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 A Possibly Fatal Mistake 
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
TheRealWags wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Sorry, but I didn't even get past the first line of the guys story. He quit his job.....enough said.
Sorry, couldn't make it past this statement. You chose to not read the rest of the article, therefore you really have no basis to make an intelligent comment on this thread topic, as you say, enough said.

For the record, IMO anyone that thinks that any kind of insurance (other than unemployment or worker's compensation) insurance should be tied in with employment doesn't understand the consequences of it.

For example:
Joe works for ABC Inc. Started as an entry-level record clerk and after his probation period was eligible for his employee's benefits, which included health insurance. During one of this annual / regular medical checkups, Joe is told he has leukemia. Joe is fortunate that he has medical insurance and can start with the needed treatment. Furthermore Joe is fortunate enough to have the leukemia go into remission. A few years goes by and ABC Inc is in financial troubles and they start reducing staff. One day Joe is told that he has been let go. Now let's review: Joe will no longer have his employee benefits package and because he has leukemia (even though it is in remission) he has a 'pre-existing condition' and will be required to pay a rather large premium for health insurance.

Can someone explain to me how this is the way it's supposed to be?

For other anecdotal stories, please click one of the Amanda Palmer links.

I'll ask you the same question I asked WarEr, what is YOUR recommended solution to this issue? How would YOU handle it?


Simple. Keep it out of the hands of the government. Tell me what enterprise, what organization, any gathering of individuals towards a common cause our government has that is efficient. Answer is none.

The idea that healthcare is for everybody is garbage, pure and simple. It is a BENEFIT. It should not be mandated that everyone have it through a program that was forced on to us by a group that chose to keep themselves immune from having to be part of it. That tells me all I need to know about just how good this program really is.

People get sick, people die. Nothing will prevent that from happening. Not even socialized healthcare. As a matter of fact, statistics have shown that socialized health care prevent less people from dying than our current system. The only thing wrong with the current system is that not everyone can afford it. Big deal. Not everyone can afford a car either, or a home, or a plane ticket to a country where socialized medicine is in full swing. Does it mean we should provide everyone with those too?

And let me reiterate...if the guy had not quit his job, it wouldn't have guaranteed that his situation would be any better than it is today. If your health is so damn important, you don't worry about the money. If your money is so important, you don't value your health.
Pick a path.

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October 15th, 2012, 5:34 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
m2karateman wrote:
Simple. Keep it out of the hands of the government. Tell me what enterprise, what organization, any gathering of individuals towards a common cause our government has that is efficient. Answer is none.
Security. Defense.

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October 16th, 2012, 3:54 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
TheRealWags wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Simple. Keep it out of the hands of the government. Tell me what enterprise, what organization, any gathering of individuals towards a common cause our government has that is efficient. Answer is none.
Security. Defense.


neither is efficient. The US spends $711B on defens each year, the next closest country (China) spends just $143B. China spends 2% of GDP, we spend 4.7. Try to find a country outside of the middle east that comes close to what we do in terms of defense. Our defense acquisition process is bloated and penalizes those who fail to spend all allocated funds to any initiative. R&D cost are crazy in the military and try making a change to a defense contract. I've dealt with a number of defense contractors and have to, by default, deal with a number of defense regulations which are anything but efficient.

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October 16th, 2012, 4:35 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Simple. Keep it out of the hands of the government. Tell me what enterprise, what organization, any gathering of individuals towards a common cause our government has that is efficient. Answer is none.
Security. Defense.


neither is efficient. The US spends $711B on defens each year, the next closest country (China) spends just $143B. China spends 2% of GDP, we spend 4.7. Try to find a country outside of the middle east that comes close to what we do in terms of defense. Our defense acquisition process is bloated and penalizes those who fail to spend all allocated funds to any initiative. R&D cost are crazy in the military and try making a change to a defense contract. I've dealt with a number of defense contractors and have to, by default, deal with a number of defense regulations which are anything but efficient.


