Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal reports:
The new director of the Genesee County Health Department says he won't be able to save the McCree North Health and Human Services center after all.
Mark Valacak, named county health officer less than one week ago, had said it was a mistake to close the East Pierson Road clinic and vowed dig deeper in his proposed budget to find a way to keep McCree open.
But on Thursday, Valacak told the county Board of Commissioners that he could not find the money to make needed repairs to the building and provide staff to keep programs operating.
"I looked up and down in the budget," Valacak said. "There's just not a way without drastically reducing other services."
Regardless of your political persuasion, I think it's safe to say the country does have a problem when it comes to healthcare. (How's that for stating the obvious in a blandly apolitical manner?) Susan Heavey of Reuters reports:
Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction...than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
You read stories like these and it's hard to believe we're the richest nation on Earth.
UPDATE: A reader points out a local effort to help the uninsured in the Flint area:
"I believe about 4,000 individuals enrolled in the Genesee Health Plan receive their primary care at the UM-Flint Wellness Center, where diabetes can be caught and treated before they become life-threatening. It isn’t a solution for everyone, but it does demonstrate – I think – how Flint continues to innovate, despite our many challenges." (under the direction of a physician) provide routine medical care. Others are under the care of private physicians. The health plan protects working poor, students and a variety of struggling county residents – of course it isn’t a solution – it covers very rudimentary services, but it is effective in linking people to primary care, where diseases such as
Go here for a story about the plan on the Mott Foundation’s website.