?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Originally posted by ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [info]ramblin_phyl. I have been notified that it was originally posted by [info]suricattus in her journal post. The story and words are hers, but I do believe that it needs to go viral and that as many people as possible need to get their stories out there. Only by making a noise about this can we make a change in our society.)

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.






My story? Let's see...a bunch of years ago I promised a friend that I would seek out some help for my depression other than medication. I haven't done it mostly because I'm afraid of the bills. I've ruined my teeth with too many cough drops during past coughing seasons and need to see a dentist who will I'm sure say that at least half of them need to go but I don't go because in addition to being afraid of the dentist I'm more afraid of the bill at a time when I just can't afford another one. When I was unemployed I adjusted all of my meds and only kept up the ones that I could afford - luckily I had a doctor who made that slightly easier by giving me every sample she had of my meds when I told her it was my last appointment and why.

I live in fear that someday I'm going to lose my access to a company health insurance and have to go individual because I have a friend who was denied the ability to buy it for some of the same pre-existing conditions that I have.

Yes the healthcare bill is not perfect. Some of that imperfection was caused by negotiations with the health insurance industry who insisted they would go out of business if they didn't get those provisions in the deal. But do we really expect to ever see any healthcare reform (let alone a better one) if this one goes away?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
isabelladangelo
Feb. 6th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but I agree with the republicans. When the leader of the house says that you need to pass the bill in order to read, you know somethign is dangerously wrong with it.

And if the republicans are using "scare tactics" then what is this?

I have health insurance through my company. It's great. I have about a $200 for the year and I (somehow) end up in the ER each year with this or that. This past time, November, it cost me out of pocket another $100. Even if I can't afford that for some reason, the hospital is always willing to do payments in installments.

My dental bill was $2500 after insurance. Yeah, that I can't do in one payment. So, instead, I've worked out a payment plan with my dentist over the course of a year. Is it easy? No. It means I can't eat out as much and that I need to actually budget once in a while.

There are places like the Minute Clinic at CVS that are cheap ($20 with insurance, $50 without) where you can get prescribed medications for common ailments like sinus infections or things that help with the flu, ect. You don't have to sit in some doctor's office and wait around forever only to pay way too much money. We have those things out there already.

My thought is this, the gov't has already screwed up everything it has touched that doesn't have to do with defense or law enforcement. Why let them further mess up Health care?
stevie_stever
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
This past time, November, it cost me out of pocket another $100. Even if I can't afford that for some reason, the hospital is always willing to do payments in installments.

Only two provisions of the New Healthcare Bill had gone into effect by this time. Not a one of these would have affected the different pricing of your healthcare. So, in short, the price changes you are weathering are due to your healthcare as was, not as is under the new Healthcare Bill.

The provisions that went into effect as of 2010:

- Would provide a $250 rebate this year to Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries whose initial benefits run out.

90 days after enactment:

- Would provide immediate access to high-risk pools for people with no insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

Six months after enactment:

- Would bar insurers from denying people coverage when they get sick.

- Would bar insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

- Would bar insurers from imposing lifetime caps on coverage.

- Would require insurers to allow people to stay on their parents' policies until they turn 26.


Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/21/90794/when-health-care-bills-provisions.html#ixzz1DD16V3k3
bunnyjadwiga
Feb. 7th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
I have a libertarian friend
Who didn't have health insurance yet through his new job.
He got an ear infection.
$50 for the minute clinic, plus $200 for antibiotics.
That's my gas money for the MONTH, and I have a 45 minute commute.
orlacarey
Feb. 7th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
I love how often the response to "I can't afford it" brings the response of "oh that's not true here's how". Unless you know what a person's budget, bills and credit history is there is no way to judge what can be afforded. Even then it's a bad idea to compare one persons "can afford" to another's.
isabelladangelo
Feb. 7th, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
Uh, not what I said. What I did say is most hospitals and doctors are more than willing than to work out a payment plan with you based on what you can afford.
(Deleted comment)
luscious_purple
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
The freelancer is single -- it's someone else in that statement who has a husband with government-retiree benefits. OK, so it's not the most well-written thing, but still.

Incidentally, the person I got it from is a widow, so spousal benefits aren't in the picture.
(Deleted comment)
luscious_purple
Feb. 7th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry ... the widow is not in the anecdote, the widow is the person who passed this statement along to me. I posted it in my LJ, and Orla did, and one of my West Coast friends posted it with additional commentary, etc. etc.
apollonia
Feb. 6th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
I agree with the above posters and the Republicans. Here's my story:

No problems with my insurance until they passed this healthcare bill. All of a sudden, my nice United Healthcare plan went away, and was replaced with a micro medical plan, simply because these plans are specifically allowed under the new healthcare bill. Now I have a $250 limit (for a family of four) on prescriptions per month and many less services covered.

Now, my prescriptions are not $250 a month. But my husband and oldest child are allergic to cillans, sulfas, and ceftins. So when they get sick, their drugs are very expensive. We are now having to track to the penny how much we spend on prescriptions in a month in case one of them gets sick, so we can afford medicine.

