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The Politics of Lung Cancer.....


Fay A.

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A Lung Cancer Support Group, whether or not that group is face to face or on line, is exactly where Political statements and opinions must be put forth, and an agenda developed, if we are ever to receive the kinds of money and support services it will take to extend the lives of and hopefully result in the cure for those of us who have Lung Cancer.

This has been made very clear by ALCASE's decision to move it's headquarters from Washington State to Washington DC.

My comments have been directed towards those individuals who have behaved in an insulting way to me directly (and by directly I mean standing in front of me), and to the current administration. I know too many folks in Texas to be clueless about the real consequences of George Bush, Jr.'s policies when it comes to public health and private enterprise.

And the nice thing about America is we can express these differing opinions as long as we are respectful and responsible.

Most of my best friends are Republicans. :wink:

One of them accompanied me to my appointment with my Oncologist this morning... and one of the things she is struggling with this afternoon is the newfound knowledge that the same government that supports her position against providing clean needles to drug abusers is the same government that makes it nearly impossible for me to obtain the medications and procedures I need to be able to survive. Twas a serious eye opener for her. A real learning experience....

You can't have it both ways, Folks...

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Fay,

I can tell you for sure I am not clueless. Nor am I a Republican. However, I was very disappointed in the Democratic Nominee this campaign, so I did not vote for either. Probably not the right thing to do, but that is my right. I vote for the person, not the party. (Not very popular here in Texas :? )

On a brighter note, did anyone see ABC's evening news. The current administration has moved many obstacles to obtain a new and promising drug in the fight against lung cancer from (of all places) Cuba. It sounds very similar to the GVAX vaccine, but promises to increase survival rates by as much as 8 months, which is alot by most standards. The catch was that the United States would not pay Cuba for the drug to be brought to the US in money, but in food and medical supplies. I think it was a doctor in California that got the ball rolling on this one.

Of course once the drug gets here early next year they will put it in trials, but it is a step in the right direction.

TAnn

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Fay,sorry you feel that way,but it is your privilage.I don't feel any one person(president ) can make a difference.Unless the house,senate,congress etc are all republican or all democrat.As long as a government is divided in any way all they seem to encounter is roadblocks from the other.Personally I am glad that Pres Bush was re-elected.However that is just my opinion.(to which I too am entitled).Hopefully they can come up with a plan to help all of us.

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"I know too many folks in Texas to be clueless about the real consequences of George Bush, Jr.'s policies when it comes to public health and private enterprise. "

TAnn, my apologies. The above was not clearly written. I didn't mean to imply that Texans were clueless, but that ]is how the above reads.

What I meant to say is that I am not clueless about the long term consequences of the public health and private enterprise policies of former Governor and now President Bush. And I have to agree that our choice wasn't very impressive. Lesser of evils it seemed to me.

And Frank, I pretty much knew that I would be in the minority with my opinions. Congratulations, as your candidate won. Most of my family voted for Bush. But every time I am denied another health benefit I will remind my family members and friends WHY this has happened. (My insurance issues fall under Federal jurisdiction).

I've edited this several times because the italics fuction is not working very well. :roll:

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I think it is a sad day in America, when people feel they have to remind each other that they ARE entitled to their opinions. We are ALL entitled to our thoughtful, thought-out opinions.

Fay

All health care matters/insurance matters come under federal jurisciction if you think of it. To me, that some people have access to excellent care and others do not, or even what is defined as good healthcare is a result of federal policy.

There seems to be a myth that if a person does not have insurance that local and state monies take care of that person. Not so.

The working poor without insurance are not taken care of--and when they are, their symptoms are often worse, which reduces their outcomes and ends up costing an already overburdened health system more.

To qualify for benefits in my state, for example, your income in a two person family has to be about 1,000 a month or less. Families with children fare better, as they should. Unemployment benefits and SSI and SSD count as income. Not only does your income have to be low, but you can have basically no assets.

