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JenniferMaxwell
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0 posted 02-10-2010 09:49 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

"Five-year-old Kyler VanNocker of Pennsylvania is ailing from a lethal childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma, and his insurer HealthAmerica is refusing to pay for the only known treatment that can save his life, reports Ronnie Polaneczky for the Philadelphia Daily News.
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VanNocker's oncologist told the Daily News last year that the MIGB therapy is the "standard of care" for neuroblastoma and "the results are often very good."
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His health problems have re-surged, and the VanNockers allege HealthAmerica is unjustly denying necessary care their son is entitled to under their insurance plan.
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Eliminating loopholes that allow insurance companies to deny benefits to customers with pre-existing conditions is a key component of the Democratic health care legislation that's been approved the House and Senate but remains in limbo." http://rawstory.com/2010/02/countdown-fiveyear-sues-health-insurance-company/
.............................................
This is just one of far too many horror stories about insurance companies denying, delaying or refusing to pay for care.

This site has more healthcare stories. What I noticed is that it’s not just the poor, the under or unemployed or the uninsured who are suffering because of the present system. Some with full time employment, decent incomes, two income families, those with company provided insurance plans are also facing severe financial hardships and lack of care due to cost of treatment and because of, for lack of a better description, insurance company dirty tricks.

You may feel “safe”, warm and fuzzy with your current insurance plan, confident there’s really nothing for you to worry about, that is, until you read some of these stories and learn how quickly you too could be in for a rude awakening.
http://stories.barackobama.com/healthcare/stories/193155
Bob K
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1 posted 02-11-2010 07:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Jennifer,

          I notice our Right wing friendshave  seemed very interested in talking about potential maybe sort of death panels that might happen in the future should we actually try to talk care of people without insurance.  There seems to be no evidence to support this particular fiction, since the design of the insurance would pretty much control that outcome, and we are in control of the design, aren't we?  It would have to be our choice.

     When the actual issue of death panels that currently exist needlessly as a result of what appears to be a conscious choice between profit for the companies that write health insurance and the actual needs of current real consumers, there seems to be a curious quiet that falls over our friends, as though there was nothing that needed to be addressed.  I do find that curious, though they apparently do not.

     A budget for health care expenses is one thing.  One has to be fixed as a matter of reality no matter who does the paying.  But with a single payer system and one where profit is not the entire motive for the insurer, there is more money to be spent for the actual services.  You'd think that the fact would have seeped in by now.

     Apparently it has, at least enough to make our right wing friends uncomfortable enough to wish to avoid addressing the issue.

Fondly, Mr. Bob
threadbear
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2 posted 02-11-2010 09:23 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

...not going into depth because this topic is  largely just
'a buzz word' controversy.
Balladeer
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3 posted 02-11-2010 11:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

plus it's just a copy and paste exercise written by someone else so why bother, right?
JenniferMaxwell
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4 posted 02-11-2010 11:31 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Mr. Bob - Maybe the failure of our friends to address insurance company dirty tricks might also have something to do with that river in Egypt you mentioned in another thread?

Re the proposed healthcare legislation - rationing care, or setting up “death panels” would be political suicide - not gonna happen. Only insurance companies seem to be able to get away with that.

For a couple years I did companion care for the elderly, who, as I’m sure you know, often have a closet full of meds they need to take every day. I’d run into cases where, without warning their prescription drug insurance company would suddenly deny coverage for meds prescribed by their doctor which they’d been taking for years and cover only a generic or a different brand. Their pharmacy would make the substitution when the prescription was refilled. Many generics have names totally different from the brand name and very often the color coding or shape would be totally different. Sometimes the strength would be different too, so instead of a full pill, the patient would need to cut it in half for the proper dosage. Toss into that mix, seniors with failing eyesight, shaky hands, no way of knowing which brand name the generic was a substitute for since they often get a bagful of prescription refills at a time, and you have the recipe for a disaster just waiting to happen.  

