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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.

I'm going to post my story as the first comment to this post if anyone would like to read it. If anyone wants to tell their story, please tell it on your own journal and post a link in the comments. Maybe, just maybe, TPTB will listen to the slaves peons who clean their toilets before they have to clean their own.

Originally I wasn't going to bandwagon this, but several things changed my mind:

  1. I finally got insurance again, but the bastards have hit datapard and I with a 6 month "pre-existing conditions" clause. So it is almost useless. Thanks, Indian carpetbagger company that I worked for just before this job, for being too fucking cheap to insure your employees. I have been without insurance before, ten years ago, and wasn't hit with a pre-existing, but that was before Bush the GOP got fully in bed with the health insurance mafiaoligarchs.

  2. There was a teabagger on suricattus original post prattling on about socialism and how health care was just a wedge to make us all socialist drones. I flipped, sick of seeing the same pack of lies and distortions, packaged up as some great concern for freedom and democracy. He was quoting Reagan, or some other such asshole, bleating about how socialism would destroy us. (Reagan and the machine behind him is a big part of why our society is so badly fucked up now.

  3. Trying to claim that it's "just a few outliers as victims" is nonsense. datapard and I are victims of the GOP insensitivity that refuses to see real, basic healthcare as a human right. Our teeth are rotting out of our heads, and we haven't dared go for checkups or mammograms because of the costs. Before the first of this month, if either of us had been in a wreck, we would have been pretty much SOL, dead or bankrupt, because car insurance medical doesn't begin to cover the costs. I would have ended up working the rest of my fucking life to pay off medical bills. This is very common among many people I know, in the "liberal" state of California

  4. Another self-employed friend was telling me how she wanted to get a "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo on her chest, because she couldn't afford to pay any medical bills if she was hospitalized. Small business owner, pure bootstraps, but no love from the GOP.

  5. Covering everyone under a basic single-payer plan would be the most cost efficient for the country as a whole. It would remove the major cost burden for small businesses, and would enable entrepreneurship in those who are now chained to an employer to provide their families health insurance. Want to kick start the economy? "Socialize" basic medical and dental care, so that small businesses and their employees do not have it as a burden. It does wonders for productivity.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)

I finally got insurance again, but the bastards have hit datapard and I with a 6 month "pre-existing conditions" clause. So it is almost useless.

Oh dear God, that's horrible but not surprising.

I'm soooo glad that the doctor I had as a kid decided that my case of Cerebral Palsy was so mild that I didn't need that diagnosis following me around for the rest of my life and didn't actually make it "official".

Stuff like this should be criminal, IMO.
Feb. 8th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
When your father and I had insurance, way back in Chicago, it was through his employer, Chicago Pump. He changed jobs to Consoer Townsend. Even though there was no break in employment time, an overlap, actually because he had some unused vacation days, we got hit with a pre-existing clause for three months, which was standard at the time. That was, I think, in 1964 before there was a portability clause.

I'll give you one for modifying the Health Care Act as it now stands. Medicare has new rules for diabetic supplies. They will only pay for enough strips for once a day testing for those of us with Type II Diabetes who don't use insulin, nomatter what our doctor prescribes, unless we do two things: 1. Submit a 31 day record of our finger stick results once every six months and 2. Have our doctor fill out and keep on file a form stating the reason more than one test per day is recommended. This leaves me with a dilemma. I can either submit said record and have my doc keep the form, or pay for the extra strips which would end up costing me another $50 to $60 a month. My doc has asked for 2 times a day, which is sctually the ADA minimum, or was before Obamacare.

I believe that every American citizen should have access to good, affordable health insurance. I pay Medicare about $1600 a year for their basic Parts A, B and D coverages. Then I pay a private company another $2800 a year for them to cover the Medicare approved expenses for those parts which are not covered under the Medicare portion which is $1400 for hospital under Part A and 20% of Part B. There is also a separate part of my supplemental coverage which gives me a discount on dental, up to 50 per cent and covers my cross-over costs so that my claims can get from Medicare to my private supplement insurer. I also still have to pay my Part B deductible of $162. That is why I couldn't go to the doctor last month. I didn't have the deductible. Medicare is not free.

The new Health bill made cuts to Medicare, the diabetes testing supplies is one of them. They are supposedly eliminating the $4500 donut hole expense for prescriptions over the next several years. That is the full cost Medicare recipients pay for their meds after Medicare helps pay for the first $4000 worth and before the catastrophic threshold is reached which occurs as soon as that donut hole amount has been reached. Because I have such low income, I qualify for extra help with my medicines so don't have the donut hole and pay a fixed amount for covered prescriptions. Of course, Medicare has also eliminated many of the most common medicines from their formulary of covered medications for this year. We old folk still have to choose between food and shelter or medicines and the doctor. I won't go into the cuts in senior services which allow me to stay comfortably in my home. This year I also have to find money to get my lawn cut or any other chores done that I cannot do myself.

The only problem I have with the Health Care bill is that, just like basic Medicare, people are going to be forced to pay for insurance coverage. They do not have the choice to be self insured. In some ways that is good because it puts enough healthy people into the insurance pool to have a chance to keep the rates a bit lower. I just have a hard time with the loss of privacy and freedom of choice, even though I understand some of the reasoning.

I dislike the government telling me when I have to go to the doctor, what kind of light bulbs I can use, what kind of car I can drive and on and on. I understand that this is for the greater good and to protect me from my possible bad choices, and I don't like that I am inreasingly overprotected from making bad or risky choices.

I know that, psychologically, people who are not permitted to make choices and are constantly frustrated in small ways tend to become violent. Is this, along with the increasing sense of entitlement that I also see as a trend among young people, possibly the cause of the increase in crime, particularly murders and shootings, that we are now experiencing?

Edited at 2011-02-08 01:33 pm (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
The Medicare cuts and crap that the GOP and Blue Dogs have crammed down onto people over the last ten year are criminal. "Death Panels" already exist - they are just called "utilization review panels".

These rich pricks in Congress just assume that everyone has a few thousand lying around to pay for "incidental" expenses and deductibles. It makes me ill. Most of them have never really had to chose between filling a prescription (often non-formulary) and paying the rent. There was always someone or something that they could hit up for the money.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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