Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Healthcare - 1 - 2 - 3

CBS’s The Early Show presented 3 examples of how 3 different people would be affected by the new, it should be passed in my lifetime, healthcare plan.

The FIRST example was Debbie. Unemployed for the past 6 months, suffering with a serious pre-existing condition, and no longer able to afford the $700 a month she was paying for health insurance since she lost her job.
Under the new plan Debbie and anyone making under 43K a year would receive vouchers for healthcare.
I relate to Debbie the most – I have a pre-existing condition that has caused red tape problems in the past. I was BORN with the freaking condition. I guess I was supposed to have it corrected in the womb. Or be born rich.
I paid 1200/a month for health insurance until I just couldn’t pay anymore. My premiums went up 700% when I no longer qualified as a group and then went up again another 200% as part of “renewal adjustments”

The SECOND example was a woman in Chicago who owns a small transportation company. Her payroll is $900,000. She does not offer health benefits to her employees. She claims she can’t find an affordable group plan. She’s probably right. Under the new plan she would be charged 8% of her payroll for her staff to be covered. Of course under the new plan she also might be able to find more affordable group coverage since the insurance companies will need to react to this.
When my firm was larger I covered all 6 of my employees. It was a burden. I also thought it was my responsibility. The cost increases, along with higher payroll taxes, higher small business taxes and rent increases eventually made it impossible to keep the business going. This was all during the Bush years. Don’t tell me he gave a crap about small business. That idiot cared only about large corporations and bombing things.

The THIRD example was a physician with a private practice. He has 5 employees and covers them. He earns more that $350,000 a year. Under the new plan nothing will change for him other than paying an additional 1% tax. Anyone who can really, truly bitch about 1% on 350K is a moron or someone who just doesn’t want change and could care less about people like me. Pelosi says the 350 may actually be raised to 500 or even 1 million.
WHY!? We are so fucking afraid of rich people in this country. And if you’re telling me 350+ isn’t rich then I’d like you to adopt me.

I recently learned from Elizabeth Edwards’ website that $1 of every $7 I paid in premiums went to pay the salary of ONE insurance company executive. ONE.

Health should not be a profit driven business. Personally I think Obama’s plan doesn’t go far enough. He is, once again, compromising far too much to shut up the asshats who have fucked up this country for years and now want to blame the very people they swear they’re protecting.

Imagine if the Fire Department was profit driven. Burn poor people. Burn.

Why is healthcare not as life and death.

Why is there no chest thumping and wailing over the cost of the invasion of Iraq.

My son came home last night bitching about “that bastard you voted for” and whining like an asshat over needing to choose a different lab for his blood work because his employer is attempting to consolidate. He couldn’t explain what this had to do with Obama. He was simply venting what has become a popular cry among people who think they’re suffering. I’ll show him suffering.
His firm is making record profits from the explosion of digital communication and some kind of new something that I can’t remember at the moment. His health coverage is excellent. He is being inconvenienced to, I hope, save costs and become more efficient.
Maybe he’s being set up to have benefits cut.

Why will that be Obama’s fault.

Why will that be because of poor people or better health coverage.

Why won’t he rail at the executives of his firm. At his union leaders. At the greed and corruption of those few at the very top of every American corporation.

Because it’s so much easier to blame people at the bottom. You don’t even have to get up off your fat, overly entitled ass to kick them.

They’re right there – beneath you.

In another place and time what is going on in this country right now would call for a Revolution. Not a Revolution by gun toting right wing racists who just finished banging their cousin in a trailer in Virginia.

No – a Revolution by decent hard working people. All making less than 50K. Fuck the 350K ceiling. People who never believed in piss down economics. People who are sick of the politics of fear. People who think Reagan was nothing but a really bad actor – certainly not a great President. People who think the Bush family should be investigated from top to bottom.

I don’t curse in front of Hope so I won’t close with a photo of her.

I have searched the Early Show site for video of the segment but I can’t find it. Perhaps it will be there later. If so I’ll add the link then.


