Home > Eureka California, Health Care > State of Health Care in Eureka

State of Health Care in Eureka

[Guest post by Tom Fredriksen.]

First, I want to start off by saying Mother and Daughter are doing fine. The reason will become clear shortly.

St. Joseph’s in Eureka was the birthplace of my daughter, and as of a couple of hours ago, my new Grand Daughter.

It was a rough labor. Two days, and things started to go wrong on the second day. Very wrong.

Without going into the details here, the end result required a hurried “C” section.

Let me set the mood. It is 9:00pm, the front door of the hospital is locked, the only way in or out is via the Emergency Room door. A procedure in place of checking in with the staff and entrance to the hospital proper. Sounds good on the surface doesn’t it?

Now let me relate my experience.

“Ring Ring”……”Get up here NOW!”

After horridly parking in the hospital parking lot I made my way into the emergency room and found myself behind approximately 30-35 people hacking, coughing…..one bleeding all over himself and the person holding him up….a series of what I can only describe as “globs” on the floor and one lone hospital worker at the back of the Emergence Room.

With no way to get to her. Seriously, no way. I did mention the 30 people in front of me.

Knowing a good cluster fuck when I see one I started looking for other doors. After finding one I began beating on it until someone opened it. I explained my family situation and pity was taken.

After finding the delivery area I approached the on-duty nurse and explained that anyone requiring entrance to the Maternity ward is required to spend several hours in an emergency room full of quite ill people prior to being given entrance.

She looked at me with doe eyes and rattled off the standard response. “yes it is frustrating isn’t it.”. Indeed.

Well, most people here on the Herald know me well enough that I don’t suffer fools well. I demanded a Hospital Supervisor….immediately.

Enter the supervisor.

Juanita, who must have had some basic required Risk Management training at one point, stated she saw the liability to the facility by making people wait for hours in the company of quite ill people prior to entering a section full of new born babies.

She even took my phone number. How nice.

Frankly, I could care less about the phone call back from the hospital, it won’t change anything. And their policy, in my opinion, was established as a form of labor cost savings.

The health of not only new mothers, little babies, and ICU patients be damned.

Tom Fredriksen
Old Glory Radio

  1. November 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    So what is that absolutely bothered Tom? Was it the 30 to 35 people using the Emergency Room? Or was it the St. Joe’s policy of locking down the hospital in the evening (only allowing access through the ER)?

    Both are very different, but equally compelling issues.

  2. Lodgepole
    November 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Fuck em’. Have your daughter go to mad river next time.

  3. Big Al
    November 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    that has been the case for many years. when my wife was ready to have our daughter (who has just now turned 18) we had to find our way around the hospital to the ER, we made it, my point is it has been that way for some time.

    in July my wife had a bad accident and we went to the ER at St.Joes, her injuries were beyond the local specialists and we were flown to Mercy in Redding.
    let me tell you, there is a whole different attitude there, people seem to be a bit more caring and on top of their game. I think that Mercy must treat their people better they seemed to try harder or something,
    there was a difference and it was apparent from the moment we arrived.
    I am glad we were close to St. Joe’s, they got her stable and got some initial xrays but was very glad we were flown to Redding.
    she is much better now by the way, and thanks
    Sad River…? no thanks

  4. Tom Fredriksen
    November 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Tapperass, I’m going to stay on this tread. To respond, I quite care about adiquate care for emergency room patients, after all, we all require that service and applaud St Joes for maintaining such a facility. That said….requiring non emergency patients, and visitors to the hospital to spend hours with people suffering with the flu and God knows what prior to entering the Hospital is nothing less than a public health crisis.

    The ER at St Joes is at the most 8 feet by about 15 feet, cramed with well….sick people. Try sitting there for a few hours elbow to elbow and then enter the Hospital ICU unit to visit your uncle. Do you really think you aren’t bringing everying in the ER with you?

    When you enter the hospital proper during the day time, a very nice young girl asks you “Do you have any flu symptoms?” If you do you get a mask, or are not allowed into the hospital. Apparently during the day time they actually care. People are watching you know.

    At night, it is a free for all. St. Joe’s is a germ free for all after 8:00 o’clock. In my opinion.

    Now there is an easy way to shut me up….and to you St Jo people reading this, no I’m not done with you….place a security guard in the ER. Frankly one should be there anyway. Provide access to the hospital that doesn’t require visitors and family members to immerse themselves in filth prior to entering the hospital for hours on end.

    Hospitals are businesses these days, not care centers. We should enter them knowing this.

  5. anonymous
    November 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    If I ever get a tatoo it will be emblazened across my chest and boldly state “Get Me Out of St. Joes!”

  6. Mersa Anyone?
    November 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    When a friend’s husband had surgery at St. Joe’s, a nurse told my friend she could bring their dog to see him. “But put something on the dog’s feet when you bring her in,” said the nurse.

    “Oh, my dog is really clean,” said my friend.

    “Honey, it’s not to protect us. It’s to protect your dog.” And she was dead serious. I was right there, and I kid you not.

  7. Anonymous
    November 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Mad River Hospital has you enter through the ER at night, but last time I was there, there was no check-in unless you’re seeking services. The maternity ward is locked down 24/7 though and you have to get buzzed in on an individual basis.

  8. Anonymous
    November 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    The kicker about St. Joe’s is that from October to March, visitors under 18 are not allowed, even when escorted by an adult. You can imagine all sorts of situations where that sucks beyond belief.

  9. Capdiamont
    November 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I’d have to agree with Tom. I’ve been through the maternity section thing. I did call the maternity section before arriving, remained in place overnight with my wife. That helped. Fact remains babys don’t have a well developed imune system yet.

  10. Mike Buettner
    November 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    St. Joes saved my life last month. Cardiac arrest. I have no complaints and I was in there for a week.

  11. anonymous
    November 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    It is an infest/infect fest, you do not even want to know the horror stories.

  12. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I have had 3/4 of a million in health care costs the past year and a half. St. Joe’s saved my life in the ER and the subsequent surgeries and procedures I have had were all successful, infection free, and with very good care by the staff. I can’t fault them for how they perform under difficult economic and other conditions. I also believe the new building will really help some of these complaints. (also, anonymous at 11:29, do you understand why the hospital can’t have young people visit when the flu bug is at its worst? It’s for your safety, not to make you miserable). I have Mercy and UCSF to compare with St Joe’s as part of my lovely year and I can say I experienced good treatment those places as well and that there were issues that needed addressing in all three hospitals. I felt blessed overall to have had great care.

  13. Dave
    November 15, 2010 at 6:06 am

    As much as I sympathize with your situation Tom don’t you think this is more than a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black?

    This is the reason us terrible, America hating liberals want to see the health system not in the hands of for-profit entities.

    This is the capitalistic system you and your conservative friends defend. This is the second-to-none health care system I heard you and your fellow conservatives touting so strongly back at the beginning of the year.

    Wow. I could write all day on how ironic this is but since you’ve experienced it for yourself at the cost of your loved ones health then I won’t rub it in any further.

    On a more personal note, God Bless your new grandchild and I’m glad to hear mom and child are well. Our 8 month old made it out of the hospital and I know your pain (though we disagree on the remedy).

  14. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 6:25 am

    the reason the ER is so full is because many of the primary care doctors can’t or won’t afford to take on people without no means to pay or medi-cal due to the low rates of reimbursement. despite what you may have read, nobody gets turned away for medical treatment at the ER in the United States. it has become the new primary care facility.

