Thursday, November 30, 2006

Beautiful Women I Work With


A Social Worker, a Medical Clerk and Nurses Posted by Picasa

The Working Wonk

I confess I have a real interest in healthcare policy. It’s a professional problem, I’m trained as a physical therapist, I evaluate and treat function. This means I see people with disabilities newly acquired, chronic and progressive. So I have to understand resources and insurance and more importantly how the Feds, the State, and the private insurers keep patients from the drugs, equipment, services and income benefits they need.

See a patient is unlikely to be able to focus on strengthening their amputated limb, if they can’t get MediCal to pay for the prosthetic and if they will be homeless because the Feds feel that the loss of a limb is not enough get disability. Social Security is a mother, basically you’ve got to die these days to get disability or be white with legal representation. And MediCal under Arnie is getting just as ugly. You get sick and die slow of cancer and Arnold will take that house from your kids, to pay for that meatball salvage surgery, a broken hospital bed, and medication.

See, I work with the most rationed population on the planet, insurance don’t want em, the Feds dumped em, the State keeps thinking up new ways to drop em and the County, Dave Kears, still wants to close the county hospital to cut costs.

As activists fight for the Holy Grail, the Single Payer System, now, “California One Care”, the Terminator has decimated MediCal putting public hospitals at higher risk for closure and the public at higher risk for a preventable illness or death. The cheap bastard sends the MediCal payments to Highland Hospital late, causing huge cash flow problems; now, you know the muscle bound meat head sends the prison payments out on time. Us wonks have to find a way to make it a single fight.

Right now volunteer activists have to divide their time between causes, helping patients fight the bureaucratic MediCal system to get their meds and care and explaining the wisdom of a single payer system to their friends and neighbors. To be truly successful we must combine the struggle of the sick for service with the struggle of the wonks for a workable system. How about MediCal for all Californians it protects the public and the public hospitals and keeps Arnold from shooting our benefits out from under us.

Blogs for Healthcare Wonks

Health Access Weblog

The Health Care Policy Blog

Friday, November 24, 2006

Medicare Part "D" Update

OK, I can't keep up with the laundry; much less my insurance but as someone with senior parents, Medicare matters to me. I plan to follow this discussion, can democrats help us get the drugs we're all going to need? Or will drug companies squeeze every last penny out of us while we die?

Here's the article in the Wall Street Journal

Click here


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Reverend Jesse Jackson Saving the Medical Center

  Posted by Picasa

Reverend Jesse Jackson in front of Highland Hospital with patients and staff August 12, 2004


Thank you for the House. Thank you for the Senate and thank you for America for waking up and smelling the snark.

Corruption was a big theme nationally and locally. The Oakland Perata developer machine has been packaging developer subsidies in feel good school and library bonds. Oaklander’s have finally said no. Measure “N” (a developer funded library construction bond) got voted down. A neighborhood Nimby email list compared Perata’s quarry cronies to Halliburton. The Oak to Ninth development has catalyzed radicals like the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters, to fight the power and Oakland City Council, feeling the political heat has begun talking about resuscitating the ethics committee.

The Bay Area bond business is finally getting some scrutiny. Measure “A” (the fund the public hospital bond) is one of the only honest bonds. What money the Medical Center gets, gets spent on patient care. The only real credibility issue is having the County Supervisors suck millions out of the Medical Center in phoney “debt” payments. The County has taken a “blame and drain” approach to the Medical Center, steal the cash and then blame the hospital for any service failures or budget shortfalls. Measure “A” put a price on the Medical Center’s head. Every one of those overpaid under-worked county bureaucrats wants a piece of the bond money and they may get it yet.

Still tis the season to DT, OD and give thanks. Thank you friends and neighbors for Measure “A” and for giving us crutches, codeine, and the ability to care for one another for another year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jennifer Stone

 Posted by Picasa

Jenny Said

When I am called upon to participate in this great democracy of ours, I often consult with my Highschool English teacher, Jennifer Stone. When asked about America under George Bush, Jenny said, "It's government of the penis, for the penis, by the penis."

Barbara Selfridge’s Crib Sheet for November 7, 2006

Feel free to pass this along -- and pass your opinions back to me, since I’ll probably change at least one of these votes before the election.

Phil Angelides, gov. I like the Green’s Peter Camejo, but I need this Democrat who fights to raise taxes on the rich and fund human needs.

John Garamendi, lt. gov. The Bay Guardian thinks conservative Republican McClintock has a shot, but then again, they’re supporting all the Dems.

Debra Bowen, secy of state. A close race and an important vote for the Dem fighter for fair elections.

Laura Wells, controller? Wells is one of the Greens who helped put Instant Run-Off Voting on the Oakland ballot, but John Chiang, Dem, needs votes to win.

Mehul Thakker, treasurer. Why vote for pro-Swartzenegger Lockyear if his Republican opponent’s a can’t win unknown? The Green’s a social investor.

