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