Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ukiah Doctors: No New Patients

In what might be a sign of a disturbing trend in medicine, many doctors in the Ukiah area are no longer accepting new patients, reports the Ukiah Daily Journal. Wonder when that will start happening up here, if it hasn't already.

This is somewhat surprising to me in that, for some reason, I always figured a wider range of medical services would be available the further south one goes from Humboldt.

Some might chalk this up as another argument for state- run health care but, if you look at the reasons physicians seem to be avoiding the Ukiah area, one of them is the lack of reimbursement from, among other things, MediCal and Medicaid. Sure, they also mention private insurance, but later on say that bringing in large employers that provide health care to employess might improve the situation.

I imagine we probably already have the beginnings of the same sorts of problems up here. There doesn't seem to be any easy answer to the problem.


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is already happening up here and has been for many years, especially if you Medi-Cal or Medicare.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

It's happened down here for dentists. I have to drive to Arcata for tooth care.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

It's also cheaper to drive to Redding, get your dental work done, spend the night and come back in some cases as well. Scary isn't it?

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Seems to me I knew someone who used to go to Yreka for dental care. At least I think it was dental care. She used to live there, though, and I can't help but wonder if it was just an excuse to go back there.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Our healthcare system is one of the worst of all the industrialized nations. Why is that? Because it's not socialized the way it should be with caps medical professional salaries. We should push for free prescriptions and develop automated diagnostics asap to start getting healthcare costs down.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'm with you on socialized medicine Steve. But automated diagnostics? The idea gives me the heebie jeebies.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Actually I am plugging an old idea that I don't know if it ever has been developed before--infrared diagnostic device I conceived of way back in 1965 or thereabouts.

Idea works on this principle: each illness in the body creates its own heat "signature" when seen in infrared. These disease signatures are compiled after thousands of infrared screenings have been done with various illnesses to establish characteristic heat patterns showing up with each illness.

One then gets a simple screening to see what's going on with your body.

Like 99.99998% of my ideas, I have never had the money to do the needed r & d plus patent search costs to develop this idea.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

"...Like 99.99998% of my ideas, I have never had the money to do the needed r & d plus patent search costs to develop this idea."

Gee steve, have you tried going to your friend the government for help?

"We should push for free prescriptions..."

Ever heard of "TANSTAFL" (there aint no such thing as a free lunch)? You just want someone else to pay.

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Yes, I did once. I got to the second stage of a three stage review process for an ERDA grant under the Carter Administration but Reagan came into office, you know one of them rightwinger TANSTAFL people like you sound, and promptly shut down Carter's ERDA program like he did many other gov't ones. And we are so much better off for it, aren't we?

The thing rightwingers never understand about "free gov't" stuff is that the gov't represents the largest consumer group. When healthcare is put into the capitalist system, it means some person or corporation gets to be the toll-gate keepers collecting tolls from everyone needing to pass over the river of health. The very cheapest way to provide decent healthcare is to divide the costs among everyone with we, the people, controlling the costs of the system and not private enterprise which has gotten us all into this mess in the first place.

When private enterprise enters the picture on services the community needs, it is like giving your community away to the town shysters instead of taking care of business ourselves.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The basic reason I believe medicine should be removed from the private sector is that in a market system there is no incentive for a healthy population. Prevention kills profit. I'm not saying that the health care professionals are only interested in money - but in any market approach you want the material incentive to work for you and not against you.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

steve, if your proposal was economically feasible you would have private sector investors willing to risk their savings to back you. You were relying on POLITICAL support from those who have the power of the gun (socialist left wingers) to extort property from taxpayers to pursue your proposals. Either your powers of persuasion were lacking or your idea was found lacking in the free (right wing) enterprise system. You fail to address the cost transfer to others by characterizing a service or product as "free" simply because others (taxpayers) pay for it.
" And we are so much better off for it, aren't we?"
As a matter of fact, Yes. If you do not believe it, I suggest you go to Cuba where the "universal" health care as touted by you "left wingers " is superb when in fact it is of third world class and spiraling downward due to being controlled by the political players who are diverting health care to "cash customers " from Europe. Or you can choose Canada where getting in the queue for treatment of serious illnesses can cost you your life. In Sweden, where some of Leonidas' family relies on the "leftist" model, the health care system is bankrupt and increasingly resorting to increased "copayments" and lengthening queues for treatment of serious illnesses. When we believe that something, whether health care or any product, is free (paid for by others) the demand increases exponentially. See Econ 101.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is certainly the kind of corruption in Cuba that has flourished in any socialist state—the diversion of state-owned goods to friends and associates and, since the legalization of the dollar in 1993, increasingly to paying clients.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

eric is right. Healthcare cannot be part of free enterprise just like police dept, fire, water, all the things absolutely necessary for individual and community well-being should be fully "democratized", i.e., socialized. No single person or corporation should control vital items--it's not right.