The census bureau says that in 2002, 45 million Americans went without health insurane--the largest ever. ONly 60 per cent of people with jobs had health care as a benefit--the lowest per cent ever.

What does Pres Bush see as this nation's biggest health care crisis? Making sure that there is a cap on medical malpractice and making it even harder for people who have been injured in the health care system to even seek damages.

I think it is also a myth that when well-off people like Doctors are able to keep more of their money that they then somehow become more willing to give money away! Or that health care costs will go down. When have you seen prices go down on anything, really, let alone health care.

Trickle down economics didn't work in the 1980s and it won't work now. Human nature, unfortunately is selfish

I, too, am against frivolous law suits, but there are better ways to stop those from happening--such as having review boards to screen law suits.

One of my dearest friends took his child to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing--either asthma or a respiratory infection. The child was put into a "steam tent"--instead of water, cleaning fluid was used. When my friend, Eric and his wife, mentioned the weird smell, they were treated like dumb people for even mentioning this.

As a result, the child is severely brain damaged from inhaling hexane and other chemicals. This is medical malpractice. Eric has little money, a job and no health insurance--anything that would stop him from seeking or acquiring adequate damages on behalf of Maya, is not this nation's biggest health care concern, in my opinion. There is nothing that can, however, bring back the promise of this child's life.

There are people on this board without health insurance--they need to tell their stories.

I lived for a year before DX without health insurance, but I had a job. I have a life threatening arrythimia, and once I had to call an ambulance--much time was spent, while they were trying to stabalize me, trying to figure out where they could take me for care that wasn't over 50 miles away. ( I lived in South Dakota). I was lucky in a way, because I was well-known in those parts and Indian Health Care Personnel said to bring me there even though I am non-Indian and had no right to get care at that facility. However, knowing what I know about Indian Health Care Services, made me a little leery if I would actually live. That's a whole other story, lol.

So I am dismayed that Bush won again because I don't agree that the interests of the wealthy should be the primary concern of the government. If Doctors fear malpractice, then they ought not malpractice.

If I fear being sued for my misconduct or my errors of judgement, then I need to do my best to be responsible.

The followng link highlights the problem and consequences of millions of people without health insurance much better than I can ever hope to do:

http://www.cbpp.org/8-26-04health.htm

I agree with Fay, that places like this board, are places these concerns need to be raised. Anywhere is a place where these concerns need to be raised.

We don't have to agree. But unless we take on these diffucult issues, I don't think a solution can be had. "Support" is an all encompassing word.

elaine

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I am from Texas, but my presidential candidate did not win.

For that I am disheartened.

But I must say that I appreciated the fact that George W. said he would work hard to earn the respect of those that voted for his opponet and work to bring this much divided country together.

I'm going to hold him to that for the next 4 years.

God bless America

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I've got to say that my candidate also did not win (which blows the view that all doctors are Republican :P ). I also do not believe that malpractice is our greatest health care problem. I will take issue however with the view that to avoid being sued, we should just not "malpractice". Clearly there are bad doctors in this country...just like there are bad cops and firemen and nurses and clergy. But most lawsuits are not about bad doctors, they are about bad outcomes. Unfortunately, bad outcomes happen. Sometimes they occur because of malicious intent but usually because someone made an honest mistake. In the case of your friends son who was injured, clearly there should be compensation delivered. I'm sure that the doctor did not write an order to put cleaning fluid in the vaporizer, however. You can be assured though that the person who is going to be paying for that outcome is the doctor, not the person who put in the wrong fluid. I think I am a good doctor. I am not, nor will I ever be, perfect. Which means that I will unddoubtedly be sued at least once in my career. When it happens, I will probably leave medicine for a different career. Hopefully that will be a long time from now.

