An American Disgrace (not AS or MM)

Stan Brock may be a bigger saint than Mother Teresa.  But the fact that his  Remote Area Medical program, originally conceived to provide volunteer medical, dental & vision care to destitute villages in the heart of the Amazon Basin, is currently devoting 60% of its mission to helping Americans  is a national godsdamned disgrace. 

Stan Brock / RAM in Appalachia

STAN BROCK BRINGS HEALTH CARE TO AMERICANS WITH REMOTE AREA MEDICAL PROGRAM from R2 Studios on Vimeo.

 

P.S.  I am fully aware that MI HTML SKILLS   R  FAIL.






107 replies
  1. 1
    Mike G says:

    To hell with you, Baucus.

  2. 2
    jillb says:

    cookie yum yum…

  3. 3
    steve s says:

    Thank god for Megan McArdle! She’s such a great person! And we should all listen to her!

  4. 4
    robertdsc says:

    If that area’s rep isn’t a progressive Democrat, they should be dragged out of their office, hung by their thumbs, and beaten with rubber hoses until they vote for single payer.

  5. 5
    Comrade Mary says:

    I remember watching this the first time and crying as the last people were turned away. And I’m tearing up again right now, damn it.

    Moral hazard my fucking ass.

  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    I would call Brock a saint if I believed in such things. This country sucks. Our elected officials suck. The suckage is overwhelming and discouraging. HOW CAN WE BE LETTING THIS HAPPEN? I have been emailing my congress critters for two weeks now over this healthcare debacle and do you think I’ve gotten a reply from a single one of them? AND ALL 3 OF THEM AREDEMOCRATS! Not one word from Altmire, Casey, or Specter. Hell, I canvassed for that fucker Altmire. That said, though I don’t trust Specter as far as I can throw him, I’m pretty sure Casey and Altmire (especially him…this is what he ran on) to get it right. But you’d think I’d get at leasta thanks-for-your-support-and-I-plan-to-consider-your-views-as-I-make-my-decision reply. Amirite?

  7. 7
    mai naem says:

    Yeah, but I don’t want the government between me and my doctor. Also too, the current system works just fine for me thankyouverymuch. If these people would just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and go out and get a job instead of leeching off my taxpayer dollars. And anyway, I gotta figure out a way to pay off my debt from the Goldman Sachs, AIG , Citibank grants and the BigGeorgeandDickGoToIraqAdventure vacation before I go about paying for your healthcare.

  8. 8
    HRA says:

    I don’t understand the disgrace in helping Americans. We do have people who need help. That is why health care reform has been the topic for generations. What am I missing?

    BTW The site is still looking weird here. It’s spread all over the place.

  9. 9
    HRA says:

    Soon as I sent the post, it fixed itself.

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    But America is the greatest country in the world!

  11. 11
    Bootlegger says:

    @robertdsc: You should read “Dear Hunting With Jesus” for a clear understanding why they’ll reelect the douchebag who kills their shot a quality health care.

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    Best health care in the world, baby.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    Peggy Noonan says that Obama’s plan will destroy the free healthcare that so many Americans currently enjoy.

  14. 14
    Demo Woman says:

    @Martin: Peggy needs to keep on walking.

  15. 15
    mai naem says:

    They have a schedule on their website – mostly Tenn. Some Ky and Virginia and one at the Inglewood Forum in LA. I think Ahnuld should be shamed into going there. But look at the states Tenn and Ky are pretty big Repug states. Virginia is a purple state. They’ll always get swayed by the abortion/homosexual agenda crap.

  16. 16
    mai naem says:

    Peggy also thought the dolphins carried Elian Gonzales over from Cuba.

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    Thanks for this post!

  18. 18
    Ailuridae says:

    @geg6:

    Casey and Specter are near locks to provide a ‘yes’ vote to real health reform while Altmire is in the bottom decile of all Dems in the House to do so.

  19. 19
    tammanycall says:

    Link to Remote Area Medical’s donation page: http://www.ramusa.org/contact/donate.htm

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    Am I the only one who wondered who the folks lined up for healthcare voted for? I suspect it wasn’t for the progressive Democrats who might actually help them get some real healthcare.

    The Democrats are idiots. They’ve got something people want and they can’t even figure out how to sell it to them. They couldn’t sell ice cubes in Hades.

  21. 21
    RedKitten says:

    HRA: the disgrace isn’t in helping Americans, it’s in the fact that so many Americans actually NEED this kind of help, due to their government and their society letting them twist in the wind.

