Tag Archives: Health insurance

Bat Boy journalism and Fox News..

Like I said in the blog,  ‘When does 2+2=4 become debatable? When it’s politics, stupid!” ,  Fox News adds 2+2 and comes up with 7. As if that wasn’t bad enough they get people to believe them instead truth and facts. They even pull the ‘Hey, we’ve researched’ it card to back up whatever claim they are making. Obviously if they’ve researched it and they are this adamant that their information is correct, then they should be believed… right?

Wrong.

O’Reilly lies to Coburn:

‘Nobody’s ever said’ at Fox you’ll go to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. Oh yes they have.



After Senator Coburn told a town hall meeting not to believe what they hear on Fox News, Bill-O decided he was going to take it upon himself to research his station and find out just when it was that anyone on Fox News said that under “ObamaCare” you would go to jail if you didn’t get health insurance.

O’Reilly: Well, tell me, what — because it doesn’t happen here.

And we researched to find out if anybody on Fox News

had ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance.

Nobody’s ever said it.

Well there you go, that solves it. This rumor was nothing more than another attempt of the “Lame stream media” to attack the honest hardworking fact checkers at Fox News, they researched this problem and found it to be an utterly false accusation.

except..


Beck: But if you don’t play by their new rules on health care, oooh, here’s a new little twist. Have you heard this? You’re going to be looking at a fun little stint in jail.

and

… But if you don’t play ball with them now, if you don’t get into their government health care, there will be jail time. And that of course was

Glenn Beck told his audience on Nov. 12, 2009 that they would go to jail. The next day on O’reilly’s own show, Beck was a a guest and repeated the same claim.


BECK: You know, this is the first time in history in our country where, just to be a citizen, just to not go to jail, you have to buy something.

This doesn’t include the Hannity shows and guests he’s had on who echoed same statements.

Sean Hannity tells viewers,

“Penalties for people who don’t get

government-mandated health insurance,

uh, jail time, a possibility?”

November 10, 2009:

If you just happen to be walking by the TV and the sound was off, you still got the news from Fox when they said at the bottom of the screen “Comply or go to jail.”

In a strange twist, a member of the Fox News team admits this was a falsehood spread by Fox News. Neil Cavuto has owned up to the myth Sen. Coburn was talking about.

“I’ve
researched this, and a
number of Fox
personalities had made that comment.”

Cavuto mentioned this fact the day after the O’reilly/Coburn interview, and even then O’reilly again went on his and insisted that  Sen. Coburn “didn’t really have his facts in line,” when it came to saying Fox News perpetuated the jail time myth.

2+2=7

If you are a viewer of Fox News of course you see that this is all just Lame Stream Media attack and spin, how in the hell could you see anything else? To you, Fox is just trying to keep the record straight and they are really having a hard time being the only name in news to give the “fair” and the “balanced”. The problem is, Fox news operates in another reality where they make up the facts and the research to back them up.  This is not the same as MSNBC spending night after night attacking Sarah Palin for using RNC donations for her clothes, her not returning the money for the ‘bridge to no where’ but spending it instead, or  her pimping for the Tea-Party Express which turns out not to be a grass-roots movement but a Republican Political Action Committee movement made up to fool real tea-party members into donating more money. All of that is real, researched truth,  which is the opposite of what you get when you turn to Fox News.

Look, if people want to believe in leprechauns and unicorns they can, there is nothing wrong with that. Thought and fantasy are still free in this world even if saying them out loud isn’t in some places. But for a “News” network to be considered ‘fair’ or ‘balanced’ or ‘trusted’ or hell, ‘news’ they have to follow the same rules as the others. If they want to only report on the other sides scandals and misdeeds to make them out to be the party not to be trusted, so be it! If they want to only report on their sides altruistic ideals and actions to make them seem like better party ok. They can’t claim ‘fair’ or ‘balanced’ but ok, have at it. But they cannot just make stuff up and repeatedly get away with it.  Not if their goal is News. If their goal is money, your money..as much of it as they can get, then hell Bat Boy journalism for everyone ! But stop labeling the product incorrectly.

This network has pretty much reduced themselves to, “Bat boy journalism” yet they demand to be treated like real journalism and will cry like scorned little girls the minute they aren’t taken as seriously as a Walter Cronkite-like news organization. Unfortunately for those of us who chose not to believe in unicorns and Bat Boy, we are forced to defend that which is slanted, but true because that slanted journalism is the excuse for the fake or made up journalism. The problem then becomes that we inspire more slant instead of more neutral.

If we didn’t have to live through the consequences of Bat Boy journalism and the voting populists I’d say let them have their sensational stories because like any Jerry Springer episode, they can be good for a laugh.  It’s when we would have to suffer through the choices of the ‘believers’ that we get not just Jerry Springer on TV, but Jerry Springer in the White House that it becomes a detriment to all.

I’m not knocking Springer, but I don’t want this country governed by those who believe his show is on the same level of journalism as a slanted, but accurate,  Rachael Maddow.

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They really will stop at nothing..

