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A Simple Solution

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"The health plan is unsustainable," says Lathe Gill in "The Quandary of North Coast Schools Medical Insurance Group" (Feb. 27). It is an accurate and distilled reflection of the healthcare crisis in the nation as a whole. The school districts' employees, however, are clearly suffering at the forefront when "(m)any already have to give half of the annual wage for a good health plan." The problem in "Quandary" is virtually unsolvable and reminiscent of people between a rock and a hard place, trapped in a dark room, protesting, arguing and brainstorming about dealing with the darkness when a simple solution is to turn on the light of improved Medicare for all.

 For some 70 years, people have understood health care as a human right that we can and should deliver to everyone in this, the richest country in the world. It was demonstrated in 1965 when Lyndon B. Johnson, with his genius for political half nelsons, ushered in Medicare — despite huge resistance.

 Understanding the obstacles to Medicare in 1965 clarifies our challenge today: the ever-more powerful corporate health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Only an informed, grassroots demand for equitable, universal and affordable access to health care can meet this challenge, especially when so many of our lawmakers are beholden to those very interests.

 The combined Humboldt Chapters of Health Care for All-CA and Physicians for a National Health Program, along with Black Humboldt, are sponsoring the screening of an informative, powerful documentary, The Power to Heal, about the coming of Medicare that effectively desegregated hospitals across the nation, a first step in dispelling the quandaries of darkness.

The public is invited to The Power to Heal, Saturday, March 7, at the Minor Theatre in Arcata at 11 a.m. followed by a Q&A panel. A $5 donation is suggested. Info: healthcareforallhumboldt@gmail.com

Patty Harvey, Willow Creek


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