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What you will learn

  • How has the pandemic planted seedlings for single payer healthcare
  • Massive vaccination initiatives and the role of the pharmacist
  • Public Health & The Pandemic, why not for everything else
  • And more…………..
COVID-19 vaccine registration concept. Blurring of bottle and hand. Focus on ” COVID-19 vaccine registration form “

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You’re listening to the conscious pharmacist podcast, a show for pharmacists healthcare providers who have answered the call to practicing on purpose. Now here’s your host internationally recognized HIV pharmacist, author speaker, patient advocate, and president of mish RX pharmacist consulting services, and your conscious pharmacist, Michelle Sherman. You’re listening to the pharmacy podcast network.

Hi, this is Michelle Sherman, president of Michelle RX pharmacists consulting services and your host of the conscious pharmacist podcast. Welcome to this week’s episode that I’ve called. COVID-19 pandemic planting the seedlings for single payer health care. I was really fortunate enough this past week to participate in a vaccination clinic for some patients that was the first one that I’ve done and was extremely rewarding. The pharmacists that I worked with and program managers, as well as the organization that we did the vaccination clinic for were extraordinary in having the area set up to provide the vaccinations to the, the clients, but also the way it was set up the way it was set up for, you know, a fun encouraging, welcoming environment for the clients. And that really got me thinking wow, we’ve been in this pandemic for just over a year now where we look where we’ve, we’ve come it’s it’s the year 20, 20 and up till now has been so challenging.

And so heart-wrenching with over 550,000 dead Americans, millions of people in this country infected with COVID-19 and, and globally it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s being catastrophic, but you know, I look at the catastrophe and we have to see consciously, like, where do we go from here? Where, where are we going? And look at some of the good things that could come out of this. When we look at the start of the vaccination program when we look at, you know, the vaccines that have been administered in less than a hundred days since the Biden administration took office and went from zero to ramping up the vaccinations and administering the vaccinations and logistically creating that program to get vaccines in arms across the country. It’s, it’s quite extraordinary. You know, we all know that one of Joe Biden’s goals for his a hundred days in office was to do a hundred million vaccinations in a hundred days.

Well, as of April 18th, 102 hundred and 6 million doses have been administered in the United States, 82.5 million people are fully vaccinated, which is 25.1% of the population in the United States that is fully vaccinated. When we look at just California, 25.6 million doses have been given 9.6, 8 million Californians are fully vaccinated and that’s 24.5% of the population just in less than a hundred days. This is extraordinary work. This is the most incredible initiative. And this got me thinking this really got me thinking, look what we did the United States mobilized in less than a hundred days to provide 206 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine across the country. 82.5 million people are fully vaccinated, which is 25.1% of the population here in California. We mobilized we’ve given more than 25.6 million doses, 9.6 million Californians have been fully vaccinated. This is extraordinary. And that, you know, got me thinking this project of vaccinating Americans against COVID-19 has really planted the seedlings and lit the seedlings begin to germinate to creating a single payer healthcare system in the United States.

Let’s look at this, right? When, when patients come into your pharmacy for shingles, vaccine or flu vaccine or hepatitis vaccine or whatever, right, but are they have to pay for it, or you build the insurance for that vaccine, they pay their copays and off they go. One of the most extraordinary light bulb moments to me this week was this vaccine is covered. 19 vaccine was purchased by the United States government and is being provided to every single one of us now, age 16 and older here in California, and in many other States for free, I’ll say that again, the vaccine is being provided to all of us for free. So we know, and we’re hoping that in, in all States, I know in California, the rollouts be very equitable to go to all areas, not just those rich white, wealthy areas, it’s being initiatives to go into all areas and provide vaccines for underserved communities in an equitable way.

All four, three, the vaccine clinic that I did the other day had this logistical machine going on to find rides for their clients to get to our site where we were doing the vaccine clinics to organize rides and lifts for their clients who had no transportation to get to the vaccine site. So the clients could all get their vaccines for free. And this led me to really realize that this, this project, this vaccination initiative across the country is being provided for free to everybody, hopefully, and we know that it’s not equitable like in every state across the country, but essentially these vaccines are being provided for free. So this to me has set the groundwork, the planting and nurturing of the seedlings. So the germination can start to create a single payer health care system. If you want to call it Medicare for all in the United States.