Jack Harrison, atty gen. Peace & Freedom because I don’t trust Jerry Brown (tho my man in Sacto says the Republicans think they can win this race).

Tom Condit, insurance commish. Smart Peace and Freedom insurance expert.

Betty Yee, state bd of equalization. A hard-working incumbent.

Marsha Feinland, senator. Feinstein’s way too pro-war/anti-rights. Vote P&F.

Barbara Lee, congressperson. The best.

Edward Ytuarte, state senator. I’m glad Sandre Swanson got the Dems nod, but Peace & Freedom Ytuarte has a rep as an effective disability advocate.

Note, the Bay Guardian and others say it’s a mistake to target judges unless they are malcreants, discriminate or otherwise use the system illegally. The Greens say judicial selection should be reformed and non-endorse Carol Corrigan. I still target judges myself. (Quote’s from lawyer friends.)

Joyce Kennard--Yes. A conservative who has since moved left, now one of the more liberal of the 7 Supremes.

Carol A Corrigan--Yes? The Greens say not another Republican-appointed former DA, but I heard she was smart and funny with tremendous integrity.

James J Marchiano--Yes. Great.

Sandra L Margules--Yes. A Gray Davis appointee.

Paul R. Haerle--No. A Wilson appointee, former chair of the CA Republican Party.

James A Richman--Yes. Appointed by Wilson, works with Loaves & Fishes (Catholic charity for the homeless) and Downs Syndrome Connection.

William R McGuiness--No. A Wilson appointee with only DA experience.

Peter Siggins--Yes? Schwarzenegger’s former Legal Affairs Secretary and Assistant Atty Gen under Lockyear.

Ignazio John Ruvolo--No? A Republican.

Patricia K Sepulveda--Yes. Tho conservative.

Maria P. Rivera--Yes. A Gray Davis appointee.

Barbara Jones--Yes. Great.

Superior Court Judge, Office #21: Denis Hayashi. The public interest lawyer who worked on and won so many civil rights cases. (Note: it’s okay to vote FOR a judge in a contested race!)Alona Clifton, Peralta bd. The Greens like Abel Guillen, but the incumbent’s an African-American woman who’s doing a good job.

Courtney Ruby, Oakland auditor. Because the incumbent’s hard to work with.

Rebecca Kaplan, AC Transit bd. A great smart Green.

Andy Katz, EBMUD, ward 4. An environmentalist running unopposed?

State Propositions
1A--Highways Uber Alles. NO. The road construction industry wants to stop sales taxes--the only tax regressive enough to sometimes appeal to Republicans--from ever funding human needs.

1B--$19.9 Billion for Highways. NO. Costly short-sighted fix for a post-oil future.

1C--$2.9 Billion for Low Income Housing. Yes. Cuts in housing funds = more homelessness.

1D--$10.4 Billion for School Facilities. Yes? IMPACT says no, that local bonds meeting locally assessed needs would work better (repeal Prop 13!).

1E--$4.1 Billion for Disaster Prep. No? Why pay Brownies to do heckuva jobs when Prop 84 does it better?

83--Lifetime Ankle Bracelets for Misdemeanor Sex. NO. The felony part of this package already passed, so this is just the non-violents--like 19-yr-olds who sleep with their 17-yr-old girlfriends--unhelped by lifetime punishments.

84--$5.4 Billion for Environmental Projects. YES. Goes a long way.

85--Torture Pregnant Teens from Dysfunctional Families. NO. So mean.

86--Make Tobacco Addicts Pay for Kid’s Health Care. Yes? I favor methadone/ tobacco clinics, but anything that hurts tobacco companies saves lives.

87--Make Big Oil Pay Back $4 Billion to Subsidize Alternative Energy. YES. See 1A and 1B if you think the oil industry has never received gov’t hand-outs.

88--A Chicken-Shit Regressive Property Tax. NO. To raise money for schools, repeal Prop 13 and/or tax by value, not the same $50 for a home or a power plant or a 500-unit apartment bldg.

89--Make Corporations Fund Elections, Not Buy Them. YES. Go democracy!

90--Compensate Corporate Criminals for Lost Profits If Caught. NEVER. Disguised as don’t take my home, but if this had been law 100 years ago, taxpayers would still be paying off mill-owners hurt by child labor laws.?? on M, the Stockbrokers’ Dream. Oakland’s closed-club pension fund wants to stop being conservatively invested.

No on N, the Developers’ Dream Dressed as Library Upgrades. Shouldn’t there be a city-wide discussion about what we want to do with the Kaiser Convention Center’s lakefront property and/or the also desirable site of the current main library? Or should we just accept whichever developer proposal comes first? Should we pay them $100 M to build a bottom floor library and then let them collect $$$ on high-rent units on all other floors?

YES on O, Instant Run-off Voting. More than ending costly run-off elections, this will end voting out of fear: Greens could vie with Dems without the bugaboo of a Republican victory. A good precursor for representational democracy.