  22. 22
    Bootlegger says:

    @Violet: Those folks vote at a very low rate. Also, the “god will provide” attitude is pervasive and allows them to vote against their own economic interests free of cognitive dissonance.

  23. 23
    Alan says:

    If that poor women dies of cervical cancer…well, that’s the price we must pay for the bestest healthcare system money can buy. To socialize her costs would be pure evil and would destroy what our founding fathers created…under God, also.

  24. 24
    Comrade Mary says:

    Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. I just donated some money to RAM.

    Work is going to be damn light for the rest of the year and I’ll be living mostly off of savings this fall and maybe the entire winter. But no matter what, I’ll always have health care because I live in a country that has always valued me: the poor teenager who needed spinal surgery; the young woman who needed all the usual yearly care; and me this year, getting a bone scan of my entire body, not just the foot with the stubborn stress fracture, just in case there was something more serious going on.

    (Canadian waiting lists? Well, the Tories really fucked up the Chalk River isotope supplies due to their slipshod approach toward maintenance, and now not just Canada but the world is running short. But when I called the lab for an appointment this spring, expecting a real wait, I was asked if I could come in the next day. I booked for a more convenient time in June, was cancelled the day before because of the shortage, but I was rebooked for a convenient date in early July and NOT cancelled again, even with the shortages, because their policy wouldn’t allow it. Not only did I get a full body scan, they did an extra series of 360 degree rotation of my surgically fused spine just as a good follow-up of my condition since the excellent and free surgery I had over 30 years ago.)

  25. 25
    steve s says:

    When I see this reality, that large parts of America are basically third-world areas where people have a hard time getting fucking *glasses*, while nearby, corporate execs steal everything they can get their hands on and fly around in private planes with pillows made from Hermes scarves, I can understand why Karl Marx thought this shit was going to come to a head.

    I’m not a communist, and I think anybody who supports communism after the last, say, 100 years of history, is a pretty stupid person, I’m just saying I understood why he thought this kind of capitalism would come to a crisis point.

  26. 26
    cj says:

    Just look at all those illegal immigrants and minorities trying to get free health care. Didn’t they know that it was only for REAL Americans?

  27. 27

    @Martin:

    Peggy Noonan says that Obama’s plan will destroy the free healthcare that so many Americans currently enjoy.

    She is correct. They will no longer have to go to the emergency to have their pneumonia treated. They’ll just have to settle for going to the doctors office during regular hours and getting treated for flu symptons. What kind of loser leaves work for little shit like that? Must be a bunch of pansy ass liberals.

  28. 28
    Punchy says:

    I’ll tell you whats a disgrace — you damn Pirates just traded Freddie Not-Dirty Sanchez, only the best player they had. That’s on top of unloading a loyal Jack Wilson and Snell. Just WTF is going on with your fucking team?

    Are they trying to be a glorified AAA team?

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    Alluridae: I surely hate to get into another pissing match with you, but I know these guys. I knew Jason Altmire when he worked in health care. He’s a reformer in a district full of ignorant, uneducated, racist rednecks who’d fit right in any Mississippi Delta backwater town. He’s treading lightly, but he’s more progressive than he can comfortably allow himself to show on this particular issue. Specter, though he’s made noises over the years as to seem like he’d be all aboard the reform train is NEVER TO BE TRUSTED ON ANYTHING EVER. And Casey is not the pro-life asshole mouthbreather his dad was, but he’s still a pro-life asshole so anything that even mentions reproductive choice in any way whatsoever is always going to be iffy with him. That said, Altmire can do whatever he needs to do here. The House is not the danger zone. I think Casey’s better nature will lead him to the right vote regardless if women get to make choices in a public option which won’t really be funded with federal funds anyway so I don’t get the problem here. But Specter has been a ratfucker from the moment he stepped on the political stage, you know, the first time he was a Democrat. Anyone who says Specter is a lock on anything knows nothing whatsoever about Arlen Specter.

  30. 30
    Ed Drone says:

    What I hate is that you and I ALREADY pay for that “free” healthcare at emergency rooms. $1400 per year, as I recall the number. Why not try to get THAT number down, eh?

    I am not afraid of socialism, myself. Those things we already socialized seem to work fairly well (though the stupid no-bargaining-with-the-pharma-companies prescription act is no great shakes), and there are other things that don’t have to be in profit-first private hands.

    Clean air, clean water — we don’t have to pay Blue Crass for those, so why pay them for health care?

    Ed

  31. 31
    Mike P says:

    Watch this…it’s a great video/written package form the WaPo about Brock coming to Wise Co, VA. It’s great to see what they’re doing…and it should piss you off to know it’s happening here.

