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Special Health Care "C-P-R" Lesson for MT Legislators Today

February 21, 2007

Montana legislators are getting a medical education today as a former H-M-O medical director explains how the current health care system is not the best for patients, doctors, or small, rural communities.

Dr. Rocky White, representing the non-profit group, Working for Equality and Economic Liberation, plans to talk about what's ailing the health care system. He says the time has come for meaningful reform, because affordable and accessible health care is a greater challenge than ever.

"The inability to afford health insurance is encroaching into the middle class. And it's affecting people's lives on every scale."

Dr. White believes universal health care is the best long-term solution. In the short-term, he hopes Montana lawmakers will consider joining with other western states to form a medical purchasing pool that could negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all consumers. Drug companies have been against the idea, arguing the free and open market sets the fairest prices.

Dr. White says the business angle of the health care crisis needs attention, too. He says small companies can't afford premiums, and can't afford sick workers.

"We need a healthy workforce in order to be a productive workforce. It benefits the entire nation, not just a handful."

Dr. White is speaking at noon, in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, Rm 303. His appearance is sponsored by WEEL.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MT