for small error; made sure to check source as journalistic ethical habit.)


Henry Ruark May 31, 2009 8:48 am (Pacific time)

Jarvis: You wrote: "...privately orientated but with some minimal government oversight, very minimum. Read Merton's Red Tape Scenario. It is dated but it applies to boondoggles past and present." Re healthcare, what the h. do you THINK we've HAD, all these deprived years ? Aurely with "very minimal govt. oversight", too ?? Am aware, since did one of very first nationally-shared programs titled "Rising Healthcare Costs: CRUCIAL PUBLIC ISSUE",utilized at community level by thousands of American hospitals --in early Seventies !! NOW with FIFTY MILLION (and still growing !!) unable to provide further depredation for those deplorable "miracle of the markets" failed solutions for the nation ? !! "Orientated" means "adjusted" and rates/costs/profits surely fit that definition,up 85% for healthcare programs in recent past, with U.S. corp. profits showing same rise, and corp. share of taxes in most states slashed over past few years. (Space does not permit full data, available on ID with a working phone to Tim.) Re Merton "Scenario", last time I checked it read as a play on probability, built to sell as such, rather than any semblance of reality, even as you cite it. Some few writers make many dollars building precisely that kind of output; surely you must remember such from childhood/book days ??!! Tried one myself, but did NOT have that fantastic-stuff touch on which all-such must obviously be based...


Henry Ruark May 30, 2009 4:16 pm (Pacific time)

O/Conservative: Yr mild tone appreciated, sir, and we should surely look very hard at ALL healthcare plans, including GOPster ones, too. Might find same contrasts as in that now-busted Gopster budget proposal, on which I would delight to dialog with you. Meanwhile your link turns up group descended (I use the word in several senses @) from strong ad-agency affiliation from the start, on their own statement. THAT should immediately tell us all what to expect, and for me what they list there is very revealing. "Market-friendly" now, sir, translates for any thinking person into profit-driven and highly impure perversion of proper operations for the commonweal, always the goal and sometimes the pattern of sensibly-planned government operations. That is really heart of matter here, and after full exposure to heavy dependence on "market-friendly" since the early Reagan-days, we all know all too well what that means. For any with doubts, simply ask your W/St. counselor, if you can bring yourself to put aside that latest accounting for your retirement holdings.


Jarvis May 30, 2009 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

If the current congress were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years they'd have a shortage of sand. This will also apply to a nationalized health care program. Already there is talk of a "value added tax" of 10% on everything that is sold. In Europe where they have this "VAT", prices innitially jumped around 25% and there was a surge in government spending. They still increase the "VAT" wherever it exists, the governments still increase spending and in the different health care programs they continue to reduce services. We will not have enough health care workers to address the new patient load for many years, and it's unlikely we ever will. So to accomadate about 1/6 of the population the other 5/6's will suffer. We need to look for another way to bring health care that is privately orientated but with some minimal government oversight, very minimum. Read Merton's Red Tape Scenario. It is dated but it applies to boondoggles past and present.


Oregon Conservative May 30, 2009 11:54 am (Pacific time)

Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), announced their “Patients’ Choice Act of 2009” (PCA). The bill is an attempt to “achieve universal access to quality, affordable health care without bankrupting our children with trillions more in debt or imposing draconian tax hikes on all Americans,” according to the Republican quartet. With the PCA, Coburn, Ryan, et al. are pursuing the same goals that Democrats like Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and President Barack Obama (D-IL) claim to want: lower health care costs, greater access for patients, and “universal” health coverage. However, the Republican alternative lays out a different (and far more market-friendly) route to getting there... (Excerpt) Read more at pajamasmedia.com ...


Henry Ruark May 29, 2009 3:42 pm (Pacific time)

I promised to make campaign contribution for healthcare action and eMac disclosed access to 50-state map showing billions lost in worker productivity via missing healthcare: Here's link: www:americanprogress.org


Henry Ruark May 29, 2009 1:50 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "see with own eyes" link to show you via map in each state what missing health care now costs in lost worker productivity: The Cost of Doing Nothing on Health Care Lost Productivity Costs States $124 billion to $248 billion By Peter Harbage, Ben Furnas | May 29, 2009 "It may seem like now is the wrong time for the United States to fix our broken health system. It’s true that we are still dealing with the recent financial crisis and the continuing economic downturn. But health reform is actually exactly what we need to help get the American economy back on its feet. "Our analysis shows that the broken health care system will cost us between $124 billion and $248 billion in lost productivity this year alone due to the almost 52 million uninsured Americans who live shorter lives and have poorer health. In fact an analysis by the Institute of Medicine found that, “the estimated benefits across society in healthy years of life gained by providing health insurance coverage are likely greater than the additional social costs of providing coverage to those who now lack it.” ----------------- This link shows map to tap for billions-lost in every state. Link-to-come due to anomaly in eMac preventing copy.