  15. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Tom is right that there are major problems with this set up. And it is going to get worse as the hospital is planning to close the Urgent Care Clinic in order to make everyone use the ER, which is more profitable.

    St. Joes enjoys all the benefits of a non-profit but is run like a for-profit hospital. They are swimming in money due to the parent organization on top of the millions of donated dollars being given by the community. They can afford to change things, they just don’t care enough to do it.

  16. Tom Fredriksen
    November 15, 2010 at 6:30 am

    This public Health situation does present me with a dilemma.

    Ordinarily, I would have given Neely a call, she would have called the hospital administrator and a procedure would be put in place to protect the patients in the hospital from visitors who had to fight their way through the George Romeroesque patrons of the Emergency Room. But she is out-o’-here.

    Bass, forget it. Never been able to get either a return phone call or email out of her.

    Hospital Administration directly? No, I don’t hang out with the swells here in town and don’t have the juice.

    The Humboldt County Health Department? No, they are joined at the hip with the hospital and won’t want to make any waves. It would be uncomfortable at the Christmas party.

    Dave asks an interesting question above. Are we better off with a private business run hospital or a government run hospital.

    Yes, a business run hospital is profit driven. In this case a good thing. As in the end the only way the hospital will change it’s policy is if they perceive not changing it to be more costly than changing it.

    By the end of today half the area Personal injury attorneys will have read this thread. The problem is out there publicly now. By not changing it after notification of the potential health risks to the patients under their care, they subject themselves to liability.

    Had St Jo’s been a government run institution, there would be no way to affect policy.

    If they are unable financially to hire an $8.00 an hour candy striper to sit at a desk in the evenings, I am sure a call for volunteers in the community would be met at once.

    It is our community hospital, respected and valued in the area. They provide excellent care to patients and the care side of the operation is top notch.

    Administrators are bean counters…..always follow the money.

  17. Bring out your dead
    November 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

    My wife and I recently had our first baby at St. Joes and I have no complaints. However, we were lucky in that no other births were taking place that day so our care was excellent. This could just be luck. Oh and the emergency room is freaking gross…..felt like the middle ages w/all the diseased individuals sitting there. I actually covered my mouth and put gloves on as I requested to be let into the place.

  18. Joel Mielke
    November 15, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Tom, aren’t you one of the teabaggers (or a fellow traveller) who oppose any government meddling in our awesome health care system?

    It’s free market health care, pal. You are a “health care consumer.” If you don’t like St. Joe, then just vote with your feet. Go shopping elsewhere.

  19. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

    If St Joe’s was a government run institution we could contact our elected reps, like the city council and supervisors, and they would have to respond. Whether Bass bothered to respond or not, every official in the county could get involved.

    Instead, we have to hope attorneys will force the administration to do what they claim to already be doing (running an excellent facility and wisely spending community funds)?

  20. Mitch
    November 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Yes, a business run hospital is profit driven. In this case a good thing. As in the end the only way the hospital will change it’s policy is if they perceive not changing it to be more costly than changing it.

    First, congratulations to mom and dad on the birth of your daughter.

    The sentence of yours I copied above is helpful to me in understanding Tea Bagger attitudes. You seem to think that business is more responsive than government. (You also think someone should be happy to collect $8/hr for exposing themselves 40 hours a week to the germs that so frightened you, but that’s another story.)

    Business is not inherently more responsive than government. In the UK, the press reports on scandals at public hospitals, and the hospital administrators get canned. Too many problems, and the electorate votes in people to ensure the problems get fixed.

    What I believe is that small is generally more responsive than large. That’s why I, and many people I know, are upset with the increasing dominance of our politics by huge entities. We don’t think they are interested in responding, because even the entire population of a small city is nothing but a flea on their backside.

    In terms of responsiveness, you seem to think you have a better chance of affecting GM (by, say, buying a Ford) than you have of affecting the government. With the government, you have a chance to work for the election of others, and by publicly exposing their mess, you have a chance of bringing about change.

    I disagree with your idea that the profit motive will cause responsiveness. If it is more profitable to pay a sellout to do a thirty second feel good ad to bring in unaware consumers than it is to improve your product, your responsibility to your shareholders is to do the ad buy. If you are a corporate executive who got an MBA at making a profit but who has no passion for the particular goods or services your business makes, and if you never have to interact with the class of people who actually buy your product, you could care less that you produce crap.

    What we are building now with corporate campaign cash is the worst of all possible approaches: a government which is responsive only to large business entities. Large business entities which get subsidized by the government by making legal bribes. Small businesses destroyed by large businesses with more juice.

  21. Humboldt Politico
    November 15, 2010 at 7:38 am

    St. Joe is a non-profit run by Catholic Sisters of St. Joseph.

  22. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 7:50 am

    You think the personal injury lawyers will find your story more interesting than ones that had a bad outcome? You think they read this blog? Only those with lots of time of their hands.

  23. Harold h. Greene
    November 15, 2010 at 8:12 am

    “It’s free market health care, pal. You are a “health care consumer.” If you don’t like St. Joe, then just vote with your feet. Go shopping elsewhere.”

    that’s really funny. I bet some people takes that seriously too. You’re such the consumer.

    I need to consume an MRI. Can I get one those at St. Joe’s?

  24. High Finance
    November 15, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Tom at 6.30am. Why on earth would you call a county supervisor with a complaint about a hospital?

    I have taken a family member to the emergency room at least five times in the last seven years with a serious problem she has. Always at night or on the weekends. We have only had a problem once, when a traffic accident victim was a understandbly higher priority. Even then we only had to wait a half hour.

    Your problem was the exception & not the rule for St Joe’s ER.

    And Mitch, the only way you could possibly feel that a business is not more responsive to the public than a government run operation is if you have not been to the DMV or the PO in a long time.

  25. Living In Eureka
    November 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

    11:29 unless they’re patients, children have no business in hospitals – EVER! But then I don’t think they belong at funerals either! These are the parents that also bring they’re screaming brats on air planes & restaurants! Get a sitter!

    I’ve only been the St. Joe’s emergency room twice. It’s worse than San Francisco General on a Saturday night! But what do you do when they’re the only deal in town?

  26. skippy
    November 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I like St Joe’s. Have had experiences there that were fine for myself and others in the past. But I’d like to relate two situations of good friends, reliable observers, that caused me pause. I bring this up for both review and improvement, if applicable. I believe the staff at St. Joe’s do try the best they can– and with what they have to work with. Nothing is perfect in this world and no one walks on water.

    My friend’s father admitted was in for a serious condition. He had to go to the bathroom, rang the buzzer, no one came. He tried to make it to the bathroom on his own, couldn’t, peed on the floor by accident and duress. A worker came and mopped it up… but there was either no disinfectant in the mop water, or simply no water, it was observed.

    Another situation was our neighbor who had a seriously broken bone of some sort, admitted, and required an overnight stay or longer. He came home. He mysteriously became ill, gradually worsening. He died a week or so later. The cause was staph infection. I and the family had to wonder if the staph was most likely picked up in the hospital, although we all know staph can be everywhere– and pinpointing staph to one specific location a week later probably can’t be done.

