Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Health care again: Response to Libby

24 Comments

At first I wanted to comment this over at Libby’s post but I figured it would be too one-sided of an argument to be really beneficial in the comment section. Hence, I decided to put this up as a post on my own blog, in response to her post on the evangelical letter to 2012.

As someone who enjoys the benefits of socialized medicine, here are some things I can assure you.
1. There are in no way whatsoever problems treating the elderly. Nobody, no matter how old you are, is refused care. Nobody. You may deny receiving care. But you won’t be denied if it’s necessary. There is no euthanasia in the form of simply not treating people (though there is a discussion about letting people decide if they wish to die if their condition is deadly at that point, or if their life seems unbearable to them – as in, assisted suicide, see switzerland)
2. I do not know the waiting times for surgery, but I do know that someone with a life threatening condition (aka cancer) will be prefered over the patients with non-life threatening needs (hip surgery, for example). I personally feel that I’d rather have someone’s life saved asap than me getting a hip replacement asap. But maybe that’s just the social little me.
3. Rural areas do in fact have issues with doctors and specialists, especially waiting times. Now, how’s the situation in rural US? The same? Thought so. That just comes with living far away from civilisation.
4. I personally have never suffered extended waits to see specialists. The longest was two weeks for a checkup I demanded. My eye doctor squeezed me in within 2 days. Gyns (no emergency) is 2-7 days wait. A neurologist my friend saw had a wait of 3 weeks (very hard to get appointments).
5. Health care providers don’t approve treatments. Doctors do. Health care decides if they’ll pay for it. Doctors know how it works, they will warn you if it’s not covered. I had one case of that so far – I wanted to get an experimental treatment which was not proven to work. That’s why my health care doesn’t cover it (because it’s not proven to work). I ended up paying 200 Euros (150 for the meds, 50 for the doc for treating me). A bargain if you ask me. And it did work. I informed my provider.

I’m not saying it’s the perfect system. Every system has it’s issues. But the problem is simply, are we a society which believes in helping others when they can’t help themselves, or are we a society which believes in social Darwinism? The poor die because they’re useless to society anyway?

___________________________________

Imagine.

Imagine you were a doctor, the only person around after a plane crash. There are tons of injured, some life threatening. Imagine one of the injured would offer you $1000 dollars for helping him first. Imagine another one with ‘only’ a broken leg would offer you $2000 to help him first. Would you do that? Would you treat the ones who can offer you a lot of money first? Would you let a person burn alive because he’s only got $10? Would you fix up broken legs while watching someone bleed to death because that person can’t pay you as much?

If that bleeding person offered to sell his house and go into dept to pay you enough to help him – would you let him do that? Would you allow for people to ruin their lives so they can buy your help?

Would you give better care to the rich, and only basic care to the poor? If you had to personally decide, would you?
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Let me ask you another question. Do you think it’s fair that the US invests billions to ‘free’ other countries, while refusing to treat their own society? Do you think it is righteous to use altruistic slogans such as “freeing the people of XY” while telling your own people to fend for themselves?

It’s not like I’m against helping other nations and people. But if you want to go around telling people how to do shit properly, maybe start cleaning in front of your own house first.

Is it not funny that when the US set up the new government in Germany after WW2, they did not forget to set up a proper health care system? That they thought that “a good health of the German people was essential for democracy”? (quote from here, translation by me)

Well how come that good health for everyone doesn’t seem beneficial for American democracy then? Oh well. I’m left puzzled.

As far as I know Libby is quite the scholar in history, so maybe she can help me (and others) out on health politics the US followed when it comes to helping other countries.

24 thoughts on “Health care again: Response to Libby

  1. This sums up why I as a Belgian am not able to even try to understand American debates…

  2. What the United States is putting in is not socialized medicine. It is a tax (decided by the US Supreme Court) on all citizens requiring them to purchase (regardless of need, desire or, in some cases, religious belief) a product at exorbitant prices which is subject to over 2,000 pages of rules and regulations the legislators enacting the tax neither read nor are subject to themselves. And those who cannot pay for it will be subsidized by a further tax on property owners (many of whom–myself included–cannot afford to pay for their own nor want the product) and those who can pay for it but don’t want it, will be further taxed on their filed income tax. It is also a violation of the US Constitution in that it requires religious employers to pay for products (i.e. birth control and abortion) which the religious institutions consider immoral.