Henry Ruark May 29, 2009 7:51 am (Pacific time)

Rus: You wrote: "...according to an article by Stephen Hayes in "The Weekly Standard," That magazine is self-ID'd as libertarian, owned by press guru Murdoch, Australian noted for using units to advance his own political preference, is edited by Kristol, perpetrator of Project for New American Century signed by Cheney and cabal, used by Bush as plan and pattern for preemptive attack on Iraq. No problem with libertarian cause; simply need to ID your source as far from nonpartisan and known for its inherent self-stated bias. IF Kristol had evidence of Moyer criminal act you stated, it would be huge political strike for him to get the prosecutor to indict Moyers. WHY, do you suppose, he has NOT so acted as duty for any responsible citizen ? Could it be that Moyers is acting well within copyright law, enacted by Congress, and used by millions of others for same first/right/only control of creative work worth much moola ? What other sources did YOU check ? Mine for Op Ed stating respect for Moyers are shown, with each contact expressing admiration and praising his work on public tv --which is obviously your target here. IF you have personal proof of your charge, why not call prosecutor and offer it ? IF you dependent on Murdoch, Kristol, articl author, did you contact them to seek if they had done so ? Any truth-seeking reporter would have done that rapidly, as we did here with you. To allow unsubstantiated and probably unfounded smear vs public figures like Moyers is wellknown "noise machine" act and all too evident in D.C., as major cause for collapse there of mutual duty to work together for the commonweal. We seek to use open, honest, democratic S-N channel to make some inroad vs that combative, damaging, dangerous decline in documented public dialog.


Henry Ruark May 28, 2009 2:55 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here's WHY your voice needs NOW to be heard re healthcare choices rapidly becoming truly "unavoidable" due to truly "unsustainable costs" in a broken private-profit system: www.commondreams.org New Report Casts Exclusion of Single Payer Option as a Question of Democracy and Human Rights NEW YORK - May 28 - At a critical moment for health care reform in the United States, The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative has published an in-depth assessment of single payer proposals [4], finding that a single payer system goes further towards meeting key human rights principles than market-based plans. The question of whether national leaders will consider a single payer system as an option for health care reform has become a question of basic democracy. Despite most Americans supporting a single payer solution, the Obama Administration and congressional leaders have denied it consideration. Key stakeholders such as health care professionals, patients and single payer advocates have been excluded from hearings regarding health reform, prompting courageous civil disobedience actions by health care advocates." ----------------- "Make me do it" was FDR's famous motivational remark to solid supporters as he needed their nudge. IF you want full probing and provocative dialog in the wasted/wasting Congress, now's the time to speak up. We will continue this series to analyze, report, as further detail (AND documentation !) become available, on every pattern and funding protocol. BUT without YOUR voices-NOW loud and clear and continuing, we may never get that kind of absolutely essential action we NOW know we MUST have. CHOICE is YOURS: " To do nothing is to decide"...and YOU KNOW what we may well get: moreofthesame, bought by that $134 BILLION already surely bagged and pleasingly delivered by youknowho....


Henry Clay Ruark May 28, 2009 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

To all: For anyone still wondering re healthcare as a primary human right,and role of government in providing it, here's wise Founder: "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government"-- Thomas Jefferson


Henry Ruark May 28, 2009 11:13 am (Pacific time)

To all: Re clear cogitation, Russ wrote:"They abhor a government take over, and these medical professionals are the ones we need to listen to for the correct appraisal, not those who frankly have no idea what's going on." His statement refers direct to Congressional MD's. He thus makes those in Congress the final judges involved, while denigrating judgment of those medical/healthcare working professionals actually out there on the front-line of what is being done. To whom should we turn for clear cogitation on complex issue like this? To the politicians in D.C.,surrounded literally 200-to-1 by well financed lobbyists ? OR do you prefer those cited in the Op Ed ? Useless to seek source from this one; will turn out to be WEEKLY STANDARD, Kristol's stuff well paid by Murdoch...


Henry Ruark May 28, 2009 11:03 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "see with own eyes" fact from recognized national source re healthcare costs for every family: www.americanprogressaction.org "The average family with health insurance shells out an extra $1,000 a year in premiums to pay for health care for the uninsured," a new report by Families USA finds. The group concludes that this "hidden tax" demonstrates the urgency of "extending coverage to all the 50 million Americans who are now uninsured." ---------------- Use link to see complete factual report(s) for full "evaluation with own mind" by YOUR own check (!) rather than clearly distorted report from perverted sources, cited for political pander --and often personal pique-- rather than share-and-learn.