    Please understand that what I’m relating here is my accurate understanding of what was related by two different friends. It is, nonetheless, (reliable, 1st person) hearsay. Hearsay, of course, has it’s own veracity problems. I was discouraged hearing the above accounts because I do like St. Joe’s and their mission of care and values.

    On a different note, I’ve had family members admitted to Redwood Memorial Hospital over the years and those folks and facility completely rocked. I was VERY impressed with their cleanliness, skill, and attitude for too many reasons to relate here. That hospital is the very best in the West. If I had a choice of admittance, that would be my choice.

  27. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    November 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Aside from the St. Joey’s Buttafuoco “shot in the face”, General Hospital has its “issues” as well. Like, how long does a patient who cuts half their thumb off have to wait for fixing?

    Aside from PATIENT injury/health issues on-site, just think how many boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives that get sick from their significant others who are employed at hospitals…..and new babies, well, sorry Tom, but chancs are that your new family member will spread germs upon others for whom visit your domicile or are near the new child in another location. Now, I am not saying that your experience was not bad – just saying that ANYTHING CONNECTED TO THE HEALTH SECTOR IS INFLUENZA TAINTED, that’s all, and its not precluded to JUST HOSPITALS!

    I can’t imagine the germs on the County Supervisor Chambers door handles – maybe they steam the handles, who knows???

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  28. A-Nony-Mouse
    November 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Just to cheer things up, the Open Door Clinic plans to build a wonderful new facility in Eureka. When it’s done, their facility on Buhne will become a training center for doctor internships, nurse training, and PA training. It will feature an Urgent Care Center that will provide service at much lower cost than ER rates. St. Jo’s plans to close its urgent care center at some time in the near future. The new center will provide care and hope.

  29. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    November 15, 2010 at 8:46 am

    “It’s free market health care, pal. You are a “health care consumer.” If you don’t like St. Joe, then just vote with your feet. Go shopping elsewhere.”

    Response: It is Pyramid schemes and grafters of society that sent so many off to war where they were transformed as a human being mentally, physically, socially, emotionally. Now, they are waiting for their prosthetics – 4 of them – since they still are lying in bed as torsos. So, as anyone can read, this is just AN EXAMPLE of why many folks can’t walk……and this does not include domestic injuries.

    So, Google says no such luck locally, must travel – ouch!

    JL

  30. Mitch
    November 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

    HiFi,

    I’ve been to both the DMV and PO. I’ve received good service from both.

    Do you have Suddenlink Cable, HiFi? ‘Nuff said.

    When I try to use an airline, unless I’ve bought a first class ticket, I’m not allowed to walk on the square yard of red carpet they set out for their first class travelers, or use the fast line they provide to the government employee who checks my ticket.

    And when I try to get service from a health insurance company, I can more or less depend on their making “mistakes” to their benefit, every time.

    And I’ve found BP terrifically nonresponsive to my desire for an oil-free coastline.

    On the other hand, rental car companies in big cities are always great. Perhaps that’s because there’s true competition.

  31. Big Al
    November 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

    there are simple things we can do to make hospitals less germ infested
    http://www.psfk.com/2008/10/copper-helps-kill-harmful-super-bugs.html

  32. skippy
    November 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I was remiss in not saying two sidenotes: Tom, thank you for bringing up this issue, trusting it will be reviewed and improved. And, congratulations on your new Grand Daughter! Life is a blessed thing.

  33. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    My elderly parents have both had health problems that St. Joseph’s has handled. They have had multiple surgeries, minor as well as major procedures. The nurses have been incredible. Many of their doctors went to top medical schools or have wonderful reputations. I just went to the emergency room 2 weeks ago and had wonderful care. I was one of two others and waited 45 min for my treatment. Sometimes the ER calls a few days later to see how you are doing. I know there are exceptions to every rule, but I feel so lucky to have such a great hospital and wonderful care in our small community.

  34. tra
    November 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    DMV was pretty quick and easy last time I had to go there in person (which is pretty rare these days because of how much you can do by mail or online).

    And you’ll rarely have to wait more than a couple of minutes for service at any of our post offices. I can remember when a trip to either one of those entities almost always DID require a long wait, so it seems to me that things have improved substantially at both.

    By the way, I’ve had the same experience with banks — it used to be pretty common to have to wait in line for 15 minutes or more to get to the teller, but I haven’t experienced that in years (probably due in part to ATMs and telephone and online banking).

    Of course I would still avoid heading to the bank st 5:15 on a Friday, or heading to the DMV one hour before closing. If you show up when everybody else does, you’re bound to end up waiting a bit longer.

  35. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I know there are busier times than others at the ER. You don’t always have the option though to plan your visit, since it is an emergency. I do know that the urgent care services will still be covered as the hospital is planning on consolidating this service with the emergency service, with triage (a nurse figuring out which direction or how urgent the timing is when he/she is directing patients) happening as patients enter. Urgent care and emergency services with both be available.

  36. tra
    November 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

    “Why on earth would you call a county supervisor with a complaint about a hospital?”

    Because the supervisor or their staff may have some success in getting the hospital to take action to resolve the issue. While the county does not have a lot of direct power over the hospital, hospital management does have incentives to want to remain in the good graces of the local community, as represented by local elected officials.

    Of course the state has more direct regulatory oversight over hospitals, so a call, letter, or e-mail to the appropriate state agency might be in order as well. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to share your concerns with your local supervisor as well.

  37. Angel
    November 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Mitch, I don’t have Sudden Link. I don’t understand your comment.

  38. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    St. Joseph’s is a non-profit, and I hear they absorbed 19 million dollars in bed debt and Medicare costs for this community.

  39. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Bad debt, not “bed debt” but maybe that’s what I meant!

  40. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    St. Joe’s is a non-profit being run by a corporation that wishes they could dump the Humboldt County hospitals. They couldn’t find a buyer years ago when poor management drove our hospitals to the brink of bankruptcy (which Mad River has avoided despite not receiving the many $$ benefits received by St. Joe’s).

    Medicare costs are absorbed by all medical practices and hospitals.

  41. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

    They provide a needed and vital service and employ many many people. We are lucky to have them, and that they are pouring millions back into our community. The new building will be a great addition and made the services more streamlined, and hopefully attract more good doctors to stay. We must support our local medical providers and encourage our community hospitals.

  42. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I understand Tom’s annoyance here, but I think the safety of his daughter and her baby is more important than his comfort. It would be expensive to have an extra door open all night when situations like this are not that common. I doubt he would be thrilled if some psychopath shot through the maternity ward while his daughter was in labor.

    In response to Anonymous at 6:27, ER care is the most expensive care you can receive, but that doesn’t mean it is more profitable. Since ERs do not turn away anyone for inability to pay, hospitals have to absorb a lot of the cost (bad debt, medicare, etc.).
    In addition, “swimming in money” … really? “Just don’t care enough” … really? As a non-profit, St. Joe’s reinvests millions into the community each year.

    I’m not really surprised they’re closing urgent care, either. I’ve used it, but most people don’t know the difference between an urgent care center and an emergency room. That’s why you see so many people in the ER with minor issues like sprained ankles. Triage – as someone explained it – sounds like the best option.

    Anyway. That’s enough ranting. Sure, St. Joe’s has problems, and if it was me who had a grandbaby being born I’d probably have been annoyed that I had to wait in the ER too. But I’m also rational enough to see that it’s not with malicious intent that they make me wait.