    Socialized medicine is as different as every country that has it. My cousin lives in Canada. His wife was symptomatic for needing a colonoscopy. She waited (symptomatic) in excess of two months for an appointment with the doctor who could schedule her for the procedure. Fortunately, she didn’t have colon cancer but what if she had? A fast growth cancer might have developed to the incurable stage while she waited. It’s also a fact that many Canadians cross the border to the US to have tests sooner and carry them back across the border. The Canadian system works (thanks to the US doctors) and is cheap–or is it?

    Should the US be handing out money to other countries while their own house goes under? NO! But that’s an entirely different issue. The government of the US should stop sending money to other country’s governments. If they honestly want to help others, they should fly over other countries and toss money out of plane windows–it would do as much if not more good for the common man.

    That’s the present problem with the US. It has decided that governments and not people have the best idea of how to manage money while exempting itself from the decision being made.

    By the way, no doctor or person is going to be listening to someone with a broken leg while someone is on fire. Money is not an object in the US as far as health care is concerned. Everyone is given emergency care. My cousin, who was uninsured and several thousands of dollars in debt just received the best health care available for his heart issue including at least 6 surgeries, a pacemaker, cardiac ICU, and the amputation of a leg due to blood poisoning. After almost 3 months in the hospital, he died–probably of a mislabeled and now recalled blood thinner.

    • First off, I’m sorry your cousin died. Unfortunately things like mislabelling are so very human that they may happen anywhere in the world.
      I agree that it is a problem to involve religiously problematic treatments (mainly abortion and birth control) in a governmental system. I think, as both aren’t medically necessary treatments in many cases, they should be classified into a set everybody has to cover themselves, or just bite the bullet and pay for it themselves. I know that birth control is not covered here but self pay, I do not know about abortion.
      Unfortunately I cannot speak on Us taxes and such, neither could I on the German taxes (because I’m too “poor” to pay tax), so I won’t even attempt to comment on the whole system.
      I think that the Canadian system (like the British) are too different to compare them to many other European countries where private insurance (additional, that is) is common but basics are still covered by governmental health care. I think it’s important to, at some point, give people the freedom to decide which packages they want and need. For example, I do not have dental because governmental covers some dental and if I want the “pretty” white procelain inlays, I just pay those myself. I only ever needed one since I’ve been here and it cost me 50 Euros selfpay, which is much cheaper than getting dental at 20 Euros a month. Hence, since I have naturally good teeth, I don’t want it and nobody forces me. If you don’t and need a lot of dental care, of course you’re better off getting it. And that’s the whole point, imo, covering the basics for everyone and letting people decide which additions they need.

      • Covering the basics–or covering only catastrophic cases such as cancer, strokes, heart attacks, hip replacements, etc, might not be a bad plan. That’s the argument being used as to why we need this law. Those in favor of it claim that everyone will use health care eventually. Well, if I’m able to give a opinion, no I won’t. First of all, the health care available to me in my area is BAD. The more I read local opinions on local hospitals (within 150 miles), I wouldn’t darken the doors of any of them. I’d rather be dead. And probably would be but would then also be out an exorbitant fee on top of funeral expense. Second of all, I just don’t believe in most of the procedures or treatments and would refuse them if I had insurance. Third, it’s too expensive. I’ve spent $700 on health care TOTAL on a family of seven in the last five years. If I had insurance, I might pay that much for one month of premiums and that won’t end with this law–it just makes it mandatory that I buy one.