Plus, at the beginning of the year those folks on Medicare chose their insurance company based on whether that company would cover the meds they take. They’d sign up thinking they’d be covered for the year, only to find a few a months later the insurance company was changing its formulary, those drugs would no longer be covered.

Putting the elderly at risk for sake of insurance company profits - dirty tricks indeed..

Jeff - I sincerely hope that the buzz word controversy doesn’t come back to bite you in the form of a coverage denied.

Balladeer - do a word count and you’ll find most of my post was in my own words and those words weren’t in the form of a one line zinger tacked at the bottom of the page followed by an eek smilie. I haven't mastered those drama queen tatics yet. Working on it though.
Bob K
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5 posted 02-12-2010 04:11 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



    
Dear Jennifer,

         You don't even have to read between the lines.  Our pals  really don't want to deal with this part of the issue.

     Whether they like it or not, these insurance folks and the stuff the insurance folks are doing to the public really are part of the issue around insurance reform that we're all trying to deal with here.  The use of the phrase "Death Panels" really is not fair on my part.  I can't speak for Jennifer here, but I can speak for myself, because It does tend to cut off discussion.  It's simply tempting to use it because I feel it was so badly used going the other way, and I think it's understandable that I'd want the folks who started out using such ugly language might have the experience of having it directed back at them.  I'm simply wrong about that.  It really serves no good purpose except to alienate people  who I'd really like thinking and talking with me about this stuff.  I need to say I'm sorry for that.

     But look, guys, this is the real stuff.  This isn't some sort of future possible maybe ugliness that could happen because of a possible political suspiciousness.  This is happening right now, and it's been happening pretty much right along through the history of commercial health insurance.  It may be a bit more ugly and obvious here and now, but it's not unusual.

     I know that in my conversations with Mike, from time to time, he's been clear that he is not all that fond of the Health Insurance Industry.  I don't want to go further than that, because I don't want to feel that I'm putting words in his mouth.  It wouldn't be fair.  My sense is that the industry needs to be seriously reformed, and I really don't know if there's really room in the field for there to be a solid basic insurance laid down for the society and for there to be a great profit available for the industry to rack up at the same time.

     I do think that there may well be a great profit available for a Cinderella policy market to thrive, so that those folks with money who want their glass slippers insured, and want to make sure that they have individual rooms with catered meals and flavored lip enhancement plastic surgery can get as much of it as they want.  That's the sort of thing that could be very profitable, and probably wouldn't actually try to poach on the public getting good decent health services.  The good decent health services wouldn't be compromised, as they are today, and the extras that people who want the deluxe package would be available.  The health insurance companies would be making money without being clearly predatory on the public health and welfare.  Folks who needed proper medication could get it with some controls on the actual prices that pharmacies charged for them.  Those prices might be eased back from the predatory levels in some cases and the volume of the medications in question might be increased, once their prices became more reasonable.

     Whatever the thinking, it's sort of important that Republicans actually start thinking about some sort of health care reform too.  Even people with fairly decent incomes find the current prices for health care to be prohibitive, and the policies that provide the care tend to be expensive and less and less useful and to the point.  Both parties are too dependent on health care political contributions, and both parties need to understand that this is not useful for the country, their own particular parties or the faith the people have in the system.

     If you want me to start pointing fingers and getting hysterical, I guess I can do it as well as most and better than some, but I don't think that's what's needed here.  I think we actually need an honest conversation about what we can do ion common and what the country needs apart from our political parties' predigested notions.  

     That's as much as I can say for now.

Best to you, J.M., and to whomever else might be listening.

Bob Kaven
JenniferMaxwell
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6 posted 02-12-2010 10:24 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

What annoys me most in the healthcare debate is the callousness, ignorance, arrogance, and bald faced lies of right wing pundits, particularly those on the Fox News channel.

