Medical Student James Besante: Is Health Care a Human Right? A Community Discussion

Please Read The Flyer And The Narrative From Mr. Besante And Plan To Attend This Event This Saturday (6/15/13)


Is Health Care a Human Right? A Community Discussion

James Besante

Edgewood, New Mexico

The Town of Edgewood stretches out over a 16 mile area in the southwestern portion of Santa Fe County. It is home to approximately 4000 residents many of whom encounter barriers in accessing needed medical care. Unequal access to health care resources in Edgewood leads to different health outcomes for town residents. The purpose of my community project is to create a space where community members can discuss their own experiences with the health care system. This interactive discussion will take place at the Edgewood Town Hall during the second week of June and will be open to the public. I am coordinating this event with town councilor, Charles Ring, who has allocated the space and is helping me advertise the event around town. I am also working on this project with my classmate Monica Miller (MSII) who is co-hosting the event in Edgewood as her community project.

I believe this public discussion is a novel approach to addressing health inequality in Edgewood. The talk will take place in three parts. First, the attendees and hosts will voluntarily offer their own experiences with the health care system with close attention paid to creating a safe and comfortable space to discuss intense personal experiences. Second, the question “Is health care a human right?” will be posed to all in attendance. Community members will be asked to expand on their views and/or clarify their positions to other attendees. Third, possible solutions or actions will be discussed. Hosts, Monica Miller and Myself, will facilitate all sections of this event. The final output of this project will be a paper on the ‘right to health care’ supported by commentary elicited from the Edgewood community. This project also hopes to produce an editorial in the The Independent, a locally owned and managed newspaper distributed in the East Mountains and Estancia Valley. A press release for the event has been created for members of the local press and will hopefully bolster interest.

This project is an interactive discussion lead by community members, who bring with them the content of the event through their experiences and insights. It is not a class or lecture. It is not a good or service to be dispensed. Monica and Myself, while active in the organization and coördination of this event, will take on the roles of facilitators during the discussion. In summary, our community project belongs to the members of the community. It is our sincerest hope that this discussion stirs a desire for change by those affected and invested in the Town of Edgewood. I believe true, lasting, and fundamental change to ameliorate the current health inequality in Edgewood will be the product of relevant shareholder action. This proposed human rights based discussion may unveil a moral imperative in some, while in others it may elucidate commonality or shared hardship. Regardless, I believe this conversation is overdue and stands to advance the health and well-being of the population I currently serve.


Was She Thirsty Or Just FLUSH With Courage


Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2011)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

This is a short story about a lady and a glass of water.  The lady’s name is Amy Rushlow and she happens to be employed by Men’s Health magazine as the senior associate editor.  To prove a point about where or where not germs might be, she first drank from a glass of water and then gargled with some of the remaining water.  So far as I know she did not use breath freshener after her little demonstration.

There will be some in blogland that will applaud Ms. Rushlow’s actions, while others may change her name to Amy Flushlow.  Whatever side our readers might take, you can watch the action here:


First we would like to acknowledge Ms. Rushlow’s bravery in proving that she can drink from a commode without falling dead or unconscious on the toilet floor:  Second, we would like to thank Men’s Health for allowing a woman to take full charge of the experiment for a magazine that touts men’s health, but where the men are willing to allow the women to wet their whistle from the bottom of a place that has known many bottoms:  Third and finally, we acknowledge Mediaite’s continuing journey into  the unknown boundaries of human endeavor.

Thanks guys and gals and a flip of the commode lid to every one of you.  Click on the link if you wish to read the complete story from Mediaite.


They Say, “Our Work For Next Week Is Repeal.”

President Barack Obama meets with Speaker Nanc...

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2011)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

The US House of Representatives, at least the representative on the Republican side,  say they will begin repeal of President Obama’s (as it is known) ObamaCare legislation.  Some say the odds for success for a complete repeal are zero to none, but others say repeal is a sure thing.

I believe something between outright repeal in both houses and a compromise of some sort is most likely to occur.  I also believe, had there not been such a rush to pass the bill over the objections of what has been said to be a majority of those polled, we might have been able to craft a plan suitable to most American citizens.  Perhaps such an effort to listen will work now, but the process will have to get past the vitriol and distrust from many previously shown in both houses.

Reuters (USEdition) has posted a story by their reporters, Donna Smith and Thomas Ferraro, reporting on the statements and plans for the republican effort and there’s seems no lack of confidence for success on the part of the republican leadership.  The article correctly states work had been scheduled to begin for repeal of the bill for this week, but the tragedy in Tucson caused a delay in the beginning of the process:

“As the White House noted, it is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill next week,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

“Americans have legitimate concerns about the cost of the new healthcare law and its effect on the ability to grow jobs in our country,” he added.

