Today was the first day that I felt almost normal. There are still issues to contemplate about my future, but all my shields are in place and I can actually enjoy myself. Still feeling a bit weak. I need to stop and rest a lot when I'm driving my wheelchair, but I still feel good. I got invited to a "health care" reform discussion called California Speaks
sponsored by the purported Governor of California. I had agreed to go to at the beginning, but with all the pneumonia/hospital/panic attack/depression stuff I'd pretty much decided to skip it. However last night something happened. I'm not completely sure what yet. Something in my brain has clicked around to where I'm not quite so scared. I'm eating more easily and sleeping well. It seemed important to attend. So, loracs
and I got to bed early and managed to get to Summitt College by 9 o'clock.
Although it had been billed as a free ranging discussion on health care issues on California's healthcare system. He quickly got manipulating by the Governor and his staff to be more about getting us to sign onto his concept of reform. Namely keeping insurance companies in between patients and their health care givers. Adding some mandates to individuals by requiring them to buy health insurance. Requiring health insurance companies to accept people who have pre-existing conditions. However not making sure that those insurance companies are required to actually treat the pre-existing condition. Then trying to cover everyone who can't be covered with an expanded Medi-Cal program.
Personally, I think he also stacked the deck by cherry picking the cities that would host the discussion over the state. Except for the Bay Area and perhaps Humboldt County all the other sites were in what I would consider more conservative areas of the state. Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles. in his introduction he basically said he would veno any single-payer health care plan. He structured the discussion around bills he was supporting never mind that not one of the bills had even made it to floor of the assembly or Senate of California. The one single-payer bill has made it through the Senate I'm not sure what's going on with the assembly version yet.
On my own I probably would've left, but our discussion group were all basically in agreement that single-payer was the way to go. So we just kept responding to any question by saying either we preferred the insurance companies not be involved in health care or that single-payer would solve many of the problems that Schwarzenegger was proposing to solve with other bits of legislation. There was lots of support in the room for single-payer and apparently in Humboldt County was also pushing single-payer, but the Southern more conservative states were doing as would be predicted bringing up all of the old saws against single-payer. We won't be able to choose our own doctor! (Never mind that choice of doctors limited by insurance companies now). The government can't provide services economically. Never mind that the Medi-Cal program's administrative costs are still around 3% and private insurance administrative costs are going up and are well over 15%. That we need cost controls never mind that one of the fastest growing costs are related to insurance company administration costs.
The good news is we did actually manage to get single-payer into the discussion. It's documented, not that Schwarzenegger will change his mind. feels good to be an advocate again.
I ran into a lot of people I haven't seen in quite a while and a few people are seeing more recently. I knew about 10 who attended. I had a pretty good day.