Verde Valley Communities Join Together
for Healing and Hope
Published June 25, 2009
By Catherine J. Rourke
Like a greedy gremlin with a helpless victim in its insatiable grip, America’s current health care system doesn’t discriminate against anyone.
Rich or poor, young or old, male or female, black or white, Republican or Democrat, citizen or immigrant – no one is immune from the scathing bite of a system that reduces public health to a mere commodity instead of a principle-based practice of wellness. And, you and your life savings could be the next victim.
What we need is health care, not health insurance. Now, there is a ray of hope.
On Sat. June 27, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, community activists, health care professionals, businesses and concerned citizens will join together in response to President Obama’s call for a “National Health Care Day of Service” at the Old Marketplace, 1370 W. Hwy. 89A, in Sedona.
The purpose of the event is to provide, according to a press release, a “temporary solution” to today’s health care issues for Verde Valley residents and the general public by providing free medical services, health care information and stories, as well as videos and ideas for “changing health care for the better.”
A wide variety of health care tests and treatments will be available for those who either don’t have enough or are paying too much. That means most of us.
Health care providers who are generously donating their time and services include:
- Cardiac Care - glucose and blood pressure checks
- Choices Integrated Health Care - Bioanalysis indicating cellular health
- Dr. Charles H. Henry, DDS - oral cancer screenings
- Dr. Mary DeRose, an activator chiropractor, will be giving treatments
- Deborah Payne, nutritionist - zinc tests
- Linda Haggard, a physician’s assistant, will conduct medical screenings including BMI (Body Mass Index), along with Eric Haggard, a physical therapist, who will be giving mini-physical therapy treatments. As representatives of Sedona Integrative Medical Clinic, both are “there to help you free of charge.”
- Hospice of the Pines will distribute information
- Fitness and dance instructors will provide free lessons every hour in the stage and patio area
An information booth will be available with all kinds of takeaway information, health care stories, videos to watch and ideas on “how you can change health care for the better.”
The local Health Care Day of Service is sponsored by the Old Marketplace Investment Company, Szechuan Restaurant, Organizing for America, Choices Integrative Health Care, Dunst Studios, Cardiac Care, Red Rock Metalwork, and the Law Offices of Paul Tutnick. For more information call 928-284-2828 or 928-282-0776.
Learn more about Organizing for America at http://www.barackobama.com/index.php and United We Serve at http://www.unitedweservemil.org/.
Why should you attend even if you have health insurance? To learn about the 47 million in our community and across our nation who don’t and how you can make a difference. In fact, tomorrow you could be one of the 14,000 people who join those ranks each day by losing their coverage due to job losses or financial hardship.
Furthermore, even those citizens who do have health coverage often find that their plans limit their options and access to high quality, affordable care or alternative medicine.
With premiums and deductibles hitting all-time highs, many people are forced to relinquish their insurance in the current economy. In addition, medical bills now account for more than 75 percent of U.S. bankruptcies, primarily hitting educated, middle-aged women with advanced degrees.
According to the National Coalition on Health Care, America ranks as the “37th worst quality” for health care in the developed world. And individual Americans spend about 10 times as much out-of-pocket on health care as any other nation. For a detailed list of health care facts and stats, read our alarming report, “Blind, Crippled and Crazy.”
A recent New York Times poll indicates that 72 percent of Americans are in favor a public plan. According to Joel S. Hirschhorn in his report Delusional Health Care Reform, the combined profits of the nation's major health insurance companies increased by 170 percent from 2003 to 2007 alone.
Read the full report at www.nolanchart.com/article6567.html.
He writes: “William McGuire, the former head of United Health, several years ago, accumulated stock options worth an estimated $1.6 billion; CIGNA CEO Edward Hanway made more than $120 million in the last 5 years. CEO compensation for the top seven health insurance companies now averages $14.2 million.”
Meanwhile, he claims that “private health insurance companies spend an incredible 30 percent of each health care dollar on administration and billing. “Thirty cents of every dollar is not going to doctors, nurses, medicine, medical personnel; it is going to bureaucracy and administration plus exorbitant CEO compensation packages, advertising, lobbying, and campaign contributions.”
Hirschborn concludes: “The only rational explanation is that Americans have been successfully brainwashed by years of propaganda and disinformation from the health insurance industry. Unless we replace the awful, inefficient and profit-driven private health insurance industry with a government single-payer system, there is no real health care reform. The simple fact is that a huge amount of money can be saved by shifting from private to government health insurance, $4 trillion over 10 years, more than enough to pay for universal health care coverage for absolutely all Americans.”
Keeping what works, mending what’s broken
The Sedona Observer will continue to focus on investigative reporting about health care issues for its local and national audience of 40,000 subscribers.
Launched in 2007 to uphold the First Amendment, nonprofit public service journalism and investigative reporting for the express purpose of exposing the truth about the health care crisis in northern Arizona (see the WHEN page for more details about our history and the WHY page for our mission), it features Verde Valley residents’ personal horror stories in both articles and video format, as well as the testimonials of medical professionals.
Health Care Story Videos by award-winning filmmaker Stephen DeVol:
Catherine Rourke is an award-winning professional journalist with 32 years experience who specializes in covering health care as well as other socioeconomic and work-life balance issues.
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