Bond said...

Not sure what the true plan should be, but we do need to find a way to ensure the children of the USA are getting medical coverage and care.

350K is a lot of money indeed. I think that is a good level for you to have to contribute a mere #3,500.00.

Daryl said...

As always well said (even if you BP rose during the writing) ... I get very angry when Obama is blamed for things he inherited from last two Repugs to fuck this country .... Jeffrey needs to look only as far as his fabulous mother to know why healthcare needs reforming ... xo

Queen-Size funny bone said...

every single thing from care to medication need to have a cap. they should only be allowed to make a small profit if any.

Deborah Godin said...

This was a wonderful blast (as always). Health care simply has no business being for-profit, any moron could figure that out. I think Obama has done better than any Prez in living memory not to get sucked into "business as usual" in Washington, but that's not an excuse for him to wimp out on this issue.

Jay said...

Obama's real obstacle in the health care debate isn't the republicans. It's some of his fellow democrats. The repubs always have, and always will be opposed to any changes to the current health care system.

No amount of negotiating with them will get more than one or two of them to vote "yes" on the final bill. But, there are 4 or 5 democratic senators who are bought and paid for by the health care industry. These people are basically the health care industry own little insurance policy. These are the people who are actually standing in Obama's way. And the way of real progress.

Dianne said...

bond - if we weren't so arrogant - we = USA - you and I are lovely people
if we weren't so arrogant and dominated by corporations we would take a look at what works in other countries

daryl - actually my BP was fine, I think I may be numb at the moment
the disability folks are sucking my BP dry
Jeffrey is under a lot of stress and is reacting the way a lot of people do these days - I get it but he's wrong and being short sighted and small minded
even he doesn't mean half the crap he repeats from the assholes he works with and the news he watches
He is a perfect example of how decent people can be beaten down by bad news sources and people who take advantage of their emotions
His union is fiercely pro Obama so he is being bombarded by Republican assholes trying to get to him

queen size funny - yes!! there should be decent affordable standards of care
then - if you have the $$$ and feel the need to spend more on something well go right ahead - but you don't have the right to live healthier than I do simply because you have more $$$

deborah - he has done more to resist the usual DC BS and I truly appreciate how difficult a position he is in
he's dealing with liars and fear mongers
he's trying to talk to people like my son who are exhausted and frustrated
and he has the added burden of not being heard at all by those who can't get past his color or name
it's astonishing that he has done as much as he has
which gets back to some sort of revolution - it takes more than 1 man to drive away the Asses of Evil
I want corporations investigated, every drug and insurance company investigated, every exec evaluated, every salary adjusted, every bonus cut
and I want the Republicans and the conservative Dems to shut the fuck up

Dianne said...

jay - I was typing the last sentence above as your comment came in - you are absolutely right!! then again I have been sick of the Dems for a while now too
pussies and wimps and apologists
the people you describe

JennyMac said...

I LOVE this post...and your comment about the FD being profit driven is spot on (FD, police department, there is a long list..).

~Just me again~ said...

Stuff like this makes me ever so grateful I live in Canada. True it takes forever to get in, but we dont have to pay for it, unless its cosmetic.

My g/f is constantly paying for medical bills. Even the ones incurred when her daughter (21) was a baby and had to have alot of surgeries.

I always think its sad that a country as powerful as the USA, doesn't take care of its people.

Dianne said...

JennyMac - glad you liked the post, thanks so much for the visit

just me - what's really frustrating to me is that here in the states, even when I was paying 1200/month for insurance I often had to wait - I waited weeks for approval for a MRI and then 2 more weeks for a spot at the center the insurance company approved
and it is sad - especially when we use our power to tell everyone else what they should do

Mrs. C said...

I have a few concerns:
One two-year-old's family in Aus. was told to go home and let her die because they didn't want to pay for an "experimental" treatment. Thankfully, enough online friends petitioned the government. (she's alive today! YAY! I helped!)