        When we had health insurance (my husband used to work for a health insurance company so it was top of the line and cheap by today’s standards), they refused to cover anything “preventative.” No well baby visits, no vaccinations, no pap smears, no birth control, no mammograms, etc. In the last fifteen years, everyone seems to think that’s what insurance is for. And they are mad because that isn’t what it’s for. But they want it to be for that. They pay (or don’t pay because they either can’t afford it or are on Welfare and then have a medical card) for health care and they think that everything should be covered by the premiums they (or taxpayers) pay. There is no longer any self-reliance.

        The argument in passing the law against people with my view was that the states all require you to have auto insurance. The argument is flawed in that (1) you don’t have to purchase auto insurance if you don’t have an automobile, (2) you don’t expect your auto insurance company to pay for the accident you had the day or week before you bought the policy, and (3) your auto insurance doesn’t pay for oil changes, broken radiator hoses, new tires, flat tires or a blown carburetor. And all three of those things are things the people passing the law insisted had to be in the health care law.

        I totally understand why non-US citizens don’t understand our debates. I’m not sure we understand them either.

    • Sweetie, the story about your cousin’s wife’s colonoscopy smells a little fishy. I’m Canadian and the usual wait for a ROUTINE colonoscopy for cancer screening is under 6 weeks. Also, when I had a cyst in my breast, I was in mammography the same day. Triage is something that we do here – your cousin may have felt it was urgent, urgent, urgent, but if the wait was that long, it’s likely her doctor did not concur. You have to remember you aren’t getting this firsthand.

      I think you’re right that the current plan is inadequate, but it doesn’t qualify as a tax. Here, we pay for health care through our taxes, which Americans are quick to point out are higher (although only slightly) than in the US. However, if you combine what you pay in taxes and what you pay out of pocket for health care, you’re getting seriously gouged – and desperate to continue to get gouged, from the sounds of it.

      Now me, I don’t need much in the way of health care. I’m pretty healthy, my kids are healthy, too. But you can’t always count on maintaining that status. I could take the view that I’m paying for other people – but here’s the thing. If I pay into the system now, it will be there when I need it.

      My daughter took a bad fall on a ski trip when she was 12. Her leg was broken just under the hip. She was taken to the small hospital nearby and then transferred to the larger regional hospital, where she spent 4 days in traction. She was treated by a specialist, who met me at the emergency room door. After traction, the femur was secured by a titanium pin – the two best orthopedic surgeons in the region performed the surgery.

      No one asked me about my finances. Nobody questioned who needed to be brought in. If I had been at the mercy of an insurance adjuster, they could have refused to pay because there was a weakness at the growth plate that exacerbated the break (pre-existing condition). We would have likely lost our house over this, or at least wound up with a crushing debt. In any case, our family would have suffered if the system hadn’t been in place for us – just as thousands of families in the US do every single day.

      Stop the fearmongering, stop the propaganda and the worrying about me, me, me and my taxes. You’re dupes of the insurance industry when you spout such nonsense.

      • It’s my cousin’s story–not mine.

        In the US, the care would have been given before the insurance company ever would have seen the bill or the charges.

        And it’s the insurance companies and their ability to not pay that I have a problem with–a big problem with.

        • Nonsense. I’ve been to a clinic and an emergency room in the US – credit card/insurance card first, treatment after. And returning to my experience of my daughter, sure they’d have given her treatment. Then they’d have bankrupted me without batting an eye.

          The point I was making about your cousin’s story is that you should take it with a large grain of salt – there is obviously some missing information there. Unless they’re in an extremely remote region with no facilities, the lengthy wait for an urgent test does not sound credible. There are wait times for non-urgent care, but part of that is because of the urgent-care triage that is practiced within the system. Statistically, we actually have overall slightly better outcomes than the US.

          It’s not a fact that “many” Canadians cross the border for health care. A very few might. Most cross-border health care is based more on location than a need or desire to escape the Canadian system. For example, if you live in Windsor, Ontario, you are just across the bridge from Detroit, which is a much larger centre. You are a 3 hour drive from Toronto, the closest large Canadian centre. It makes less sense for the province of Ontario to pay for transport to Toronto for procedures that can’t be done in Windsor, so they will actually cover the costs for the patient to be treated in Detroit. This is the case with many remote regions close to the border.