  32. 32
    jcricket says:

    This country sucks. Our elected officials suck. The suckage is overwhelming and discouraging. HOW CAN WE BE LETTING THIS HAPPEN?

    I am 100% with you buddy. we suck. republicans suck for being lying racist asshats. democrats suck for failing to make that clear to the public and articulate that there is a “better way”.

    On issue after issue we let misinformation rule the day, and real solutions go unimplemented because the editors at WSJ would object, or some CEO might make a penny less than $3 billion next year, or Exxon might not earn quite as much in Q4 if we require they clean up the oil they’re spilling all over the place.

    Of course these selfish corporations and rich fat-cats are gonna object. They’re like my toddler (only he’s more fun and honest), and should be treated the same way.

    Fucking fuckity fuck!

  33. 33
    Svensker says:

    I just got a mailing from my crazy-ass representative, Scott Garrett, saying that as a Republican, he has a Plan For America’s Health Care! It is:

    1) Make health care portable.
    2) Make health care more affordable.
    3) Make it easier for people to get insurance
    4) Make sure the free market system is allowed to work so that the wonder’s of the American system can continue to benefit us all.

    Isn’t that a great plan?

  34. 34
    Mike P says:

    @Bootlegger: I really liked that book and ended up writing a review of it. I grew up not far from where both that book and Brock’s clinics were (I’m from Martinsville, VA). Deer Hunting hit home in a way a lot of other books haven’t for me.

  35. 35
    Svensker says:

    (No edit function. I know that plurals are not formed with apostrophes. I know that. OK, Steve? This.)

  36. 36
    steve s says:

    Have I complained about apostrophes? Maybe once. In general I try not to, ’cause if I did, I’d always be bitching.

    If I were Obama, anybody who wrote the possessive form of Gates as Gate’s would be forcibly deported. :-)

    I try to restrict my complaints to only the most retardulous usages.

  37. 37
    Montysano says:

    @Svensker: Underwear gnomes, bitchez!1

  38. 38
    steve s says:

    I used to hang out on the evolution websites, and idly considered establishing Steve’s Law, as the situation that, modeled after Sturgeon’s Law, in any discussion involving Richard Dawkins, as the comment thread increased, the probability that someone would possessify Dawkins as Dawkin’s would approach 1. Hanging out here, though, I might instead establish Steve’s Law as the fact that on a Balloon-Juice thread, as it increased, the probability that someone would be labeled a Concern Troll approaches 1.

    The fact that I like to drink way too damn much, however, means that I’m too inclined to make mistakes myself, so I’m hanging back :-)

  39. 39
    Ailuridae says:

    @geg6:

    Well, if you know them than that trumps all of their relevant public statements and the fact that Altmire elected to join the caucus who, per usual, are doing everything possible to prevent the Democrats from delivering actual progressive change. And his own statements on the issue of a public option are couched in the same corporatist, Blue Dog fiscal hawk nonsense as all of his other positions. But its neither here nor there because you’ve walked back your assertion that you trust Altmire would do the right thing when its clear he hasn’t been and won’t in the future.

    So to anyone interested in getting at the facts of this who lives in the PA fourth:

    Casey and Specter are reliable votes for the most progressive option that Reid lets get voted on. They will also ‘aye’ vote on whatever comes out of conference

    If Altmire votes yes for either House bill fewer than ten Dems will vote no. He’s at the absolute shit end of the list for reliability here.

  40. 40
    GregB says:

    The best country ever and forever to be!

    -G

  41. 41
    steve s says:

    In general, i’m actually pretty liberal and descriptionist when it comes to grammar: http://www.michaelalanmiller.com/?p=2981

    But there are some basic rules which I expect literate people to know.

  42. 42
    whatsleft says:

    Svensker – my rep just had an op-ed in our local paper, the title of which included the words “Republican Health Plan”. First he frothed about the give-away Dems, then he gave the plan – get rid of burdensome medical malpractice lawsuits, hope that small businesses will “band together” and buy insurance, and America has the bestest health insurance ever. I asked him to please send me his actual plan, cuz there was no “plan” in his stated Plan, other than get rid of evil trial lawyers, and then hope for the best. Should I hold my breath on a response?