As I mentioned before, I spent a week listening to Beck, Hannity, Rush, Carr and Levin. Every time Hannity screamed we have the best healthcare system in the world, I wanted to scream back, perhaps so, but only for those who can afford it.  When Rush talked about a doctor coming to his hotel room, had to shake my head. Only a celebrity gets that kind of care here, not the average Joe Palin’s always talking about. He then went on to say something about how he and his girlfriend decided to ignore his doctor’s hospital discharge order so they wouldn’t miss part of a ball game they were watching by having to leave mid game. He stayed another night, ran up hospital charges his insurance company would have to pay for because he wanted to watch a ball game. Contrast that with those who are forced into drive through surgery because their insurance company won’t pay for an overnight stay, even when it might be in the best interest of the patient.

Yes, Jeff, “death panels” is a buzz word description, a buzz word description started by Palin as a tactic to inflame any right winger silly enough to believe she knows what she’s talking about. Right wing pundits followed her lead, spread that ridiculous lie for months, reducing serious discussion about healthcare reform to a debate about whether or not Obama wanted to kill Gramma.

Another thing that annoys me is the disregard of some of those fortunate enough to have good healthcare coverage towards those who don’t. In far too many cases their attitude seems to be, I’ve got mine, too bad about you. I honestly can’t understand anyone not being totally outraged by the fact that their fellow citizens, their friends, their neighbors are suffering, even dying because, thanks to profit driven insurance companies, healthcare and healthcare insurance is now out of reach for so many Americans because of the cost.

While some of the fortunate insured whine on about a possible tax burden for their children in the future, there are those, like the family mentioned in the opening post of this thread, forced to battle the insurance companies just so  their children will live long enough to have a future.

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7 posted 02-12-2010 11:08 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I thought I heard Rush say the he doesn't have health insurance, that he pays his own way if needed.

No one is saying that health insurance companies don't sometimes deny care, or approve cheaper care when more expensive care would probably be better. What no one wants is for the government to be in the same position of rationing care, which they would be if they were to gain control of the system. What needs to be fixed is the abuses of the insurance companies, not giving the government authority to be the abuser.
JenniferMaxwell
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8 posted 02-12-2010 12:30 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Denise, I hate to be the one to break it to you but Limbaugh lies. http://obamapolitics.com/node/151

I’m truly shocked that you’d even suggest the government of this great democracy might sink so low as to follow the abusive practices of insurance companies. That’s kind of insulting to those who serve as well as those of us on both sides who voted for them.

As I mentioned before, I can’t imagine any politician would seriously suggest actually rationing care. Sponsoring or voting for legislation like that would be political suicide. Plus, as I understand it, those who don’t like the government plan have a choice, the option to purchase a private plan or continue with the one their employer offers. For those without insurance now, even rationed care would be better than having no care at all.

Well, if nothing else, at least we've reached the common ground of agreeing that insurance companies are sometimes abusive, deny care and something needs to be done about it.
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9 posted 02-12-2010 02:09 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You can't continue with the plan your employer offers if your employer deems it cheaper to not provide healthcare and just pay the fine instead. What choice do employees have in that situation? We've already been told that if there is a government option of any sort that is what we will have to get.

And as far as your link purporting that Rush lies, it's amazing what liberals call lies. Rush is giving his opinion on what a government run health plan would mean or end up becoming. Just because a liberal doesn't agree doesn't make his assertions lies. And Direct Deposit Authorizations work both ways. When you authorize someone to deposit into your account, you are also authorizing them to withdraw under some circumstances. I don't trust the government with that type of access to my private account.

You seem to place quite a bit of faith in the government, Jennifer. That shocks me. Are politicians and government bureaucrats less prone to be abusive than insurance companies? If you think so, what do you base that on? That wasn't the mindset of our Founding Fathers. That's why they set up a Constitutionally limited government, to try to keep the abuses down.

And I didn't see anything in that link that shows Rush has private insurance.
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10 posted 02-12-2010 04:27 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Don't have much time right now, but I will be back. And thank you for participating in the discussion, Denise.