          Now, a lot of people will use this as a red herring to claim that Canadian care is inadequate, but this is not the case. Americans actually come to Canada when it’s more convenient, too, and use their insurance to pay for health services. Sarah Palin included – it was easier for her to go to a clinic in BC with her kids than the nearest town in Alaska. And I’d like to point out that the Canadian province of residence still covers Canadian care in the US in most cases.

        • I’ll Second LM here – complete nonsense. I work in this industry – it is credit card/insurance card first. Every time. She’s also right that the medical establishment would have bankrupted her, or happily helped her fill out Medicaid forms so they could charge that program twice the cash price cost of the procedures.

          Again with the double standards. Your issue is the companies right not to pay – but you are upset at legislation that prevents the companies from doing just that.

      • LM – LOVE THIS! So glad your Daughter was well cared for – I hope she is up and skiing again and no worse for the wear!

        • She’s 15 now and doing just great, thanks for asking! The surgery was a great success and she’s had no complications. She’s back to biking and running and doing kung fu, you’d never know that anything had happened – other than a scar on her thigh.

    • Respectfully I’d like to challenge your post. This is the propaganda ridden, conservative crazy argument against ACA. Have YOU read the act? Did you read the entire SCOTUS decision? Well I have. You are flat out wrong on numerous points. Not only are you wrong but you cite comparative information that is subjective and skewed!
      Here’s the reality – the Supreme Court did rule that the government has the right to enact a mandate under the directives that allow them to tax. It fell under the 16th Amendment, which reads:
      “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
      As you can see – it’s not just taxes that are addressed here. You may feel free to call it a tax if you’d like – but the legal justification is much broader than that. Simplifying it just means you get to spew factually incomplete rhetoric.
      Lets move on to your argument that this is a tax on the people. Consider the following points:

      1) The ACA actually has provided THOUSANDS of people with refunds on policies they bought directly from Insurance companies. HOW is this possible when this beast is such a bane to the world? Simple. It requires insurance companies to cap administrative expenditures – read multibillion dollar exec pay – to no more than 15-20% depending on company size. If they failed, they had re-pay policy holders for their excess. 12.8 Million People are slated for refunds of money that insurance companies would have wasted otherwise… and many have already received their checks going back to August or so.

      2) MILLIONS of people… MILLIONS will be able to get coverage even though they have a preexisting condition. You may choose not to have health coverage – but for millions of people out there, they don’t get the choice to turn their nose at a plan that could allow for them to afford life saving treatments. They eventually end up pushed on to the medicaid system – causing healthcare costs to skyrocket. They can pay for policies – they have jobs – money – and a willingness to carry their own weight – and yet insurance companies have the right to deny them. I mean – YOU are so much better than they are you couldn’t possibly ever get a disease you couldn’t pay to treat… I mean… SO WHAT if their parents lose their house because they were born with a disease. (eye roll)

      3) Millions of women now have access to preventive reproductive healthcare that didn’t before. They can now be screened for breast cancer, have a Pap smear and have STD testing – all at no cost. Before you go all high and mighty with your opinions that this may be controversial keep in mind – thousands of women are raped every year and don’t report it – but quietly see their personal providers for testing to make sure they are not infected with something as a result. This also forces insurance companies to pay for HPV testing. HPV causes cervical cancer. Determining if a woman has been exposed helps Dr.’s monitor her health more closely. This way, if she develops cancer it is caught early and treatable. Again before you say those women asked for it – keep in mind – HPV can be transmitted through any kind of contact – not just sexual. I’m sure those sexual abuse victims who are now at risk for cervical cancer were just asking for it though… I mean … why else would insurance companies refuse to pay for the test???

      4) Millions of children will now be able to get well child care covered at 100%. Many insurance companies refused to cover this – its expensive. Either that or parents chose not to take their children in for these visits because they had to pay 20%-30% of the cost of the visit in copayments. No longer an issue.

      5) Insurers are prohibited from establishing annual spending caps. If it costs a Million for you to be saved from cancer, they can’t tell you they will only pay for $550,000.

