Thursday, July 22, 2010

Doctors Debate Obamacare Tonight

Should be an interesting debate on WGN Radio 720 TONIGHT from 10pm-12 midnight Central Standard Time with Milt Rosenberg moderating.

The "favor" physician will be Dr. Arnie Widen, Medical Director of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and is the immediate past president of CommunityHealth of Chicago. Dr. Widen has been a tireless advocate for CommunityHealth, spending countless hours at the facility, mentoring medical students and treating patients. Like all the doctors there, he believes in the founding statement of CommunityHealth: "Nobody should go without health care." CommunityHealth is the largest volunteer-based, non-profit health care provider in Illinois and one of the largest free clinics in the country.

To "opposing" physician will be Dr. Mark Neerhof, a practicing high-risk obstetrician/fetal medicine specialist and member of Docs4PatientCare, an organization of thousands of concerned physicians committed to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, promotes quality of care, supports affordable access to all Americans, and protects patients' personal health care decisions.

You should be able to click here to listen in.



Jodi said...

Thank you for advertising the debate, Wes.

I don't know if you listened, but if you missed it, I will get you an MP3 copy.

I was able to call in and make a few comments and ask a question about single payer, but unfortunately my question was never answered.

What I wish I would have mentioned is this:

With the US leading the world (number 1) in obesity rates, and the WHO 2008 report that we consume the highest amounts of alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine, having the highest rates of rape, teen pregnancy, gun violence, total crimes, auto accidents, etc. - our life expectancy struggles as does our infant mortality rates.

IF all we had to do to fix these problems and bring up our nations life expectancy rates was to give people health care then it would stand to reason that the young people of our society who DO get free health care (Medicaid) would be outshining the rest of the nation when it comes to obesity rates, smoking, alcohol, life expectancy, teen pregnancy, infant mortality, etc. But that is not the case.

Why? Because doctors and nurses cannot stop Americans from shooting each other more than other countries, or raping each other, or getting pregnant at 16, or over eating and under exercising, or quitting smoking. Behavior modification is all we have for those problems. We don't need an MD to tell someone to exercise every day and eat a well balanced meal, or don't smoke or get shot by your neighbor.

Given our society's overall health status statistics compared to other country's, and the fact that a health care system can do little more than assist those people with managing the consequences of their lifestyle choices, our health care system faces challenges that no other health care system faces - AND we still post higher five year survival rates for many cancers than any other country.


Jodi said...

The question I asked Dr. Widen about single payer, which was not answered, is this:

America spent $2.4 trillion on health care last I heard (and maybe it came down to $2.3 trillion).

Of that, the US government spent half.

So, the US government spent $1.2 trillion on health care. That was to cover roughly 120 million people (medicare, medicaid, tricare, SCHIP, etc.)

The President and the Congressional Budget Office have both been saying over the past year that the health care budget for the government is driving our country toward bankruptcy.

So - Our government must bring down that $1.2 trillion dollars.

How is that we can bring down that $1.2 trillion number AND add the remaining 180 million Americans to the government health care pool?


Pluripotent said...

I listened to the debate as well last night. I find it interesting that Dr. Widen (in favor of Obamacare) relied so heavily on spurious data in support of his arguments, such as the politically motivated WHO studies, the number of the uninsured, etc. If he relied on such data in his professional life, he would not be a physician, he would be a Reiki Master or some other type of Shaman. I'm sure he would not base his professional career on such studies, so it should not be tolerated that he uses them to support his political beliefs, either. Such cherry picking is inexcusable and strains his credibility.