Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Am Livid

Governor Perdue is offended, and I am livid. Yesterday, the PBS program "Now" shined a spotlight on the looming crisis for SCHIP, the federal program that under girds Georgia's PeachCare program and provides the working poor with access to affordable health insurance. (H/T to Trackboy1)

Enrollment in Georgia's PeachCare program has been frozen since March, waiting for the re- authorization of SCHIP. While Democrats in Congress want to continue or expand the SCHIP program, many GOP members, including some of our own, keep wringing their hands and saying the words "socialized medicine" over and over and over. And, the threat of a presidential veto looms.

What PBS did so well yesterday was to put a human face on the crisis, focusing on a single mother in McDonough and another Georgia family with a teen with Type I diabetes, over $900 a month in expenses and no way to pay for her medicine. The politicians in the piece, Gov. Perdue and Nathan Deal, played the game of pass the buck. Gov. Perdue, when asked what he would tell these families, initially replied that they needed to contact their congressman. When the interviewer suggested that would not get this teen the insulin she needs to sustain her life every day, Gov. Perdue actually said that he "took offense" at being asked to address the plight of a specific person. He takes "offense." And he won't be held responsible for that. When the health care debate happens around tables laden with $50 lunches bought by insurance company executives, the outcome is predictable. There, it is easy to ignore the real cost of failing to provide access, but we are talking about people's lives-children's' lives. The video is on the web, and well worth watching.

If aiding the children of the working poor by giving them a chance to buy health insurance at an affordable price is not the role of government, then I don't know what is. This debate over SCHIP is the tip of the iceberg. I believe that access to health care is quickly becoming the great civil rights issue of our time. What can be more basic to our civil liberties than the opportunity to survive and the the suggestion that income should not be the determining factor in whether or not someone has access that opportunity?

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6 comments:

Trackboy1 said...

But who will make a stand...
Is there a Dem (or Dem's) on the national and state level willing to fight all out for this?

If GA Dem's had a clue, and cajones, they would have every single GA Dem, the US rep's, state rep's, the state senator's, along with Thurmond and Thurb Baker, standing together under the Gold Dome saying this is who we are, and we are going to make sure PeachCare is funded properly, and that SCHIP gets the federal funding it needs. (And on the flip side, if anyone commits fraud with peachCare, they're going to jail).

This won't happen, but one can dream.

Trackboy1 said...

"$50 lunches"

More like $400 dinners for bigshot Repub state lawmakers.

http://www.peachpundit.com/2007/07/23/a-lavished-lawmaker/

Jerry Keen luvs his freebie meals, and his wife

259.44 for dinner and drinks for Keen and wife
-Either a whole lot of drinks or some damn pricey food

$166.80 for dinner
-Again, some pricey food, but over $150 for one man’s meal?

$378.78 for dinner and drinks for Keen and wife
-Gluttony. Period.

$231.75 for dinner for Keen and staffer
-A good steak can easily cost $100, right?

$136.65 for dinner
-For himself? What, no wife this time?

$51.73 for lunch
-How in the F does anyone spend $50 on lunch?

$129 for dinner
-Hey, cavier ain’t cheap.

$229.58 for dinner
-Time for a new belt…

Trackboy1 said...

http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/deal_nears_childrens_health_insurance?tx=3

http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/schip_are_you_good_government_or_bad_government?tx=3

Trackboy1 said...

http://www.gbpi.org/pubs/healthcare/20070915.pdf

Trackboy1 said...

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2007/09/20/fieldsed_0921.html
Sadie Fields is state chair of the Georgia Christian Alliance.

Pretty f-ing Christian of ya to hate on children, there Ms. Fields.

Need Healthcare and business said...

I as a small business owner have been on and off insurance. What kills me is that I call on hospitals for my business. Northside Hospital, which wants to cater to its baby producing mothers with a new multi-million dollar facility, won't give me as a woman owned business an order. So, how can I pay for my medical needs...I don't. Don't you think that an organization seeking woman customers should try to have a program to encourage woman and minorities to become suppliers so we can pay for medical services there. Northside is my closest hospital. Part of the problem is that they have negotiated with McKesson who probably gives them a discount. (I was told about discounts being negotiated by the army like man who runs Purchasing). So, they don't want to give my company a chance to sell at a comparable price.

This is outrageous. I think Northside and McKesson should look at the bigger picture. A wholisitc approach to their vendor selection. I have other hospitals as clients where McKesson is a supplier but it is far and few in between where I can get my orders from. I need help.

All women and those that care about small business revenues should protest against Northside and McKesson along with support healthcare for low income people. Thanks for your support.