Skip to main content

Waesuck Wednesday: Occupy Healthcare Edition

When the NYPD army surrounded Zucotti Park at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, I was awake. I'm not even sure who the tweet came from that announced the raid. There was a link to a live feed. I clicked it, and for the next two hours my attention was rapt. Frankly, I haven't much followed the Occupy Wall Street movement. There's been too much disconnect, and I agree with many of the critics who have said that a message with a million tiny points is too diluted to be effective in begetting change. Change is good. But the answer to "what do you want to change" can not be "everything." Also, I fail to see how sleeping in a park is going to prompt the bankers who line their wallets with ill-gotten gains to give up any of their greed—the homeless have been doing it for decades (without tents and libraries and food carts and smart phones, I might add) and nothing has come of that, not even a solution to homelessness much less corporate overhaul. That said, I do wish the protesters well if for no other reason than caring enough about something to stand up to the status quo is admirable. Their methods may not be entirely well-directed, they may not be entirely effective, but complacency and complicity is a far greater crime.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spawned other Occupy movements, notably Occupy Healthcare. Most anyone who has dealt with our current health care system or who has not been able to deal with our system due to an inability to pay for care would agree that the system is flawed. The OHC movement reports that two out of three bankruptcies in the United States originate from medical bills. Those organizing the movement don't pretend to have all the answers, but their goal is to foster a dialogue about how to improve the system and ultimately improve patient care. OHC leaders pose an important question on the movement's website, "How can we, the community, have our moment to influence and impact healthcare? Or, as the Occupy Wall Street movement has shown, how can we, the community, rise up and demand more for 'the 99%'?" Visit occupyhealthcare.com to give your answer or to get involved. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Access Medicine X: Live Stream Brings Silicon Valley Direct To You

Stanford Medicine X is a catalyst for new ideas, designed to explore social media and information
technology’s power to advance medical practices, improve health, and empower patients to participate in their own care. But Medicine X also seeks to engage and empower those unable to attend in person to still get involved in the discussion.

Through Medicine X’s Global Access program, main stage content from the three-day conference will be made available through a high-quality live stream. Anyone with an Internet connection around the world will be able to view keynote speakers such as Daniel Siegel, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at University of California-Los Angeles and author of The New York Times bestseller Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and panel discussions such as Gonzalo Bacigalupe's focusing on the e-health movement and inequality among marginalized populations.

“Medicine X has distinguished itself through a singular commitment to inclusivit…

And In The Wilderness A Clearing Emerged

In addition to my work as an advocate, my actual "job" has been as a reporter and editor. I've been in the field professionally since I was 17 (though one could count running the school yearbook and starting a literary magazine as my initial forays). My first employment outside a horse stable was in an university's public relations office. I worked four summers there moving up from the mail room and putting together basic press releases to writing full articles and contracting for assignment work while at college. I earned a degree in journalism with an outside concentration in political science at UNC-Chapel Hill. While there I worked as a writer, desk editor and managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel; wrote for and edited a literary magazine; volunteered for Journalists United to Maximize Potential, a student-run organization that taught middle school students how to produce a newspaper; interned in public relations for the Morehead Planetarium; and interned in publ…

Crowdfunding Creativity

For as involved as I am in the national (and, at times, international) healthcare social media community, I find myself in a local void. The mountains I call home are not the epicenter of anything to do with healthcare or social media much less the two together. I've been chipping away, trying to carve out a foothold such that the wealth of education and opportunity found in healthcare and social media can enrich the lives of those I routinely connect with in real life as it has my own. It's slow going. Every fear, every socio-economic force that pushes back against the #hcsm tide can be found here. But today... today made a new friend.

As like minds are prone to do, @SociallyMD and I connected first via Twitter. Lo and behold — we live a mere 20 minutes apart. Prior to departing for Stanford's Medicine X conference, I suggested that since we were the only two Tweeps occupying the local #hcsm space, @SociallyMD and I should meet. And meet we did, instantly connecting profe…