Completely agree and I believe in a strong defense. There's plenty of waste and fraud in the system that can be cleaned up. Just need someone with the balls to do it.

As to the actual budget, I think a lot of that is on development costs since the other countries end up stealing or buying our old stuff to then reverse engineer. They don't need the same kind of research and development costs to stay on par.


October 16th, 2012, 4:38 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Simple. Keep it out of the hands of the government. Tell me what enterprise, what organization, any gathering of individuals towards a common cause our government has that is efficient. Answer is none.
Security. Defense.


neither is efficient. The US spends $711B on defens each year, the next closest country (China) spends just $143B. China spends 2% of GDP, we spend 4.7. Try to find a country outside of the middle east that comes close to what we do in terms of defense. Our defense acquisition process is bloated and penalizes those who fail to spend all allocated funds to any initiative. R&D cost are crazy in the military and try making a change to a defense contract. I've dealt with a number of defense contractors and have to, by default, deal with a number of defense regulations which are anything but efficient.
Its as efficient as Congress will allow it to be. At least part of reason for the lack of efficiency can be tied to votes; must keep those donors happy, right?
For the record I think we spend entirely too much on defense.

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October 16th, 2012, 4:40 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
Another anecdotal story, this time the company she worked for fired her; hey, she wasn't working so what do you expect, right? Yay old system!
Quote:
Deb’s Story: An American Health Insurance Tale

A true story. My late sister Deb lived her life as a very responsible American. To take care of herself and her young daughter, she had a responsible job at a big company, which meant that she had about the best insurance an American can have unless you are in Congress.

One day she woke up with a terrible headache and her arm numb. She went to the ER and discovered she had a rare form of leukemia. This meant immediate treatment and vast amounts of time in the hospital.

She could no longer work, so she kept getting paid until her vacation and sick time elapsed. Then she was on her company's employee list until her American's With Disabilities time elapsed. Then she was fired.

This meant she could keep her insurance as long as she made COBRA payments, which are wildly expensive even if you have a full income. She didn't qualify for financial aid from most sources because they looked at her yearly income before she got sick. So literally she was forced to beg for money to live, pay for her insurance, pay for drugs from her family, friends, church and internet.

When I asked the financial aid people at the hospital what happens to people in this circumstance who don't have families, the lady told me that they die.

She survived chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. But it left her with a compromised immune system, complications from the transplant, unable to work. She moved back with our parents at age 40.

And COBRA insurance only lasts for 36 months. When that elapsed, she was uninsurable. Uninsurable patients only qualify for what is called "high risk pools." This is also very expensive, and has less coverage than a lot of insurance. There's a great deal of paperwork involved with joining these pools, and sadly, in the rush and messed up paperwork to get my sister signed up, she was uninsured for a period of time (not her fault). And it happened to correspond to the time her leukemia relapsed.

She spent the last days of her life worrying about insurance. At the end of her life, when she knew she was dying and was in unspeakable pain, we tried to get her in-hospital hospice care to ease her suffering because she couldn't be transferred. I was told it was impossible, that her risk pool insurance wouldn't pay for it.

I spent years after her death sorting out five tons of her medical bills, and getting angrier and angrier.

I've posted a reprint of her last blog post before, where she is giving her final word advice to her friends, family, interweb friends, and she had this to say about insurance in 2009:

Quote:
Support sensible health insurance reform. I'm not sure what that ends up looking like, but injuries and illnesses shouldn't fate people into a life of insurmountable debt and bill collectors. I spent the last “healthy” months of my pre-hospital stay, worried and scrambling to find insurance because my COBRA insurance ran out. Patients should be able to focus on getting better and not crushingly large mountains of papers telling them that their credit is forever screwed.

I'm not sure what sensible health insurance reform looks like or whether anyone is brilliant enough to sort it out such where people with catastrophic injuries or illnesses aren't "forever screwed."