Maybe the link posted below will help you understand that right wing pundits, Talk Radio and Fox TV hosts like Beck, Hannity, etc, have been playing on your fears about healthcare reform like the way the Bush Administration played on your fears about Iraq by lying about WMDs, etc.

Did you know that Palin and the majority of Fox channel viewers polled actually believed that Saddam et al orchestrated 9/11? Viewers were lied to and misled by right wing pundits then and it continues to this day.

Unlike profit driven insurance companies, the goverment would have nothing to gain by "rationing care" and establishing "death panels". If you don't trust your government re healthcare, then shouldn't you be insisting on putting an end to the Medicare program, SCHIP program, even Veteran's Healthcare program?
http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/images/rc/hash.jpg
  
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11 posted 02-12-2010 09:26 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          If you had as much money as Rush, you could afford to pay for your own health care too.  Out of pocket.

     Do you have enough money to do that?

     I don't.

     Most people don't..

     The problem is more likely to be whether employers can afford to pay for any health insurance, not whether they can afford to pay for the government one or the private one.  They're constantly getting more and more expensive on the percentage basis.  Private insurerers are asking for a larger percentage of profit and they are trying to disallow more and more things from what's covered.  Perhaps not on your plan, though?  Have you spoken to friends about this?

     I know that we tend to make friends like ourselves, and that many of my friends are like me, but I get my insurancethrough my wife's employer, who is a wonderful guy, and those plans simply get more and more expensive all the time, and the coverage keeps shrinking.  And the Insurance companies are not getting poorer.

     What's your experience?

Bob Kaven
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12 posted 02-13-2010 09:06 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Can you provide a link, Jennifer, that Palin and the majority of Fox viewers believed that Saddam orchestrated 9/11? I personally never heard such a claim from any Fox commentator.

And did Bush 'lie' about WMD, or was he simply mistaken, as President Clinton was and Congress was?

As our national debt continues to escalate due to irresponsible spending, even without the government yet having control of 1/6 of our economy, there will come a time when reality comes crashing headlong into the liberal fantasy of taking care of everyone from cradle to grave. That's when you will see the rationing of care based on age and a person's 'worth' to the government of keeping some alive and healthy, as we got a small taste of in the rationing of the Swine Flu vaccine this past Fall. When demand outstrips supply, especially when the supply is drastically reduced due to government meddling, something will have to 'give'. The government doesn't have a good track record making things better. When they try to fix one part of the economy, they decimate another. And there will come a day, probably sooner than later, when they will not be able to continue to just keep printing money.

No, Bob, I can't afford to self-insure. Rush can. My point was that since Rush does not carry private health insurance, he could have stayed another week in the hospital if he wanted to, and he wasn't defrauding an insurance company by staying an extra night as Jen was suggesting.

I currently have health insurnce paid for almost entirely by my employer. It's considered a part of my compensation, negotiated by the union, sometimes in lieu of lower raises, sometimes in lieu of any wage increases (haven't seen one of those since 2007). This year the premium didn't go up, but co-pays did.

Something has to be done about the ever increasing costs, no doubt about that, but a government takeover of the industry is not the answer in my opinion.

JenniferMaxwell
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13 posted 02-13-2010 11:22 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

You may very well be right about Rush, Denise,   Perhaps because of his drug addiction he’s no longer able to get healthcare insurance.

Here’s a link with that info about Fox viewers: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/oct03/IraqMedia_Oct03_rpt.pdf

As for Palin thinking Iraq was involved in 9/11, she’s since done a flip flop and now denies it. Anyway, here’s a snippet from Politico 1/13/10:

“In her debut as a contributor to Fox News, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin admitted Tuesday that leading up to her 2008 vice presidential debate she thought Iraq may have been behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Interviewed by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on his show “The O’Reilly Factor,” Palin trashed many of the critical accounts of her candidacy in the new book “Game Change.” But one story from the book that Palin did not say was “made up” or “a lie” was the description of her uncertainty as to whether Iraq had a hand in the planning of the September 11 attacks”
.............................................................
I don’t think the intent is to take care of everyone from cradle to grave, Denise, nor is there any plan for the government to take over the healthcare industry. The intent, as I see it, is simply to try and ensure that all Americans have some sort of healthcare plan. If that’s a “liberal fantasy”, I don’t mind in the least being counted among the deluded.

