Thursday, May 13, 2004
RICH AND THE POOR… Oh, the irony. May 6 though May 14 is Cover the Uninsured Week nationally and locally. And aside from the week’s intended result of—hopefully—bringing some much-needed awareness to the problem of the some 80,000 individuals in Monterey County who don’t have health insurance, it’s also produced a very unusual marriage of sorts. Guess who’s teamed up to fight the burgeoning crisis.
The better half of the equation is a no-brainer— Natividad Medical Center . But the other willing party? Squid will give a hint. It’s a group of business people whose leadership successfully shot down Measure Q , the proposed half-cent sales tax intended to prop up the cash-poor county-run hospital. And who then promised to mend bridges with NMC doctors and trustees, by taking the lead in coming up with a new solution to solve the hospital’s money woes. And who then did an about-face, and withdrew support for a new Natividad bail-out—have you guessed who yet? No? Okay, Squid will give one more clue. The group’s name rhymes with Salinas Schmamber of Schmommerce. Yes indeedy, the Salinas Chamber of Commerce and Natividad Medical Center are working together to shine the light of truth on the plight of the uninsured throughout Monterey County through a series of radio spots recorded by Chamber members and funded by the Natividad Medical Foundation through a grant from the Noah Wyle Foundation . No, Noah Wyle isn’t really a doctor. He just plays one on ER .
According to the news release announcing the partnership, Beverly Meamber , Salinas Chamber executive director “was very enthusiastic about the project since some of the most influential organizations in the country, including the AFL-CIO and the United States Chamber of Commerce are working with over 800 national and local organizations during this week. It seemed natural for the Chambers here to get involved since rising health care costs continue to undermine the ability of individuals and businesses to purchase health care coverage.”
Squid doesn’t like to be cynical—and Squid certainly does hope the Chamber proves Squid wrong and does something—anything—more substantive than a PR campaign to help cover the uninsured. But hey, they’ve got to start somewhere, right?
HAPPY ARNIE… California’s own Governator will return to the big screen next month. Yup, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a cameo as Prince Hapi in Disney’s Around the World in 80 Days , coming June 16 to a theater near you. Schwarzenegger shot the role during his pre-politician days, in Europe, while on his way to visit US troops in Baghdad. Squid tried to find a picture of Arnold on the movie’s Web site, http://disney.go.com:80/disneypictures/80days/main_fla sh.html, but, alas, there were none to be found. In his role as Prince Hapi, Schwarzenegger plays a prince with a wife for every day of the week. Sounds to Squid like there was the potential for lots of groping on this movie set. Hmmm, could this be art imitating life?
MAKE SQUID HAPPY: SQUID@MCWEEKLY.COM