  43. Voter
    November 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

    and there you have it, the supposedly top notch American health care system, which costs more per capita than in any other nation. Now we can watch while the Tea Party repeals the health care reforms. Next time there will be 80 people in the emergency room.

  44. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I can identify with the feelings Tom had. I am glad things worked out. I don’t see a solution here when the hospital is also trying to make sure their patients are safe and the entrances secure. A “candy striper” cannot provide the type of security needed at night. Night time problems would be considered “emergency” or urgent and thus would always need to enter through the ER dept. The quicker triage that will be available when the hospital additions are complete will hopefully alleviate this problem Tom had. So glad your daughter and baby are doing well.

  45. Joel Mielke
    November 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Bingo, Voter.

  46. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 11:57 am

    “I don’t have Sudden Link. I don’t understand your comment.”

    Hint. It had to do with poor service. Suddenlink service is a mixed bag. Terrible delivery of the product, but decent service personnel.

    If Suddenlink was a hospital you would be given excellent check in service, and then almost always die once inside.

  47. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Quoting Anonymous at 10:25;
    they are pouring millions back into our community. The new building will be a great addition and made the services more streamlined, and hopefully attract more good doctors to stay. We must support our local medical providers and encourage our community hospitals.

    First, they are pouring millions of our own money back in. They’ve collected millions in donations.
    A new building won’t attract good doctors; a stable medical staff and an administration that treats its medical staff with respect will draw good doctors to come and stay. Both are lacking at St. Joe’s, which is why they’ve driven so many good doctors out.

    Agree about supporting our local medical providers and encouraging our community hospitals to provide the quality of care they are only claiming to provide at this time. Perhaps the administration should consider themselves accountable to our community instead of the bean counters in Orange.

    The quality of care is directly impacted by staffing decisions and by the quality of the staff. Both have been negatively impacted (in some but not all areas) in recent years.

  48. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    You really think the new building won’t play a role in making St. Joes more appealing to doctors. Call HSU and ask if their new gym plays any role in recruiting Basketball players! DUH!

  49. Reinventing The Wheel
    November 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    As the only industrialized nation refusing to provide universal health care, it’s no surprise that the May, 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association found that we lead all other industrialized nations in occurrences of every major disease, we have the shortest lifespans and the highest infant mortality rate just below Slovenia…about #35?

    And we’re NUMBER ONE in average cost per patient!?

    Go USA!

    After 35 years of the “Free-market” deregulation movement, it was labeled a “FAILED IDEOLOGY” by free-market Guru Alan Greenspan in Congressional testimony last Summer, 2007.

    Despite the testimony of their guru, and the public treasure lost for our failure to regulate our industries and invest in our human resources, too many Americans remain pitifully deluded by the supply-side, trickle-down, “free-market” orthodoxy, and the demagogues still peddling the fallacies.

  50. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    The new building will ease the stress in many ways. More room for supplies and patients, modern equipment and facilities, earthquake stable, nursing care efficiency. Can’t wait! I hope the next time Tom goes there his experience is more like mine have been. That staff gives the patients very good care even though they haven’t had enough space.

  51. Joel Mielke
    November 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    HiFi is bitching about the Post Office and The DMV to make a point that government is not efficient? Wow, he hasn’t been out much in the past decade.

  52. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I think Fredriksen was offended by having to hang out in the E.R. with people he considers less equal than him. I don’t think its the germs he is afraid of.

  53. CheckYourMyopiaAtTheDoor
    November 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    From HiFinance:”And Mitch, the only way you could possibly feel that a business is not more responsive to the public than a government run operation is if you have not been to the DMV or the PO in a long time.”

    Richard Nixon passed the Postal Privatization Act, ending twice daily urban mail deliveries and the 3 cent stamp.
    Each Post Master is in essence a subcontractor and has a tremendous amount of lee way to set policies. The mission of the postal system has become the promotion of buinesses (ie, junk mail solicitations.)Our 1st class postage costs are designed to sunsidize business mailers.

  54. Humboldt Fog
    November 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I would appreciate any thoughts on having open heart surgery done at St Joseph’s, thank you very kindly.

    8humboldtfog8@8yahoo.com (remove the 8’s)

  55. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I know Muriel Dinsmore was very happy with her open heart surgery. Ask your cardiologist for his/her opinion.

  56. my only comment
    November 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    when all else of you are making sense and have keen observations…can anyone of you make Lytle shut up? The man(?) is an idiot. Can anyone else see that? My comments all along have been for good and honest debate and I am proud to listen to all sides and standards….then Lytle speaks and nothing intelligent comes out. I will let most of you figure him out. Admittedly, I cannot. Perhaps I should just let nature take its course and let his blather to his own extinction.

  57. my only comment
    November 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Oh crap…I think I have just sounded like him.

  58. Un-Named
    November 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    “And Mitch, the only way you could possibly feel that a business is not more responsive to the public than a government run operation is if you have not been to the DMV or the PO in a long time.”

    The post office has never let me down, ever, and has always been the same price if not cheaper than any and all private businesses that do the same thing. Bashing the PO is cartoon cliche.

    Compare DMV to what, any cell phone company or internet service provider or jiffy lube or Target’s corporate office? In any of those cases, to deal with anything beyond the counter, so to speak, you have to play a push button game of guess-the-menu in phone tag, which quickly evolves into a strewn out game of voice-recognition banter after going in a circle or two and having to call back, and if you’re lucky, you will eventually talk to a human who ultimately would have to put you through to a superior (probably two levels of superiors) to talk to anybody who can begin a…drumroll…physical mail-in procedure to address the issue you called about in the first place.

    …but some people don’t mind being walked on by these big private businesses, or they can afford to just not deal with the hassle.

  59. Un-Named
    November 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    “Response: It is Pyramid schemes and grafters of society that sent so many off to war where they were transformed as a human being mentally, physically, socially, emotionally. Now, they are waiting for their prosthetics – 4 of them – since they still are lying in bed as torsos. So, as anyone can read, this is just AN EXAMPLE of why many folks can’t walk……and this does not include domestic injuries.”

    …is the most intelligent response yet. It’s important to keep in mind the largest scope of our “society”…government, private businesses (essentially still subsidiaries of the government, granted less regulation when it suits the governments wants), “our” military efforts etc.

  60. Mr. Nice
    November 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    HiFi is bitching about the Post Office and The DMV to make a point that government is not efficient? Wow, he hasn’t been out much in the past decade.

    Naw naw

    USPS charges 44 cents to send a piece of paper. USPS delivers to the wrong address all the time. USPS loses a billion dollars a quarter like it ain’t shit… loses a billion dollars charging 44 cents to send pieces of paper to the wrong addresses. If Fedex was like that they’d be DHL.

    All the bad shit people say about the DMV is not true anymore cause they upgraded all their computers from 1985 tech. That’s true. But I never paid the DMV some bullshit fee and been like damn I sure got something new and useful out of the DMV. And if you didn’t make an appointment 2 weeks in advance, it’s a 2 hour line.

  61. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    HiFi, Teabaggers, and other conservatives object to government-involved health care reform as some sort of “socialized medicine.” They don’t seem to realize that socialized medicine is ALREADY here, and that they are already paying for other folks’ health care — and I don’t mean Medicare etc. Every time someone goes to the ER but can’t pay for it, the hospital has to provide care anyway. Who pays for this? You and I do, not through taxes, but through the cost of our medical insurance or, if we have none, through our hospital bills. Hospitals subsidize the cost of unreimbursed ER services by increasing the costs to the rest of us. Have you wondered why a Tylenol pill given in the hospital may be charged as $20 or $40? You just got your answer.