You’re a union member, Denise? But I thought they were all “a bunch of thugs” and Obama supporters like ACORN members? Anyway, you must be relieved to know that if you’re one of those union members lucky enough to have a Cadillac healthcare plan, Obama won’t be taxing you on it. What a great guy!

Did you miss my question in #10 re other healthcare programs?

Someone brought to it my attention that I posted the wrong link re Health Insurance Reform Realty Check. Sorry about that, this one should work: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq/

It’s well worth the read and just might set some minds at rest.

Oops forgot, editing to correct another misconception you seem to have, Denise. I wasn’t suggesting Rush was attempting to defraud anyone.  I was merely trying to point out a disparity in care - the difference between what the rich and famous demand/receive and what the average American receives.


[This message has been edited by JenniferMaxwell (02-13-2010 12:23 PM).]

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14 posted 02-13-2010 02:20 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
The intent, as I see it, is simply to try and ensure that all Americans have some sort of healthcare. If that’s a “liberal fantasy”, I don’t mind in the least being counted among the deluded..



Could you clarify if you meant health care or health insurance?

Health care is available to me. If I cannot be seen, for whatever reason, by any one of the nearby hospitals, UT Medical, St. Mary’s, Johnson City Medical, Baptist Hospital, etc. then there are others I can travel to, but I've not had to do that yet.

As for health insurance? Many people have plans that do not involve any outside insurance product. It’s my choice and I want it to stay that way.

It’s a long hard (grueling) process for some and much easier for others. But many have achieved a health care plan on their own, and a forced-product for “all Americans,” of any sorts seems a slap in the face to those who have struggled to be self-reliant in the matters of life, health, and end of life expenses. I would not appreciate that fantasy no matter who winged it. IMO, an opt-out option isn’t an option. It’s a red-taped infringement upon private business. If one “opts-out” they are in for exploitation purposes as insurance against the possibility of the whole program going belly-up.

I don't know, but our utility department here decided to "tack on" a tiny fee each month on the electricity bill, to go toward paying costs for those who couldn't afford their bill. The only way to stop the fee, was to opt-out with your signature after the first bill. Well, I had this "image" of my Grandmomma freezing to death or something and so I didn't opt-out. But then later on I found out that the electric company used a portion of the fund to pay an unpaid bill from a home that was busted as a Meth-lab. I still didn't opt-out, because of the image of my Grandmomma, and I think this is what happens. There's something to this, yeah? I'm a bleeding-heart independent!!

I realize the hardships of health & insurance. Part of the reason why I abandoned the whole idea years ago was due to my employers going bankrupt & sky-high & rising premiums. I’ve been caring for my sister who is 39, and is suffering from multiple back injuries that have rendered her disabled. She has not been pain-free for 2 years. The amount of insurance premiums that she pays is equal to that of a mortgage payment for a modest home. She is getting the best of medical care there is here, but even this does not erase the pain. There are days she cannot walk or get out of bed. When she can, it’s for 10 minute intervals. Being in this shape for 2 years has taken a toll on her emotionally & mentally, as well. I will take care of her, but I can’t trade places with her and this gives a sense of failure no matter how I look at myself.

so I hope something can be done to help those who really are in need, with all due respect, but the respect should be equally extended for all on the matters of insurance products.
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15 posted 02-13-2010 04:03 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

rwood -
Healthcare plan, program. coverage, insurance,  whatever - whatever it takes so that all Americans have ready and affordable access to preventive care as well as emergency care,  continuity of care, care for chronic illnesses, life-saving treatments, such as cancer drugs, etc.

