Due to the inclement weather today, most of the local news was dominated by reports of flooding, abandoned cars, and rescue efforts. This afternoon I did find an AP story regarding Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon impressions of immigration law at the federal level. At the 78th Annual Conference of Mayors which took place here in Oklahoma City over the weekend, Mayor Gordon received a standing ovations from other U.S. mayors for his presentation entitled: The Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform during the Plenary session on Sunday morning. The short piece on The Oklahoman website today provides insight into the mayor’s frustrations with the immigration reform that is directly impacting Arizona communities. Gordon charges that “the lack of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has pushed states and municipalities to pass short-sighted legislation to deal with symptoms of the problem.”1 Mayor Gordon does not share information regarding his ethnicity in his profile, but appears to be Caucasian.
In an attempt to find something more light-hearted, I turned to entertainment news and found an update on the status of Conrad Murray’s medical licensure. According to eonline.com, Murray found out today that he will be allowed to keep his California medical license. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor made the decision to allow Dr. Murray to continue to practice medicine rather than suspend his license as a condition of his bail. Conrad Murray was the attending physician at the time of Michael Jackson’s death last year. Murray’s attorney pointed out that he is worthy of keeping his licensure, citing an episode that occurred last month when Murray revived a “twenty something women” during a flight.2 Dr. Conrad’s race nor the race of Michael Jackson is discussed in this article.
Finally, a story featured in The New York Times online today titled: A Dirt-Poor Nation, With a Health Plan describes the national healthinsurance of Rwanda. For the last 11 years citizens have been able to purchase coverage for $2 per year. Basics such as treatment for diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, maternity and wound care are covered through this inexpensive plan. Rwandan clinics have essential drugs and laboratories to conduct routine testing. Since the coverage has been available nationally, life expectance has increase by 4 years and deaths due to malaria and childbirth are greatly decreased. Specialist and surgeons are few and patients requiring special treatment must wait for their turn for treatment. How is this national health care system possible? Private donations from public health organizations pay the difference between individual’s premium payments and the costs of treatment. The premium is difficult for many to afford. Few have the money on hand to pay the annual fee, due to the heavy reliance upon bartering to make ends meet. And because all citizens pay the same $2 fee, the system has been criticized as overburdening its poorest members.3
1 Oklahoma City Associated Press (June 14, 2010). Phoenix mayor blames US policies for ‘short-sighted’ measures like his state’s draconian law. http://www.newsok.com
2 Serpe, G. and Miller, L (June 14, 2010). Conrad Murray Will Keep Medical License (For Now). http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b185761_Conrad_Murray_Will_Keep_Medical_License__For_Now_.html
3 McNeil, D. G. (June 14, 2010). A Dirt-Poor Nation, With a Health Plan. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/health/policy/15rwanda.html?hp