Appalachia and Virginia need ACA implemented

New health care bill will eventually reduce demand For RAM by providing affordable, quality health care for Appalachia

Wise, VA –Community members and health care advocates say the huge demand for RAM’s services exemplifies why health care reform is desperately needed in Appalachia and America. For the third year in a row, thousands of local residents will visit the Wise County Fairgrounds this weekend to receive medical care from The Remote Area Medical Foundation (RAM), a non-profit, volunteer, relief corps that provides medical services to remote areas.

RAM’s efforts have been applauded and celebrated by local residents and political leaders. Last year RAM facilitated 5598 patient encounters at the Wise County fairgrounds. The RAM Wise County effort was fueled by 1746 volunteers from RAM and local organizations and provided local residents with over $1.6 million worth of care, free of charge.

This weekend’s RAM clinic is expected to bring comparably large crowds, however the conversation around the state of health care in Southwest Virginia has changed. The passage of the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Protection Act in March has given many local residents hope that the bill’s expansion of coverage and affordability will not only reduce the need for RAM but provide Southwest Virginia with reliable care year round.

Jill Carson has volunteered at RAM with Stone Mountain Health Services Black Lung and Respiratory Care. “The number of people who get care at RAM speaks to the need to increase access to health care in the area,” said Carson. “The staff and volunteers at RAM do an amazing job. However, the question is: how do we get access to health care for the other 362 days? That is where the new health care bill comes in. We are finally laying the groundwork towards quality care for all.”

According to Energy and Commerce statistics, the heath care reform bill will improve coverage for 361,000 residents in Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District with health insurance and extend coverage to 48,500 uninsured residents. “Quality, affordable and accessible health care is critically important for everyone. There are many paths to get to that point. The important thing is that we are moving along that path,” said Dr. Sue Cantrell.

Laura Lawson of Wise has volunteered with RAM in the past and has connected many people with the clinic through her work with Early Head Start. “I have seen the need for RAM through my work and my own family. I am glad the health care bill will expand coverage to those who need it and someday make RAM unnecessary,” said Lawson. “Yet a lot of people are unaware of the benefits that are available through the bill and have no idea how it can help them. I would like to see members of Congress work harder to make sure their constituents understand the ways they will benefit from health care reform.”

Fanchette Fannelli of the Fourth World Movement/Appalachia has supported the efforts of the Health Wagon to bring RAM to Southwest Virginia for years. Two years ago, she interviewed patients and volunteers at RAM and published a book, Here and Hurting, which was later shared with members of Congress.

This year, the organization will have an exhibit at RAM with photos of children around the world who have no access to health care. “Many people are served by RAM but the demand is so great that some people have to be turned away, even after waiting in line for hours. This was the case for a man that we brought to RAM last year. We certainly hope that the health care reform will eventually eliminate the need for programs like RAM in the United States. Until then, the under-insured and non-insured in our part of Appalachia will have to depend on the good will and dedication of the volunteers who make RAM possible,” said Fannelli.

According to statistics provided by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in Congressman Boucher’s district, the health care reform bill will:

  • Improve coverage for 361,000 residents with health insurance.
  • Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 203,000 families and 12,200 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
  • Improve Medicare for 134,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
  • Extend coverage to 48,500 uninsured residents.
  • Guarantee that 10,800 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Protect 800 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
  • Allow 55,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans
  • Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 44 community health centers
  • Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $59 million annually.


This article provided by Julie Blust, Communications Director, Virginia Organizing Project
The Virginia Organizing Project is a statewide, multi-issue grassroots organization committed to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives.

How do they get those polls to say that?

Here is how they get a majority of people polled to say that HCR should be repealed and that cutting spending, cutting taxes, paying down the national debt, and improving the nation’s security should be the top priority in the new congressional session when most Americans believe otherwise:

First they put a negative-looking photo of President Obama on Facebook with the question “Should Congress Repeal Obama’s Health Plan?” This is a link, and most people who respond to it will either 1)be insensitive to the negativity of the “bad Obama” pictures or 2) recognize the picture and know that it is negative. If they feel negatively about President Obama, they are more likely to click on the negative photo, which is a link to the survey. If they feel positively about President Obama and recognize the “bad Obama” picture for what it is, they will not click on the link. So before anybody responds, the survey results are determined by setting up a survey population that will be more likely to agree with the writer of the poll. It will include a large majority of people with little political awareness, people who respond to negative pictures of President Obama, and people who want health care reform repealed.

When you do click on the link, you see another negative photo of President Obama, and you are asked “Should Congress Repeal Obama’s Health Care Plan and Other Policies?” The text will tell you the poll is urgent, and that the polling agency is reputable, and that they are going to give the results to media. The last of the three statements is true. Throughout the poll HCR will be referred to as “Obama’s Health Care Plan,” just to keep the self-selected anti-Obama folks aligned with the appropriate responses.

Then you get the questions, which are listed below. If you think there is one question that is not biased, leave your thoughts in the comments. I think that the last two are not biased questions, since they are actually just demographic. However, the responses will be skewed because the population has been selected to skew them. The kicker is the fourth question, which lists only the right-wing choices. So all of these will poll higher than creating jobs, funding and implementing HCR, Wall Street Reform, etc. When the poll is reported to media, there will not be a paragraph about how these options were not available, and the response could not be submitted unless you picked one of the available options.

That is one of the many ways they do it. You can use the link below to take the poll, but you can’t do it without giving them the answer they want on Question 4. And the responses can be separated into two groups based on the last two questions, people who voted for President Obama and people who did not. That gives the polling agency yet another option for reporting the data from the other questions in a skewed manner.

Here is the poll and here are the questions:

  1. Do you support the full repeal of President Obama’s healthcare plan Congress passed in 2010? (Question calls it “Obama’s healthcare plan,” and offers one Yes option with a graded “No” response. The responses for the first option and the last option will be aggregated as “yes” responses in support of those legislators seeking repeal.
    1. Yes, repeal it completely
    2. No, don’t repeal it at all
    3. No, repeal just parts of it
  2. Should Congress restore $500 billion in Medicare benefits for seniors that the Obama plan cut? (Question says that money was cut, but responses say benefits. Actually benefits increased, and the money was cut by greater efficiency and tightening up to prevent fraud.)
    1. Yes, restore the Medicare benefits
    2. No, don’t restore the Medicare benefits
  3. Do you support President Obama’s desire to give 12 million illegal aliens amnesty and a path to citizenship? (Question calls this “President Obama’s desire,” and the “Yes” response calls it a plan. It has been referred to in this item twice as “Obama’s,” so given the population, most responses will predictably be “No.”
    1. Yes, I support Obama’s amnesty plan
    2. No, I oppose it
  4. What do you believe Congress’ top priority should be in 2011? (What happened to jobs, funding HCR, Wall Street reform, fixing Citizens United, getting working Americans back on their feet, doing something about education, etc.)
    1. Cutting spending
    2. Cutting taxes
    3. Paying down the national debt
    4. Improving the nation’s security
  5. Do you plan on voting to re-elect President Obama in 2012?
    1. Yes, re-elect
    2. No, for another candidate
    3. Not sure right now
  6. Who did you vote for in 2008?
    1. McCain – Palin
    2. Obama – Biden
    3. Other