Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Students at the school in my neighborhood who are without health insurance can’t get fractures fixed. The scene: the child comes running in from the playground cradling his arm, goes to an adult who directs him to the nurse’s office, but because there are school cuts she’s not in so the principal calls the parents. The parents arrive quickly and take the child home. They apply warm compresses and salves. No, they do not go to an emergency room. No way to pay.

Plans are underway to gut Medicaid, our societal safety net for healthcare. It’s going to be broke and once cut, there are no plans to fix it. We can fight in many ways- or can we? After letters voicing our outrage, what can we really do? If we are health professionals we could start voicing alternatives, best ways to use a shrinking budget, strategic and tactical methods to spread the budget effectively over the largest number of people. In addition, we could attend planning and action meetings in our community and voice concerns and options. We can volunteer to sit on panels and commissions. State health departments could help some of us remobilize to perform critical community based services.

Some of us already do this; some of these methods are in place. Now we need to link them together as a cohesive service. Who are “we”?

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