The biggest issues in health care as I see it are cost and coverage. It is an embarrasment that the wealthiest nation in the world cannot provide health care to all of its citizens. But the biggest problem is cost. Would everyone on this board be willing to pay an additional 15-20% of their income in taxes for nationalized health insurance? As a nation, I think its obvious that the answer to that is no. I'm not sure of a model that will guarantee coverage for all that is not paid for by the government though. Unfortunately, that is going to become increasingly difficult as the price of medicine goes up. I look at cancer care alone and the costs of our treatments and tests are becoming fairly staggering. With successes in research come exorbitantly expensive drugs. New tests (CT/PET, DNA profiling, MRI) are extremely expensive. I don't see an end in sight to the problem and have no idea how to fix it.

Cost controls, ratcheting down on drug companies, etc. also have their downsides. Like it or not, money is what drives medical breakthroughs. The deep pockets of big pharma allow amazing research so they can bring new treatments to market that will make money for their shareholders. Fix pricing and the incentive to make those money-making discoveries drops and you lose more and more bright people to more lucrative careers.

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Candidates aside, having seen the inner workings of our system "up close & personal" as we all have, my thoughts are that the last thing I want is the federal government stepping in any more than they already are. They don't have a great track record, IMO, managing other programs, and would probably make what is already bad in many ways just that much worse.

The idealogy of people having a "right" to health care and health care coverage is admirable, but I don't think society is at all ready to be there. Think it over -- if the feds step in and society really wants "everyone" to be under one health care umbrella, then the cost will be in the trillions -- not billions. That is, if the standards of care are high as they are now. You can be assured that under a federally managed program, they will not be.

Those at the bottom of the spectrum -- receiving no care or coverage -- will be brought up to meet in the middle with those receiving a high level of care because they have good coverage or can pay for it. So, some come down on the spectrum, and some go up. Are any of us willing to give up any of what we have now? In order to have "everyone" under this umbrella, we will have to. And we'll have to draw lines too -- just like what we're seeing now with flu shots -- who is more needful?

And Fay -- not to pick on you, but think of it this way -- who in this forum or elsewhere would you ask to give up a measure of their health care or coverage so that you and I can have more? Anyone? In a federally managed system, we all become more or less the "same." In order for you or I to have more, someone must have less, and so it goes. Just look at the Medicare system to see how good the feds are at managing health care for the elderly -- not very.

A friend in Canada comes here to get her medications. Odd, since all the talk now seems to be that the U.S. should be going to Canada for our medications. She comes here because she's never assured that she will be able to get her meds in Canada. More likely than not, she will show up to get them, and they will tell her they can't get them for 3 weeks, and unless she meets their criteria, she can't have any of the minimal supply they keep on hand for emergencies. So, in spite of paying a lot of tax in Canada for her "free" health care, she spends more money coming to the U.S. where she knows she can get the care. In her words, "Our care is supposedly "free," and we get what we pay for."

While I agree with Dr. Joe on the malpractice, I've also seen for over 30 years spent in the health care administration field a number of doctors who stay in the system year after year because their colleagues won't filter their own and cull the bad ones out of the herd. I've seen surgeons have patients on the table before they've even met them face to face, calling for approval to do a procedure before pre-op testing has been done, and then be irate that someone is "trying to tell them how to practice medicine." Indeed. Someone probably needs to tell them.

Yes, I have a soapbox about this issue too, and may feel quite differently than many of you, simply because I've spent a LOT of years inside the system and have seen in from many angles -- now as a patient. There are a lot of players in the health care system, and unless we address each and every one of them, it's just going to be made worse, IMO. And, until society is willing to come to terms with some cold, hard facts about what all this will entail and what it will cost, as well as what each person will have to give up in order to give care & coverage to others, we shouldn't jump into it so readily.

Remember -- *the government* isn't going to pay for all that -- we are.

With much respect for you all, and the varying points of view,

Di

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I am certainly glad that you aren't going to pick on me, Dianne. :wink:

I've spent a lot of years living in other countries.

I'm not impressed with the Canadian and British take on socialized medicine. I'm much more impressed with the French and German system of medical coverage for all of their citizens.

