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July 15, 2009     Indian Valley Record
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July 15, 2009
 

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Advertising works! Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter 7 Wednesday, July 15, 2009 13B Forum examines the major national health care issues More than 40 people turned out Thursday, July 9, for a townhall meeting in Quincy about health care re- form. Participants heard about the drug system, the history of the for-profit med- ical industry, conditions in Plumas County and myths surrounding national health insurance. As moderator, Trish Welsh Taylor had a chance to talk with the speakers in prepara- tion for the meeting. "They were passionate but troubled, voicing in details the ways our health care system could be repaired but expressing little hope. Their tone was dire," she said. "The facts delivered were quite convincing, but what un- moored me from my sense of complacency was the urgency with which they spoke. Not on- ly is the nation in trouble with the expense of health care de- livery. This county, Plumas County, is in deep trouble." Mimi Hall, director of Plumas County Public Health Agency, presented the results of a May 2008 report, "Re-visioning Rural Health- care Service Delivery and Ad- dressing the Needs of the Un- derserved in Plumas County." Four of the report's 11 points: One of the biggest challenges for districts is en- rolling patients in MediCal or other programs. Individuals don't understand (due to a lit- eracy limitation or chemical or psychological issues), or they don't follow through on complex paperwork to stay enrolled. Some patients' lives are so chaotic they can't com- plete or turn in paperwork. Access to medical care is uneven in Plumas County. In- dian Valley residents have been affected the most as a re- sult of clinic and hospital clo- sure, but overfull medical practices have resulted in pa- tients in other districts having to wait or seek care elsewhere. The uninsured lack a "medical home," a provider with whom they have devel- oped a relationship and who maintains their medical his- tory, including immuniza- tions and all-important aller- gy records, which results in some receiving unnecessary immunizations. Enrolling more people and keeping them enrolled in public programs will reduce bad debt by shifting payment responsibility to state and federal agencies (away from the county). The uninsured access med- ical services in the emer- gency room, leading to expen- sive services and bills, some of which are never paid. Pharmacist Jim Ellingson made it clear that community members are at risk of losing the vital medical resource of the local pharmacist, who has a running record of drugs each customer has purchased and is required to advise them about side effects and proper usage. Mail-order drug purchase is designed not so much to save the patient money, but rather to cut out the pharma- cist, increasing the profit of the wholesaler, said Elling- son. A few decades ago, phar- macists bought drugs straight from the manufac- turers. Now, they have to go through wholesalers, where the money is really made. Kegan Hood, local teacher Local film is a hit in Mexico The locally controversial, 40-minute video documen- tary, Hamondim Maka, a trilingual (Maidu/Kiliwa/Spanish) film about land, language and cul- ture, was shown in Tepoztlfin, M6xico, in June as part of the Festival de la Memoria Film Festival. Clos- er to home, it aired last Sep- tember on Nevada City TV. Funded in part with a grant from the U.S. Forest Service and the Mexican nonprofit organization Aliados, with support from the Round- house Council, Pangea Caf6, Quincy Natural Foods, Moun- tain Building Supply, Moun- tain Sports, Quincy Thrift, Father River College and Plumas Arts, the film follows Farrell Cunningham, Lorena Gorbet and Doug Mullen, three members of the Indian Valley Maidu community, on their journey to Mexico's Sierra San Pedro Mfirtir mountains to meet with Kili- wa tribal leaders and share stories of the challenges of trying to protect language and culture. The Maidu and Kiliwa lan- guages are among the most threatened of the approxi- mately 3,000 languages some people say will be lost by the end of this century. "Language, in particular indigenous language, is one of the most endangered nat- ural resources," said Elisa Adler, producer of the film. As a consequence of its presentation at the Festival de la Memoria, Cunningham, who currently teaches Maidu to some 40 students in Neva- da City, has been invited to work with a Seri shaman in M6xico on the conservation of indigenous song there. "Hamondim Maka" chronicles a trip by local Maidu Farrell Cunningham, Lorena Gorbet and Doug Mullen to Baja California, where they met with Kiliwa people to share stories and language. The film recently showed at a Mexican film festival. Photo