I'm not a terribly political person. Because I'm a person voter and not a party voter, and the divisiveness of American politics wounds me. But my sister's experience left me scarred and frightened. I've tried to follow what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" says (a brief descriptive here and interesting discussion), and what alternatives are to it, and it isn't terribly comforting.

I'm guessing my sister would not be very happy with these Romney quotes as excerpted that seem to minimize the concern folks have in being uninsured or underinsured. Deb postponed doctor's visits as long as she was able because she had no insurance despite being wildly desperate to have it. (She joked about marrying people for their health insurance).

I sometimes wonder if her insurance situation was better, she would have received an earlier diagnosis of her relapse in time to treat it better. She was one of the rare people who had a stem cell match. Often, the earlier the diagnosis of leukemia, the higher chances there are for survival.

Every once in a while, I re-read my sister's Twitter stream and inspirational blog (only part of it still exists due to hackers–the pictures and comments are gone). I can *hear* her talking. I looked at Deb's Twitter again after reading this interesting blog post by Amanda Palmer (@AmandaPalmer) and her idea for the #InsurancePoll hashtag. Went through her Twitter feed and pulled out some tweets that allows Deb to tell her #InsurancePoll story after her death because I know she'd participate if she were still alive. She wanted to help people. She wanted to make a difference.

Her Twitter stream starts after he leukemia diagnosis and stem cell transplant, and her panic when she knows she needs to see doctors but doesn't have insurance.

Though you get a sense of Deb's anger and sadness, I'm not a good enough writer to convey her abject horror and fear at realizing that she might be relapsing without insurance.

http://www.stradleylaw.com/american-hea ... nce-story/

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October 16th, 2012, 5:24 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
Which is what we've all said. You have to reduce the costs.


October 16th, 2012, 5:48 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
And in England, "doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds" (estimated at 130K last year)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -year.html

and just read the first comment after the article:

Quote:
My Mother has just been put to death by St Ann's Hospice in Manchester. She went in for two weeks rest but they put her on Terminal Sedation without our permission. Terminal Sedation is different from Palliative Sedation in that they take away all the patients life saving drugs, in my Mum's case her heart tablets, and render them unable to eat or drink and therefore they die of starvation and dehydration. A syringe driver is used to administer the slow drip, drip of the drugs that is used to keep them sedated. These drugs cause brain damage and sometimes when my Mother regained conciousness she sounded as if she was mentally disabled. But, her instincts knew and she begged me to stop them from injecting her and violently pulled the syringe driver out of her arm!! This is not a dignified way to die. My family want me to let it go because it is too widespread but something needs to be done. Please do not let your loved one go through this treatment, it is not humane, it is cruel.


As stated before, I've got family in the UK system and the US system - I'll take the US system thank you very much!

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October 16th, 2012, 5:52 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
i read the entire thing. all this guy had to do was make an appointment to see a primary care physician once a year. out of pocket it would not have cost him very much. he is part of the many that dont believe in paying for there health care. he ignored his own symptoms. prostate cancer is a very slowly developing and treatable form of cancer, this story is sad because of the failure of this man to prioritize his own well being not because the government or anyone else failed him


October 16th, 2012, 11:46 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
The Legend wrote:
i read the entire thing. all this guy had to do was make an appointment to see a primary care physician once a year. out of pocket it would not have cost him very much. he is part of the many that dont believe in paying for there health care. he ignored his own symptoms. prostate cancer is a very slowly developing and treatable form of cancer, this story is sad because of the failure of this man to prioritize his own well being not because the government or anyone else failed him
Have you read the second story I posted? Do you come to the same conclusion?

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October 17th, 2012, 11:03 am
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
And Wags, you still provide nothing that shows that if either of these folks had full insurance during the entire time of their disease, they would have fared any better. My father had cancer, had insurance, had good doctors. It didn't save him. My mom worked for a pair of doctors....she had an operation to clean up her arteries because of blockage but she still had a stroke and eventually passed away from a heart attack.