  43. 43
    stibbert says:

    twice now, my mom has shopped me out as a “computer expert” to friends of hers who needed some helpdesk action. ’twas simple stuff really – the 1st lady needed to get her tubes setup to a new ISP, & the 2nd wanted an MSOffice upgrade install & a bit of ctrl-char tutorial (copy, cut, paste, save, save as). Easy stuff really, each was most appreciative & wanted to pay me for the help – i said thanks, but would they donate the $s to RAM instead?

    the tubes-lady was up for it immediately, after i showed her how to browse to the website, explaining ’bout ‘internet security’ for cash transactions. she’d seen the same 60minutes program as i had.

    the upgrade-lady was bulk more careful, she’d heard about scams & phishing, & hadn’t seen the 60min prog. she read thru several pages of RAMs site, but instead of donating on-line, she wrote down the snailmail addy, then wrote out a check to RAM for twice the amount that she’d offered me as a payment.

    grey-haired ladies rule!

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    @Svensker:

    Scott Garrett is a tool. I grew up in that district. The only Republican I have ever voted for, in my entire life, was Marge Roukema. Scott Garrett is a disgrace. I so wanted Rabbi Schulman to take his ass out last November. What are the prospects for ’10?

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    Ailuridae: Well, I guess there’s no reason to even talk to you in any reasonable tone. You are misrepresenting what I said but whatever. You obviously know more about the Fourth District than I do. I’m just an idiot who has lived here for the entire 50 years of my life and who has no experience, knowledge, or expertise in the politics, people, or mindset of the politicians or people here. I’ll surely never state an opinion on the Fourth again, at least not without consulting you.

  46. 46
    HRA says:

    Thanks, Red Kitten. I do understand there are some of us who really cannot afford health care. I have a widowed daughter who is without health insurance since her husband died two years ago. A friend’s daughter is in the same situation. Both of them have enrolled their children in state health insurance for children.
    They both work. Their employers do not carry health insurance.
    If you do not have the money, no health insurance is affordable or easier to get. There is only one way to go for health reform and its one program for everyone. Then if you want your own health insurance as well, you can get it or keep what you have already. Friends of mine in the UK have both.

  47. 47
    Montysano says:

    OT: John Bolton on my teevee, telling me it’s imperative, imperative goddamit!, that the US facilitate an attack on yet another sovereign nation = comedy FAIL! I can take Billy Kristol on TDS; he’s a buffoon. Bolton makes me want to punch holes in the wall.

  48. 48
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I’m a chickenshit. I can’t watch this. I just cannot. I am so burned out on the whole healthcare reform ‘debate’ that I just want to punch someone in the neck. All three branches, sixty senators, and we’re still debating a public option?

    Fuck. That. Shit. I’m completely dispirited on this topic.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Which is exactly what the bad guys are counting on.

  50. 50

    […] July 29, 2009 · Leave a Comment I think the one thing we all can agree on, no matter what else we think, is that this is not what Americans should expect to have to deal with given how much we spend on health care. Accompanying article here [Via Balloon Juice]. […]

  51. 51
    Ailuridae says:

    @geg6:

    Every post of yours in this thread has been full of histrionics and name calling. “Mouth breather”, “redneck” and I will quote this one in its entirety:

    And Casey is not the pro-life asshole mouthbreather his dad was, but he’s still a pro-life asshole so anything that even mentions reproductive choice in any way whatsoever is always going to be iffy with him

    So about that reasonable tone you were taking before rightly pointed out that you didn’t know what you were talking about – it wasn’t there. As to the above, Casey after Kennedy, Durbin and Dodd is probably the safest vote in the Senate on real Health Care Reform.

    But, hey you can keep misrepresenting facts and defending the likes of Altmire (would love to hear the defense of the weakening of S-CHIP he helped negotiate).

  52. 52
    Brachiator says:

    But the fact that his Remote Area Medical program, originally conceived to provide volunteer medical, dental & vision care to destitute villages in the heart of the Amazon Basin, is currently devoting 60% of its mission to helping Americans is a national godsdamned disgrace.

    Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Andrew Sullivan, every Republican Congressman, every conservative pundit, every conservative blogger, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, every blowhard on Fox news should be shown the work this organization does and asked a simple question:

    Where is your free market solution to this and how should it be implemented?

  53. 53
    Mac from Oregon says:

    Why can’t President Obama have a MASH unit set up a field hospital on the national mall right in front of the capitol and have RAM staff it with volunteers to treat folks right in front of the damn GOP and show them with some compelling political theater just how many people could benefit from health care? Let them stay there until the need is taken care of.

  54. 54
    Alan says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It really is more of a happy story than a sad one. But it highlight the deficiency of our health system.

  55. 55
    Ailuridae says:

    In some unqualified good news I hadn’t seen around here Obama is slated to nominate an actual expert in the field of occupational health safety to head OSHA.

    http://ehstoday.com/standards/.....osha-5818/

  56. 56
    R says:

    Can i haz cookie? Site looks like ungroomed pet.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    I’d like to sup with my baby tonight
    and play the pup with my baby tonight
    but I ain’t up to my baby tonight
    cause it’s too darn hot

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    In some unqualified good news I hadn’t seen around here Obama is slated to nominate an actual expert in the field of occupational health safety to head OSHA.