But I KNOW my autistic son won't be little and *cute* forever. He'll just be tossed aside because non-verbal people? They don't advocate very well. Must be an idiosyncracy they have. :p

I'm also religiously opposed to the rubella vaccine. Will I be forced by my government to inject my children with something made using aborted fetal cells?

I have grave concerns about my government being intertwined with my health care. Though it already is to a very large degree when we are practical about it.

Ivanhoe said...

I've heard a lot of complaining and calling names in re: our president. I don't get it. I guess it's easy to point a finger when something goes wrong...
I have to tell you that Obama will be in my neighborhood tomorrow speaking about healthcare reform. I applied for a ticket through lottery, but did not get it. However, my co-worker did. She cannot take a day off so she is sending her ex-husband that barely speaks or understands English and her 5-year old daughter. I'm disapointed to say at least...

Cherie said...

Working inside the healthcare industry for years taught me that the system was entirely FUBARed. It's a system where the customer is the decision maker of large employer groups, not the patient. Then, basically, it's a trust between the healthcare provider and the insurance companies, full of back door deals. (Where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need him. ;) )All of this is invisible to the patient, except when he or she has to find a new provider because their insurance no longer covers their old one. In this system, the people without coverage are totally screwed.

At this point, the system is so screwed up that any change is an improvement, just to shake things up.

Dianne said...

mrs c - kudos for helping that child in Australia - that is what Aus is right?
I don't however think that is an example of national healthcare - especially since insurance companies here routinely deny treatments that, I believe, lead to death
or - families go broke caring for their ill children, my town is helping one such family right now - I couldn't give $$ anymore but I babysit the younger child when Mom and Dad take ill child to doc, or I cook and just leave a casserole on their porch
as for the vaccination - I can't respond to that in a comment section - plus it strays into religion and I'm saving that for my Jimmy Carter vs. Southern Baptists post
one last thing - in NY they have healthcare advocates for people who can't speak for themselves - I was one for a bit back in the 90s - do they have that near you?
if so get your kids on the list now, there is a long wait for help

ivanhoe - he was here last week!! literally down the road
I too didn't get the ticket
your co-worker's ex may be disappointed
here in NJ they were comparing the e-mail ticket to proper ID
if it didn't match you didn't get in
thanks for coming by sweetie!! I know you're super busy

Dianne said...

cherie - thanks for the inside perspective :)

Jeni said...

Thanks so much for posting the explanation of what is being proposed in the health care act. All I'd seen before was snippets here and there that really didn't make much sense to me but this is pretty clear and straight forward -a bit like the person who posted it, don't 'cha think?
Anyway, although right now since I am on medicare and have a pretty decent, relatively affordable supplemental plan to cover the differences between my bills and medicare allotments, I can't complain, which for me, is definitely a first with respect to healthcare expenses! What gets me though is that some number pusher who works for the insurance company gets to decide if I -or others like me -will be able to get certain treatments, etc., etc. -all based on the insurance company's regs of what they will or will not cover. For myself, that means that the anti-virus injection to protect me against a reoccurance of the dreaded and absolutely horrible Shingles is something my insurer will not cover so it's a $250 cost to me then. Apparently they would rather shell out for doctor visits and antibiotics in the event of another attack of this stuff and to watch me writhe in pain for lack of getting said inoculation which could prevent this problem! Things like that -decisions based on a good reasonable need for the meds -should be left to being between the doctor and patient, not between the patient and some accountant at the insurance company. And that is just one very tiny example that I can site from personal experience.

Reb said...

As frustrated as Canada's health care system can make me, at least we have one and I would be dead by now without it. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be for you in the States. I imagine there are Doctors that get mighty upset with it too. It will take time, but I have my fingers crossed that it will come to pass that you too have decent health care in place soon.

Sparkling Red said...

Health care is a big mess. It's a spin of the roulette wheel as to whether you're entitled to care or not. It doesn't make any sense.

Kay said...

I love you.

And I am with you on the health care thing... it makes me so mad when people bitch even if they have nothing to bitch about!

