Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Medical Center Attacked by the Left

The Berkeley Daily Planet has printed two pieces on one Medical Center trustee. Man that’s cold when you can’t trust a trustee! She’s out trashing the Medical Center and Supervisor Keith Carson. She’s a doctor, but not a medical doctor so she didn’t have to take the Hippocratic oath, “first do no harm.”

See, that’s the job of a trustee advocate for the institution, particularly financially. It requires smarts, patience and well, discretion. Before Measure “A” bond monies the Medical Center couldn’t find people to serve on the Board. This predictable pre-fabricated scandal shows us the dark side of Measure “A”. See this trustee represents not an isolated incident but a growing trend, she like many “community leaders” works for an organization, which would like to get its hands on more Measure “A” monies.

Non-profits and private hospitals, which serve “niche” markets, could reap huge financial benefit from the closure of Medical Center services. So while these other healthcare providers continue to dump their unprofitable clients into the Medical Center, they have begun a cackling spiteful chorus of criticism. Hospital CEO’s show up at Board meetings and insist that the Medical Center accept their costly and difficult patients. Then they turn around and say, “what a dump they should be closed down.”

So with community based providers in economic competion with the Medical Center, why would Supervisor Carson appoint a trustee with a conflict of interest to the Board? That’s an easy one, Supervisor Carson believes that all healthcare providers in Alameda County want to cooperate to best serve the communities in need. Keith Carson’s commitment to accessible healthcare has kept the Medical Center open for years. He believes that partnerships and cooperation between community clinics, non-profits and the Medical Center can create a comprehensive and efficient healthcare system for all county residents. He believes in our better nature and he continues to believe in this trustee.

Supervisor Carson like most of the Medical Center staff did not anticipate the vicious attacks launched at the Medical Center since Measure “A”. Sheriff Plummer, other hospitals, a trustee and now the Berkeley Daily Planet have all attacked the Medical Center. That’s what’s wrong with liberals, we have a “progressive paper” an African American Community Leader and a “progressive reporter” all attacking a public hospital with the likely outcome being that, taxpayer monies go back to the county general fund and get spent on our prisons. Way to go team!

The Daily Dirt has published more than one viciously critical article about Supervisor Carson, to these attacks he and his staff have always responded, “That’s your job my friend, you are an advocate for the uninsured, keep it up.”

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Hedgehog Day!

“Mommy do you know what day it is?”
“Emma do you know what time it is? It’s still dark out.”
“ Mommy today is Hedgehog day!”
“The Hedgehog gets out of bed and looks for his shadow, then his mommy makes him breakfast.”

You know me, any excuse to talk about our fury friends. So what about our darling, Dave Kears, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Director? Well, he’s presiding over the Measure “A” Oversight Committee; mostly they’re supposed to fight about the 25% slush fund that Dave sucked off the top in exchange for not undermining the Measure. Apparently we got a greedy bunch of white guys. Over 20 members and only two women and one or two Latinos depending on how you choose to classify Charlie Ridgell from UHW. I don’t care what he says, he’s a Chilango-that’s a Mexico City, Mexican. So, basically Dave and some other white guys are in charge of Measure “A.”

The white guy factor explains how more than 3 million Measure “A” dollars went to Telecare for profit psychiatric services, they’re kind of the McDonalds of mental health. As an Oakland resident, I’m thrilled to be subsidizing them with my tax monies as well as putting up with their facilities and their under-medicated clients screaming on my corners and sleeping in my parks. Dave’s a real cash cow for Telecare and we foot the bill.

Apparently the committee members have their sights on the Medical Center monies as well. They have that sense of entitlement that privileged people have. So the oversight committee, like most committees under Dave will be a fight over cash, instead of a reasoned dialog about how to best serve the sick, but right now I don’t care. It’s been a long cold winter but I can finally smell the wet beginning of spring.