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letting uninsured die

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Merry, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Parismountain

    Parismountain Senior Member

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    Thanks for your kind words Madie. I joined a progressive weblist a few years back when the first stimulus was taking shape trying to remind those who influence the deciders of where the money was spent to please don't forget the disabled. I was very disappointed in the outcome of what went to the disabled in all the 900 billion. I was just losing my healthcare when that was all happening and they even put in a provision to pay for something like 15 months of a family's COBRA cost, to me about $15,000 for that period and of course the way it worked out only the recently unemployed qualified. I had not been recently disabled but had just lost my family coverage and felt I was in a very similar spot as the recently unemployed (though not of sound body) yet they didn't even think of that scenario (which didn't surprise me). It just further stiffened my resolve that government is no good at picking winners and losers and they aren't fair allocators.

    My cynical view is both parties have their core they try to lavish on. To the party in power I wasn't a fireman or a teacher and the stimulus bill wasn't going to
    help me one bit. Boy is it ever harder and harder to stay lower middle class.

    Peace

    I should mention about connecting the COBRA unemployed to my situation and the stimulus bill, the way Lucent dropped it's disabled (Lucent at the time was a company of about 150,000) was the government made them COBRA us, we were not allowed to be dropped outright. I was sitting there with my COBRA papers looking at the $1,100 which was to be paid monthly by me for a year before I would have no family medical insurance and the stimulus bill came out and covered the recently unemployed for 15 months. That got me mad that I had the same papers as the unemployed, the COBRA notifications, their's was paid for mine wasn't. I'm sure if they thought about it they would have included the small number of disabled people who at that moment had had their medical insurance dropped but the point is of course they didn't think about it. That seeing all the flavors of situations didn't occur to them.
  2. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Uh, well, I guess I shouldn't have started this thread. :(
  3. Parismountain

    Parismountain Senior Member

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    I'm pretty convinced ME is an equal opportunity booger hitting all sides of the aisle. A great majority of my friends have little problem with the TEA party and I know those folks hearts and they're the give you the shirt off their back types. I also lived in Tampa 30 years and if healthy and living there probably would have tried to attend the debate. I saw Bush in Tampa the night before he first got elected (or stole the election) and waiting in line with my peeps to be screened by secret service, the crowd's behavior reminded me so much like church, I mean we waited forever to go through screening, like three hours and not a complaint near me was heard. Not every republican is an ogre. Even the one's who laughed aren't ogres. People are people. Jackie Kennedy said some pretty swarmy stuff about MLK. Even icons can get it wrong about other people.

    okay I'll get off my soapbox now.
  4. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    The only possible good that could come out of this is if Valentijn decided to adopt me. (Something tells me that I may regret, as well, posting this tiny joke.)
  5. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Hi, Parismountain. Our last posts seemed to have crossed.

    I appreciate madie's concilatory post. Like madie, I am sorry for your misfortune. I am sorry, too, for the stress this thread has caused you.
  6. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Thanks Valentijn, for posting your thoughts. I'm still convinced that the US system lacks competition and is far from a free market system but the healthcare system of the Netherlands could serve as a rolemodel: [video=youtube;AUje1Fc2ajc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUje1Fc2ajc[/video]
    madietodd likes this.
  7. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Healthcare systems throughout Europe and Britain are all socialised.

    We do not have an American style private medical system here or in Europe.

    The overall cost to the taxpayer is less than the US pays in insurance, medical bills and drug bills for its health system, and every citizen is covered without exception.

    Our governments have been getting steadliy more right wing and extreme in the last thirty years and the NHS is now under threat of privatisation, against the wishes of all British voters and the NHS staff and doctors.

    We also have a social welfare system. This is also being destroyed, but for the entire period of my illness it provided enough for me to live on without my needing to sell my home.
    This was also funded through taxes. I have never paid for a private health insurance.

    One great benefit of a universal social welfare system is that citizens do not need to fear sickness.

    This is all changing now sadly, as our governments dismantle the welfare state.
    Most British citizens do not realise how their childrens rights are being taken away by these changes.
    They will grow up and live in a much more unpleasant, unjust, unequal and threatening world
  8. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Thank you, Waverunner, for posting the video about the health care system in the Netherlands. I hadn't heard about their system.

    Sorry, currer, for what is going on in the UK. I feel for you.

    Thanks to everyone for your posts. People really put a lot of time and effort into what they wrote. I hadn't expected all that and wish I had the energy to respond to many interesting points raised.
  9. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    Good points - agreed.
  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Waverunner: Thanks for the video. It was especially interesting to see the actual numbers: the Netherlands spends half as much on health care per person, but the Dutch end up living longer.

    The mandatory aspect seems essential to the system. Because the insurance companies can't reject the chronically ill, they need the income from the chronically healthy to avoid taking a loss.

    I'm not sure how the US health insurance industry could be more of a free market and still be as efficient as the tightly regulated health insurance systems in Europe while ensuring universal coverage. There's good data showing that strict control works, but is there data showing a "real" free market system is successful somewhere?
  11. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    There is a solution: PCIP!