    I read the article and it didn’t say how many horse shows he’s run. I’m skeptical of his qualifications.

  59. 59
    Brachiator says:

    @Ailuridae:

    In some unqualified good news I hadn’t seen around here Obama is slated to nominate an actual expert in the field of occupational health safety to head OSHA.

    Has Glen Beck vetted this selection?

    More seriously, I like the in-your-face to the anti-science/anti-safety, anti-rationality wingnuts:

    “He has been a fairly prolific writer and his views are not hidden under a stone,” Cecich said. “His views and beliefs have been listed out there for people to read. There’s nothing to hide. He’s not an unknown and it’s hard for him to hide behind things because they’re out there.”

  60. 60
    Ailuridae says:

    @Brachiator:

    Reading through the pumphandle blog tonight there is no doubt Michaels is definitely from the evidence-based part of the world which is good for OSHA. He’s a compelling writer (on a subject I find a little dry) to boot.

  61. 61
    Nellcote says:

    He’s a good guy? Which asshat gop senator will block his nomination?

  62. 62
    Ailuridae says:

    @Nellcote:

    Pick a Senator from a state that has an economy heavily dependent on mining.

  63. 63
    auntieeminaz says:

    @Mac from Oregon: I love the visuals.

  64. 64
    Begby says:

    fix the site.

  65. 65
    gsp says:

    Things sure haven’t changed much since Woody Guthrie wrote this one, eh?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  66. 66
    BDeevDad says:

    Last weekend in VA:

    Remote Area Medical founder Stan Brock said the daily limit of 1,600 patients for the three-day clinic in Wise County was reached by 5:30 a.m. Friday. Another 200 people were admitted to the treatment area later in the morning, but several hundred more had to be turned away.

    Fucking politicians

  67. 67
    robertdsc says:

    Last weekend in VA:

    According to a diary at GOS, Jim Webb favors a public option. Mark Warner, on the other hand, likes a co-op plan and/or a trigger mechanism.

    Goddamned animal. Look at your own people, Senator. Your own fucking people.

  68. 68
    OriGuy says:

    @Ailuridae: Mining, huh? Fifty quatloos on Kyl of Arizona.

  69. 69
    harlana pepper says:

    But, but, the public option will kill peoplez!!!

  70. 70
    harlana pepper says:

    btw, i haz ring nao, its offishul, i iz ingayjed

  71. 71
    WereBear says:

    stibbert @42: You are so good for fixing grey haired ladies’ computers.

    (Please note possessive apostrophe.)

    Yes, the third world is right here on our doorstep.

  72. 72
    bob h says:

    “Remote Area” probably means Red Zone, and Republican political allegiances. These people have been victimized by a Party that diverts them with cultural issues, and does not give a damn about them. They have probably never recognized that the Democratic Party might be better for them.

  73. 73
    marion says:

    Just trying to pick up a cookie

  74. 74
    TR says:

    Here’s a question about the media:

    What’s more ludicrous?

    A bunch of rich, white, upper-middle-class to upper-class Beltway insiders talking about race relations?

    Or a bunch of rich, white, upper-middle-class to upper-class Beltway insiders talking about insurance and health care?

    I’m not sure which one of those topics they have less of a clue about, but that’s never stopped them from blathering away.

  75. 75
    A Mom Anon says:

    @harlana pepper:

    Yay! Congrats and all that. Have you set a date?

    @TR:

    The answer is c) both of the above. They have no earthly idea what it is to be without privledge,they’ve never had to do without a thing. If they have,they never learned a fucking thing from the experience. I’d like to see them in a game show called Survivor: Deep Appalachia.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @TR:

    I knew they’d love the race discussion, because it’s just opinion.
    I am surprised at their open and obvious hostility to health care reform. It’s really disheartening. It feels, gut-level, blatant.
    I’m struck by how they have completely abdicated their responsibility to talk about the PROBLEMS with the current system. They’re basically selling the status quo. If I watch or read national media, and knew nothing else, I would assume we had this humming engine of health care delivery, and the pain in the ass liberal Democrats wanted to take it from us.
    If you’re going to blather about health care, would it not make sense to start with what exists? Reality? Then go to plans?
    The small business debate in the media is a good example. They’re pretending that small business are thrilled to pay these outrageous premiums for their employees, and are just fine with our non-system, and any reform is a straight-up loss for small business. I don’t think that’s true.

