Monday, December 21, 2009

Thank You to Senator Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders got a Community Health Care Center provision in the Health Care Bill. His announcement states:

"A $10 billion investment in community health centers, expected to go to $14 billion when Congress completes work on health care reform legislation, was included in a final series of changes to the Senate bill unveiled today.

The provision, which would provide primary care for 25 million more Americans, was requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

He said the additional resources will help bring about a revolution in primary health care in America and create new or expanded health centers in an additional 10,000 communities. The provision would also provide loan repayments and scholarships through the National Health Service Corps to create an additional 20,000 primary care doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and mental health professionals.

Very importantly, Sanders also said the provision would save Medicaid tens of billions of dollars by keeping patients out of emergency rooms and hospitals by providing primary care when then needed it."

We have argued for this for the past year. Shown above is my card from the 1940s in New York City. My grandmother, the former head of the Socialist Party in New York and a Physician at the Seaview Hospital for TB patients on Staten Island in the 1920s was insistent that I get health care along with the others in a public facility. The card accounts for my weight, height, inoculations and the like. I remember the white enamel furniture, clean crisp nurses, and the starched white coat physicians.

Despite the fact that I most likely disagree with everything else Bernie believes in, I think, this is a wonderful step. It provides for child care and preventive care. Yes it is care for those who cannot afford it, but it can be good care and can prevent many of the problems we see later in life if done properly.

The problem is that those well off will still get their better care from cash up front Park Avenue physicians but the issue is so what if we can get care to those who need it when it counts the most. Frankly the cost is quite low considering what it would cost if not provided when it should have been.

So,thanks Senator, you did not get the handouts that others got, you gave to those who need a solution that many have sought. It can represent a great platform to build upon!