I don't even want to think about what will happen if my RA flares up.
stevie_stever
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
Here's a list of 2010 provisions that went into effect
I don't really see how any of them affected your insurance, nor why you attribute the change in insurance to the healthcare bill.

2010 Provisions of the New Healthcare Act:


- Would provide a $250 rebate this year to Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries whose initial benefits run out.

90 days after enactment:

- Would provide immediate access to high-risk pools for people with no insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

Six months after enactment:

- Would bar insurers from denying people coverage when they get sick.

- Would bar insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

- Would bar insurers from imposing lifetime caps on coverage.

- Would require insurers to allow people to stay on their parents' policies until they turn 26.


Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/21/90794/when-health-care-bills-provisions.html#ixzz1DD16V3k3
apollonia
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's a list of 2010 provisions that went into effect
Interim regulations have been put in place for a specific type of employer funded insurance, the so-called "mini-med" or limited benefit plans which are low cost to employers who buy them for their employees but which cap coverage at a very low level. Such plans are sometimes offered to low paid and part-time workers, for example in fast food restaurants or purchased direct from an insurer. Most company provided health insurance from September 23, 2010 may not set an annual coverage cap lower than $750,000,[153] a lower limit which is raised in stages until 2014, by which time no insurance caps are allowed at all. By 2014 no health insurance, whether sold in the individual or group market, will be allowed to place an annual cap on coverage. The waivers have been put in place to encourage employers and insurers offering mini-med plans not to withdraw medical coverage before the full regulations come into force (by which time small employers and individuals will be able to buy non-capped coverage through the exchanges) and are granted only if the employer can show that complying with the limit would mean a significant decrease in employees' benefits coverage or a significant increase in employees' premiums.[153]
Among those receiving waivers were large insurers, such as Aetna and Cigna, union plans covering about one million employees and McDonald's, which has 30,000 hourly employees whose plans have annual caps of $10,500. The waivers are issued for one year and can be reapplied for.[154][155] Referring to the adjustments as "a balancing act," Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office of Health Reform at the White House, said, "The president wants to have a smooth glide path to 2014."[154] On Jan 26, 2011 HHS said it had to date granted a total of 733 waivers for 2011, covering 2.1 million people, or about 1% of the privately insured population.[156]


This is the type of plan offered to us. It was offered to us specifically because the waivers were available. The previous year we had the choice of one of these, or our UHC plan which was way more expensive, but covered way more. The UHC plan was killed for 2011 and these types of plans were all that was offered, due to the waivers being put into the bill. My husband works full-time, and is not paid anywhere near minimum wage.
luscious_purple
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
Would your employer have changed insurance companies/plans without the passage of the bill?

I know my most recent employer sought new bids every single year for health insurance for its 125 or so employees. They would change providers every two or three years. Some providers were OK and some were cr*p. Under one of them I had to pay hundreds more dollars for PT than I thought I should have paid.
apollonia
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
They might have changed, sure, but in the past, they have always offered limited plans, and for more, a standard plan. For example, 2010's limited plan would have covered a maximum of $5,000 per year per family. That might be ok for a 20 something healthy person, but we are neither 20-something and just mostly healthy.

So we paid more monthly, and got a much better plan, that would cover us should we have a catastrophic event. In the past we had a choice about whether we would roll the dice about going with a cheaper/poor coverage plan or an expensive/good coverage plan. We did not have a choice this year, and the company told us that we did not have a choice because of the healthcare law.
stevie_stever
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
That's the point. Your decrease of choice was due to your company cutting back in general, not in anticipation of the healthcare reform. You mentioned in the other reply to me that,

The previous year we had the choice of one of these, or our UHC plan which was way more expensive, but covered way more.

So the question is, why are you attributing the decrease in availability in your healthcare to the Healthcare reform act, the provisions of which haven't yet affected your healthcare and will not do so until 2014? Specifically stated, the type of plan you're describing is unaffected until 2014, at which time cost increases are offset by subsidies for low incomes(up to 4x the poverty rate). September 23, 2010 is the only significant date I see but in truth that's within fiscal year for 2011, suggesting and implying that the reduction of plans like yours was a decision made well ahead of any regulatory changes by this administration.

Lastly, I concede that healthcare just may be working for you. It is NOT working for far too many other American citizens. Does the fact that it is just barely working for you justify not attempting to improve it?
pedropadrao
Feb. 7th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I was worried about doctor's bills before my current medical adventure began. This nation's attitude towards doing what the rest of the industrialized nations have done does nothing but enrich a bunch of middlemen.
luscious_purple
Feb. 7th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, but we Americans aren't supposed to MAKE anything anymore! Factory work is for THOSE people! We're all supposed to go to COLLEGE and then sit in a cubicle for several decades and push paper and data around! And middlemen companies are the perfect place to do it! [end sarcasm]
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Lapis
orlacarey
Orlaith Carey
Website

Latest Month

August 2014
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Naoto Kishi