    This is one reason why real universal health care reform makes sense. It will save us all money in the long run, while providing health care to all who need it. Prevention is a LOT cheaper than treating advanced illnesses.

  62. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    November 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Anonymous says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    You really think the new building won’t play a role in making St. Joes more appealing to doctors. Call HSU and ask if their new gym plays any role in recruiting Basketball players! DUH!

    True, but it is also true that people are just attracted to new stuff regardless of how it was financed; therefore, at what point do the customers stop going through the door because costs are too high based upon the debt service financing or much higher maintenance and usage fees needing to be recovered from the patient(customer). This is where when the patient (client) supply drops due to costs, where is the doc gonna make his money.

    There sure is a fine balance between costs and cash flows.

    JL

  63. Rumbustious
    November 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I beg to differ (nicely) with Mr. Nice. I’ve gone to the DMV several times in the last 3 years, each time without an appointment (license renewal, registration transfer, etc.) and never has to wait more than 15 min. But I make it a point to get there in the morning, when it’s less busy.

    And I rarely have had my mail delivered to the wrong address.

  64. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I can’t fault the overworked nurses and other caregivers at St. Joe’s – the majority do the best they can under the circumstances and those I know are committed and qualified. However, I know there has been controversy in the past about the expense of highly paid non-medical staff, many/most of whom are no longer there. Not sure what the current situation is in that respect but assume it has improved. I’m mainly concerned that our community is faced insufficient medical care overall – the financial constraints of the St. Joe’s and a lack of physicians relative to our population.

  65. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    November 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Mr. Nice,

    2 years ago @ DMV = 1.25 hours

    This past summer = .33 hours

    The difference I believe is that this past summer, I went in at 9:00 am sharp!

    All the other times I went (not shown), generally always a long line and wait – 1.5 to 2 hours.

    What I don’t get recently is why a state agency like DMV (which supposedly endorses a green environment) would have the stupid ticket system and computer screen to match. Paper and ink color wastes, computers that I don’t believe do anything except show ticket stub number/letters and what window to go to – totally unnecessary except for…..raising costs superficially and artificially in society as a benchmark comparable to help in efforts to raise tax collection bases higher and higher through commerces and its associated infrastructures/tools.

    So, what is green in that set-up beside money outta the taxpayers’ pockets?

    JL

  66. Un-Named
    November 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    It’s pretty skewed to compare the post office to UPS or Fedex. Nobody sends only 44 cents worth of anything through UPS or fedex. If you’re dealing with the post office, odds are the cost of shipping is under 20 bucks, in which case I can tell you from plenty of experience in dealing with all the post office’s “competitors” that the united states post office’s priority mail system is as fast and often faster than both UPS and Fedex, and a little bit cheaper too depending on the bells and whistles you want with your shipment (signature confirmation, etc.) The post office even offers tracking numbers for ALL their items now regardless of how small. What can I say, the post office has never let me down.

  67. Anonymous
    November 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Dear Humboldt Fog,

    You want to know your odds of successful open heart surgery here? It depends a lot on how healthy or sick you are to begin with. The rest of the odds are determined by who is in the OR that day.

    Look up how the local surgeon compares to surgeons in other California cities – his statistics are worse, he takes much longer to operate, he can’t keep nurses and they are turning over constantly, and his back-up hasn’t done any surgeries in over a year.

  68. Once and future patient
    November 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I worry about who will care for me the next time I have to go in for an emergency.

    The nurses are not only overworked, the last time I was in for surgery several of them were “travellers” and care was sub-standard.

    I’ve heard about controversial expenditures, too. With more money going to non-medical staff than ever before, and the CEO making over $750,000 a year, it doesn’t make sense to claim they can’t afford to hire anyone to fix the ER problems.

  69. Joel Mielke
    November 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    As Rumbustious and Un-Named pointed out, there’s noting in the private sector that compares with the US Post Office. I’d be happy to have the DMV or the Post Office take over our health care system.

    The one thing that privately owned insurance companies have proven over the past thirty years is that they are uniquely unqualified to manage our health care.

  70. Joel Mielke
    November 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Not that that our health care couldn’t be managed by private interests. I’m sure that Waste Management would do a better job than insurance companies.

  71. Concerned
    November 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I’m concerned about the quality of care as much as about the number of physicians.

    Anyone know the statistics for the general surgeons?

  72. High Finance
    November 16, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Yes Unnamed 9.23pm, the Post Office is doing a much better job now than ever before.

    But all those improvements have come because FedEx & UPS were whupping their ass & taking business away. The Post Office finally learned to compete but only decades after the upstarts.

  73. Joel Mielke
    November 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

    So HiFi, why does the private insurance industry, which supposedly thrives in a competitive environment, do such a shitty job managing our health care?

  74. An
    November 16, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Calling any catholic hosp non profit is silly. It takes profit to pay the light bill, pay the people, buy eqpt, bonuses etc. anything left over, usually a couple percent, goes to the church to pay their light bills, etc. There is no such thing as a not profit hospital. The main problem with making it govt run is there is absolutely no accountability. No board to vote out, no way for the community to have an ounce of input. I will take a corporate board of directors that can be fired over a panel of appointed political bureaucrats.

  75. Mitch
    November 16, 2010 at 7:25 am

    For those interested in comparing St. Joe with other hospitals, there is an excellent government website:

    http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

    You enter your zipcode, select up to three hospitals, and get comparative statistics about a wide variety of questions and topics.

    For example, from general hospital experiences:

    Patients who reported that their nurses “Always” communicated well.

    Patients who reported that their doctors “Always” communicated well.

    Patients who reported that they “Always” received help as soon as they wanted.

  76. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 7:41 am

    “I will take a corporate board of directors that can be fired over a panel of appointed political bureaucrats.”

    This hospital’s board is appointed members who can’t be fired except by the CEO who put them on the board. Several of them were given contracts for work at the hospital, and then appointed. Sounds pretty political. How independent do you think they are?

  77. Zumbo
    November 16, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I have been to the SJ ER on a few occasions. The one time I went in there complaining about chest pain, I was whisked into the back and they started immediate testing. I have been there for a couple of kidney stones, very painful and they have taken good care of me, could have gotten me some pain medication a bit quicker, but I survived. My wife was rushed in an ambulance there when she went into Anaphylactic shock after an allergic reaction. She was in the Trauma room for hours and Dr. Freeman and staff were amazing.

    Our health care system is seriously broken. If people without insurance or money had access to primary care givers, the impact on the ER would be huge. A lot less people. Sure, there’s always gonna be those who go in to try to extract some drugs, but there are also people who just have the flu and it’s so bad, they feel they have no other choice. Too bad they could not go to their Dr that afternoon.

    I live 10 minutes from SJ, it’s my obvious choice. It’s what we have. I choose to support this hospital. It’s where I will most likely end up in an emergency. I want them to be the best they can be. I have supported and donated to their expansion. I know they have their faults, but my attitude is that we have to do anything we can to help make it better. They are what we have.

    As for Tom complaining about the situation in the ER, well the current state of Privatized Health Care is more to blame than anything else. I would love to see a breakdown of who was in there and why. How many of those people were there because it was their only alternative?