I am a communitarian and so far, there hasn't been a communitarian society seen in any nation. The closest approach were the Israeli kibbutzim so the national socialist attempts are not the models we need to look at.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

steve, if you are advocating a thus far untried system you need to define the distinction between "communitarian" and communistic except the changes to the last 6 letters. Arthur Koestler in his 1946 novel "Thieves in the Night" describes life on a zionist kibbutz as an experiment in a communist society. ( With regard to who controls "vital" items, I would ask: "who decides what they are". Are many items more vital than food? Is it the function of the state to "democratically" supply food to non indigent citizens? Who is to produce the food and how are they to be compensated?

eric says: "Prevention kills profit." This is nonsense (except in the legal profession)and I believe he knows it. Anyone who can fulfill a human need will prosper in a free market.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

My economic philosophy is communitarian capitalist. I used to consider myself a communitarian socialist until I discovered so did Jules Nyjere, first prez of Tanzania and my ideas weren't like his. I've always thought commies militarized the socialist ethic and thereby ruined it. Communism has only "worked" in religious societies divorced from mainstream life and values. It takes a religious commitment to do it all your life and ask your kids to follow suit. Three years of intense communal life was was about all I could stand. Even though I organized the deal it didn't take long for me to see why anyone who valued their ability to think for themselves would opt out of the horde mentality. God, the ego trips and power trips one saw, so I opted out of that but stuck to my own original (and thereby everso pure) vision which saw a blending of the good aspects of full economic democracy community cooperation and the good aspects of free enterprise and competition among rivals. In other words, I was for a two-tier system all along. Only way to resolve the Left/Right divide in peace and harmony. I think "Communitarian Capitalism" is on my blog site some place. Not much to it or you could say it's extremely elegant.

At 6:10 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

steve, you seem to conceive of a voluntary socialist society and in fact as you point out many have been founded. They generally (as in your own experience) founder on the rock of human individuality. Humans are simply not wired up the same as ants, bees or termites wherein traits such as work motivation, leadership and reproductive roles are genetically implanted. For that reason the resulting conflicts must be resolved by force. If Smith is democratically i.e. politically selected to lead Jones in economic pursuits but Jones' economic abilities are superior to Smith's, conflict will emerge. In most socialist societies force must be resorted to in order that Smith prevail. The kibbutznicks kept the freedom to opt out and leave the kibbutz and most have in fact done so as greater opportunities emerged. Such has not been the case in Cuba, North Korea or in the former Soviet bloc. The consequent pressures resulted in substantial human misery.

At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Lewis and Nick Bravo are a lot alike. Big ideas, no actual effort towards implementing those ideas, failed message boards, wacked out mental processes. You sure their not the same person?

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

anon, stick it, would you? You are not aware of what I have done social change-wise otherwise you wouldn't make such stupid statements.

Aeo, you're talking about militant socialism and I'm talking about democratic socialism. Militant socialism isn't socialism but military gang-lord ala Spartan-style calling itself socialistic but it never was due to the elite running everything without any democratic checks or balances.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

"Militant socialism isn't socialism but military gang-lord ala Spartan-style calling itself socialistic but it never was due to the elite running everything without any democratic checks or balances."
I am having difficulty making sense of the above sentence and fail to see any resemblance between what you refer to as "militant socialism" and the oligarchic organization of ancient Sparta. Sparta was an hereditary duarchy (two royal families) ruled by a council of elders (ephors) with an agricultural economy based on slavery (conquered Helots). The Spartan legal system was that body of laws proclaimed by a single individual, Lycurgus.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

Any of you scholars interested in this topic can get valuable insight at:

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Please don't take the Spartan analogy literally. I was trying to show how militant socialism differs from say garden variety gang lord activity in that militant socialists are "religious" about their activism, willing to make material sacrifices for the cause that keeps them afloat in their strict heirarchal world.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Doctors and Guns
============ ====
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.

(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
Yes, that is 80 million.
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year all age groups is 1,500.

(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.000188
Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!

Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.

~Author Unknown~

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember: Guns don't kill people, reading Steve's dribble does.


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