The vote is set for Wednesday, said another Republican aide who asked not to be identified.

Both sides believe, or say they believe, their position is the correct and true side of the issue and offer further arguments in trying to convince the public their path is valid and will ultimately succeed:

The House is also expected to vote on a second measure that would instruct three House committees to develop replacement healthcare legislation that would, among other things, “foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations.”

Democrats argue the healthcare overhaul that was signed into law last year will expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and help rein in soaring medical costs. But Republicans argue the coverage mandate in the legislation is unconstitutional and that penalties for employers who do not provide coverage discourage hiring.

Whatever may happen in the immediate future, it should be remembered that legal challenges to the bill are still pending which may or may not do away with the need for repeal of the bill.  This and other remaining issues, are found by reading the entire Reuters article found by clicking here and accessing links found below.

“Are You Serious?” She Asked.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States Hou...

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

The answer, in so many words, to House Speaker Pelosi’s question was,  yes.  It now seems that the question was well-asked and vindication belongs to the reporter asking the question.  And, it seems for good reason as many have thought since the rapid passage of ObamaCare.   At least for a brief period, if not longer.

If you haven’t figured it out, the subject at this point is a Virginia federal court’s decision announced today.  The court has ruled that ObamaCare, in-so-far as it requires citizens to purchase healthcare insurance from the government or its contractors is in violation of the commerce clause of the US Constitution.  We’ll get to some of what the judge had to say, but first let’s go back to capture what Madame Speaker once uttered.  Today in a story by Matt Cover hurled back to October 22, 2009:

When asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

The Speaker Speaks

I’m surprised the Speaker would ask a question to which she would know the answer.  She would know the answer or she was being disingenuous due to the question having been asked by a reporter from a conservative news organization and not a more progressive one.  Pelosi is reported to have shook her head before going to questions from other reporters and her press spokesman got into the mix from there:

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”

“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

We now know that at least one federal judge has felt the question was serious enough to rule as indicated above, two judges have ruled otherwise and 20 states (at least) have yet to hear a verdict on their challenges.  We have read and heard that many judicial experts expect the case to end up before SCOTUS … perhaps on an accelerated calendar.

It continues then, and we can expect other decisions to issue forth from the courts in various federal jurisdictions.  What was that about the wheels of justice grinding exceedingly slow?  You can read the remaining part of the CNS report with a click here.

Flap of the cap to CNS and Mr. Cover.

Conspiracy Brews, But Not What You’d Think




“By investing in connectivity, we can overcome our geography, preserve our environment, enhance the education of our children, and improve our economy.
New Mexico deserves nothing less.”

Rep. Janice E. Arnold-Jones · House District 24


Saturday Morning Office Hours
(Coffee with Janice)
(Conspiracy Brews)

November 20, 2010
9:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

–All Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Greens and others are welcome!
We think that government should be open and honest at all times.

(Quote of the week)

“Shallow men believe in luck.  Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Suggested Topics

— What is rationing in Obamacare…is a two month extension of life worth $95,000?

— NM Medicaid is running out of money…how severe must the cuts be?

— Janice has been warning for years that the retirement funds were under funded …
have the chickens come home to roost?

— What paradigms are needed to improve education in NM?


*** Two committees, one on Education and one on Race, will plan
the agenda for the
Town Hall meetings we will have In January and March
before & following the legislative session!


(Light Quotes of the week)

“Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados (sic) are both called users.”

Clifford Stoll

“If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee —
that will do them in.”

Bradley’s Bromide

I like pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”

Sir Winston Churchill


***There are now two other meetings like ours occurring in Albuquerque.

(Canceled until after the Election)
New Mexicans 4 Limited Government
Second and Fourth Wednesdays @ 4700 Lincoln Rd NW, ABQ 87109
(5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)

South Valley Citizens for Common Sense
Fourth Saturday Every Month @ Abuelita’s New Mexican Kitchen
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Fascinating and unique discussions each week.
Join us!

Janice (New Mexico Now) is now live on KIVA AM 1550 M-F 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM

If you can’t pick up the station in your location, then stream it over the Internet at

Phone Number 505-265-1550

or Toll-Free 1-877-437-6119


— KIVA has arranged with  other radio stations around NM so this show will be state wide:


1550 AM
102.3 FM
91.7 FM
88.9 FM
1100 AM





— Tell your friends and acquaintances to check in their area for the stations that will carry
the broadcasts
— Adam Kokesh has a show, Adam vs The Man, from 9-11 PM each day, also on KIVA AM.


