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John Dolva

Health Care in the USofA

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What's happening. We get a distilled version of events here and by the sounds of it something rather remarkable has happened. What''s the real deal on this issue? (Q to US persons.)

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What's happening. We get a distilled version of events here and by the sounds of it something rather remarkable has happened. What''s the real deal on this issue? (Q to US persons.)

The government has imploded. The bill is probably unconstitutional and at least 30 states are ready to fight it. If they lose, I wonder if they will start ceceding. Minnesota, where I live, is one of them. That's all. :ice

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Wow, there's been talk here of rabid racist, homophobic statements flung around by Republican Representatives.

Keep us up to date on what we are likely to not hear, or hear in a distorted format as this unfolds, please.

Edited by John Dolva

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Wow, there's been talk here of rabid racist, homophobic statements flung around by Republican Representatives.

Keep us up to date on what we are likely to not hear, or hear in a distorted format as this unfolds, please.

The bill puts power into the hands of the feds, taking it from the states, in healthcare legislation. There does need to be reform, but this is a bad bill. I have emailed Gov. Palenty and my Congressman, Rep. Erik Paulson about this, and they get it. They know the feds need to go back to square one and start over, but President Obama pushed them to get this through. The worst issue of the bill, from the standpoint of the individual citizen, is that it forces everyone to purchase insurance, and if they don't they are fined. This is the opposite of what 'universal health care' ought to be.

The feds have power to legislate commerce, but most citizens do not live in more than one state, so the fed govt's right to order them to purchase anything is probably what will take the states attorney generals to court. As there are so many states ready to fight there is the possibility they will band together to make their position stronger. And since the Supremes are not in Obama's back pocket (he insulted them at his State of the Union message) there is the possibility the law might be declared unconstitutional.

I have never seen anything quite like this. I stood under Obama's elbow at the X in St. Paul when he went over the top in delegate count, and I got to meet him and Michelle briefly. Never did it cross my mind that I would be wondering one day whether we had elected a demogogue. I hope not.

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It sounds a bit similar to medibank in Australia which started out as a universal health care system but the right wingers have slowly eroded over time to where premiums are somewhat dependent on income and those who don't take out private health care are penalised by the health insurance companies. (It's more complex than that, and it's called medicare now). It prob contributed to the underhanded removal of the greatest PM Australia has had.

So, like civil rights, it's boiling down to a state rights issue?

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Health care a la CUBA

Granma International

April 13th, 2010

Science: the Key to Emergency Relief

LETICIA MARTÍNEZ

Photo: JUVENAL BALÁN

(special correspondents)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. — Christopher was under the treatment of Cuban doctors for over a month. His organism had been attacked by tetanus when he was received by Dr. Yoleinis Vázquez, thanks to the aid several countries sent to Haiti immediately after the earthquake. She began to take care of him in a room of the field hospital Mexicans had placed in the surrounding area of La Renaissance Hospital, where Cuban physicians also opened one of the first medical posts to see the wounded that arrived by the dozen.

to talk about science amid the emergency situation in haiti is not an illusion, as shown by the cuban doctors during the first scientific meeting of the henry reeve brigade.

One of Christopher’s legs had to be amputated, and tetanus entered through the stump. As a result of this, his body was in a complete state of stiffness, which prevented him from moving, speaking, eating... In such a situation, and abandoned on the street, he was found by Mexican nuns, who, after realizing they couldn’t save him, put him in the hands of Cuban doctors. It was then when he received adequate treatment. Efforts to hydrate him, to look for medicaments at all costs, and to heal him with the expensive anti-tetanus immunoglobulin that saved him from a certain death, followed. Christopher even received physical therapy to revive his muscles, stiffened up by tetanus.

During a scientific meeting of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, Dr. Yoleinis Vázquez told her colleagues about this life saved amid the tensions of a tragedy that changed the lives of millions of people in a few seconds, during the period of medical emergency in Haiti. I confess that as I listened to them talking about their intentions of carrying out scientific research works and about presenting them before a scientific committee, in the middle of the catastrophe this country is living, I though the whole thing sounded crazy, but once again doctors taught me a lesson. And that’s because time is never adverse to talk about science, to draw conclusions, to evaluate work, to prevent mistakes in time, to spread good practices... especially in a context where they have learned so much about their profession, even those who have been practicing it for years.

Many were the things I heard on Saturday in the voices of those who tirelessly healed and are still healing in this country. In a very responsible way, they talked about research methods I hadn’t heard about since my days at the university –qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, transversal, longitudinal ones... It seemed incredible that those who morning finds them healing, helping in canteens and doing all kinds of things here at the camp also had time to tackle the scientific nature of what they do in times of emergency. That day devoted to science, all of them had the opportunity of talking about what they had lived through and also about what they had suffered here.

That’s why at the field hospital at Leoganne participants paid attention when Nicaraguan doctor María Esther Betanco, with a poster in her hands and saying a few phrases in Creole, spoke about the treatment of malaria, a disease suffered here by over 500,000 people over the last 10 years. This graduate from Havana’s Latin American Medical School talked about resistance to chloroquine, a medicament used to fight malaria, the need of combining it with other drugs to increase the effectiveness of the treatment of this disease, which can be even more dangerous when the rainy season arrives and the mosquito that transmits it reigns in the crowded camps.

These camps that emerged in the middle of nowhere and at the risk of everything were also studied by the brigade members. With the certainty of having walked up and down all of them to the point of making tracks, two doctors, Mexican Néstor López and Bolivian Wilfredo Chaparro addressed participants. They had worked together to determine the characteristics of the Fontsa settlement, where they had gone on countless occasion to heal the over 800 Haitians sharing their sorrow there. That’s why the know, and also documented, that 2% of those living in Fontsa have pre-university studies; that 38% are illiterate; that they live crammed together in tents with dirt floors; that they have four bathrooms in poor condition; that they suffer from ailments like parasitism, scabies, diarrheic and respiratory diseases, vaginal infections... ; that "home" accidents are frequent, from the placing of stoves on the floor; that pregnant women suffer from anemia and that vector rates are way too high. All this, and many other characteristics studied by these youngsters will allow doctors in Leoganne to carry out a more effective work when they arrive at the camp with their knapsacks full of medicaments and many wishes to heal.

They have taken everything into account. Even the engineer from central Cienfuegos province, who has spent the last few months placing wires here and there to improve electricity services in the field hospital, stood up on Saturday before the scientific committee to talk about his study of loads and saving, which made it possible to prolong for 18 days the fuel allocated for Leoganne. "We adjusted, scheduled to stop the plant for several hours. At the beginning there were three or four hours. At present, we stop using it for up to 14 hours, without damaging the vitality of the center or hindering the lives of those of us who live together here. It’s only a matter of organizing ourselves and saving energy." That what Luis Chaviano, the Automatic Control engineer that plans to spread his study to the rest of the field hospitals, told this newspaper.

It’s a question of being more efficient in our help; of making good use of science even in the middle of emergencies; of doing what psychologist Joel Ortiz said: not to put knowledge on ice, but also at the service of this impoverished nation, and of those who will follow the footsteps of the doctors that today are also healing with their souls and with the help of science.

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