200 turn out for health care rally at Missouri Capitol

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | 4:16 p.m. CDT; updated 11:21 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009
VIDEO: Hundreds of people from every district around Missouri gathered at the steps of the Capitol in Jefferson City on Wednesday. Numerous speakers talked to the crowd such as State Rep. Rebecca McClanahan from Kirksville, and Melanie Edwards, who had a personal experience with illness and the health care system. The rally began with singing and ended with prayer before everybody boarded buses to go back to homes around the state.

JEFFERSON CITY — About 200 people turned out at the Missouri Capitol for a rally in support of a federal health care overhaul.

Participants at Tuesday's event chanted that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that no one should be left without health insurance. Featured speakers included several past and present Democratic lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Paul LeVota of Indepedence.

The event was sponsored by Mexico, Mo.,-based Grass Roots Organizing and the national advocacy group Health Care for America Now.

Melanie Edwards of Keytesville speaks to a pro-health care reform group on the steps of the Capitol building in Jefferson City on Wednesday. "At first, I was fearful to speak out in front of people," said Edwards, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December. "Now, I'm more fearful not speak up and demand change." The rally brought supporters from all over Missouri to help demand Missouri legislators make a move on the health care reform. Many speakers remarked that the next two weeks were crucial to getting something passed. Speakers included state Rep. James Morris, minority house leader Paul LeVota, members of the Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence and individuals who have been negatively affected by the current health care system. The rally lasted from 10:30 to noon.
Richard Green of Ozark tells his story at a health care rally on the Capitol steps in Jefferson City on Wednesday. Green, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, said he wants to educate people on the loopholes and shortfalls of the current health care system, a system he said failed him when he needed it most.
A sign rests at the feet of a health care supporter during a rally at the Capitol building in Jefferson City on Wednesday. Speaker and organizer Robin Acree led the rally with songs and chants, welcoming speakers of all backgrounds to share their negative experiences with the current health care system.

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Ray Shapiro September 2, 2009 | 6:08 p.m.

("Participants at Tuesday's event chanted that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that no one should be left without health insurance.")
Access to medical care is a right, privilege and a responsibility.
A health insurance policy should not be the only alternative to health care access.
("About 200 people turned out at the Missouri Capitol for a rally in support of a federal health care overhaul.")
I wonder how they recruited people to attend?
Oh, wait, I got an e-mail....


Statewide Health Care Rally!

Tell Congress to--Get Back to Work!

Rousing Speakers, Real Health Care Stories, Elected Officials, Community Leaders, & MORE!

THIS Wednesday, September 2
10:30 a.m. to Noon,

Missouri State Capitol Steps, Jefferson City, Missouri

Health Care Can’t Wait!
Put People before Profits!

The clock is ticking!
8 Americans who go without proper health care die each hour…

Van/Bus rides and carpooling from Columbia and other parts of the state available. Contact Lily (443-4476) for more information, or call toll free (877) 581-9595.

Some of the Folks Speaking Out at the Rally include:
The Reverend and MO Representative James Morris
Former MO Representative, Current Chief of Staff of Senator Robin Wright Jones and UAW Representative John Bowman
MO House of Representatives Minority Leader, Paul LaVota
MO Representative, Rebecca McClanahan,
Former MO Representative and Congressional District 9 Candidate, Judy Baker
Executive Director of Disabled Citizen's Alliance for Independence, Rich Blakely
Real Health Care Storytellers from Across Missouri
And MORE!!!
Sponsored by GRO - Grass Roots Organizing and Health Care for America NOW!

Missouri Partners. Contact Lily ( 573-443-4476) for more information, or call toll free (877) 581-9595 or choose "reply all" to this email.

Thank you

Change Today

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2009 | 6:37 p.m.

If health care is a right, does that mean you can demand a physician or nurse treat you?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 2, 2009 | 7:00 p.m.

Yes, you have the right to demand a physician or nurse to treat you. And they have the right to refer you to a free clinic, the emergency room or treat you pro-bono."p...
You also have the right to ask for information and referral assistance...
Health Insurance Policies for everyone does not have to be the primary focus.
Access, affordability, quality and responsiveness by health care providers, (and not beaureaucrats), might be a better way to bring down costs.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 2, 2009 | 8:07 p.m.