Insurance does NOT save peoples lives. As I said before, at the risk of sounding like a heartless prick....WE ALL DIE, eventually. Someone getting cancer at an early age is NOT the fault of the healtcare system. It is not the fault of politics, or even the medical community. You and Obama both want to fix a system that is absolutely not broken.

Would it be nice to have more affordable insurance so more could afford it? Absolutely, yes. How to make it more affordable, yet keeping it in the hands of the private sector, are what the initiatives should be. However, that is a slippery slope. How do you make insurance more affordable? You have to force doctors, nurses and hospitals to charge less for their services. You have to make medical equipment, research, drugs, office buildings, etc. cheaper to purchase or manufacture. You have to absolutely put a cap on medical malpractice punitive damages. You have to lower malpractice insurance rates a ton. You have to make medical school costs much, much cheaper. And I'm quite sure there is more that I'm missing that would need to be done. All of this, just to make insurance more affordable for what amounts to a group of people who, by and large, have done their level best to NOT get ahead in life and be in position to either afford insurance, or work in a job where it is a benefit they earn.

Once again, let me reiterate that health care insurance is a BENEFIT, not a right. People get sick, people die. Insurance being affordable to a few, or provided for all, isn't going to change that one bit. And a government run health care system will be an unmitigated DISASTER here in the United States, mostly because there will be a select few who will seek to get rich off of it, and decisions will be made, not for medical reasons, but for political and financial reasons.

Keep it.

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October 17th, 2012, 6:37 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
Don't think I said anywhere that just by having health insurance it would fix everything, but I do feel as though if everyone had access to affordable (PM) preventative medicine (annual checkup, tests, vaccines, etc) then many of these symptoms could be caught early. Wouldn't you agree that if an illness were caught in the early stages then not only would the survival rate increase (depending on the illness, of course) but the cost of the treatment itself would be reduced? Is it not better to catch / diagnose a tumor before it spreads? Nip it in the bud, so to speak. I have seen first hand what prostate cancer and leukemia can and will do. I also know for a fact that had my father's prostate cancer been caught / detected earlier, his chances for complete recovery would've been much greater.

As for the 'benefit vs right' thing, to be honest I don't know what you call it, but here is how I see it:
    We, as a society and species, are only as strong as our weakest link.
    We, as many organized religions preach, are all related; brothers and sisters in the eyes of your chosen deity / belief system.
    >> Would I let my brother or sister suffer needlessly just because they can't afford to get a checkup?
    Do I think I am I better than anyone else?
    What is the 'right / correct' thing to do?
    Are we not all equal and therefore should have the same opportunities?
    >> One could argue that someone without access to PM wouldn't have the same opportunity for the 'American Dream' as someone that does.
    We are already paying for the non / under-insured.

These are questions that we can only answer for ourselves.

You're correct in that everyone does indeed get sick and everyone does indeed die, which is exactly why the health care field is unlike any other, there is a 100% participation rate.

Peace, light and love

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October 18th, 2012, 9:37 am
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
There are three choices:

1. pretend there is nothing wrong & continue ignore that we pay free healthcare to a large % of the population ... and feel comforted that we can label it "compassion" instead of "socialism" because it is all behind the scenes.
2. admit, like wjb does, that things are messed up. But then conclude that Obamacare doesn't do it perfectly, so therefore we shoud do nothing.
3. grudgingly appreciate Obamacare for doing some things very well while having need for improvement over time.


October 18th, 2012, 10:02 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
First off, if you want to have a social healthcare system:

1. It should not be considered a tax. That is a big bunch of BS, and part of why I hate the whole damn thing. It's a category convenience. Healthcare would be a social service, no different than any other social service we have. Pay for it out of our taxes. But don't refer to it individually as a tax.