I think it’s marvelous you have a “self-reliant” plan to cover your own medical/hospital expenses. Just to make it perfectly clear, that mean no healthcare insurance, no charity care where taxpayers foot the bill or hospitals write off the loss and no bill collectors beating down your door? Perhaps you could explain how something like that works. Just a brief overview, nothing that would require revealing personal information.

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16 posted 02-13-2010 04:40 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

For instance, what would a self-reliant plan look like for a family with the average family income of approximately $50,000 who has a family member needing dialysis treatments which run about $30,000 a year or for the family in the case mentioned in the opening post? How could they meet those expenses?
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17 posted 02-13-2010 09:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

We don't have one of those cadillac plans, Jen. I guess not all unions are created equal?

No, I'm not technically a member of the union, I opted out, but pay 'fair share' dues to them for having a position that is represented by the union (about $5 less a month in dues than a union member, but $14. more than union members toward health coverage. Members don't pay anything toward their health coverage). That's a pretty good racket they have going there. You pay whether you are a member or not.

The union and my employer have already stated that if there is a public option of some sort that is what we will have. End of discussion. No choice. They will pay the fine and we will have to sign up for the government option. Nothing has been spelled out as to whom would pay for the cost of joining the public option though.

SEIU have shown themselves to be a bunch of thugs. I guess some are more thuggish than others.

There is disparity between what rich people can afford to buy and what average people can afford. That's no big surprise. I can't afford a mansion or a private jet either.  Should I demand them or should I demand that rich people be deprived of them for the sake of 'fairness'?

The poll that you linked to was taken in October 2003. I don't know how some of the 'misperceptions' could actually have been labeled as such so soon after the war began. And some I think are still open to debate. Nonetheless, the greatest differences were between Fox viewers and NPR/PBS viewers. The differences were not as great between Fox and the others. They also phrase some of their questions with the war having ended in October 2003. Interesting. I also don't know how much credence I would give to research funded by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation.

I think some of the worst things this government ever created were entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, but they did and now we have to deal with it. Too many people have become dependent upon them to just end them. And now we'll never know how the free market forces could have worked in a world without government interference, mandates, and price-setting. But I suspect health care costs would be much lower and much more affordable. It's too bad we can't hit the reset button back to 1965 to see how things would have developed without them.
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18 posted 02-13-2010 11:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     But Denise, who is suggesting which industry should be taken over?  If it's the Democrats, you'd have to show the legislation where they make that proposal, because I haven't seen it, and I are one.

      I am, in fact, myself in favor of a government sponsored single payer health insurance plan, but my party won't back me on it.  I am very frustrated about this.  I am the guy you'd be disagreeing with about this, and I can't find support in my own party for the plan.  sO where are you getting this stuff from.  Maybe I can find the other proponants and we can get together?
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19 posted 02-13-2010 11:24 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks so much, Denise, that’s an excellent post with a lot for me to digest. Not much time right now so just a couple of quick reactions.

I really don’t know very much about how unions work so if I ask a stupid question, forgive me. What I’m wondering is, should the time come when you do have to pay for your own healthcare insurance, won’t the union demand wage increases? That is, if insurance is part of your compensation package, losing your insurance coverage would be sort of like losing wages, wouldn’t it? Another thing I don’t quite get is why shouldn’t taxes be assessed on employer paid insurance programs? Always seemed to me that what an employer offers in lieu of wages should be taxable as income based on fair value. Personally, I’d much rather keep my employer out of my medical records and have a little extra in my paycheck.  

I’m not worried about the rich and famous having mansions or private jets, Denise. But I am very concerned about someone taking up a hospital bed when they don’t need it. There are hotels, you know, with much better food and room service. Also, seemed to me like Rush either doesn’t have a clue about, or isn’t willing to admit how the healthcare system treats the average Joe. Go through the emergency room sometime and you’ll see people being sent home who really should be kept overnight for observation. Also, I’ve seen patients on gurneys lining the halls or taking up much needed emergency room space because there was no floor bed available for them and they were too unstable to leave in the hall. One of the ladies I used to take care of was actually “lost” when she was left by an attendant in the wrong hall to wait for a bed. The lady suffered from dementia and had no idea where she was or why. She could have walked out the door and no one would have known.