    And lastly, having been there at least 5-6 times for friends and family besides myself, I have never, I mean never, seen more than 10 people in the waiting room, and most of them were waiting for people already admitted.

    30-35 people? Either highly unusual or you’re looking through Tea Party Specs. Kinda like X-Ray specs…..but these just make you see only what you want to complain about.

  78. High Finance
    November 16, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Joel, I do not accept the premise of your question.

  79. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Reinventing The Wheel says:
    November 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    As the only industrialized nation refusing to provide universal health care, it’s no surprise that the May, 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association found that we lead all other industrialized nations in occurrences of every major disease, we have the shortest lifespans and the highest infant mortality rate just below Slovenia…about #35?

    And we’re NUMBER ONE in average cost per patient!?

    Go USA!

    After 35 years of the “Free-market” deregulation movement, it was labeled a “FAILED IDEOLOGY” by free-market Guru Alan Greenspan in Congressional testimony last Summer, 2007.

    Despite the testimony of their guru, and the public treasure lost for our failure to regulate our industries and invest in our human resources, too many Americans remain pitifully deluded by the supply-side, trickle-down, “free-market” orthodoxy, and the demagogues still peddling the fallacies.

    Good points. It seems to many of us that as countrymen and countrywomen, we already pay more than enough in taxes. The wealthiest always whine about how much they pay in taxes but always systematically deny through atrition of the tax code and IRS cronies that on a dollar per dollar basis, the tax rate is less for the wealthiest. So, on a per dollar value, the poorer pay more taxes PER DOLLAR than the wealthiest – but hey, fiddling with the definitions, numbers, terms, etc… is what a dualopoly scheme creates. Anyhow, the human resources that you mention have been underfunded is interesting in that the funding (if you will) has been MILITARY – yes, human resources has been militarized into blood for education, blood for perks and benefits, blood for political favoritisms (until you come home as a vet that is), etc…. Ya, that military budget could have created multiple Tax Payers subsidized Health Plans already had not the dualopoly fracked its own countrymen and countrywomen and let’s not forget the politcal class called countrychildren.

    JL

  80. November 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Stupid is as Stupid does: Seeking help from money-grubbers and systemic looters and expecting to get it.

  81. anonymous#1
    November 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

    The Postal Service was privatized and UPS/Fedex type businesses allowed to siphon off the most profitable parts of the postal business. Before this privatization all this business was in the Postal Service. So the cost overruns of the PO are actually pretty much equal to the profit of UPS/Fedex.
    PRIVATIZATION is the stripping off the most profitable, of what used to be legitimate government functions, and handing them to private businesses.
    Can anyone show me where privatization has got me better, more reliable and less expensive service?

  82. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

    in addition to what 9:29 just wrote, I’d like to add that (having studies the specific matter in college, as it’s a prime example of its own paradigm) UPS and fedex had private money to aggressively advertise/campaign against the post office, with no retaliaton so to speak. “When it absolutely positively has to get there.” is no different than what the post office does, but the PO isn’t taking out one hundred 30 second slots on prime time all over the world to promote itself, let alone bash Fedex or UPS.

  83. McKinleyville Kris
    November 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Middle men like Ross Perot who benefits from every Medi-cal claim submitted in California are the problem with modern healthcare. Middle men who produce nothing and benefit from the tax dollars and efforts of the many.

    Without them hospital and other medical staff could be paid a living wage.

  84. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I’m not too knowledgable on perot and his whole deal, but I’ll agree with Kris. Stockholder Syndrome plagues us. People who do nothing but check their escalating bank accounts daily, and by law their best interests (profit motive) must be kept at the forefront of any and all businesses in which they have mandated clout.

  85. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Do you get it that stocks are a risk, not insured, and that many people have lost much of their retirements or their “fortunes” (more likely small nest eggs) the past couple of years? Stocks go up and they go down.

  86. random guy
    November 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I understand stockmarket fluctuation very well. It’s pretty amazing that a relatively small handfull of people always come out ahead, isn’t it?

  87. Un-Named/random guy
    November 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    o nose! u can trace my other alias! wut will I F R do?

  88. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Everyone is free to make their own selection of stocks. It is not easy picking good ones.

  89. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:42 am

    AKA “Bitter Guy”

  90. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

    why do you suggest I’m bitter? I would appreciate a sincere reply.

  91. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Sincerely, I mean “random guy” who has bad luck in the stock market and thinks only a select few unfairly get to make any money in it.

  92. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Oh you are also random guy? Yes, I meant you. You sound like you are blaming others for your inability to make a profit in the stock market.

  93. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Nevermind, I thought you might be worth engaging in conversation. You appear bitter towards me.

  94. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

    How many people contributing to internet discussions do so without already having their minds pretty well made up about the issue at hand, less they be talking about something they feel they don’t know enough about? Not many are ready or willing (or capable?) of changing their mind in that case. I generall keep my…mouth shut?…fingers off the keys when I don’t know the subject matter, but have been properly educated when I thought I did just the same. Can’t you identify at least two career trolls within the humboldt blogsphere? I swear I’m not one of them.

    …and who really gives a FUCK anyway. You don’t and won’t have to read anything I write soon enough.

  95. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Questions I would have liked to ask bitter anonymous:

    Do you have any stocks, and in what company(s)? Or at least what field? Have you ever been sold stock, as in approached to buy? How did you choose your specific stocks? Who within these stocks is making the most money? Have you ever felt, or in any way been made to feel or have it suggested to you that the companies in which you’ve invested are “blood money”, or profiting from the greater population’s personal loss, such as auto insurance? etc. etc.

  96. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

    My apologies, but you do sound a little angry, using the F word and all. I have quite a few stocks and a bunch of them tanked this year. I own ones like General Motors and Ford, Coca Cola, Disney, and Wells Fargo. My spouse handles them and we haven’t done well lately, but have in the past. Mutual funds have done okay, bond funds have been stable. I can’t give you numbers without being home and I don’t handle them, anyway. No, I haven’t felt that way about “blood money”. Good luck to you. Education is the key, to me, but some luck helps!

  97. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 11:25 am

    PS A lot of our stocks have “come back” but I don’t think the auto ones did.

  98. TH
    November 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

    B of A
    Verizon
    Disney
    GE
    DuPont

    all positive

  99. High Finance
    November 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Conspiracy wackos always think that anybody who wins (in the stockmarket, in politics, in life or whatever) does so because the game is rigged.

    Well the market isn’t rigged, there wasn’t a second gunman on the hill in Dallas, Hillary did not murder Vincent Foster and the astronauts really did land on the moon, it wasn’t a Hollywood sound stage.

  100. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Ha ha! Good one, HiFi.

  101. Un-Named
    November 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    For Hi-Finance: http://www.blogjam.com/neil_armstrong/

    You either get it or you don’t. I can hear some of your brains calcifying as I read your words.

  102. Reinventing The Wheel
    November 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Three responses:

    1) According to America’s leading expert on civil service, New York University professor Dr. Paul Light, “…outsourcing public services to private contracts diminishes institutional memory which creates the leverage that private contractors use for higher compensation and expanded bureaucracies”. The Obama Admin. has acknowledged that private contracting is actually more expensive than civil servants, and far less accountable. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is working on “tough new guidelines”.