submitted jk I LUMAS PINES Sunday Brunch ~ 9am- 2pm Sunday Brunch & Golf Special *75 Winemaker's Dinner "-- Friday, 17, 7:30pm PiVe course dinner ancl :ine wine pairinff# :eat:urin Iobert Keenan Vin%larcls 4:tom Napa Valle 9 with tastin comments b q Michael Keenan. $79 per person inclucles wine, cinner, tax ancl rauitl. Reservations required Longburger Day- Wednesday, July 22 onl 9 (b00r and cleck, servic.e onL@ Tapas Tuesdays -- July 21, 28 and Aug. 4 .Spanish insl::)irecl small plates menu..Spanish wine specials $/glass Martini Wednesdays -- All Wednesdays in July $: Martini (an 9 cal! brand) .Scan Conroq, _xecufive Chet: Nicholas I--laocman anc .Saun Pinch, .Sous che:s 530-836-1111 Plumas Pines Golf Resort, 402 Poplar Valley Rd., Graeagle www.plumaspinesgolf.com and scholar, summarized a paper, "TheHealth Reform We Need and Are Not Get- ting," by Arnold Relman M.D., professor emeritus of medi- cine and social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor of the New Eng- land Journal of Medicine. (The paper may be found online at nybooks.com/articles/22798.) Hood explained how a med- ical system that is heavily funded by private investors is inherently an expensive system for the users. Bottom line, investors want a return on their investment. Furthermore, Hood said, the medical field changed dramatically in 1975, only 34 years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled professionals like lawyers and physicians were engaged in interstate commerce. Doctors were now considered by law to be pro- fessionals and businessmen. Commercialization of med- icine followed, and shortly thereafter the AMA changed its own description from pro- fession to professional and business, changing the ethi- cal assumptions of doctors. Hood went on to tell of Stanford economics profes- sor and Nobel Laureate Ken- neth Arrow, who argued that medical care cannot conform to market laws because pa- tients are not ordinary con- sumers and doctors are not ordinary vendors. The doctor-patient relation- ship is fundamentally differ- ent than the price-driven rela- tion between buyers and sell- ers in an ordinary market. Because doctors influence patient use of medical ser- vices, and hence total heatth costs, market forces could not be relied on to es- tablish fair and best prices. Professional standards and government regulations were necessary. Many consumers think of the insurance system as the established way of delivering health care. But, Hood ex- plained, the great majority of private health insurers to- day, such as Aetna and Cigna, are investor-owned businesses and most were es- tablished just a few decades ago with the rapid expansion of employment-based insur- ance. Huge amounts of mon- ey began to fl0w into health care, creating profitable op- portunities for investors. The townhall meeting pre- sentation ended with a myth: busting session on.single- payer insurance. Forest Har: lan of Butte County Health Reform Coalition presented the OneCareNow video and a PowerPoint presentation clarifying a system that is gaining support rapidly across the nation, but is op- posed, say critics, because of the medical industry's grip on Washington, D.C. After the close of the meet- ing at B:20 p.m., locals stayed another 20 minutes, compar- ing stories, writing letters to legislators and watching a demonstration by Lance Bark- er of a new grassroots blog, http:/(plmnashealthreform.bl ogspot.com, for sharing Plumas County experiences of the health care system. LASSEN-PLUMAS-SIERRA COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR FUNDING FOR THE YEAR 2010 The Lassen-Plumas-Sierra Community Action Agency (LPSCAA) is now accepting proposals for funding in Calendar Year 2010. LPSCAA was established to assist low-income individuals and families in Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra Counties achieve self-sufficiency. The strategy for the year 2010 strongly emphasizes family and youth development, nutrition, health, education, housing and home energy assistance programs with the goal of achieving economic self:sufficmncy. Limited assistance m preparing the Request for Proposal may be available. Call 283-5644 for more information. Applications are due by 5:00 PM, Tuesday September 15 2009. The application can be obtained at the LPSCAA office, 183 W. Main Street, Quincy, during normal business hours. Requests are also accepted by phone (530-283-2466), mail (P. O. Box 319, Quincy, CA 95971), or email (jmoore@plumascdc.org). For more information contact: Lassen-Piumas-Sierra Community. Action Agency P.O. Box 319 Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-2466 HI-TECH FaAM00 ANY HNISH [ 1229 lndusedal Way In quincy [ I IE oo00. ..... Hi Tech Frame & Finish has been Plumas County's Professional Collision Repair Facility for over 22 years. Our work is guaranteed & our craftsman pay extra attention to details. 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