As for the Medicare, Medicaid thing, I think the insurance companies have more than proven their greed, don’t think you’d see lower rates under the circumstances you mentioned. With that in mind, walk in the shoes of an elderly person who’s spent their life savings taking care of a family member and is now living, or trying to, on less than a $1000 a month SS and perhaps you’ll understand the need for entitlement programs.

Hi Bob.
rwood
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20 posted 02-14-2010 09:15 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Jennifer~

[ that means no healthcare insurance, no charity care where taxpayers foot the bill or hospitals write off the loss and no bill collectors beating down your door?

Yes, that’s what I mean.

Perhaps you could explain how something like that works. Just a brief overview, nothing that would require revealing personal information.

Instead of paying into a marketed plan/product of insurance, I pay into a financial plan.

Such a plan is not much different than choosing to buy a home, instead of renting.

Doctors and hospitals still accept cash.

While I sympathize with those who I do personally know who are experiencing the terror of poor health, financial drain, and collectors, I’ve worked very hard to maintain my position and I’m of relatively good health.

In my case, as I’ve stated, it takes a ton of hard work and strict financial management. Ultimately, my lifestyle reflects my decision. Quite frankly, sometimes it sucks and I do shop at Goodwill.

There are some slight downfalls. For one, I’m double-taxed, in most instances, due to my age, which is another reason why I won’t like it very much if insurance becomes a forced-product. It’s not fair-minded toward those who have achieved the goal of “self-reliance.” If that’s a term that’s unsavory, I can’t imagine why we ever declared Independence from the Crown.


quote:
For instance, what would a self-reliant plan look like for a family with the average family income of approximately $50,000 who has a family member needing dialysis treatments which run about $30,000 a year or for the family in the case mentioned in the opening post? How could they meet those expenses?



They can’t. That’s why people donate, network, raise funds, pay taxes, and what the heck is wrong with charity??? Especially in the case of such a family in need or the child in your opening post.

But penalizing those, by whatever method, who have managed to maintain their own way makes it HARDER to HELP.

America really does have some very giving folks.  

There are several centers and medical organizations that give care without any financial obligation, and are bar none some of the best in their field.

St. Jude for children. A mega hub for research & cures, and they are dedicated to being unprecedented in their efforts: “St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay.”

They accept donations, online, mail, phone, in person, etc.

as well as:

The Shriners Hospitals for children provides amazing “specialty pediatric care.”

Numerous Burn Centers across the U.S..

And several family (primary care) doctors accept payment based upon your income level, and much of it is in the asking, seeking, and understanding of limitations. This type of arrangement isn’t generally advertised, and it’s not always easily found in some areas, and of course it depends on ailment or diagnosis, etc. But I believe there is help available in many cases if people network toward a goal of health & quality of life.

Insurance is not a cure. In many ways, it’s a disease.
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21 posted 02-14-2010 09:49 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Regina! You're talking about people helping people....that's radical! Everyone knows how selfish and ungiving the American people are (btw, Arnold Palmer has a wonderful children's hospital, free of charge). Best to just count on the government taking care of everyone...
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22 posted 02-14-2010 10:57 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Our health insurance is a non-taxable compensation, Jen. That is also something that some Dems are trying to do away with to partially fund their attempted health care/insurance takeover.

The unions are not in a very strong position at the time, due to the bad economy, to be demanding much of anything. We've even been working without a contract since July.

My employer doesn't have access to my private medical records.

I think a lot of hospitals have a shortage of beds because they have closed entire floors or wings in order to contain overhead costs. That's what a few hospitals in my area have done. They don't get compensated enough from Medicare and Medicaid to cover the costs.

People in financial distress used to be taken care of by their families, churches, community and charity organizations.