Imagine if they rolled out this vaccine initiative and required your insurance to cover it, or for you to pay cash or pay for your, your vaccine. We would never be at 206 million doses ever. It would be a brilliance of that. The, the loopholes and the, the hurdles for people to get the vaccines would be catastrophic. And we would never be where we are today with trying to temper down this pandemic and getting people vaccinated. So imagined, take a deep breath and imagine the same process of getting vaccines for free to, to people across the country. If we could adopt the same process for healthcare overall and provide Medicare for all single payer health care for all people have access to equitable, good healthcare. Wow. All I can say is, wow, what an extraordinary society we would have with healthcare in my opinion, is a basic human right.

If people are healthy, healthy people give us a healthy society is a wealthy society. If we can keep people healthy and out of the hospital and being able to take care of their families, be able to work. It makes our economies thrive. If we can have a single payer healthcare and we can reform and get rid of the monster PBMs and for-profit machines that we have for health insurance companies and healthcare, where they thrive and become, just make billions where we are, the ticket tape, our lives are the ticket tape on wall street. And we change that, look at what a thriving, healthy society we can have. And that was really a light bulb moment for me during that vaccine clinic this week, and realizing that what we can adopt from, and what we’ve learned from COVID-19 could really create those seedlings to start germinating into single payer healthcare for all.

I mean, we, as pharmacists have played an extraordinary, extraordinary role, we are literally on the front line of this pandemic and now creating these vaccine clinics and getting more people vaccinated. So people can be healthy. What, what comes from that we really now need to be looked at by CMS and added to that list of providers. So we can be acknowledged in the federal sense acknowledged by CMS, that we are healthcare providers and be paid accordingly for our services in the, in the, in the show notes and the resources of this podcast is one of the articles that was posted by USC this week. That article is called how to vaccinate 12,000 people in a day behind the scenes at Dodger stadium stadium and Dr. Richard dang, who’s the, who’s going to be the next president of the California pharmacists association. He’s been on our podcast.

The link to his show on the podcast is also in the resources Dr. Dang and the pharmacist from USC have events. And it vaccinated over 12,000 people in a day at Dodger stadium. We as pharmacists need to look at ourselves and applaud ourselves and Pat ourselves on the back for the extraordinary work that we are doing to improve the health in our local communities. And of course, we need to be recognized as frontline providers and providers providing this care. When we look at single payer health care the organization pharmacists for single payer healthcare this non-profit is a group of pharmacists who have created this program, pharmacists for single payer health care. And their mission is to advocate for the adoption of single payer health system in the United States that will provide comprehensive quality care to every person. They promote the role of every pharmacy professionals in delivering evidence-based patient-centered care within such universal healthcare model.

They will achieve our mission through following four strategies, which are coordination and collaboration, advocacy, research, and education. We, as pharmacists are doing it, we’re changing the world. We need to be acknowledged for it. We need to advocate for these, with and partner with these organizations to promote the health of everybody in our communities. So healthcare is affordable, it’s accessible, it’s free. And that’s how we’re going to get to the single payer health system. If we just text these massive corporations, these are massive healthcare companies, these drug companies, the Amazons, the apples, and these behemoths, we could pay for a system of extraordinary, great health care for all of us. So I wanted to share my thoughts off that I did this clinic this week and really, you know, had that light bulb moment where providing COVID 19 vaccines in this extraordinary number, across the country, in every state, getting to every community and people having these creative ways of getting injections and vaccines in, in, in people’s arms is really planting the seedlings for single payer healthcare.

What do you think? I want to know what all of you think. So please shoot me an email, write a comment on, on the spot, podcast let me know what you think. Any, if you have an idea that you think is extraordinary of how we as pharmacists and healthcare providers promote the health and wealth of our communities, let me know. And let me know if you would like to be a guest on the conscious pharmacist podcast. We are amazing. We are not going to be the change. Remember we are the change. See you next time.

Thanks for listening to the conscious pharmacist podcast. We hope you subscribe to our podcast. So you never miss an episode. If you miss something, you can listen again, or just read the transcript of the show on our forward slash podcast. If you have a spare minute, don’t forget to give us a review or rating on iTunes. Remember to practice on purpose, your rock star pharmacist and healthcare provider. And in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, be the change you wish to see in the world. The conscious pharmacist podcast is a production of mish RX, pharmacists consulting services, your HIV, pharmacists, and pharmacy experts.