And Dr. Joe, my answer to your question is "Yes, I would give up 20 plus percent of my income to pay for medical care for all." I truly believe that in the long run it would prove to be more cost effective for society as a whole."

And once again, my statement was poorly written, so Texans, I meant no offense. What I meant is that because I have close contact with many people who have lived in Texas under George Bush, Jr as Governor, I have a pretty good idea of what happened to the few protections in place for all patients, including those who have medical coverage.

Four years ago President Bush told this nation that he was not a divisionist. He told us that he would bring us together. I took him at his word then. Shame on me if I am fooled again.

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Dr Joe

Bad outcomes do happen and that to me is not malpractice unless those bad outcomes are because of neglect, not knowing something or not doing something that ought to be done, or doing something that ought not be done.

Can Drs know or do everything? No. So they clearly have to know what they don't know and can and can not do and then either find out or send the patient on.

If HMOs get in the way of that, then Doctors need to tackle the HMOs--, in my opinion. If Drs can't tackle the HMOs on their own, then Drs could rally others to help.

The above is what I mean by malpractice.

I spent a year as a journalist. I took on extremely tough issues in an extremely tough environment. I know some of what it means to be worried about being sued and to be worried about being harmed because of what I had written. I had two choices--write fluff or take on the heavy stuff and suffer the consequences.

I chose the heavy stuff--and I chose to make sure I was careful. We were relatively small and I had no fact checkers or string reporters. I had no formal training, but I quickly found people I could go to for advice in sticky situations. I owed it to my employer, to the people I was writing about and to the readers. That is what I mean about responsibility.

Early on, I made a serious error. I ate crow in the next edition. I am glad my editor made me do that. Was my error intentional? No. It was part mistake and part an error of judgement. The paper could have been sued, but luckily the person and events I had unintentionally mischaracterized was decent with me because I owned up. Other times, I did not back down when there was no reason to back down. I knew what the facts were and I was not intimadated by outside pressure. Even the editor couldn't do much to stop me, lol.

You are right, no Dr ordered cleaning fluid put in the vaporizer. In this case, I do not know who really is responsible. But if part of the Drs duties are to supervise a case, then they are responsible for the actions of those they are supervising--. I would think however, that it was the hospital's responsibility, and in fact, from what I remember about the case, it was the hospital that was sued and not a Dr. directly, though there may well have been a Dr who was party to the suit.

Had the paper been sued, it would not have been me personally who would have paid. My editor/publisher/owner would have born the brunt because inevitably he took on that responsibility--to check my work etc. I had no pockets, deep or otherwise. Is that fair? I think it is. So if I was some kind of unruly reporter who made up stuff and ran wild with my words and the editor didn't stop me, I am morally at fault and my editor is responsible. He took on that responsibility when he hired me--to ascertain if I was quailified, responsible etc., as well.

I think review boards would go a long way to stop some lawsuits that are either frivolous or are truly mistakes that could not be avoided given the circumstances of each case.

But in the end, I do think that some mistakes and errors of judgement are indeed malpractice; thus the Dr. or other entity should be held accountable.

I feel like I have been characterizing myself as a Dr, hater. That is not the case. I have had some wonderful Drs in the past. Just not my luck lately.

elaine

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I really hate to bring the politics back up, but Fay made me do it, lol.

I did not hear President Bush say he was going to work in a bi-partisan fashion. He direct words were that he was going to work with those people who already share his goal. hmmmmm. That sounds like gloating to me. He says he has a mandate?

I'm with Fay on this one, too. And to boot, I am scared for the furture of many, many things.

The other thing is this: I don't believe it would take an increase like Dr Joe or Dianne are saying, but if it did, I would pay it.

John Kerry's plan was not socialized medicine at all. Go to JohnKerry.com and read it. It's a mute point, now, so no one will. But it was not socialized medicine no matter how some media and some politicians liked to characterize it.

It created insurance pools that people and small and large businesses could buy into at reduced costs.