Russ May 28, 2009 8:19 am (Pacific time)

Regarding Bill Moyers and his long record of documented unethical conduct (see Washington Post and Moyers teaming up with J Edgar Hoover to out homosexuals in LBJ's Administration that Moyers worked for) all one has to do is plug in his name in any search engine and educate yourself about this character. In terms of him profiting from our tax money:  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting that funds PBS and NPR has an annual budget of about 2.2 billion dollars. More than $300 million of that comes from the American taxpayer according to the CPB website. Moyers' production company, Public Affairs Television, gets paid by PBS but it is unclear how much since PBS will not say. In return for the compensation he does a weekly commentary program and some documentaries. But here's the rub, according to an article by Stephen Hayes in "The Weekly Standard," Moyers owns the documentaries and after they are broadcast on PBS, he sells the videocassettes keeping the proceeds. So in effect, you and I are partially funding Bill's TV projects which he is personally profiting from. Do you have a problem with that? I do. And there's more. Mr. Moyers receives $200,000 a year as the President of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation which has assets of close to $100 million dollars! Moyers gives $2 million of that to his son John to run a left-wing website called Tom Paine.com. Okay, fine, he's a good dad. But Moyers also gives grant money to PBS and National Public Radio. PBS in turn pays his production company. Uh-oh. Can you say conflict of interest? According to public records, the Florence and John Schumann Foundation donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to PBS and NPR in the '90's and up to the present.

 Editor: Why the attack on PBS Russ?   Didn't the organization take enough of a beating under the last Bush?  Isn't it important to have a voice of our nation airing in a public format?  Are you bothered by the fact that PBS isn't a right wing operative?  Do you think people should work for free?  Should they give up their license and copyright to things they own simply because they work for PBS?  For all reading this, your nation has been soaked and taken to the cleaner and we finally have a chance to get things like PBS back on track.  Don't worry about Moyer earning a few pennies a year from your taxes; worry about Haliburton and unethical politicians from Texas taking thousands of your dollars.  I am a producer working currently on a PBS documentary on PTSD; a problem generated by the last President, and that is vitally more important than your rant against this American Democratic organization known as Public Broadcasting.


Henry Ruark May 27, 2009 8:57 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Further def. for clarity: libel (as in "defamation") n. : a tort consisting of false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person. Preliminary statement re Moyers clearly indicates intention, in public report printed with no such intention by S-N, thus requiring rapid declaration as here/now, the standard journalistic response to obvious irresponsible act of this kind. We are nationally and internationally open to Google search-engine, making that abuse of channel a concern for which we must show remedial action in our own interests.


Henry Ruark May 27, 2009 7:59 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here's def. for all to see and understand: slander (as in "defame") v. : "To charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of some one." My ref. to Moyers in Op Ed is supported by multiple copy, statements, reviews, and words from authorities. To Russ: IF you write in public channels as you did re Moyers, you may be committing a tort open to suit, and even involving S-N, without our rapid warning to you, which is my purpose here. Do you have legal proof of your statement ? Do you have printed source, with link ? IF so, you have national news story, perhaps leading to actual indictment. OR is this irresponsible pandering to support your own obvious politically driven statement, flying in the face of documentation supplied for Op Ed ? To comment thus without proof is to abuse the First Amendment, while putting self and S-N at risk via perverting our open, honest, democratic channel. IF you have proof, source, or link, please share here. Otherwise we write you off as irresponsible victim of the ongoing noise machine myths mentioned in the Op Ed, with our public warning here as our S-N defense, as my personal counsel has suggested.


Daniel Johnson May 27, 2009 4:29 pm (Pacific time)

Russ: I'd like to understand your priorities. Government run health care has nothing to do with Marxism. You're like so many Americans who fear any kind of social activity and use fear-mongering words like socialism and Marxism with no idea what the terms really mean. There are lots of documented cases in the world where government managed health care works. But if you want to look at government activity, look at the wars in Afghanistand and Iraq (and Vietnam before that), proof I would suggest that governments cannot run a war. Let Halliburton et al run the wars. They would have a war for profit, but they would have to pay for it. That would free up trillions for Americans to have things like health care and a social safety net. Oops, did I say "social"?


Russ May 27, 2009 12:41 pm (Pacific time)

Calling Bill Moyers highly respected is for a select and very small audience/population, that's for sure. He has used tax dollars to tape his shows, then sell them for personal profit. He should be prosecuted. In terms of heath care, sure everyone would like to see Americans getting that (not illegals nor their extended family who stream in here clogging up our hospital emergency rooms, while needy Americans have to wait, often dieing during that wait), and the vast majority of MD's want to see our private health care system improved to accomodate those in need of health care. Government run care would be a horrible thing to happen and not one country in the world has had any success , not one! Currently there is a large group of members of congress who are MD's and are presenting proposals on how to positively impact our health care needs. They abhor a government take over, and these medical professionals are the ones we need to listen to for the correct appraisal, not those who frankly have no idea what's going on. Heres anidea, ask our elected officals in DC if they will drop their medical coverage and stand in line at those under-maned government health care facilities. There are people who are trying to totally bankrupt us by putting out nothing more than old marxist propaganda. They need to be dealt with in a final and permanent fashion as per the laws we have on the books.

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