Bob, a single payer system may not be in the works at this time, but I think that is eventually the goal. Even without a single payer plan, the 2000 plus pages of proposed legislation is a serious intrusion by the government essentially giving them control over the system.
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23 posted 02-14-2010 12:54 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

First of all, just to set the record straight, there’s nothing wrong with charity care. I’ve had to ask for it myself numerous times since I’m low income and have no insurance. But it isn’t free, someone foots the bill whether it’s taxpayers or private donors.

As for investing in a financial plan, my yearly savings, what I have left after I pay my expenses, no matter how they were invested,  wouldn’t pay for one emergency room visit and I make several of those a year. My expenses are bare bones - no cable tv, no car payment, no fast food.. I cook from scratch and use the library for books, dvds, cds. My one luxury is my internet service, which is paid for by bartering. I do computer work for a friend and return, he pays the bill.

I have used the free clinic where I live. It’s located right next door to the soup kitchen, homeless shelter and the 24/7 needle exchange. Since I work, I fall into the patient group given evening appointments. Day appointments are reserved for the homeless. I can’t even begin to tell you how frightening it is to walk through that neighborhood at night. It’s like wearing a mug me, rape me t-shirt. The clinic service is free, but there is no continuity of care, and the quality of care is more than a little iffy because the doctors know nothing about you. You never see the same doctor twice.  I’ve had them give me prescriptions for meds I’m severely allergic too because they were too busy to read the chart and at the time I didn’t know Z was the same as X, just a different brand name. And should you need a certain med you can’t afford, the clinic will help you. But they only give out a few pills at a time so you need to go back through our little combat zone weekly or even more often. An even then, more often than not, they’re out and you have to do without until the next shipment comes in. Not a good idea to stop some meds suddenly. And, for those with mental health problems, getting them to take their meds on a regular basis is often a struggle. When there are no meds for them, it’s back to square one on getting them to take them daily when they do become available.

As for finding a doctor who works on sliding scale fees, good luck with that around here. They  take only a limited number of Medicare/Medicaid patients. If you have no private insurance, they tell you they’re not taking new patients at this time and refer you to the free clinic, right next to the 24/7 needle exchange.

There are indeed wonderful programs for those with the greatest need, programs such as those you mentioned. But for those of us who are just a little bit unhealthy, poor and have no insurance, trying to get even basic health care is a battle you can’t understand unless you’ve been there. And please, don’t tell us, just go get another job. As you know, there are very few jobs, and some of us, because of health or disability issues, struggle just to make it through a 40 hour week.

The times have changed, Denise. Families, churches, charities, etc., no longer have the funds to meet the increasing cost of care for the ever increasing number of uninsured. You might be surprised to find out what the folks in your employer’s HR department know about you. I think it may have been Grinch who pointed out that adding those younger and healthier to a single payer  pool would proportionately increase dollars in to dollars out. As Bob has pointed out, the government isn’t trying to take over the healthcare industry, a single payer option isn’t currently on the table. But it if there were something like Medicare for all, then perhaps hospital costs could be covered. Wings and floors would be opened again and patients wouldn’t be left shivering in the halls in their johnnys. . Did you have a chance to look at that Health Insurance Reform Realty Check site, Denise? http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq/  

As I recall, you’re a Vet, Balladeer. Doesn’t the government via the VA take help care of your health care needs? Don’t the taxes we pay help support that program that in turn helps you? Do you think the government that shouldn’t take care of “everyone” also shouldn’t take care of you?

threadbear
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24 posted 02-14-2010 01:04 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Since we're on this thread, a question for everyone:

What is your opinion on whether the national insurance should be MANDATORY and required, much like Auto-Insurance is mandated by the state?

Will this really result in people (like me) that will get thrown in jail because they don't have insurance, and walk into a hospital or doctor's office?

Has the US government EVER forced private citizens to actually purchase something with penalities of jail time and stiff fines as the fear factor?

The concept is a little too bizarre for me...
 
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