It's quite fine with me if the working poor all can't have BMWs and 4,000 square foot houses, but for the working poor not to have health insurance is a moral outrage. If people in the country want to continue to wear the badges of their success, so be it, but not at the expense of the health of others.

I already wrote today somewhere, about the myth that all people without insurance will be taken care of by local systems. NOt so for the working poor and working lower middle and middle class--only the very, very poor.

As for a federally controlled health care system--I am not for that either. Spent too much time covering just one of the federally operated health care systems--IHS--. Being a patient there was kind of scary, too.

elaine

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Elaine says >

The working poor without insurance are not taken care of--and when they are, their symptoms are often worse, which reduces their outcomes and ends up costing an already overburdened health system more.

To qualify for benefits in my state, for example, your income in a two person family has to be about 1,000 a month or less. Families with children fare better, as they should. Unemployment benefits and SSI and SSD count as income. Not only does your income have to be low, but you can have basically no assets.

///////////////////

You must carefully weigh the pros and cons before your husband files for unemployment benefits. And, be absolutely certain that you have access to COBRA and that you can afford to maintain it. Spending down assets to qualify for public assistance to help with your medical bills is the easy part for most applicants. The tricky part is income. If you aren't careful your husband's unemployment benefits will push you above the maximum allowable income level thereby barring you from these medical assistance programs. I personally know someone that works in patient billing at one of our local hospitals and she handles the applications for these programs. She told me that the # 1 reason for denial is too much income.

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For over 25 years, I was in the health care administration field. The last half of that time was spent with a very large medical/dental plan that had over 60,000 participants. Among other things, I was responsible for setting up care networks across the country where we had employees -- PPOs mostly. One thing we did was to establish a self-insured HMO with an existing HMO. It was very interesting, in that like most HMOs at the time, they didn't have a clue what it cost for them to do what they do. Today, although some may have a better handle on cost, it is rare that an HMO or a hospital can tell you what it costs them to deliver care.

Spend a 24 hour period of time in an inner city trauma center sometime -- it's an eye opener. You will see a parade of gang related crime victims -- stabbings, shootings, etc., drug cases, burn victims from people being doused in gasoline and set on fire just for fun, and other horrific cases. Based on some estimates, in just one such center over a Friday/Saturday night, 36 hour period, the cost of treating these cases, on average, is around $500,000 and rising every month.

Now, multiply that for all the trauma centers in the country, and see what's going out already that isn't coming back in -- it's mind boggling.

And then in the pools, what happens is that someone like me comes along and has high claims over a year or 2, and the cost goes up for the rest of the people. In a typical government program, it isn't going to cost ME more for what I took out of the pool, it's going to be distributed among us all, so that the rest of you will be paying for me. Now, that may be ok with you 'cuz you all like me so much :roll: , but are you so willing to fork over so much of your hard earned money for the cases going through the trauma center every weekend? And a whole lot of them are repeat business too. Just how many times are you willing to pay for John Doe to be stabbed in the street over a drug deal gone bad, and be sewn up at your expense?

We're already paying for those cases -- every time we go to the hospital or the ER or even to the doctor, because when they have to give away so much for free, they have to charge more to us who are paying customers.

Now, add all that to the taxes you are paying now -- local, state, and your current federal taxes. It will be a LOT, and we will all pay it, whether we ever use it or not.

Di

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Bill,

My state has a web site where you can punch in your numbers and see if you qualify for benefits. Assuming my husband gets the maximum amount from umemployment, we would not qualify for any other benefits--such as health care. You are right. It's not hard to qualify for the maximum, it didn't seem.

But we have no choice really. He will file and I guess part of our spend down will be used to make Cobra payments. If he is still unemployed after 26 weeks, we should be broke by then, lol--having spent it all down on just getting by. Then we won't have money to pay for the Cobra, and we should qualify for a much better health care plan--which is the state medicaid system. Crazy, huh?

After which time, we will not be able to get by--so who knows!

elaine.

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Elaine, I'm not sure where you are, but you might check to see if Medicaid will pay the COBRA premium for you.