      OK … LETS GET INTO THE “TAX” PART OF YOUR INGORANCE:
      Here’s what the care act does with taxes as it relates to the individual mandate.
      ” Impose an annual penalty of $95, or up to 1% of income over the filing minimum, whichever is greater, on individuals who are not covered by an acceptable insurance policy, this will rise to a minimum of $695 ($2,085 for families), or 2.5% of income over the filing minimum, by 2016.”
      I believe this is the part that has your panties in a bunch… but you’ve missed the rest of the LAW language… which is as follows…
      Exemptions to the mandatory coverage provision and penalty are permitted for religious reasons or for those for whom the least expensive policy would exceed 8% of their income.
      So you see, pretty much everyone who needs insurance will get it affordably and everyone who doesn’t want it because of some kind of religious reason or poverty will be exempt from the “tax”.
      Lets continue with the tax argument… shall we? The act provides:
      Two years of tax credits will be offered to qualified small businesses. In order to receive the full benefit of a 50% premium subsidy, the small business must have an average payroll per full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employee, excluding the owner of the business, of less than $25,000 and have fewer than 11 FTEs. The subsidy is reduced by 6.7% per additional employee and 4% per additional $1,000 of average compensation. As an example, a 16 FTE firm with a $35,000 average salary would be entitled to a 10% premium subsidy.
      This credit will allow small businesses to offer coverage to their employees and receive a tax credit.
      Impose a $2,000 per employee penalty on employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers (as amended by the reconciliation bill).
      Holy Crap! Now people who work full time somewhere will be offered benefits. Oh wait – I bet you didn’t know that many employers choose not to offer coverage because they don’t want the expense of administering it – even if they don’t pay any part of the premium.
      For employer sponsored plans, set a maximum of $2,000 annual deductible for a plan covering a single individual or $4,000 annual deductible for any other plan (see 111HR3590ENR, section 1302). These limits can be increased under rules set in section 1302.
      Holy Crap – now people can actually afford the plans set out there. Did you know something like 20% of plans offered by employers today have a personal deductible of $6000 or more? I’m sure you didn’t….

      ON TO the best part of the law – I doubt you can come close to understanding this, but I’ll try to make easy..
      Establish health insurance exchanges, and subsidization of insurance premiums for individuals in households with income up to 400% of the poverty line. To qualify for the subsidy, the beneficiaries cannot be eligible for other acceptable coverage Section 1401(36B) of PPACA explains that the subsidy will be provided as an advance-able, refundable tax credit and gives a formula for its calculation. Refundable tax credit is a way to provide government benefit to people even with no tax liability (example: Earned Income Credit).
      Let me break this down in a way you can understand. When someone pays no income taxes they get no refund without REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT’s. You have 5 children so you understand this process because you get one REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT for each child, each year. The earned income credit is another example. Meaning – even if you paid NO TAXES you still get this credit – which does result in a refund being paid to you that tax year. Got it?
      Health care exchanges will allow individuals to band together and receive group rates from insurance companies. Group rates are why employer’s coverage is usually so much less than if you just go buy a policy yourself. This means there will be COMPETITION in the insurance market and will force insurance companies to conform to FREE MARKET ECONOMICS.

      Lastly I’d like to address your comment about your friend being kicked off her husband’s insurance and forced to take her own, more expensive, plan. If she had her own policy instead of one SUBSIDIZED by her husband’s employer, she wouldn’t have this problem. HOW DARE SHE expect her husband’s employer to subsidize her care when she has access somewhere else? I’m just going to go ahead and say this – you are a HYPOCRITE. Don’t believe me – please read all your arguments as to why you shouldn’t have to subsidize someone else’s care. Funny how you moral relativism always falls in the favor of the person who feels slighted. It’s a two way street so how can you be incensed that its happening to your friend – but not that it’s happening to everyone else?

      All the facts I’ve noted here are available on Wikipedia…

      Sorry brokendaughters – for hijacking the post!

