I have spent the morning gearing up to do a local Mad as hell doctor fundraiser.
I'm going to join the second trip for a week, here's the link
This is about single payer health care in the United States. As a Family Doctor, I just don't understand how we've let the stupid insane system that we have come about. I think docs are at fault for part of it: running around trying to save lives while the insurance and pharmaceutical companies got a lock grip on congress. I do not understand how anyone can justify spending 6 million dollars on the salary of an insurance CEO. That is 6 million dollars of health care dollars that are from your and my premiums that are NOT going to health care. 1/3 of every health care dollar goes to administration and profit. The administration of medicare is 8% and of the VA 3%. And people say that they don't want the government "in health care". Well, hello, between medicare, medicaid, the VA, the military and all, 60% already IS government. We spend twice per person for health care in the United States as the next most expensive industrialized country. Our country ranks 37th in measures of health care among industrialized countries. What do we rank #1 in? COST! So for you rich investors out there, send a message: divest from health insurance. It's making you money? Well, that is by refusing care for people, so you are unethical scum if you continue to be invested in a for profit health insurance company. DIVEST! I think we're up to 45,000 people dying a year prematurely because they can't access care, don't have insurance, or have to choose between losing their house and going bankrupt from care, or not seeking care.
My clinic has been open since April 30 and is doing pretty well. Since I am fighting for single payer, I am taking Medicare and NO OTHER INSURANCE, CASH ONLY! I want Medicare for everyone or some single payer system We've gone from 0-1 patient a day to our grand record so far of 7 this past Monday. Still, it is climbing fast and I am still working to set things up. We are redoing the budget based on real numbers instead of the numbers I guessed at for the business plan. We are appalled at the fraudulent business offers we are getting by phone and mail and internet. (Remind me to write about that). I think my clinic will "fly", though the double duty of running the place and being the doctor is tricky. The doctor thing is, if not easier, much more familiar and I'm better at it, so I have to remind myself that running the business end is part of the job. I don't understand the language of accounting and bookkeeping but being a good and fast mathematician really helps make up some of the gap.
So, now that I'm getting too busy already, time to add something. Ha. Well, I've been planning to do a week of the Mad as hell thing anyhow, so I think I should fund raise. It is a little scary. I talked to my accountant about the balance of politics verses running a business. He is not touchy-feely. But still, he said, "Do what you believe in and don't worry about it. I have clients who would definitely not agree with my politics. But they are seeing me for business and know what I can do, so we don't discuss politics. And I don't put political signs in front of my business, but I put whatever I want in my yard at home." That made me happy. Onwards.
This morning I watched the documentary of the first Mad as Hell Doctor's trip. I've been avoiding it, mostly because I'm in it. I have not explored why I'm not really afraid to talk to a crowd, but I don't want to watch a video of myself. Never mind. Eeeeee. Ok, I was not horribly awful. The rest of the documentary was fabulous, but my brain skips like a rock over my bit.
Now I have emailed a local healthcare advocate/organizer, another doctor who is involved in PNHP, the local improvisation teacher/magician, one small branch of my family and three of the other Mad as Hell organizers. Start the ball rolling. I don't have that much time, so need to move pretty fast. I am one of those thinker types who appears to do nothing for a really long time and then moves all at once, when the planning is complete. And I don't write down a plan or anything that appears organized.
So, send your checks to the Mad as Hell Doctors or Physicians for a National Health Care Program (PNHP)! Say you heard about it on Everything2, from the Lizardinlaw! Tell your friends! Tweet it, Facebook it, pray for it. Talk about it. Request a copy of the documentary and have a party and show it to ALL of your friends. Loan it out and have them show their friends.