The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Where Have We Gone Wrong" Stan Brock Remote Area Medical (RAM)

Perspectives on Healthcare, the lack there of, and far Right resistance to help for those with pain and suffering!

Dr. Joseph Smiddy

            C-47 /  DC-3 Cessna 206 Cargo Offload

CBS 60 Minutes July 2008.

The Remote Area Medical (RAM) volunteer corps (clinics) and its pilot' founder and principle driver, came into the light. Prior to the 60 Minutes broadcast my knowledge of the RAM was at the level of NIL. Of course, it should go without saying, but I will make the point the 2008 was well within my regular viewing of 60 Minutes. After the hire of David Rhodes, from Fox News, in 2011, 60 Minutes has become an entertainment relic of its past investigative greatness.  We will leave the hire of Rhodes for another screed.

60 Minutes July 2008
The 60 Minutes segment was an eye opener. A bit of irony for me; the RAM founder, Stan Brock, worked as an assistant to Marlin Perkins on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Brock's RAM originally provided medical services across the globe in remote areas across the globe. Brock and his volunteers now focus their relief work in remote and under-privileged (via lack of medial services) in the United States.

RAM services have expanded beyond remote areas to areas with high concentration of the uninsured and chronic poor (e.g., Los Angeles Neighborhoods, Las Vegas and East St. Louis, Illinois). RAM in the media: Linked.

People raise their hands for a showing of who’s come for dental
treatment at the Remote Area Medical clinic.
Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol, Tenn. May 4, 2013


The New York Times August 2009
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — They came for new teeth mostly, but also for blood pressure checks, mammograms, immunizations and acupuncture for pain. Neighboring South Los Angeles is a place where health care is scarce, and so when it was offered nearby, word got around.
When Remote Area Medical, the Tennessee-based organization running the event, decided to try its hand at large urban medical services, its principals thought Los Angeles would be a good place to start. But they were far from prepared for the outpouring of need. Set up for eight days of care, the group was already overwhelmed on the first day after allowing 1,500 people through the door, nearly 500 of whom had still not been served by day’s end and had to return in the wee hours Wednesday morning.

The enormous response to the free care was a stark corollary to the hundreds of Americans who have filled town-hall-style meetings throughout the country, angrily expressing their fear of the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the nation’s health care system.
End excerpts

Stan Brock appeared at a Congressional Hearing this past week.

Read more after the break below

RAM continues its work, as the Koch brothers funded efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act to the tune of $220 million (plus), Boehner enacted 55 votes to repeal the ACA ($81 million), conservatives and people indifferent to pain and suffering clamor about the ACA. RAM represents a reality in America. A reality of volunteer donors of money and services (Doctors, Nurses, Technicians, Dentist and Veterinary doctors).  

Americans without opportunity for medical care is as real as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Regardless of conservative non-support for Obama's healthcare initiative and despite the GOP former support for forms of universal healthcare, the ACA is making a difference.  A difference that reaches you and me. 

Americans Against the Tea Party
 First quarter reports from several for-profit hospital systems across the country show that the number of uninsured emergency room admissions are seeing sharp declines, particularly in states which chose to expand Medicaid. The CFO of Community Health Systems, Larry Cash, told investors in the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday that he expects the ACA to cut uninsured admissions by half, from 8% to 4% over the next three years.  He reported that the company has already seen some moderate reductions in such admissions, especially in the states which accepted the option of Medicaid expansion. 
“We believe we have recognized, although on a roughly calculated basis, at least $10 million from the ‘woodwork effect’ [a term coined to describe those who were already eligible for Medicaid but only found out when they attempted to sign up for a plan on the exchanges] and the Affordable Care Act for additional Medicaid business,” He told investors. 
Bill Carpenter, the CEO, said that at this point the effect of the law had been positive and expected and that he thought those positive effects will continue. 
“In the seven states where we operate that have expanded coverage, we saw increasing Medicaid and decreasing self-pay volumes. Increases in Medicaid membership and health insurance exchange participation contributed measurably to our results in the quarter. While we don’t expect additional states to expand coverage in 2014, we’re optimistic that more conversions will occur over time,” he said. 
Lifepoint, another hospital system, reported similar positive effects in its first-quarter earnings call last week and said the where Medicaid expansion had been embraced, the results were the most apparent.
HCA reported that it has seen a 29% drop in uninsured admissions in states which expanded Medicaid while their hospitals in states which declined to do so have seen a 5.9% increase in such admissions.
When people have opportunity for medical services, quite basically they do not show-up at emergency rooms for illness such as the commonly cold. Moreover, for those who care about the less fortunate and Americans deprived of medical services, we now know medical service options are spreading across America.  

Brock's RAM and the ACA are literally guardian angels in earthly manifestation. Now, let's see another side of US healthcare. As you review the following meme, think about all you have just read.  

Now, why would Libertarians, the Koch brothers, and conservative America find it within their paradigm, policy and practice to work wastefully and exhaustively against the ACA?

Take a look at The Libertarian Party web page healthcare issues: Linked.

The Libertarian Party


Libertarian Party 2012 Platform

Adopted in Convention, May 2012, Las Vegas, NV
We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.
The Koch brothers, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, (Edward Snowden) are all affiliated with the information posted from the 2012 Libertarian Party Platform. 
Why would any American strive to return the US healthcare system to its greedy, insensitive and denial oriented past?  
Why return the Bush (pharma) Donut Hole to our seniors?  
Why not force Insurance companies to use our premiums with rebate to the insured for non-use?  
Why should women pay more for medical coverage?  
Why would any group of people find fault in assistance to people who have worked beyond their usefulness to corporate America?  
How would could anyone find comfort in Libertarianism and the far-right GOP?
As I perpend the last sentence, I reflect back on all posted above. Stan Brock, RAM, the ACA, lack of remote medical care; I walk-away thinking of the horrors of Charles and David Koch, GOP politicians (to the person) and denial of any form of help for those who are less fortunate.

The Libertarian Party and its strategically successful Koch brother's Tea Party, and associated sycophant GOP politicians represent great wrongs in our society.

Ultimately, your GOP vote is a vote against the spirit of RAM, a vote against people depicted as recipient of RAM services, and a vote to return to a healthcare system that will deny you at a maximum limit and will deny services based in the many small print passages of your policy.

The TPI salutes RAM and the Patient Protections Affordable Care Act.

Additional Source:

Physicians Crossroads 

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