What’s It All About, Ralphie — ObamaCare Waivers, We Mean

The seal of the United States Department of He...

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Ralphie not Alfie, but what are the 111 exemptions from health care enrollment under ObamaCare all about.  To start with there are unions, large firms and others who have garnered exemptions and if business proceeds as usual when folks have big lawyers or have made contributions to the party in power before, during or after the bill  passed this probably won’t be the last of the exemptions or delays.

I’d urge all interested people and groups to pay attention as things zing along to see where it goes from here.  There is more than a little information at the United States Health and Human Services web site which deals with the muck and mire involved in this large, thick and hard to understand piece of law. Here it is … click.

What is it all about?  I didn’t know when it first passed and I don’t know now, but here’s a video that might help you understand … another click.

Is The Message Scrambled


Image via Wikipedi

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

In, Egg on Their Faces, Steven Malanga writing for City Journal breaks the yolk of the government’s nutrition studies and the recommendations made as a result of those studies.  It is enough to cause one to slather a hamburger patty or a marbled steak all over his or her pudgy body.

Mr. Malanga’s revelations, or assertions pokes a carving knife in the government’s attack on meat  or other potentially fat protein.  Since I like food of any derivation (so far in my limited experience, at least) let’s see what Malanga has to say:

Every five years, the federal Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services revise their Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a publication that sets the direction for federal nutrition-education programs. In an age when aggressive government agencies in places like New York City seek a greater hand in shaping Americans’ diets, the next set of guidelines, published later this year, could prove more controversial than usual because increasing scientific evidence suggests that some current federal recommendations have simply been wrong. Will a public-health establishment that has been slow to admit its mistakes over the years acknowledge the new research and shift direction? Or will it stubbornly stick to its obsolete guidelines?

In his introduction above, Malanga asserts, informs and in the last sentence, asks a question most of us can answer if we look to the government’s record in dealing with such matters.  They will stick to their guns and disregard any study which disagrees with their own work … whether real work or just “make work.”  Habits in government are difficult to break and for the past three decades or more, Americans have been asked to take a detour from the greasy road of burgers, chops and other such.  But let’s see what else surfaces in Malanga’s article:

As a recent review of the latest research in Scientific American pointed out, ever since the first set of federal guidelines appeared in 1980, Americans heard that they had to reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on meat and dairy products and replacing them with carbohydrates. Americans dutifully complied. Since then, obesity has increased sharply, and the progress that the country has made against heart disease has largely come from medical breakthroughs like statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, and more effective medications to control blood pressure.

It is plain (maybe) there is a small disconnect in the paragraph above.  The government never counted on “super-size me” and other such personal, some might say, “selfish indulgence” as a new American eating experience, but the experience did develop and probably had much to do with our floppy bellies and fallen arches visited upon up from the sheer weight of our dining experiences.  Anyhow, according to Mr. Malanga, harder questions are being asked by researchers:

…In an analysis of the daily food intake of some 350,000 people published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found no link between the amount of saturated fat that a person consumed and the risk of heart disease. One reason, the researchers speculate, is that saturated fat raises levels of so-called good, or HDL, cholesterol, which may offset an accompanying rise in general cholesterol. A few weeks later, researchers at Harvard released their own analysis of data from 20 studies around the world, concluding that those who eat four ounces of fresh (not processed) red meat every day face no increased risk of heart disease.

More findings or report on findings can be found in the rest of Mr. Malanga’s article.  So read the other several paragraphs and learn neither meats nor carbohydrates  are necessarily poison to our long-term health, but it is important as to type and tailoring to meet our needs.  We leave you with the last paragraph of the article:

As increasingly sophisticated medicine focuses on tailoring therapies to individual needs, sweeping public pronouncements on health have become outdated at best and dangerous at worst. The best advice that government can give citizens is to develop their own diet and exercise regimes, adapted to their own physical circumstances after consultation with their doctors.

Click on this link for more of the article and don’t forget the supplemental links provided below.  Thanks and a flap of the cap to Mr. Malanga.

Health Care Service Can Be A Mess — No Matter The Location

Indian Health Service logo (made by me in Inks...

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Why is it that the segment of society with the most potential need turns out  the most abused by scam artists and crooks.

We speak of the health care needs in our country and the almost constant barrage of reports telling us of the latest Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs illegally manipulated and dipped into by dishonest health care workers; whether nurses, doctors, clerks or others charged with caring for the ill or just plain unhealthy because of malnutrition or other causes.

The latest scandal has hit the Indian Health Service (IHS) and according to a story appearing in the Associated Press MyWay by Matthew Daly, it is a sordid tale of waste and other abuse:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal Indian Health Service has hired convicted criminals, failed to stop employees from stealing narcotics and allowed workers to take paid leave for more than a year while being investigated for misconduct, a federal investigation has found.