    2) I discovered one of the reasons for the “Dr. shortage” when I visited a young neurosurgeon retired on the S. Fork of the Trinity River. When you can save a few million dollars before you’re 50, you can quit in the comfort of paradise.

    3) If the U.S. provided a program to fund medical graduates in exchange for 5 years of service, it would give smart poor-kids another option and end the shortage forever. Even Cuba could afford to volunteer 1,000 doctors to help in Katrina!

    4) Anonymous says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    “You really think the new building won’t play a role in making St. Joes more appealing to doctors. Call HSU and ask if their new gym plays any role in recruiting Basketball players! DUH”!

    Enrollment plummeted at HSU beginning in the 80’s with routine tuition increases and financial aid decreases. To compete for wealthier students they appealed to their sensibilities by outsourcing tens of millions of dollars to turn Center Arts, Center Activities, and the Student Recreation Center into an empire of consumer-fun with a plethora of subsidiary programs, remodeled venues, and executive offices, growing a private bureaucracy of coordinators, directors, accountants, controller, (YES A CONTROLLER!) and six-figure salaries.

    It worked! Enrollment increased.

    But it works like the post office subsidy for junk mail:

    All students pay about $1,000 while attending HSU for the Student Body Center fees, but only the wealthiest students can afford to repeatedly consume the costly user fees to go rafting, sailing, or kayaking all day!

    The quest for bigger returns have gentrified many “public” universities, it has failed the medical industry as they invented costlier tests with poorer outcomes, same results in the housing industry’s bigger homes, and the auto industry’s bigger cars.

    We should skip the inevitable health care bailout and begin a universal system immediately.

    DUH!

  103. Reinventing The Wheel
    November 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Conspiracy:

    “To join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful act or use such means to accomplish a lawful end”.

    Sometimes all you have to do is define a word to reveal the foolishness of skeptics.

    “The market isn’t rigged”…and the Great Recession never happened…

  104. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    If I had sold my stocks a couple of years ago I would have said I did great in the stock market. I don’t think most of it is rigged. There is always the risk of insider trading and there are always unscrupulous ones.

    Also: to address #3 by “Reinventing”- we already have a program like that. It’s called “grants” that have to be paid back, and even better, the “service”, which requires the new MDs to serve for a number of years. In all honesty, medical school is too difficult to get into and expensive and the payback is not “millions” like you said allowing a young doc to retire. Maybe a middle aged one.

  105. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Stocks – as if all information is layed out on the table for small investors. Look, the stock market is gambling, pure and simple. The problem is, the dice are weighted and the spinner has been magnetized with respect to the odds at the gambling table. The SEC is a Joke of many jokes for federal agency oversight.

    ….and lest not forget those who push the paper, run the algorithim programs, and get the best of the best inside services like only ex-presidents get. Yep, the stock market went from(in the old days post depression) long term growth and sustainable investment valuations too one where big time institutions don’t let long term growth occur, but rather nibble away at any gains in valuation just to short the stock to drop it and pop-it all over again – something tells me the little investor has little power and control to manipulate. Just sayin’ one can’t justify a lot of Wall Street, but that it is still a persons right to take risks for opportunities. A problem however is the post investment responses – is your money being adjusted due to what is normal business responses or what is generally proven as manipulated theft?

    JL

  106. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    McKinleyville Kris says:
    November 16, 2010 at 10:22 am
    Middle men like Ross Perot who benefits from every Medi-cal claim submitted in California are the problem with modern healthcare. Middle men who produce nothing and benefit from the tax dollars and efforts of the many.

    Without them hospital and other medical staff could be paid a living wage.

    Response:Good point on the topic of human productivities – paper pushers are not really worthy, but hey they got a job at someone else’s expense.

    JL

  107. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    The healthcare issue got sidetracked somehow.
    I, for one, don’t think the stock market it rigged but do think the media creates a lot of extreme fluctuations in the market. I am somewhat angry when I see the headlines that then create sell-offs, etc. Real value is distorted by perceived or jsut emotional reaction. That is probably why the mutual funds are more stable.

    As for Humboldt County healthcare – it’s a real concern. Not only for those of us who live there but also in terms of attracting new residents (especially older). I think the quality of care at St. Joe’s is less worrisome than the fact that there is such a shortage of physicians. It’s nearly i

  108. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Ah 6:37pm,

    you fell for the wall street scheme. Fluctuations – absolutely in the sense of manipulations above and beyond the “normal course of doing honest business”.

    So, who do you think benefits from the cozy relationship between Wall Street “uppers” and The Fed?

    Not you – unless you are highly ranked as an insider/connected interest.

    JL

  109. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    JL – I fell for nothing. Have not changed my investment strategy for years, although I probably should have to maximize profits. I stick mostly to mutual funds that have performed above market for the most part. However, I’m angered when I see what the media does to impact the market – so much sensationalism. I’m not convinced it really reflects the reality of values. Some stocks are (if you look at their performance) very misrepresented. Obviously, those are the ones to buy if you have liquidity and savvy. It’s upsetting to think the media influences the market rather than reflecting it…

  110. Joel Mielke
    November 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    “…I do not accept the premise of your question.”

    But HiFi, my premise was inferred from the faith in free enterprise and hostility towards government that you’ve expressed here so unambiguously. What’s not to “accept”?

  111. Rumbustious
    November 16, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Joel — Evidently he doesn’t accept the the premise that “the private insurance industry … do[es] such a shitty job managing our health care.” (And it DOES do a shitty job, as anyone who’s dealt with: 1) Blue Cross, 2) Blue Shield or 3) Health Net can attest.) But HiFi apparently likes them & thinks they’re great. I pity him if he gets a truly serious & costly illness.

    I’ve found though that the local Humboldt-DelNorte Foundation for Medical Care (non-profit I believe — shades of socialism!!!) is very helpful. They locally administer some of the plans like Blue Shield HMO and have interceded for my family in dealing with the larger Blue Shield entity. Perhaps the key here is that they’re LOCAL.

  112. Joel Mielke
    November 17, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Our insurance-based health care system is a crap shoot. I’m glad that the Foundation for Medical Care was there to help Rumbustious. It’s a goddamned shame that we need experts to intercede on our behalves in order to get insurance companies to provide the services that we pay them to provide.

  113. Anonymous
    November 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

    The drawing of Pete Nichols with the vacuum cleaner is great, by the way.

  114. High Finance
    November 17, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I do not accept the premise that the insurance industry does a shitty job.

    Does it make mistakes? Of course, don’t you? But on the whole it does fine.

  115. tra
    November 17, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Insurance companies are doing a great job — for their shareholders. But not for patients or for the nation as a whole:

    Washington, DC — The six largest investor-owned health insurance companies recorded huge profit gains in the third quarter of 2010 by spending a smaller share of premiums on medical care, purging unprofitable members and burdening consumers with higher cost-sharing limits. WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., Cigna Corp. and Coventry Health Care Inc. made combined profits of $3.4 billion in the three months ending Sept. 30, a 22% increase over the third quarter of 2009, according to an analysis of company filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN)….

