Branded

This photo is really my brand. In 2009 my rural county hospital dismissed me as a physician because I argued against the daily 18 patient quota that they said that Congress had set us. I said, “I will go argue with Congress.” I was not sure how I would get to Congress or when.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, a group called the Mad as Hell Doctors was readying to hit the road. Two weeks before the Mad as Hell Doctors hit the road to go across the country to give talks about single payer healthcare and to listen to citizens talk about their healthcare experiences, a friend called me.

The friend had gone to the Mad as Hell Doctors’ first program, a practice run in Sequim. It was well attended because the community had a controversy over the word “Hell”. The friend said, “It’s a bunch of older white males. They need a woman. You’re off from work: you should go.”

I researched them and called a friend who is a very experienced agitator. He said, “Do it.” I called them and my father drove me to the Bremerton ferry. I got off the ferry in downtown Seattle and was picked up on a street corner to join the Mad as Hell Doctors. I had never met any of them. That evening I was part of the program.

I was and am mad as hell and often sad, frustrated, appalled and incensed by the healthcare industry in the United States, that leaves people without care and dying in spite of costing each and every one of us twice as much as any other country in the world. And all of the CIVILIZED countries have single payer. Am I saying that the United States is uncivilized? Yes, frankly, I am. We are a country run on greed by corporations currently and I am fighting it.

The Mad as Hell Doctors traveled California in 2010 and I was there for a week of that trip. In 2011 they toured Oregon. We continue to work locally, at the state level and at the national level for single payer healthcare, medicare for all. I think that it will happen and hopefully during my career.

We ended the first trip at Congress and the White House. I sent a postcard to my former employer saying “See? I said I would go to Congress.” We haven’t won the health care battle yet but we will.

Here is a ten minute program that I did in Sequim, WA in (2012) at the American Awakening event:  Enjoy. If you want to see WHY we are Mad as Hell, watch “Health, Money and Fear” and the other videos at this site. For more information Physicians for a National Health Care Program is excellent and Health-Care Now! is also excellent.

You can make a difference. Do you know anyone who has lost their house, not gotten care soon enough because they didn’t have insurance or were under insured, or has been harmed or died because they were not able to afford or access care? Gotten sick and lost their job and lost their insurance? You, too, should be Mad as Hell and fight to change this.

5 thoughts on “Branded

  1. susurrus says:

    I agree with Cathy. I think, like me, she’s from the UK, where our beloved NHS professionals will battle to save our lives, never mind how poor or needy we are. I also find it very hard to understand your system and to be honest, why it isn’t more of a political issue for everyone.

    • drkottaway says:

      Going across the country, we ran into lots of people who said, “I don’t want the government to do healthcare because I don’t trust the government.” Well, um. “It’s YOUR government,” I’d say. “By the people, for the people, of the people. VOTE.” I think that corporations have gotten to be experts at feeding independent US citizen fears that “the government will tell me what to do and get in my business”. Consequently we’re paying over 9000$ per person for health care, twice as much as any civilized country, and we rank 36th or 37th in health care overall outcomes. We suck.

      • susurrus says:

        We’re not keen on our government either (no matter which party or parties it happens to be) but we don’t want to live with the knowledge that our sister, or neighbour or our parents might not be able to afford to get well if they are seriously ill. I hope you manage to work out a solution.

        It must be difficult when healthcare is so closely tied to a particular party. All our parties vie to claim that they will be the best supporters of our national health service.

      • drkottaway says:

        People in the US want to be independant and not depend on anyone. Doesn’t work with, say, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis. Yet we also endorse the value of no one being turned away from an emergency room. Which is the most expensive, inefficient, stupid way to fail to take care of chronic disease. We are going in the right direction with “obamacare”… hope it won’t be dismantled.

  2. Cathy says:

    We have a few problems with our health system but I am so glad I live where I do. No matter how many times it has been explained to me I will never understand your (as in United States) hospital and medical health insurance situation.
    Take care
    Cathy

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