Extensions of Remarks
January 6, 2011
formal presentation will take place on the Uni-versity of Michigan-Flint campus on Monday,January 10.The Carnegie Foundation for the Advance-ment of Teaching created the ‘‘Engaged Uni-versity’’ classification to acknowledge theachievements of schools throughout theUnited States that have created institutionalpractices of community involvement. Univer-sities apply for the classification and are grant-ed the classification based upon their mission,culture, leadership, resources and practices.The University of Michigan-Flint was able todemonstrate the integration of curricular en-gagement, outreach, the exchange of knowl-edge, and partnerships, with the larger com-munity to the benefit of both groups. Theschool has an established practice of honoringfaculty for their involvement, encouraging stu-dents to extend the education process outsideclassroom walls, and utilizing the school’s re-sources to enhance the community.Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratu-lating the chancellor, Dr. Ruth Person, the pro-vost, Dr. Gerard Voland, the faculty, staff, stu-dents and community for their vision, enthu-siasm and commitment to this partnership. Icommend the University of Michigan-Flint fortheir hard work and for receiving this classi-fication from the Carnegie Foundation for theAdvancement of Teaching.
THE WALK FOR HEALTHCARE:HEALTHCARE STORIES FROMOHIO COLLECTED BY OGANGUREL, M.D.
HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I submit thefollowing stories, collected by Dr. Ogan Gurel.
‘‘Jean doesn’t want socialized medicine.But she also adds that the current systemdoesn’t pay (or reward) for preventative care.But it wasn’t clear to her how either thefree-market or government could changethat. ‘People have to take responsibility fortheir health,’ she told me.’’ Jean—Van Wert,7/4/2009‘‘Todd recently lost his job as a machinist.His wife gets health coverage as a schoolteacher but ‘It’s not good insurance,’ he tellsme. ‘The out-of-pocket payments are ridicu-lous,’ he added. They have two kids—two andfour years old—and he wonders what willhappen if they get sick. ‘It’s a great thingyou’re doing,’ he said, as I shook his hand,thanking him, too, in return.’’ Todd—VanWert, 7/4/2009‘‘Mike, in the middle, shared with me hisfather’s situation. ‘He’s 52 years-old, a re-tired GM, Delphi employee, salaried, he was.’Mike looked at me to make sure I under-stood. ‘He was a salaried worker,’ he re-peated. ‘Which means they took away all hishealth benefits last April. Wage-earners gotto keep their benefits, you know.’ I noddedin acknowledgment. ‘So, he’s too young forMedicare, and now has a bad, bad situa-tion.’’’ Mike—Van Wert, 7/4/2009‘‘John, on the right, told me ‘I have goodinsurance but premiums have gone up 30% inthe last year.’ He took me in to his garage,out from drizzle, to meet his family andfriends. ‘I’m not happy with the healthcaresituation,’ he told me.’’ John—Van Wert, 7/4/2009‘‘Serving up a cup of coffee, Holly, at theRooster coffee shop, told me she doesn’t havehealth insurance. ‘I hope basically not to getsick,’ she said with a serious look beyond heryouth. ‘Pretty much that’s it.’’’ Holly—Mid-dle Point, 7/4/2009‘‘Tara, the cook at the Rooster truck stopnear Middle Point, Ohio, has no insurance.‘It’s just too much ... that’s the situa-tion.’’’ Tara—Middle Point, 7/4/2009‘‘Dee told me the story of her uncle. He hada heart attack a few years back resulting incardiac surgery and a bill for $145,000. ‘Dee,I’m dying,’ he said, not clear, as Dee told me,whether he was referring to his health trou-bles or the financial burdens. Dee told heruncle to change his diet, do yoga, lots of walking, and other things to improve hislifestyle and health. And so he heeded heradvice and actually, to do these things, wentback to India. Returning some months later,he proudly called Dee telling her that he washealthier, no longer had diabetes, and no hy-pertension. But, he lamented, ‘I still owe$145,000.’’’ Dee—Van Wert, 7/5/2009‘‘Jim drove out from Ft. Wayne (afterhearing the news) and met up with me nearMiddle Point on his bike. We walked to-gether for seven miles talking healthcareand healthcare reform along with manyother topics. He’s a Yale grad, which goes toshow that even traditional rivalries can walktogether towards a common goal. He believesin basic care for all but, as he told me, ‘thedefinition of what is basic becomes problem-atic. And those that can afford more thanthe basic,’ he added, ‘should be able to getit.’’’ Jim—Gomer, 7/5/2009‘‘Nancy is 60, without work and withouthealth insurance. She has recently moved inwith her mother. She has two prescriptionswhich cost her $140 a month and works oddjobs to pay for one of these. She lives oneday at a time and hopes that there’ll behealthcare reform, ‘So people like me canget the prescriptions we need.’ We met on aporch in Gomer (she was helping to clean upsomeone’s home) where she brought me somejuice. Here she is on the roadside near Lima,later that afternoon, bringing me a glass of water as she was driving to her mother’splace.’’ Nancy—Gomer, 7/5/2009‘‘Gloria’s husband died three years ago.She now has $1,600 a month between SocialSecurity and the Ford pension. ‘It’s a goodplan,’ with prescriptions at $2 each, she toldme. Her other story, which bothered herdeeply, was about her son. He had retiredafter 22 years of distinguished service in theNavy—the highly stressful submarine serviceonce dueling daily, in secret, with the SovietNavy. He had a quadruple bypass and also anabdominal aneurysm operation. ‘All thatwent well,’ she said, ‘but he had a very toughtime getting reimbursed, especially since hisoperations left him very sick and weak.’ Hehad to fight to reimbursed while lying in bedrecovering. ‘I’ve seen other veteran’s havethe same struggles,’ Gloria told me. ‘And it’sa real shame we treat our heroes this way.’’’Gloria—Lima, 7/5/2009‘‘Grace, the youngest, hasn’t had anyhealthcare troubles and is hoping to get in-surance as a student when she enrolls in col-lege. She does believe that some sort of healthcare reform is necessary.’’ Grace—Lima, 7/5/2009‘‘Kimberly has a brain aneurysm, which,she told me, ‘they are watching.’ She’s alsohad a falling bladder problem, which theyare not doing surgery on. In terms of insur-ance, she’s on Medicaid and Medicare buttold me, ‘I can’t afford the medicines’. Other-wise, it’s not been a problem. Everybody,’she added smiling with a serious look,‘should have insurance.’ Her effervescentdaughter, Tiffany, gave her mother a hug.’’Kimberly—Lima, 7/5/2009‘‘Steve, a financial consultant, wants thegovernment out of healthcare. He believesthat health insurance should be private (andthrough the employer). ‘Government messeseverything up,’ he tells me. ‘Actually, Imake my living fixing up government ac-counting troubles,’ he added. But he does be-lieve that the healthcare system could bemuch more efficient.’’ Steve—Lima, 7/6/2009‘‘Brad, the manager at the Lima HolidayInn, was enormously helpful and supportiveof the Walk. When I met him, he agreed thatit’s important to get the story out and toldme, ‘it is really terrible with all the unin-sured. Even if you have insurance,’ he added,‘I’ve seen how difficult it is dealing with theinsurance companies.’’’ Brad—Lima, 7/6/2009‘‘With an angry look on his face, Rogertold me very clearly that does not like theObama plan at all. But he also doesn’t likecorporate interests driving reform. ‘We doneed some change—it’s incredibly expensive,’he told me further, citing his father’s case.He had gotten a pacemaker and defibrillatorand, ‘Everything cost more than $200,000!’’’Roger—New Stark, 7/6/2009‘‘Kara’s 19 years old and had most recentlybeen just under her parent’s health coverage.‘But after nineteen, they take you off,’ shetold me, and she’s now in the process of re-enrolling in her own plan. During thisswitch, she’s actually without coverage. Shesighed, ‘My current job doesn’t pay enoughto afford insurance and then, when I’m incollege, two years from now, I’ll have to re-apply.’ She’s got asthma and fibromyalgia.It’s a real problem, she told me as she’s ‘real-ly worried’ about pre-existing conditions dis-qualifying her or making her insurance tooexpensive.’’ Kara—Lima, 7/6/2009‘‘Kate’s insurance costs her $200/month.She threw her hands up and exclaimed,‘That’s a car payment!’ She looked me in theeye and continued. ‘So, I’m 55 and no busi-ness not having insurance but I can’t affordit.’ She told me about her carpal tunnel syn-drome, that she had had a mild stroke and anagging rotator cuff injury. For the rotatorcuff, she can’t afford the MRI. ‘Actually,’ sheadded, ‘HCAP, a state program, can takecare of the actual MRI but not the reading.So,’ she said with a sigh, ‘I can’t afford it.’Her husband doesn’t have health insuranceeither. ‘He’s got two bulging discs in hisspine but can’t do anything about it. So hecan’t work and spends the day reclining onthe couch.’’’ Kate—Lima, 7/6/2009‘‘Heather (on the right) is 23 and recentlydivorced. She had good insurance throughthe marriage and actually had significantgastrointestinal problems for which she hadfour surgeries. She had a gall bladder oper-ation, colonoscopies, ‘they looked down mystomach too,’ and also sinus surgery. Shenow works two jobs (the one at Applebee’sprovides insurance but takes up the entirepaycheck). ‘It’s so strange,’ she adds, ‘I haveto get a money order to actually cover it andsend it to the health insurance companyheadquarters—$120/month. But I went to thedentist and still paid $30. But without insur-ance it cost $40, the dentist told me.’ Shelooked over at her friend, who nodded insympathy. ‘I don’t think insurance makessense at all.’’’ Heather—Lima, 7/6/2009‘‘Joe, the flagger at the construction site,believes in individual responsibility and ac-countability. ‘The government alwaysmesses things up,’ he said, but he likes theWalk—‘you’re doing a good thing,’ and con-cluded by saying, ‘some change is definitelyneeded.’’’ Joe—New Stark, 7/7/2009‘‘I met John, a traveling salesman, at din-ner. He’s got coverage, for which he is grate-ful for. He’s been pretty healthy but feelsthat ‘it is important that all people havehealth insurance.’’’ John—Lima, 7/7/2009‘‘Reuben actually stopped by the roadsideto walk with me. He told me the story of hisnephew, who’s an Ob-Gyn doctor in Mary-land. ‘His entire paycheck nearly all goes to
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