  77. 77
    RememberNovember says:

    And yet the Blue Dogs drag their anal glands all over the country…

  78. 78
    RedKitten says:

    Congratulations Harlana Pepper! That’s so exciting! So…care to share any details about the proposal? I’m all ears. :)

    There is only one way to go for health reform and its one program for everyone. Then if you want your own health insurance as well, you can get it or keep what you have already. Friends of mine in the UK have both.

    I have both as well. There is a very common misconception out there that Canadians are not allowed to have private medical insurance. That is a complete and utter lie.

    I have my government insurance (otherwise known as MSI in this province), and it pays for all of my bare-bones basic, necessary services: hospital stays, surgeries, doctors visits, treatments, etc. I also have Blue Cross, which covers prescription drugs up to 70%, optometry services, things like protheses and medical equipment, and services like physiotherapy, acupuncture, psychology, etc. The way that it works is that any practictioner to whom I go will bill my MSI first, and then any non-eligible amount gets billed to my Blue Cross. I’m on the hook for the rest. I’ve debated about keeping the Blue Cross, as hubby and I really don’t use it enough to justify the monthly premium, but with the baby on the way, we figure we’ll hang on to it, in case (goddess forbid) the baby has any health issues and needs meds.

    Last time I checked, our private insurance companies here were still making fairly handsome profits, so all of this hand-wringing in the U.S. about putting private insurance companies out of business is just so much crapola.

  79. 79

    If one can watch that video and still not understand what the urgency in getting health care reform enacted, then they might take a walk with Dorothy, the Tinman and the Scarecrow down to the land of Oz…and hope that hearts and brains are still available.

  80. 80
    DBrown says:

    This man is a Saint and does the work that 99.999% of all so-called American christians never really do or care too. But you know what is terrible and scary? What this man does works against health care reform in this country – this wonderful program serves at best a few thousand people a year out of 40 million that need health care. Also, most of the people are the very ones who vote repub-a-thug because those criminals are the party of family rape … I mean values. After getting help, most of these people will go on voting their most important belief – christian hate (i.e. standard American Christian values) and support the thugs in stopping health care reform – or the system that they know will enable nig*ers to live on welfare.
    Why does the demorats continue to allow this? And people blame Obama for trying anything to get his foot in the door for some type of improved system. The stupidity of these rural people amazes me – not their lack of education on a complex subject like health care but that they live so close to the edge and never question the people who they vote for and never provide any help for them.

  81. 81
    Persia says:

    @Harlana Pepper: Congrats!

    @RedKitten: It’s even more crapola because no one except the Beltway and the people who work for the insurance companies care at all about them. I’d guess the insurance companies’ approval ratings make Congress’ look great. It’s just that people are afraid of losing what little stability they have.

  82. 82
    celticdragon says:

    But the fact that his Remote Area Medical program, originally conceived to provide volunteer medical, dental & vision care to destitute villages in the heart of the Amazon Basin, is currently devoting 60% of its mission to helping Americans is a national godsdamned disgrace.

    Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Andrew Sullivan, every Republican Congressman, every conservative pundit, every conservative blogger, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, every blowhard on Fox news should be shown the work this organization does and asked a simple question:
    Where is your free market solution to this and how should it be implemented?

    Abso-fucking-lutely. I am sick to fucking death of Megan McArdle’s glib free market fetishism.

  83. 83
    arie says:

    so where is the technology to instantly produce hospitals, clinics and the equipment for them that would be needed in rural america?

    it’s cute that people act like other countries have no problems reaching their rural populations. rural populations are difficult to serve, single-payer or not. in fact, the costs are harder to justify with single-payer (poorer, smaller tax base, fewer people so less votes– not much political power in rural america, and so a strong incentive by bureaucrats to just have the one central center and nothing more) and you are even more likely to see one regional location trying to serve everyone *with no ability to add additional locations because the funds won’t be there*.

    the government could be throwing money at the problem now, but it is very telling that they just won’t write a check for a nonprofit to build hospitals and clinics in rural areas NOW. if the government has so much money, why are they just not handing it out now for more buildings and staff to provide this healthcare?

    i have lived where it is 40 miles to the nearest hospital and over 20 to the nearest doctor. you tell me a cheap way to serve a population that scattered. you tell me any way to serve them that isn’t going to piss off people living more densely, because it will cost a lot more to give rural people the same level of doctor-visit access as, well, cityfolk can get.

    if you’re an eco-person and really love mother gaia, you won’t tell rural people to ‘just move to the city’, because they could be providing more and more local food and aiding in energy independence.

    this is not something fixed by freaking single-payer. that’s not going to magically make it easier to get care to rural people and may quite honestly make it even harder.