My mother likes to give me a guilt trip for not going to the Dr... I like to point out that I can't aford it. She then blames my liberal views, telling me that my health is the cost for my liberal lifestyle.

Which usually ends the conversation.

bobbie said...

I just don't get it at all. Why are people even arguing over health care? My REAL desire is to see Congress give up their benefits, and then vote on what the rest of us should have.

I can remember back when I was a teenager, when a friend of my sister's was living in Canada, and wondering why we didn't have care like theirs.

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, I love it when you get a good rant going! Especially since I agree with every bit of it. People are stupid because they prefer to be ignorant and spout off when they don't know what they're talking about. Then they believe the fear mongering put out there by insurance companies and the wealthy who don't want to help anyone else pay for medical care.

CG said...

You would not believe how many people in the UK complain about our National Health Service - they should consider the alternatives! You pay a fortune in health insurance!!

fermicat said...

Our healthcare "system" isn't a system at all - that is a large part of the problem. It is so important, but I am afraid that the lawmakers will screw up the solution. I don't see much of a coherent plan. Too many compromises, and too much grandstanding and politicking. I am not optimistic that they will pass anything that works.

Maithri said...

You just get it!

Thats partly why I love you the way I do, ;)

Love, M

Cloudia said...

AAAAAAAA-Men, Sister!!


Comfort Spiral

the walking man said...

If we took all of the disparate health care programs financed by government, added a reasonable tax on business and individuals and told them getting their multi million dollar bonuses to go fuck themselves we would easily be able to give Medicare to every man woman and child in this nation.

Remember "Sicko?" The doctor in France making enough to live very well in Paris and still delivering the best of health care free to whomever walked in the door?

Take the fucking profit factor out of it and you know what...researchers will still research, doctors will still doctor and plumbers will be able to still plumb.

Matt-Man said...

I hate to not leave a salient comment but I have become so numb to this issue that I have given up on trying to convince fellow Americans that taking care of their fellow citizens in the richest goddamn coiuntry in the world makes sense and is the right thing to do. Cheers Di!!

Bond said...

I believe he did a very good job last night...

Raven said...

Amen! I just don't get the resistance to universal coverage - or people whining about small inconveniences when there are those whose inconvenience is that they can't afford to see a doctor at all... and all the fear mongering that goes on from the GOP.

Another thing that doesn't get talked about - I want to blog about it if I start writing again - is the cost of poverty. There's so much fuss about taxing the rich but the poor get taxed in so many unacknowledged ways and nobody cares.

I hope you get your SSD hearing soon and that you get the approval you deserve. Meanwhile, enjoy Hope. She chose a great Grandma for her life journey.

Hilary said...

Our Canadian system can indeed be frustrating at times, but there is never a question of simply not getting care.. no matter the income or lack of income. I do hope things get better for you there. I can't imagine not having this basic care from what's supposed to be the best country (not MY opinion, of course). ;)

Felisol said...

I can feel it all over the Atlantic how important it is that people burn for things, and that they speak out from the bottom of their hearts.
This blog post will be read and will mean a difference.
We don't have these problems, but they are not unfamiliar.
I've had a cousin who had to come home from her USA job, because she became ill, and there was no way she could get help.
I agree, none should profit on people becoming ill.
From Felisol

Sleepypete said...

We're due a revolution over here too. And the first people up against the wall will be ...

The traffic and roadworks planners !
(you'd have to live in Bristol to understand ...)

Seriously - they're rated worse than the politicians at the moment. (Barely.) The lawyers are rejoicing - they're off the hook cos of handling cases of MP expenses claims.

Jacob said...

I couldn't find a thing to disagree with you about, Dianne! I've been writing a bit about the problem over at Cont. Criticism as you probably know...

Good job. Keep up the good work.

Shelly said...

Amazing post Di! Sign me up for that revolution...I've been ranting about it here on the left coast for a while now. Oh yeah...and my two cents on Pelosi - she's a clueless elitist b***ch. bad.