2. Declare that everybody, and I mean EVERY BODY will take part in it. It applies to politicians as well as those living under an overpass. If the politicians and others don't like it, then allow outside private companies to provide supplemental insurance. This way at least you will still have a private sector that is taking part in health care as well. Employers could offer that supplemental insurance as a benefit, or simply charge for it at a group rate, just like most employers do today with regular health insurance.

3. While the social health insurance would be available to all, it has to come with some stipulations. I don't want my taxes being used for rehab on drug using derelicts who simply aren't learning from their experiences. You want your drugs, then you are choosing to die. Simple. Don't continue to pay for those who are a drain on society to "get help" when the truth is they neither want nor deserve the help. People that are taking part in known activities that have obvious health risks (such as smoking) should be forced to pay more than those who don't smoke. We already have high taxes on cigarettes, but I don't see those taxes making a difference. People need to start taking responsibility for their bad habits instead of being coddled for it.

4. Any decisions that have to be made about whether or not a person should be allowed to undergo certain therapies or treatment should be made strictly by medical professionals who have no ties to the politics of the situation. My biggest concern with Obamacare is the idea that treatment will be denied to people who could benefit from it, based solely on politics and other BS.

This would be a start. But quite simply, this will never happen because of the second entry. Our elected officials have already proven, beyond any doubt, that they believe themselves to be the aristocracy of this country, and that what's good for the people doesn't apply to them and their families.

Quite frankly, there are times where I wish the terrorists had targeted the Senate and Congress in full session instead of the WTC. They would have helped this country in a big way.

Then again, maybe they understood that and it's why they didn't go after those troglodytes.

More and more I am struck with the idea that the only way to fix this country is to go through a very violent and deadly revolution, and establish a new democratic republic where the elected officials are held far more responsible for their actions, and face much more dire consequences if they act outside their morals of office.

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October 20th, 2012, 2:43 pm
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Post Re: A Possibly Fatal Mistake
I don't really see any evidence here that anyone here understands much detail about the Affordable Care Act.

- It isn't socialized medicine ... it is NOTHING like the UK or Canada, is not a single-payer, and simply compells individuals to have insurance
- Everyone has to have insurance, and nobody is really exempt. The "exemptions" you hear about are ... for people who already have other insurance! There's no favoritism in the act... unless you're a Native American... and if someone has a problem with that, then say it.
- The SCOTUS said it is legal because the government has the power to tax - but there are no additional taxes for individuals... people just pay for their darn insurance like they should, exactly like they do now. Subsidies, penalties and payments are reconciled through the existing annual federal/IRS processes, and that is just effectively leveraging existing processes to do something additional... which is personally how I'd like government to operate (vs starting yet another agency).
- The government regulates many aspects of our lives, when it comes to public health and safety. There are laws that tell us what we can and cannot do. And this is just one more thing that we can't "opt" not to do (go without healthcare insurance, just like we can't go without auto insurance), because it isn't fair to the people that then need to cover the bill WHEN that stubborn "opter" inevitably requires healthcare. it isnt' an issue of "freedom". Like Governor Romney said just a few years ago, THAT is socialism - giving the most expensive, free healthcare to people who simply show up for service and pay nothing for it.
- The ACA IS going to lower healthcare costs for many people, and it will not prevent others from purchasing "Cadillac"-quality healthcare. It is all private companies - not public healthcare!

I do see some very scary social darwinism here, that in my mind is contrary to the principles this country was founded on, AND principles of a first-world, enlightened society. If some kid is born with a condition that requires treatment, and his parents can't afford insurance (or are declined it BECAUSE of the kid's condition), I want that kid to get treatment and be treated fairly and compassionately. It is too easy to point at the easy targets (e.g. drug addict) and declare something like the ACA "bad" because of exceptions. But that is logical nonsense. There are far more cases of need and benefit in the ACA than the few one-off bad examples the haters can conjure.


October 20th, 2012, 3:38 pm
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