  84. 84
    slippytoad says:

    I’m not a communist, and I think anybody who supports communism after the last, say, 100 years of history, is a pretty stupid person, I’m just saying I understood why he thought this kind of capitalism would come to a crisis point.

    Hell, all he had to do was look at (then) very recent history in France to see what happened when people who were of no value to their society were given more power and money than they were entitled to.

    I have some hope for America but there are days when I wonder what things will look like if the Revolution comes.

  85. 85
    harlana pepper says:

    @A Mom Anon: Thank you so much! No date set yet.

  86. 86
    harlana pepper says:

    @RedKitten: Thank you so much! I’m just really happy. Still in a daze. I appreciate the kind words from everyone. I’d pretty much given up on love but my faith is being restored. Internets dating sometimes pays off!

  87. 87
    harlana pepper says:

    @Persia: Thank you so much!

  88. 88
    jibeaux says:

    If you’re looking for something to bring out your “can we please lock insurance CEOs in a room with the props from Fear Factor” impulses, I suggest the 2nd half of the most recent This American Life podcast, which is about “rescission”. It’s devastating.

  89. 89
    DBrown says:

    @arie: I am totally lost by your logic – single payer is a lost cause because it can’t address rural areas due to transportation issues for the poor? While the problem you raise is real, who ever said that single payer was meant to address that problem?
    As for providing the same level of care, you are joking, right? You think that a single payer system mandates equal access!? Please, try thinking through the issue before you create straw men that have no relevancy to the real issue – providing a health care system that anyone can use without fear of being unable to pay. No one is going to address transportation requirements for rural people in any plan that I have every heard of. Does Medicare do that as part of its plan?

  90. 90
  91. 91
    slippytoad says:

    @arie:

    Sorry, you’re an idiot.

    Or a concern troll. I can never tell the difference.

  92. 92
    RedKitten says:

    Internets dating sometimes pays off!

    You don’t have to tell me. :) I met my fella on Lavalife back at the end of 2001, and now look at us! (Married, house, baby on the way.) Mind you, at the time, internet dating was still considered solely for the desperate (which wasn’t the case, but I worked in a small office populated mostly by women and gay men, and meeting men in bars didn’t seem to be going all that well, so instead of leaving it up to serendipity, I decided to take matters into my own hands.) For the first year we were together, I fibbed to my family and told them we had met through friends. ;)

  93. 93
    tofa says:

    cookie?

  94. 94
    elmiraguy says:

    I just got back from two years in the Peace Corps in Honduras. One of the projects a huge number of volunteers are involved in is facilitating the visits of medical brigades from the U.S. to isolated rural areas there. These brigades are, as you can imagine, hugely popular, and hundreds of people receive what is often life-saving care (breast cancer, prostate cancer, infant malnutrtion, chagas and skin cancer are some of the more common ones.) In short, it is what Stan Brock is and has been doing, on a much smaller scale. When I thought about the people being treated by these brigades, I would always try to imagine being so poor and underserved that I would have no idea that the lump on my testicle was cancer, or that my teeth were rotting and falling out from malnutrition. Never could. And this is in Honduras…the poorest nation in the Hemisphere after Haiti.

    Disgrace is not a strong enough word for the fact that anything even resembling that is necessary here. There has to be a darker word. God (or whoever) bless Stan Brock. But fuck any Congressman who will voluntarily propagate the need for it in order to protect “the free market”

  95. 95
    harlana pepper says:

    @RedKitten: Great story! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the baby!

  96. 96
    dianeb says:

    Wow, Stanley Brock–haven’t seen him since Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. He was on quite a few of those, having been a manager for a cattle ranch in Central or South America. He’s written several books that I read many decades ago, including his autobiography Jungle Cowboy and the Leemo books. An amazing man all around, he raised Leemo the puma, along with an ocelot and a jaguar (which got loose on several occasions, causing havoc at the ranch).

  97. 97
    harlana pepper says:

    @RedKitten: Also, in my case, everywhere I’ve worked, 99% of the peeps are married and the remaining available men are often right-wing types. I live in a decidedly red area so it’s really hard to find men of like mind in my age group! (Note: my fiance is *not* from around here!)

  98. 98
    sparky says:

    a feature, not a bug.
    the oligarchy has to have something to have earnest, polite disagreements about.

    also, i have to give the GOP credit–they have managed to drive great swathes of the USA back to pre-New Deal metrics. if at first you can’t overturn it, then undermine from within. perhaps the neo-cons learned more from their Trotskyite roots than we realize.