Do you think that applies to a non-emergency situation as well? Telling someone that they must give their time and labor to you seems somewhat un-American to me.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 12:30 a.m.

Apparently it's always deemed an emergency when using the emergency room.
Also seems that in effect these emergency rooms act as agents on behalf of the government.
While I can understand a hard-line Libertarian ideal, until some real tweaking of our system takes place, I think the humanitarian rule over rides the "must give their time and labor" concern for now.
What do you suggest?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 3, 2009 | 1:49 a.m.

I don't have a problem with the current ER rule/law/guideline, but I think people saying that prenatal care or eye exams or dental appointments are rights need to think carefully about what they are saying with respect to their fellow man.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 3, 2009 | 4:27 a.m.

Ray wrote:

"Access, affordability, quality and responsiveness by health care providers, (and not beaureaucrats), might be a better way to bring down costs."

Way easier said than done, sir.

Access we have. Hospitals and clinics are everywhere, and virtually everywhere has fast response emergency equipment serving these facilities.

Affordability gets complicated. The number of people involved in a particular ER visit, office visit, or hospitalization has increased a great deal in the past few decades. We also have a lot more (expensive) testing available, as well as the need for physicians to protect themselves from lawsuits. Profit is but a small part of these costs.

Health care professionals are not trained like they were 50 years ago. The days when a GP set a broken bone, lanced an abscess or sutured a wound are long gone. Instead of a "nurse" we now have ACNP's, RN's, LPN's, CNA's, and things in the middle, like PA's. Everything is a lot more specialized, and everyone has their place, and a part of the proceeds. Like teaching, it makes things more expensive to involve so many more people.

Quality? What does that mean? If you mean appropriateness of treatment, and freedom from error, hospitals have whole departments that monitor this. Of course, since we're all human, mistakes occur. Does this mean they make fewer mistakes in socialized med countries? Probably not. It may mean that our mistakes are simply reported better.

Responsiveness - see above "access". It's pretty much the same thing.

Our health care is a product of the market. Patients demand perfection and enforce it by threat of legal action. The health care profession has adapted to this as best they can. They use all the technology and personnel at hand to be certain of their diagnoses, and to protect themselves, which gets really expensive. Unless fundamental attitudes change, health care will not become any more affordable in the future.


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 9:39 a.m.

Almost too unbelievable to comprehend...
("Report: 9 People Visited ER 2,678 Times in 6 Years
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas —

Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report.
The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.
"What we're really trying to do is find out who's using our emergency rooms ... and find solutions," said Ann Kitchen, executive director of the group, which presented the report last week to the Travis County Healthcare District board.

The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.

Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50, the report said, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

"It's a pretty significant issue," said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, chief of the emergency department at University Medical Center at Brackenridge, which has the busiest ERs in the area.

Solutions include referring some frequent users to mental health programs or primary care doctors for future care, Ziebell said.

"They have a variety of complaints," he said. With mental illness, "a lot of anxiety manifests as chest pain."),2933,5121...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 9:44 a.m.

("This paper reviews a humanistic risk management policy that includes early injury review, steadfast maintenance of the relationship between the hospital and the patient, proactive full disclosure to patients who have been injured because of accidents or medical negligence, and fair compensation for injuries.")
source and more:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 12:35 p.m.

Regarding HC 3200:
1. Throw it away and start all over.
2. Public Option is not an option if it is designed to become the government's attempt to monopolize the issuance of health insurance policies. The government incentive and motivation is to secure as many "policy holders" as possible to ensure citizen dependency and maximum cash flow through its own bureaucracy.
3. If the "government" was concerned to spur health insurance policy competition among private and nonprofit enterprises, they would set up a federal insurance commission to replace the current limitations state regulations create.
4. My guess is that "the public option" is a desperate attempt to fix Medicaid, Medicare, VA and other "entitlement" fiscal problems. There are better ways to achieve this and much is on the internet for alternative solutions.
5. Be wary of the labels, sound bites and packaging of yet what's to come. Question and research what's being proposed and the possible impacts, ripple effects and consequences of any new legislation.
6. When it comes to Obama, please remember, Charisma and Charm isn't everything.

(Report Comment)

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