      Also find additional info:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/24/11-facts-about-the-affordable-care-act/

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/28/fact-sheet-affordable-care-act-secure-health-coverage-middle-class

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

      • Part of the problem is the refunds in that they squelch the free market.

        MY problem and the reason my “panties are in a bunch” is something you have entirely missed: It removes my right to refuse both insurance and care. I don’t want to be treated for cancer, heart disease, etc. I don’t believe in the treatments. I honestly believe the cure is worse than the disease. Yes, that may mean I die of the disease. Here’s a news flash–you’re dying, right now, wherever you are sitting, standing, laying, etc. You are dying. So is everyone else reading this and not reading this. It’s a fact. I don’t mind paying for others–I already am. I pay taxes which pays for medicaid. My state has a health insurance plan for low income children which covered one of my local (probably most of) firefighters children and he and his wife both work.

        Yes, I knew about the deductibles. And that’s what I will choose (or a higher one if it’s available) because I don’t want it in the first place!

        No, I do not have Earned Income Credits. My “children” are adults. They just all still live with me.

        Since you like links (I don’t), here’s one with a different point of view: http://darrylpetitt.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-obamacare-is-hazardous-to-our-health.html?spref=fb

        • I did read your link. I like Links and Facts. Sadly, no only is this link lacking any kind of proper grammar or sentence structure, its also lacking in any kind of factual information. It only confirms the rhetoric you have spewed here. Let me point out that just because someone else agrees with you doesn’t mean that information is correct or valid. Please – I implore you – present some kind of FACT to back up what you say. You have none – there is no truth to your comments. If you can’t add to the intelligent dialogue then just stop sharing.

          You clearly have just regurgitated Mr. Pettit’s interpretations. Your link did nothing more than prove to me that you fail to properly advocate for yourself in any way and clearly you lack critical thinking abilities. Any sane person should be able to see the content of that blog post for what it was, opinion and fear/hate mongering. Not totally lambaste Mr. Pettit, but he’s hardly a credible source. He works in real estate and has no credentials or knowledge that would give him any amount of credibility with anyone who matters. I support his right to have a blog, and voice his constitutionally protected right to free speech, but I do not have to give him one ounce of credit for it.

          I’m happy – elated even – to find alternate points of view. I have yet to find any factual information that backs up the claims you made.

        • The free market is all well and good when it comes to pork bellies and the like, but when it comes to life or death decisions, I think the concept of profit margin is grossly out of place.

          Under any socialized medicine program or universal health care system, you do not have to accept any treatment you don’t want to. It’s there for you if you do, no questions asked, but if you prefer to leave a condition untreated then it’s absolutely your right to make that choice. It’s your body.

  3. Immediately after posting this, I read on Facebook that one of my friends was just kicked off her husband’s insurance because her employer offers health insurance–at a much higher rate than his which is why they, as a family, chose to insure her on his.

    • I’m re-posting my comment from above as a reply to this simply because I think it bears repeating…

      astly I’d like to address your comment about your friend being kicked off her husband’s insurance and forced to take her own, more expensive, plan. If she had her own policy instead of one SUBSIDIZED by her husband’s employer, she wouldn’t have this problem. HOW DARE SHE expect her husband’s employer to subsidize her care when she has access somewhere else? I’m just going to go ahead and say this – you are a HYPOCRITE. Don’t believe me – please read all your arguments as to why you shouldn’t have to subsidize someone else’s care. Funny how you moral relativism always falls in the favor of the person who feels slighted. It’s a two way street so how can you be incensed that its happening to your friend – but not that it’s happening to everyone else?

      • Because it removes the right to choose–which is my complaint. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to choose the best value for her household?

        • If that’s your reason you should be so happy to have ACA because it stops companies from being able to force people out of their plans. After 2014 that woman’s husbands plan won’t be able to limit her “choice” to be on his coverage. They won’t be able to limit anyone’s choices for coverage.