  99. 99
    Jim Pharo says:

    We have an entire wing of the mass media devoted to promoting the idea that the very worst thing in the entire history of the universe would be to have people responsible for helping one another.

    This 60 Minutes piece pops out because it’s one of the few times that the face of our cruelity is put on teevee where we cannot easily dismiss it.

    I often wonder what would happen if we took half of all the business coverage and devoted it instead to coverage of poverty. My dream is a ticker scrolling along the bottom of my screen “AIDS down 20% in Sudan…Malaria vaccine to start shipping August… California to institute “DIgnity” program to provide poorest residents with new housing, free cars…”

    Wonder what policies we might be adopting if instead of Fox News (or even in addition to Fox News) we had a 24 hour channel that did nothing but show what it was like to be sick, poor, imprisoned, etc. There are some subversives who would call such policies “Christian.”

  100. 100
    RedKitten says:

    We have an entire wing of the mass media devoted to promoting the idea that the very worst thing in the entire history of the universe would be to have people responsible for helping one another.

    Absolutely. It’s not just mass media, though, it’s an entire segment of SOCIETY who believes this, otherwise known as the FYIGM contingent. They’re utterly pathological and view everything in life as a zero-sum equation, so the thought of EVERYBODY getting a particular societal benefit, regardless of skill or effort, just turns them rabid with rage.

  101. 101

    I remember the 60 Minutes piece where the people getting assistance were just so very relieved and grateful and the people who had missed getting in because of the cut-off point were so desperate and disheartened (and there was really nothing that Stan Brock’s group could do as they were expending the entirety of their resources).

    Yes, the fact that so many very many people needed help and were without viable options (thanks to our incompetent Congress) is TRULY a disgrace.

  102. 102
    RememberNovember says:

    Max Balk-Us is his real name.

    y’all should fill that waste of space imho.

    drag him into a homeless shelter full of swine flu victims and you’ll see how fast he cries for help…then deny healthcare to him because it was a pre-existing condition…

    the swine flu?, No, incurable stupidity.

  103. 103
    Ryan says:

    @Arie

    These people are do not go without medical treatment for lack of doctors, they go without for lack of money to pay the doctors.

  104. 104
    Original Lee says:

    Hurray for Stan Brock! I think I’ll write his org a check tonight.

    Don’t forget the medical people he recruits, either. Many of them take time from their busy lives to go work for free or for a minimal fee at these clinics.

  105. 105
    celticdragon says:

    Ryan

    It is worth pointing out that we do have an actual lack of general practitioners and OB/GYNs…as well as nurse practitioners and PA’s…and even regular RN’s.

    Med school is insanely hard to get into, which may be a good thing…but we need more doctors…and we need incentives for doctors, PAs etc to work in under served areas. The free market doesn’t seem to account for that. There arealso not enough nursing instructors to teach new nursing students. Why?

    A nurse with a masters (or a Ph. D…they do exist)will easily make double his/her salary as a supervisor in a hospital from what they can expect as a teacher in a nursing degree program.

    Part of the pricing problem we have now is the supply does not even begin to be enough to meet the demand, and the supply of medical professionals is being artificially “logjammed”.

  106. 106

    […] can find world class deprivation in the midst of the richest society the world has ever known. Via Balloon Juice, we learn of a US scheme called the Remote Area Medical program. It was originally designed to […]

  107. 107
    Pat says:

    Geographic diversity: does anyone care?

    Why should west care about east, or north about south in the political arena? Aren’t all politics local?

    Yes, to some extent.

    But how much effectiveness can any one senator or representative have if the entrenched interests in Washington have been there forever, and dictate to newcomers how things are done, what can and cannot be done, and who chooses those decisions?

    Entrenched Congressional interests have always been a problem for legislatures, federal or state, because of the process of seniority and who gets to call the shots.

    Woe be to the newly elected representative who attempts to do the job that electors rely upon, and the reason the person was elected/selected by voters, if it confronts or challenges the status quo in Congress because of entrenched interests.

    This makes geography, or more clearly, power schemes in Congress, critical to its success, and critical to its failures. No one votes alone and succeeds.

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  1. […] can find world class deprivation in the midst of the richest society the world has ever known. Via Balloon Juice, we learn of a US scheme called the Remote Area Medical program. It was originally designed to […]

  2. […] July 29, 2009 · Leave a Comment I think the one thing we all can agree on, no matter what else we think, is that this is not what Americans should expect to have to deal with given how much we spend on health care. Accompanying article here [Via Balloon Juice]. […]

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