Sunday, February 11, 2007

Who We Are

Hello. You have found the web site of the newly organized grassroots group of citizens concerned about the current state of health care in the U.S.

Our title includes the term "Great Northern States" in honor of the past tradition of Minnesota and Wisconsin of moving our country toward social change that benefits all citizens.

What We Stand For

Our organization uses the following to evaluate any proposal for change in the existing arrangements for health care:

Whereas, it is the role and function of government to see that all have access to necessary health care, we support reform and funding of a health care system that guarantees:

1. all residents access to quality, comprehensive health care explicitly defined as a human right.
    As medically necessary care is a human right, the term "Charity care" for those who cannot pay for medical services should be considered antiquated in any humane society.

2. that the pursuit of corporate profit and personal fortune has no place in health care decisions.
    Public policy decisions on health care legislation and regulations must be based on acceptance of the social contract that treats health care as a right, not a commodity. In a democracy, the public should set health policies and budgets.

3. that care and treatment decisions by doctors and other health care professionals are based on professional judgments as to the best interests of the patient, in no way influenced by insurance and payment circumstances.

4. that personal medical decisions are made by patients with their caregivers, not by corporate or government bureaucrats

5. that financial barriers to appropriate and necessary medical care are eliminated.

6. patients have the freedom to choose their health care professionals.

7. the establishment of serious, effective and enduring cost-containment measures. This may dictate that duplication of services and equipment be eliminated in some regions. Measures to severely punish corporate fraud in billing for medical services must be instituted and enforced.

8. a simple, clear, easy-to-understand system of health care that is efficient to administer and allows no room for any part of the system to pass the buck, denying services to those in need of medically necessary care.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Come to our First Event

Saturday, March 10: The Healthcare Mess and How To Fix It

Kip Sullivan, author of the "The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How We’ll Get Out of It," is the guest speaker of our first presentation. Mr. Sullivan has been teaching and writing about the American health-care crisis since 1986. He will share with us some of his research and his ideas of how to fix the health care problem in this country.

There will be two venues for this presentation:

In La Crosse at the LaCrosse Public Library, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

In Winona at the Science Lab Center Auditorium in Stark Hall at the Winona State University, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

There will be time for questions and a discussion following the presentation about what we can do.