Saturday, August 19, 2017

Healthcare Matters

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores." Luke 16

"It occurred to me that there was no difference between men ... so profound as the difference between the sick and the well."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Is high-quality, affordable medical care in America still a reasonable expectation for most Americans? Is it even a human right? Is it better achieved by government guarantee or by the free market?"

Healthcare has always been and will always be an important issue for most people. Sickness touches almost all of us at one time or another and when it does it raises all sorts of intertwined questions
... from personal responsibility through social welfare to divine purpose
... from lifestyle and prevention through treatment and intervention to DNR [do-not-resuscitate] orders, palliative/hospice care and the right to die.

When and Where

Tuesday, October 17,  7:00 to 8:45 pm
Friends University, William Penn Hall, Room 100 (directly west of the Fine Arts building)

Opening Question

Maintaining the quality, accessibility, and affordability of America's health care system is an ongoing challenge.  Are we sliding gradually and inevitably into a single-payer system? If the right to life exists, does that imply the right to the health care that preserves life? What does the future of health care in America look like? (Don't ask the Congress of the United States!)


With enthusiasm and gratitude, please welcome our 4 panelists. We should all make an honest effort to review any point of view statements [POVs] and any readings they have suggested to stimulate our thoughts for the evening [any links will follow their name/bio].

Dr. Carla A. Lee, APRN-BC, is the Executive Director of La Familia Senior/Community Center and President of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Nurses Society.

Dr. Mark Mosley has been an ER physician for 25 years at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the Kansas University School of Medicine –Wichita.  He has treated the medically indigent, homeless, mentally ill, Medicaid patients, and privately insured patients at a for-profit hospital (within HCA, the largest for-profit provider in the United States) -- a very interesting mix of capitalism and government-driven social responsibility.  (Dr. Mosley was the “Top Doctor of Wichita” in 2006 and 2007.)
US Healthcare fact sheet copy.docx
US Healthcare Coverage, Cost & Quality.docx 

Dr. Kent Murray is a retired internal medicine physician, having been Chief of Staff at the Wichita VA for 13 years and an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs at the Kansas University School of Medicine –Wichita.  As a VA physician, he has spent most of his career in essentially “socialized medicine.”  Dr. Murray claims to have seen vast improvements in that system and understands its possible extensions.  He has "felt embarrassment that the richest country in the world has, unlike other Western industrialized nations, a largely profit-driven health care system which leaves millions under-insured or uninsured."  Believing that health care is a human right, he generally favors a single-payer system.

Dr. Josh Umbehr is a certified Family Physician in Wichita who started Atlas MD, an insurance-free, direct primary care practice, wherein he is able to “shrug off the burdens and restrictions of government and insurance regulation,” so that he can focus solely on his patients and their needs.

[Many thanks to John Todd and Fr. Benedict Armitage for their help in securing the participation of our panelists.]

The Evening's Format

The first half of the evening will consist of each panelist giving an opening position statement to which we will provide a link on this page in advance [if the panelist wishes to share part or all of it with us in advance] ... although we have explicitly advised panelists that providing a position statement in advance is not required.

The second half of the evening will be dedicated to questions ... from panelists to their fellow panelists ... and from the audience to panelists ... so bring your questions as well as your answers.

And for those of you who are inclined to get some questions out in the open for consideration BEFORE the evening's meeting ... feel free ... join the liberales ... and blog your COMMENTS and REPLIES below as needed/wished to build some trains of thought for us.

Other Suggested Readings

Type 2 Diabetes Is "Processed Food Disease", Dr. Robert Lustig, 2017

"How the Government Ruined US Healthcare — and What Can Be Done", Alice Salles, 2017
"Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind", Senator Bernie Sanders, 2016
"Was Friedrich Hayek a Hypocrite on Socialized Medicine?", Karl Hess, 2011
"Prevention vs. Treatment: What's the Right Balance?", Halley S. Faust and Paul T. Menzel, 2012
"Justice and Access to Health Care", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, revised 2013
"Healthcare access as a right, not a privilege: a construct of Western thought", Biomed Central, 2007

"Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End", by Atul Gawande, 2014
[PBS Frontline Report on Being Mortal]