          I find it interesting that your incensed at the loss of CHOICE here when it applies to someone you care about, not the loss of Choice millions of other people don’t have without ACA. Your friends should have choices, but no else should – that’s very christian of you. Actually… that is very christian of you…

          As is typical for people spewing your arguments – moral relativism wins over everything. That makes you a double hypocrite.

          Oh – and your primary reason for being upset because it “Removes your right to refuse insurance and care”. Actually ACA affirms that right. You have opt out options for religious reasons. No penalty if you opt out for religious reasons.

          I do hope you will follow that up with a Do Not Resuscitate order for yourself along with a Living Will stating you want no emergency treatment on your behalf, along with a medic alert bracelet that states such. I mean someone who feel as strongly about this as you say you do, wouldn’t want a good Samaritan to force you to receive care against your will should you be in a car accident or have a medical emergency that rendered you unable to advocate for yourself.

          • Anything else you’d like to call me?

            Thank you for not listening but instead talking over what you think I might have meant.

  4. I don’t want to get into a big discussion again on health care with the above commenter, suffice to say I don’t agree with her at all, so I’m just going to let her with a link everybody might find interesting (including most comments):
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/permissiontolive/2012/07/how-i-lost-my-fear-of-universal-health-care.html

  5. …as a german i do not even try to understand how anybody can seriously opposed to obligatory health insurance aka ‘socialized medicine’. i pay around 130 euros a month (female, 33) and to this day i got every treatment i wanted to get, no questions asked, no money payed. the longest wait was ten days for a sports specialist doc. only thing not fully covered are teeth problems, but you can avoid those by caring for your teeths. my mom is a three times cancer suvivor, my dad suffers from a condition called “morbus bechterew” which is painful and requires you to take expensive pain killers every so often. my mom got the very latest therapy for every of her cancer episodes (breast, ovary and non hodgin lymphom). she did not have to pay anything extra for this. in the us the first thing after being diagnosed would have been “where can i get a loan big enough to cover the expenses of treatment?” here it is “where is the best specialist to go to?” yes, you even get to decide which cancer specialist you’d like to see.

  6. I have been reading your blog for the last couple of days, while I am home sick in bed. I want to say to all you people spouting all the anti-national healthcare rhetoric you really have no idea what you are talking about and are completely buying into the propaganda of the insurance lobby.
    I worked for a large private insurance company (I won’t say which one), and what I was asked to do was sickening, morally and ethically disgusting, mostly my job was to find ways to NOT pay a medical bill (for example turning down care for a man who had his hand cut off because he didn’t get authorization prior to treatment. Yep, that’s right, the guy was suppose to call up the 1-800 number and get permission to go to the ER). Working at that job made me physically ill, I’m in my mid 30s and ended up with shingles I was so stressed out.
    The fact is, these companies are in business to create a profit for their shareholders, many of them have massive amounts dedicated to “administrative” costs (something Obamacare will do away with). The fact is, the best, most efficient medical coverage in the United States is medicare, they spend an average of 6% of their operating costs on administrative functions, the average “private” company spends around 35-45% and I was told that by a supervisor when I was working for the insurance company. Private insurance is terrified of national healthcare because if it passes they are out of a job and their big fat bonuses, by the way the year I left NO ONE who processed bills got a raise (that would be in the entire company) and an entire division was moved to a foreign country (where they could pay the workers less than half of what they paid us) and yet the CEO got TENS of MILLIONS in bonuses!
    This is not an efficient way to run healthcare in this country, take that from some one who had to have her appendix taken out without insurance and got such substandard care that she ended up back in the hospital with double pneumonia (cost of that was about $80,000). I can also tell you that my sister got better treatment for her cancer on Medicare than my uncle and grandmother got for theirs on private insurance. As an aside, most of the stuff you read against national healthcare is in fact spread by private insurance companies, cause hey, scare the average Joe, get Obamacare repealed and you’ll get to keep all those nice bonus checks rolling in (I could literally live the rest of my life on the bonuses these guys get in 1 year).
    Sorry to rant on your blog Lisa (which I find amazing, you are truly a heroine) but this is one issue where the constant misinformation really gets under my skin.

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