    I was in the same boat, until I enrolled in the new PreExisting Condition Insurance Plan which went into effect a year ago. Now both me and my husband have good health insurance, with drug coverage. If you have been denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition, and don't qualify for Medicare, you automatically qualify for PCIP. It is so easy to apply for that I was blown away. Initially premiums were quite high (COBRA level) but they have come down dramatically. At first my premium was about $550/month (premiums are determined by age alone, not by condition), but it is now $240/month. Some states' PCIP programs are administered through the state's "High Risk" Pools, but people in states that refused to start high risk pools (such as Arizona, where I am) go directly to the federal government for coverage.

    Here's the link: https://www.pcip.gov/

    If you don't have insurance because of pre-existing conditions (anyone with CFS or FMS that applies for individual coverage will face this), please check out PCIP. I can't believe how easy it is. I also am quite disappointed in how poorly this program has been promoted. It is a godsend.
  12. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I have a $2500 deductible policy with BC/BS that I pay $383 a month for. I haven't been to a doctor in at least 5 years; I have this policy in case I get hit by a truck. I'm throwing money down a hole.

    If I want to try for this govt insurance, what would I do? I have to be without insurance for 6 months to qualify, which is a bit scary. Then I have to get rejected by an insurance company because of CFS. What if they don't reject me? Just charge huge monthly premiums? Can I solicit companies for the rejection first, and when I get one, cancel my insurance for 6 months, and THEN apply to the govt?

    If I get this insurance, what kind of tests will it pay for? Because if they're all out of pocket anyway, I haven't gained much.

    Thanks! Madie
  13. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Thanks to valentinelynx for the info on PCIP, which may be helpful to some.

    But my situation is the similar to Madie's. I was able to get eventually, through AARP, a high-deductible plan that covers hospital care only. When I checked out my state's PCIP info, I understood that since I had this plan (limited as it is), I could not apply for the PCIP. Ok, possibly under the rules I could drop the plan and then try applying for coverage under PCIP, but then I have to somehow provide the documentation that I was turned down by insurance companies. I was turned down, by many, but I no longer have the papers. If I recall correctly, since ME/CFS is not on my state's list of pre-existing conditions I would have to provide documentation from a doctor. Like Madie, I have not seen a doctor in years. And I am no longer within driving distance of the last CFS specialist I saw in 2000.

    The premium for the PCIP coverage is also nearly twice what I am paying on the catastrophic plan I have now. So I have opted to wait until 2014 when all the features of Healthcare Reform are implemented.

    But I didn't start this thread in hopes of finding help for myself. The laughs and cheers in that Tea Party audience reminded me that some people get off on the idea of others suffering and dying. And under the right conditions, entire societies can be caught up in that madness.
  14. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Merry - where did you find the information about deductibles? I couldn't find any actual plan information. Does it show rates?
  15. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    So sorry, Madie. I meant "premium" rather than deductibles. Glad you asked me about this so I could correct the error.

    I don't believe there would be any deductibles with the PCIP. Not sure. Read the website months ago. The Ohio info did show rates. By age and county, I think.
  16. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    I am a little confused, I thought ME/CFS is hardly recognized as a severe physical illness? How would an insurance co. know and exclude you due to pre-exsiting conditions? Is it co-morbidities or FM or disability diagnosis that they have access to and therefore deny or how do they find out?
  17. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    People applying for individual medical insurance policies must provide detailed information about their health. Leave anything out and you risk being accused of fraud later (and dropped of course). Say if you were to be diagnosed with cancer a year after getting a policy, the company might think it was to their advantage to comb records to find the slightest omission as proof of fraud and cancel the policy. Medical insurance companies share information.

    Insurance companies absolutely don't want to enroll someone with a CFS diagnosis.

    If you need more detailed information, mellster, I will have to look it up. It was quite awhile ago since I was researching this and applying for policies that I was denied.

    Hmm. Something else I just thought of. An employee of a company that contracts with a medical insurance company to take calls about claims said in a radio interview that he had been instructed to not take the calls of people who were costing the company too much. The insurance company's goal was to make the policy holder so frustrated that that person would get a policy elsewhere.
  18. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    Thanks, Merry, that's enough info. Yeah I don't doubt that they have ways to find out and screw you over. As much as I am a libertarian at heart I still think that healthcare only works if everybody is forced to pay into it and the healthy pay for the sick, I don't consider this communism or socialism, but being a good citizen (or Christian if you're religious) - there are too many variables that one cannot influence that impact one's health that you cannot plan for it. However I think you always have to pay in (if you have income), you cannot opt out and decide to jump in back later. I like the German model very much (it's a mix of public and private plus private add-on insurances). cheers
  19. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    The only difference between having to wait for treatment in the UK and not having insurance or "adequate insurance" in the United States is that if you ever do get the treatment in the United States, you now have a bill that will bankrupt you. There are many people in the United States who die of cancer because they have no insurance to get the diagnostic tests or preventive treatment they need or, because of lack of regulations, their insurance company refuses to pay for it. I'd rather wait without the bill.
  20. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    I agree. The baby boomers in the U.S. are getting old. They outnumber the young and healthy. If young people are not required to pay into the pool, the system won't work. It is bound to fail.

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