I know from my job in my former life (!) that we often heard from Medicaid people who would pay the COBRA premiums for some of our qualifying employees. What that meant to them was that they paid the monthly premium, and if there were any claims, those came out of our pocket. Smart!

Sorry I can't remember the states where they do this, but it might be worth checking on.

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Dianne

That's the way insurance works anyway. If a company's claims go up, the company's premiums go up the next year to cover the costs of what it cost the insuracne company to cover those expenses--and then a projection is added on for the following year.

I don't even know why it's called insurane to begin with. Most companies don't self insure, mainly because of all the paper work involved with claims and dealing with the verious providers. Thus, they pay an insurance company, in part, to handle the paperwork, really. But the cost of claims and clerical/admin is basically passed on to the companies who contract with the insurance company, from what I can see.

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Self-insured plans just mean that the company pays actual claims rather than premiums. Most of them pay an insurance company to process claims and to administer the plan.

Where I worked, we took control over our own plan. In a little over a year, we rewrote the entire thing.

My point, poorly made, was that in the system proposed by Sen. Kerry, it was just what we would have now, except the makeup of the pools is such that there will be more sick people in them with less funds. It's like HMOs are mostly skewed to younger and more healthy people. I, in fact, always advise people to NOT get in an HMO if they are over age 35 or so, and especially not if they have a medical problem if they have a choice.

I'm just afraid people are way too naive about what all of this will cost, especially given what it's already costing us. Look at how fast and high the health care costs are rising now -- and the insurance costs. How fast do you think the tax burden will rise once the feds step in and start trying to "manage" care? What is now said to be an extra 20% will more than likely be 40% or more by the time all is said and done. And that is just the federal portion -- added to what you pay in local/state taxes.

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Dear Fay A

I was very pleased to read your first 2 paragraphs and then it became a politcal issue. Not meaning all your comments but the comments that followed your post. Seems to me that if people were really concern about fighting lung cancer and wanting more money for it they would join with a orgainzation like ALCASE thats works for lung cancer only. But when I have mentioned ALCASE on here and in the chat rooms I felt like it was not welcome. Well people can go ahead and complain about who is or who is not but lung cancer is here to stay. Organizations like ALCASE need our help. And for those of you that might disagree go ahead and blast me because am fighting cancer not presidents.

God Bless and Keep the Faith

Don

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Forgot to say that I do everything that I can for ALCASE and Lung Cancer.

I am a phone buddy who talks with a long lists of people about their lung cancer and try and help them.

I talk with caregivers and family of patients and try to give them tips on things to do.

I have started a Lung Cancer Support Group in San Antonio and am starting a new one close to Austin this month.

I speak at churchs at the Wed or Thur night services about lung cancer.

And yes I have a full time job running the ranch and breaking horses.

Now how much time DO YOU HAVE???????

God Bless

Don www.alcase.org give them a call

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most lawsuits are not about bad doctors, they are about bad outcomes.

That is so true. The factor that most malpractice consultants say occurs in lawsuits is not what happened, but how the provider dealt with it. All of us do make mistakes, even the best of us. And the unexpected and unanticipated happen to all of us. People understand this. If the provider acknowledges, explains, and makes it right, then no harm is done. A strong provider-client relationship and a little honesty go a long way.

[stepping off malpractice soapbox now.]

[stepping up onto political punditry soapbox.]

That said, my greatest concern about the present administration is its distortion of scientific knowledge to fit a specific belief system. For example: Teaching abstinence alone is not an effective way to prevent AIDS and teen pregnancy. (Teaching kids about how to be safe if they MUST have sex does work.) Stem cell research does not kill "human beings." (More embryos are killed in the highly random process of natural fertilization and implantation than in stem cell research.)

I don't want to incite animosity among the wonderful people on this board. I respect everyone's right to vote their own opinion. But for me, I do worry for the state of public policy when it is based not on sound research, but on ideology.

