Bush Legacy: Community Health Centers (Don't say I never say anything nice)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    Credit where credit is due... one good thing the Bush team will leave behind.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/26/health/policy/26clinics.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all

    Community health was a very important directive for the college my grad school department at UF... in psychology, we all did a rotation in community health services that was led by our clinical faculty outside the mother ship. Mine was working with veterans in a satellite clinic in a small town about 40 miles from Gainesville. A good experience, and what health care is like away from large, nationally renowned hospitals is something we frequently forget. This last semester I also did neuropsych services away from the mother ship, going to a clinic in Indiana once a week to work with people from the North Shore.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Good for him! This may make up for a few of the pardons he has handed out ... blindly it seems.

    *checks to make sure this is the PRSI forum* OK good ...

    I can say though that if companies weren't over charing insurance companies for services then I bet some of that money could go towards insuring the uninsured. For example, I happen to know I had something done that was $1300 if I were to pay cash. However, since I have insurance the service was billed to my insurance company in the amount of $2800. :eek: I paid $1000 for the deductible (new insurance), so the company still walked away $1800! The service itself costs next to nothing. Their monthly cost to use that machine is not even $1300 I believe. That extra $1500 they billed my insurance company could have gone to insure someone for an entire year.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    As positive as this can be, it's still not nearly enough, and does very little to solve our health care woes as a whole. It seems like a band-aid mkrishnan, TBH.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #4
    There is a major problem with these rural primary care centers which is systemic and predates Bush. That is, the grant money only covers the cost of brand-new equipment. You can't get grant money to cover operating costs.

    We put together a clinic here in Terlingua. We renovated an existing building with local volunteer labor. We did the Board of Directors thing and all the paperwork. We could have gotten a ton of good used equipment, including an X-Ray machine in toto. We even had an MD who wanted to live and work here, and wasn't particularly concerned about a high-dollar income, so long as he got reasonable pay. We went looking for and got approval for a federal grant.

    But: Grant money only covered new equipment--but no authorization for an X-Ray setup nor any money for staff.

    The population here is sparse enough and poor enough (at the time, some 70% poverty level) that the money does not exist to pay a PA and a couple of nurse/clerical folks. Insufficient income.

    So, no more clinic...

    That aspect of the system has been responsible for the closing of numerous small hospitals and clinics, nationwide. Poverty folks can't pay, and the feds won't help.

    You spoke of Florida? What I'm saying applies directly to Blountstown and Appalachicola, where the local hospitals finally had to give up and die for lack of money. So, instead of a bed in a hometown hospital, it's a $1,500 ambulance ride to Tallahassee.
     
  5. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I'm not saying it's not... You know I'm not a Bush supporter. Hell, I want him (and Rice, Cheney, and Rumsfeld) tried for war crimes.

    But, it is infrastructure that takes a lot of time to build, even if it was not built with that intent. Even if we provide universal coverage, one of the major issues that gets a lot less press is that there would still not be universal availability of services.

    Community health centers, in the scheme of universal health care, are like charging stations without which plugin hybrid cars would be severely impaired in functionality.

    Today comes as the result of generations in which healthcare has been driven by a private mindset. That's why there are too many specialists who are almost invariably clustered wherever there are high volumes of insured patients, and too few generalists available in places where uninsured people with healthcare needs would be unable to obtain their services anyways.

    Universal coverage is the way forward, and I want to see it happen, and happen soon. I'm sick of Americans being unable to obtain basic healthcare services and suffering unnecessary disability or mortality. But services today are not aligned to be provided universally, were someone to flip a magic switch and insure all Americans.

    Realistically, however little or much there was good intention behind Bush's actions, this will actually really help make us ready for universal healthcare.

    Desertrat, you make a good point, although that's where wider / universal healthcare is the other shoe. These centers would not be infeasible economically if they had an insured base of patients to which to provide their services.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    Fair enough. I just hate giving him credit for anything. :) He did reverse that one pardon too.
     

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