    One reason premiums and profits continue rising is that insurers keep reducing the percentage of premiums they spend on actual health care (Table 2), a measurement known as the medical-loss ratio, or MLR, by denying people care. Coventry cut its MLR for employer and individual health plans by an unheard-of 5.3 percentage points to 76.8%. That increased Coventry’s third-quarter profit by 169% from a year earlier. Aetna’s MLR plunged 5.1 percentage points to 80.5%, and its third-quarter profit surged 53%. Other companies also reported double-digit profit growth and major reductions in MLRs, consistent with long–term industry trends. In 1993, the leading health insurers used about 95 cents of every premium dollar on actual health care. By 2007, after years of mergers and acquisitions that put much of the U.S. population under the control of a handful of for-profit companies, investor-owned health insurers had jacked up premiums and lowered the medical-loss ratio to around 81%.

    http://images.dailykos.com/images/user/6685/HCAN_Press_Release_2010_1116___Q3_Profits.pdf

  116. tra
    November 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

    In other words, more and more of our health care premium dollars are going to overhead and profits at the insurance companies, less is going to actual medical services.

  117. Harold h. Greene
    November 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

    The best free market health insurance providers are the ones who maximizes profits and protect assets the best.

    But, hey, it’s great for our 401k’s !

  118. November 17, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Health insurance corporations threatened to push Michael Moore “off a cliff” over his movie on the health industry, Sicko.

  119. The Challenger
    November 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    The for-profit insurance industry exists chiefly to provide profits to shareholders. You can pay insurance premiums to a company for years without ever making a claim — a good customer you might say — but lord help you when you make a claim. Every effort will be made to minimize the value of your loss, and you may well find your insurance being subsequently cancelled — because you made a claim. They’re oh so happy to take your money, but loath to fulfill their obligations.

  120. The Challenger
    November 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I next expect HiFi to tell us that there’s nothing wrong with maximizing profits. But I disagree. I’m old fashioned (in the best American way) and believe that companies have moral obligations to their customers, not just legal ones. That is, to do what’s right, not just what’s the least the law requires, or to use the law to weasel out of their responsibilities.

  121. Ditto
    November 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Or to use pre-existing conditions completely unrelated to the current claim to deny coverage and cancel policies to avoid paying medical bills after years of accepting premiums.

  122. High Finance
    November 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Yes Challenger, there is nothing wrong with maximizing profits. Insurance companies have every right to pay only for legitimate claims. Although they have gone too far sometimes & need oversight.

    Ditto, California has stopped insurance companies from denying the denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions for all group policies for a number of years and also forbade them from raising rates on those policies because of large claims.

  123. Reinventing The Wheel
    November 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Didn’t California also limit personal injury awards to $250,000? And yet, premiums still increase and coverage diminishes.

    Thanks for Democracy Now’s report from a top insurance insider! Why wasn’t he blanketed on the front pages of America’s “liberal media”??

    No wonder citizens don’t vote, they’re uninformed! This explains why the U.S. has the highest occurrences of every major disease, infant mortality rate, and the shortest life spans, (but we pay more per-capita), than very other industrialized nation.

    Sounds like front page news to me.

    More fallout from our rigged political, economic, and media system of self-censorship and collusion.

  124. High Finance
    November 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I believe that medical cap on personal injury awards has been around for a long time. In fact, I think Jerry Brown signed it into law the last time he was governor.

  125. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    8:38 pm,

    you fell for the “I don’t think the system is rigged thought”.

    Here is a question: How large or expansive does something, anything, have to become before you question, then research and then come to an understanding that out of everything, nothing is rigged (Now, that is a GENERAL thought question to consider without ANY EVIDENCE).

    Now, when there is evidence, then what say?

    Media – sounds so autonomous when in reality, the connections to individual wealthy stock holders/owners/etc… IS ENORMOUS AND POWERFULLY POSITIONED TO MANIPULATE MARKET BASED ECONOMIES BASED ON FEAR. Hey, what do YOU CALL IT when someone sabatoges some value on fear just to be able to get more later, knowing that prior to the fear based manipulation/grafting, that someone KNEW they could intentionally LOSE MONEY in order to get more money while also making up the losses enroute to making that EXTRA money?

    example: news soundbite, then market drop….news soundbite, then market gain….irrespective of actual diagnostics of the stock.

    A huge societal problem is two-fold: citizen at young age gets brainwashed; same citizen gets older; same citizen gets a little bit more older; same citizen now is so old, they no longer care anymore because they are about dead……and each generation continues the pyramid schemers ideal social set-up.

    JL

  126. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    High Finance says:
    November 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Conspiracy wackos always think that anybody who wins (in the stockmarket, in politics, in life or whatever) does so because the game is rigged.

    Well the market isn’t rigged, there wasn’t a second gunman on the hill in Dallas, Hillary did not murder Vincent Foster and the astronauts really did land on the moon, it wasn’t a Hollywood sound stage.

    Is there not any other original excuses for grafting that you could use, sosososososososososososososo by those who support the abusive pyramid scheming.

    JL

  127. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE'
    November 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    tra @ 10:50 am,

    insurance companies are paper pushers for profit, nothing more, nothing less. It is too EASY TO EXPLAIN WHY ENOUGH CLAIMS GET PAID OUT BUT THAT THE SYSTEM IS FAR FROM INSOLVENT FOR THOSE WHO PREY ON HEALTH AILMENTS. IT COMES DOWN TO WHAT A LIFE’S WORTH IS – SAD!

    Surety Bond insurance in California now penalises those who refuse to take part in debt financing schemes, credit cards, loans, etc… IOW, if a business requiring a surety bond has no credit, uses no credit, needs NO CREDIT, thus never utilizes credit,….that surety bond will be profiled into a more expensive category as a punishment for that particular business not seeking past assistances from the credit schemers/loaners. SO, those who make claims, those who are irresponsible, those who are stupid, etc… are going to be subsidized by the best of the best of the best – those who ask for nothing, but work for every penny they earn AND without having to renig on past liabilites LIKE CREDIT CARDERS DO!

    Ya, California’s elected officals sure care a whole lot about corporate insurance sheep skinners and the wool they defleece off those who conform to frauds and extortions unknowingly.

    Hard to respect and trust the private sector minionites and stool pigeons in society that represent the insurance industry, legal system, healthcare system, etc…

    Whoever thought of the idea that “knowledge creates fear” deserves a yellow sticker with a smiley face.

    JL

  128. The Challenger
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am

    For your information: “World comparison shows U.S. healthcare lacking”

    Reuters By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor Maggie Fox, Health And Science Editor – Thu Nov 18, 8:13 am ET

    “A third of Americans say they have gone without medical care or skipped filling a prescription because of cost, compared to 5 percent in the Netherlands, according to study released on Thursday.

    The study is the latest in a series by the non-profit Commonwealth Fund showing that while Americans pay far more per capita for healthcare, they are unhappier with the results and less healthy than people in other rich countries.

    The study published in the journal Health Affairs also showed that 20 percent of U.S. adults had major problems paying medical bills, compared with 2 percent in Britain and 9 percent in France, the next costliest country.

    “U.S. adults were the most likely to incur high medical expenses, even when insured, and to spend time on insurance paperwork and disputes or to have payments denied,” the report reads.

    The Commonwealth Fund, which advocates for U.S. healthcare reform, commissioned a Harris Interactive poll of nearly 20,000 people in 11 countries between March and June.”

  129. Joel Mielke
    November 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Anonymous 9:09 is, in blog parlance, an asshole.

  130. Anonymous
    November 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I am. I admit it. If you weren’t right I’d argue with you Joel.

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