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Fay A please understand that I was not saying anything to you about your post it was all the post that followed that bothered me. We have a organization(ALCASE) and if we all get behind it we CAN change some of the issues and remember the group that makes the loudest noise is most often heard. Am telling people dont complain do something about it.

God Bless

Don

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Don, et al....

My original post was a political one from the very first words..hence the title. I say it I own it, Folks. It's part of being a grown up. And I recognise that sometimes others will not agree with me and they can and will do so with feeling. I am glad to see everyone here offering their comments/opinions. I don't think anyone who posted did so in an offensive manner (save for me when I made it sound as if the citizens of Texas are clueless :oops:). I think given the potential for disaster any political discussion represents we all handled ourselves like the decent human beings we all are. And I learned some new things as a result of this discussion that I will use in my personal little one woman campaign against Lung Cancer and the stigma that goes along with the disease, and especially in my war on medical discrimination.

And Dr. Joe, I personally believe that most lawsuits are as a result of bad outcomes not related to medical neglect or wrong doing. I personally believe that the majority of medical lawsuits are the result of unrealistic expectations on the part of surviving family members. There are bad outcomes because medical science cannot cure or heal all assaults to the human body or mind (yet). You guys can do a heck of a lot that borders on the miraculous-thank God!-but you are human. And when in the throes of grief sometimes family members cannot handle the depth of their loss, so unconsciously turn to anger and then to blame. Just my twelve cents on the subject......

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Well, it seemed like a slam-dunk that this would be at least somewhat about politics, given the subject!

IMO, we do what we can in our own way. In order for me to be more effective, I must be well and feel good, and I'm working on that right now. My goal is that by January, I'll be at least knee-deep in something here locally.

There is another political angle to this too -- a big one. It's about women's issues. Most of the women I know will tell you that they fear breast cancer more than anything. Then if I mention to them that lung cancer kills more women every year than breast cancer, uterine/ovarian/cervical cancer combined, they are a little stunned. :o

Yet, more of the money and attention goes to breast cancer, and more and more young women come down with lung cancer, and die. And they've done what they were supposed to do -- get regular mammograms and pap smears -- but no one warned them about lung cancer, probably because they didn't smoke, or maybe just from ignorance? I have no idea. Anyway, you can get women activated to fight for many things that involve their children or the zoning in their neighborhood, but just getting them to know about lung cancer is sometimes a battle. Go figure.

I don't believe in either/or. I believe in the real world where there are lots of different people with lots of different views on lots of different issues. Like the example from the previous post -- I think it would be ridiculous to teach *only* abstinence, and I don't know of anyone who thinks that would be anything but ridiculous. There are plenty of options between that and nothing, however, including some people who think the whole subject has no business being in the schools in the first place.

So, there is a full gamut of issues, opinions, and causes. This one, the scourge of lung cancer, has hit us all where it hurts. I'm sure we'll all fall somewhere in the range of activism to the best of our abilities, even if that just means fighting for each day of life and letting others know that's possible.

Di

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TAnn wrote: "On a brighter note, did anyone see ABC's evening news. The current administration has moved many obstacles to obtain a new and promising drug in the fight against lung cancer from (of all places) Cuba. It sounds very similar to the GVAX vaccine, but promises to increase survival rates by as much as 8 months, which is alot by most standards. The catch was that the United States would not pay Cuba for the drug to be brought to the US in money, but in food and medical supplies. I think it was a doctor in California that got the ball rolling on this one. "

I also read something about a recent Executive Order putting Medicare patients into trials for the first time, but can't remember the details. If I can find reference to it, I'll share.

Di

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A good malpractice attorney will not schedule a face to face meeting with 99 out of 100 potential clients who call the office for a meeting. Another 99 out of 100 of those may never be filed. When a good malpractice attorney files a case, there is often a case of horrendous neglect which CAUSED massive DAMAGE. Don't let the press fool you. If you do -- you have fallen prey to some money well spent on manipulation of public opinion.

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