The investigation disclosed years of mismanagement that have led to poor patient care, long-term vacancies and other problems at the Aberdeen Area of the Indian Health Service, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Reports of dangerous prescription drugs and/or narcotics stolen  and then sold by employees are not uncommon.  In some cases employees convicted in drug cases have been rehired in the very same area in which the crimes were committed:

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the panel’s chairman, said Tuesday that the Aberdeen office “appears to me to be completely dysfunctional.”

Dorgan said he was stunned to learn that the region’s deputy director had been placed on paid leave for undisclosed reasons for more than a year. The official, Shelly R. Harris, has stayed home, at taxpayer expense, while allegations against her are investigated, said Charlene Red Thunder, director of the Aberdeen region.

An IHS spokesman said Harris is paid $125,109 per year. He declined to comment on the allegations against her or say when they may be resolved, citing privacy laws.

Dorgan called the lengthy leave unacceptable and said it was impossible to believe that a private-sector employer would allow such an action. “Not on your life!” he said.

The Aberdeen area IHS has many facilities which can serve as ready targets for any person or group ready to steal from the IHS:

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the panel’s chairman, said Tuesday that the Aberdeen office “appears to me to be completely dysfunctional.”

The Aberdeen office serves more than 100,000 Indians on reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The region includes nine hospitals, eight health centers, two school health stations, and several smaller health stations and satellite clinics.

You can read some additional details by clicking here.

Sen. Byron Dorgan is the legislative sponsor o...

Image via Wikipedia

Medicare — Hold It There, Maybe Not, Old People

President Johnson signing the U.S. Medicare bi...

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

The Wall Street Journal/Opinion Journal has a troubling article by Peter Ferrara and Larry Hunter.  It is about ObamaCare and what it will do to Medicare unless something is done to change POTUS’s and Congress’ creation.  I’m concerned because I am one of those old downhill types and I’m not talking about skiing down a steep slope, although the peril might be very much the same.  The article starts with:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has attacked Senate Republican candidates for wanting “to end Medicare as we know it.” And in Nevada’s hotly contested Senate race, Majority Leader Harry Reid is attacking Republican Sharron Angle, saying she wants to “gut” Medicare. But Mr. Reid has already gutted it. He and his colleagues did so by passing ObamaCare.

I’m not going to insist that I’m entitled to Medicare (I’m not) but since I have it, I wouldn’t mind keeping it for whatever years more than 70 (my present age) might be allowed me.  Medicare, or not, I don’t like being lied to and that is exactly how Medicare under ObamaCare feels at this point.  Let’s go a little further:

In his analysis accompanying the recently released Annual Report of the Medicare Board of Trustees, Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, noted that Medicare payment rates for doctors and hospitals serving seniors will be cut by 30% over the next three years.

Then Mr. Foster goes on to say that by the end of the 75-year projection period in the Annual Medicare Trustees Report, Medicare payment rates will be one-third of what will be paid by private insurance, and only half of what is paid by Medicaid. But, you’ve not seen anything until you read this next bit of news:

Altogether, ObamaCare cuts $818 billion from Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) from 2014-2023, the first 10 years of its full implementation, and $3.2 trillion over the first 20 years, 2014-2033. Adding in ObamaCare cuts for Medicare Part B (physicians fees and other services) brings the total cut to $1.05 trillion over the first 10 years and $4.95 trillion over the first 20 years.

I’ll bet President Johnson never envisioned that a fellow Democrat, well Progressive, would turn Medicare bottom-up and do so in a rapid-fire manner.  There is more:

There will be added cuts under ObamaCare to Medicare Advantage, the private option to Medicare that close to one-fourth of all seniors have chosen for their coverage under the program because it gives them a better deal. Mr. Foster estimates that 50% of all seniors with Medicare Advantage will lose their plan because of these cuts. Mr. Obama’s pledge that “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep it” clearly does not apply to America’s seniors.

I don’t have one yet, but if ObamaCare doesn’t quit taking my breath away, I will need an oxygen bottle … a big one.  There’s more bad news in the rest of the article and I’m sure more to come ad infinitum, or as a famous poet has said:

…  So, naturalists observe, a flea Has smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite ’em, And so proceed ad infinitum. …

Jonathan Swit … On Poetry: A Rhapsody

“Bite ’em,” ” bite us,”  ObamaCare will be the end for us.  Read more from the article, right here and you’ll learn more startling news regarding your Medicare.  Don’t forget to chase the links shown below.