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Another Reason Health Care Reform is Needed

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Hardy L. Brown
A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience at Kaiser Permanent and African Americans needing to join in on the reform of our health care system. I did not relate my experience of people who wanted to help me by doing odd jobs around the house and office.

As most of you know with my health condition, I am limited to doing nothing when it comes to moving boxes, painting or just simple chores around the house or office. In each instance, the handyman came in need of some emergency medical care and each of them had no health care coverage.

Each of them once treated have gone on with their lives with a knowledge now of knowing their health status. Their emergency could have been avoided if they had access to care before it became an emergency. Neither went to see a doctor before because of cost. Each of them was treated in the emergency room, two hospitalized and all given prescriptions for their condition. I’m sure the hospitals and related services were eventually written off because neither person had the ability to pay.  Now I am not sure if reforming the health care system would have prevented these kinds of things from happening but it did highlight for me the problem facing many of my Black brothers without health care coverage. Many men like these three want to be productive citizens but due to some troubling health condition is unable to pass employment physical examinations, thus relegating them to odd job employment.

Most of us have someone in our family or in our neighborhood who fall into the uninsured or under insured category. If you don’t have that I am certain you have a senior citizen in your family whose prescription has forced them to decide between buying the medicine, cutting back on food or some other necessity in order to stay alive.

Therefore I urge you to call your representative in congress and say we want reform with some assurance of affordable coverage for those able to pay, public coverage for those unable to pay. While the system does somewhat better by women because of child bearing related needs financially poor men are left unprotected.  So when Congress recesses during the month of August meet with your representative and voice your concerns.  Call today and make an appointment.

Ken Calvert 951 784-4300

Joe Baca 909 888-2222

Jerry Lewis 909 862-6030

Mary Bono Mack 760 320-1076

David Dreier 909 575-6226

Penman: At It Again

The Muppet master is at it again, yes I’m talking about Jim Penman, San Bernardino City Attorney. The political season is open for mayor and it was brought to my attention by one of Wendy McCammack’s constituents that she wants to seek the office. Everyone knows that she bounces every thing off of Penman prior to council meetings so he can claim some reason to interject a supposedly legal rationale into the council discussion.

Well this past Monday an agenda item came before the council regarding a Community Development Project for low income housing in the community below Highland Ave between Arden and Sterling. The motion was made to proceed and the council members were through with discussion in what appeared to be most in favor and Wendy on the losing side. Then the question was called for and of course Penman raised his voice to object that not everyone had been heard. The mayor responded “do you have legal information we need to be aware’ of” and Penman went off like a rocket citing court cases on why he needed to speak. To keep some semblance of civility to the meeting the mayor let him speak even though he had no real legal objection to what the council was about to do.

In my first English class the teacher told us when you write or talk, tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.  Well Mr. Penman, being a lawyer, went on and on and on, telling the history of San Bernardino, his living on the poor Westside, going into the community, code enforcement programs, bad and good city employees, drug abuser programs, good citizens in the area, bad citizens in the area. All of that was good information but he kept repeating it and it had no legal bearing on the project.

In my opinion Penman, the Muppet Master was trying to stir people up against the mayor so McCammack would look like a champion for some of the people in the community.

Ten to fifteen minutes after he stopped rambling the council passed the measure so the project can be completed.  In the future the Muppet Master should stick to giving the council legal opinions on issues rather than trying to be the city historian and social engineer and let McCammack fight her own battles.

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