Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Benefit for Casa de Salud Family Medical Office Set for Nov. 8 at Scalo
From Casa de Salud:
Join us for a 5th year celebratory BRUNCH BENEFIT for Casa de Salud Family Medical Office on Sunday, November 8th, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Scalo Northern Italian Grill near Central and Carlisle in Albuquerque's Nob Hill. We extend our gratitude to Scalo for offering their restaurant and providing free food. Local artists will share good music and offer donated art pieces for a silent auction.
The suggested donation is $30. All donations will support our patient care fund. We are a 501(c)(3) certified nonprofit. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page.
We would love to see you there! Casa de Salud Family Medical Office is located in the heart of the South Valey of Albuquerque. We interweave traditional and conventional medicines to meet the physical and spiritual health needs of our patients in a welcoming, just, creative and inclusive environment. We are dedicated to providing fair-priced health care and will never turn anyone away for lack of funds. We promote a learning and leadership development environment for practitioners, staff and patients.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
HHS Sec. Sebelius Releases New Report on Rural America and Health Insurance Reform
Yesterday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina held a conference call to discuss a new report, More Choices, Better Coverage: Health Insurance Reform and Rural America. The report examines the health care status quo in rural communities and the importance of enacting health insurance reform. It's available online at www.HealthReform.gov.
“Americans who live in rural communities have a harder time finding the doctor they need and getting the care they deserve and their health suffers,” said Sebelius. “Americans in rural communities also face some of the nation’s highest rates of obesity and high blood pressure and they struggle to get affordable health care. Reform will improve access to high quality care in rural communities and help give all Americans the stable, secure care they need.”
“People in rural North Carolina and rural America are more likely to be uninsured and have more difficulty accessing health care,” Hagan said. “Rural areas in North Carolina have a 33 percent higher mortality rate from diabetes and a 60 percent higher mortality rate from heart disease. Health care reform will improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care for people across rural America.
"I have said all along that I support a backstop option for people without access to employer-sponsored health care. I applaud Leader Reid for including a sensible, compromise proposal that will help move our health care reform efforts forward – and will help create options for people in rural areas. I am committed to working with my colleagues on a final reform bill that will bring security and stability to American families and will not add one dime to our federal deficit, now or in the future.”
The report notes:
One in five uninsured Americans -- 8.5 million people -- lives in a rural area and uninsurance rates are higher for rural minority populations, the rural poor, and those with less than a high school education.
Rural Americans pay for nearly half of their health care costs out of their own pocket, and one out of every five farmers is in medical debt.
There were only 55 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents in rural areas in 2005, compared with 72 per 100,000 in urban areas. The rate decreases to 36 per 100,000 in isolated, small rural areas. As a result, nearly 50 million rural Americans lack access to a primary care provider because of shortages in their communities and 12 million seniors live in areas where they do not have adequate access to a primary care provider.
The report explains that health insurance reform will create a health insurance exchange program allowing families to shop for health insurance coverage that is right for them as well as provide tax credits for small businesses to continue offering coverage for their employees. Health care quality will improve through the development of national standards and the coverage of preventative screenings for chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer under health insurance plans. Reform will also provide scholarships, grants, and loan repayments to compel providers to practice in underserved areas so that all Americans can have access to health care.
To learn more about how health insurance reform will help Americans in rural communities and to read the complete report, visit www.HealthReform.gov.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Organizing for America: 1000+ Rally for Health Care Reform in Albuquerque
Click for larger view of slideshow.
Organizing for America's Health Insurance Reform Now: Let's Get it Done! cross-country bus tour to promote meaningful health insurance reform -- including a strong public option -- stopped in Albuquerque last night for a huge rally at the National Hispanic Cultural Center attended by an estimated one thousand people.
The crowd was so big it spilled out beyond the main rally space into adjacent areas. The excitement was palpable in the crowd and among the speakers because we are the closest we have ever been to achieving what Senator Ted Kennedy said was "the cause of my life."
NM State Senator Dede Feldman -- a legislator who has been dedicated to improving access to quality health care for all for many moons -- gave a rousing speech full of facts that dispel the negative spin being generated non-stop by the monied interests working so hard to defeat health care reform. You're strongly encouraged to read the text of her remarks and pass along the info to folks you know who need some facts about health insurance reform. Sen. Feldman was appointed by the White House to be a member of State Legislators for Health Reform. She knows her stuff.
Other speakers included the Executive Director of OFA, Mitch Stewart, Greg Bloom from Senator Jeff Bingaman's office, Dr. Elaine Bradshaw and Dr. Luella Toni Lewis, President of the Committee of Interns and Residents, Fonda Osborn, a registered nurse and Young Democrat Sisto Abeyta. Former Democratic Party of New Mexico Chair Brian Colon -- who's running for Lt. Governor -- as well as probable new DPNM Chair Javier Gonzales attended and greeted the crowd.
All of the speakers urged supporters of health care reform to reach out to friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members NOW to dispel the myths and downright lies being spread by right-wing media figures and shills for the insurance industry. Get informed and get going. It's now or never and we are now in a position to make a difference not only for Americans alive today, but for generations to come. You can find OFA health care reform events near you by typing in your zipcode here.
The New Mexico skies that provided a dramatic backdrop for the rally, going from sunny to dark and dumping pouring rain near the end of the rally -- with one of our famous Land of Enchantment double rainbows to add just the right punctuation. Or was it Teddy sending a little message that this time -- THIS TIME -- we're finally going to get it done for all Americans?
Click on images for larger versions. All photos by M.E. Broderick.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Breaking: AMA Endorses House Version of Health Care Reform Bill
Now this is some incredibly encouraging news, even if a trade-off may have been made to get the repeal of Medicare's so-called Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula included in the House bill, as some speculate. That's a relative small price to pay for such support.
The New Republic reports on the American Medical Association endorsement of H.R. 3200, the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” based on info from Health Care for America Now and the AMA letter (pdf) to House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel.
The House has introduced the same bill in the three committees that will deal with the legislation -- Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor -- which is an achievement on its own. Ezra Klein provides a useful analysis of what's in the House bill. I think it could be stronger on making the public option available to more people from the get go, but it makes a good start on what we need.
I believe the AMA endorsement is a breakthrough of epic proportions given the AMA's past record of fighting against real reform tooth and nail. Of course, many forces will be pushing and pulling on reform legislation as it makes its way through the three House Committees to the House Floor. And then there are the two committees on the Senate side and the Senate Floor. If those efforts are successful, the competing bills then will have to go to a House-Senate Conference Committee where differences will be ironed out. Health care reform still has a long and rocky road ahead, but the AMA's support at this point can be seen as a very positive development.
Yesterday, the New York Times endorsed the House plan in an editorial.