After reading Fox News version of Natoma Canfield ‘s plight and after getting over my disgust at the flippant skew of their story,I decided to see just what kind of people Fox news is playing to. I was sure those commenting on the piece would be as appalled as I was after reading that article tripe because who wouldn’t be? This idea that she ‘may’ get financial help for the treatment and that somehow negates her ordeal was so outrageous that even the truly heartless,mindless,GOP sycophant must be taken aback.

Oh how I was wrong.

Before  we get to the truly ugly part of our society, the part that feeds on Fox News and GOP rhetoric..Remember where this started. Natoma wrote a letter to the President explaining her situation to him, she had had insurance and had paid it’s high premiums. She explained that last year she paid “$6075.24 in premiums, $2415.26 for medical care, $225 in co-pays and $1500 for prescriptions.” For all of this, her insurance company paid out a staggering $935 to her benefit. What a wonderful return she pays over $10,000 and the insurance gives her $935. I can’t imagine anyone looking at that and saying “A yup, seems right to me”.. but, they do.

When Anthem sent Natoma a letter letting her know that after being with this company for 11 years,  in 2010, her policy would be increased over 40% to $8496.24.

Natoma had to let the insurance go.

$8500 a year,  that’s over $700 a month… for health insurance. Is this normal and satisfactory to people? Are there a lot of us out there who could afford coverage for one person  for the great cost of $177 a week?

When did this become the normal part of American life, so normal that people across the country are not outrage just at that? $177 a week.. not for food,shelter,utilities.. but health insurance on one person? What she if had to cover a family of four?

That is where Fox picks up her story and where this blogs begins. Natoma said in her letter that she was afraid to think about where she would get the money to pay her bills now that she didn’t have healthcare. A perfectly reasonable fear, a fear that even people with insurance might have just because of the emotions  and costs involved. But to Foxnews and those who champion them, this is the pit of waste they decided to swim in. Instead of going after Anthem, they set their sights on Natoma’s fears.

Natoma Canfield, the cancer-stricken woman who has become a centerpiece of President Obama’s push for health care reform, will not lose her home over her medical bills and will probably qualify for financial aid, a top official at the Cleveland medical center treating her told FoxNews.com.

Sure, Natoma might qualify for aid… might. So there you go people, nothing to see here.. move along.

Of course  gold coins might fall out of her ears tomorrow too, but that doesn’t negate another in a long,long list of examples of an insurance company profiting on the health of Americans.

Natoma could possibly be healed by a local voodoo priest laying hands upon her, that doesn’t change the fact that insurance companies have gotten out of control when it comes to their profit margin.

If this ‘probability’ stopped there, then maybe it could be seen as a ‘feel good’ piece. Ya know, a “Thank God, she has one last thing to worry about in this time of need” maybe it would be ok. But it didn’t and as the comments show, it produced the exact feeling FoxNews hoped and always hopes to provoke in people. Of course “feeling” is a loose translation of the word as you’ll see.

Before that though, there seems to be this running theme everywhere of “Well they can just get medicaid” in one breath and “We don’t need government healthcare paid for by tax-payers” in the other.  A everyone has insurance because they can just use the ERrepetitiveness that somehow excuses the point of having to use the ER like a primary care doctor instead of a.. ya know.. emergency room. Here’s my question, who is paying for that cost when people who don’t have insurance use the ER?   Who do people think is paying for Medicaid ?  The Fairy-Medical-Mother? Do the people wiping drool off their chin from all their blathering about tax-payer government health care not understand that the medicaid they are telling Natoma to get is tax-payer paid for government healthcare?

I don’t think they do.

While we’re playing in the realm of pretend, what if she paid the extortion to her insurance company and they dropped her after she was diagnosed with leukemia? There is an equal, if not better, chance that  would have happened as there is a chance that she ‘might‘ or will ‘probably’ get medicaid or some kind of charity to pay her bill. Had she been dropped,  then what? Who cares because she could have gone on tax-payer government healthcare, but  as long as she doesn’t pay for her own government healthcare it’s ok?

The idea that anyone could say “Hey  you know what? I think you should pay out $10,000 a year, get $900 paid back and next year pay 40% more and get back less.. “ Is pretty much the stupidest thing I think I’ve ever heard. But it seems to be the common thread these days.  She is after all only a house-cleaner, it’s not like she own AIG or anything important like that.

The idea that anyone would champion a system  that says “Look, be happy.. after all those years of paying into this product and getting no return, now you can go on charity so quit your bitching” is not only the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard but probably the most callous. I can only hope that  Karma X3 finds the people saying this with some event that forces them to seek help from a ‘charity’. I just hope they don’t meet people like themselves at those charities who tell  them to go find help somewhere else. Or worse, tell them they’ve helped too many this month so maybe come back next month and see if they can get some help.

We’re the best country on the planet,  the only SuperPower, the beacon of all and the best we can do is.. “She might get charity to help pay for her illness and she probably won’t lose her house”?

As if that’s even a concern, after reading what the Foxnewies GOP sycophants  think.. she really deserves the loss of her home because she should have paid the insurance company their extortion fee and her mortgage and just stopped eating and watching TV, the lazy bitch.

jpd123

South Carolina

How can she lose her house? I though Obama fixed the housing crisis, and nobody is losing their houses. I guess if she had paid her insurance bill and skipped her house payment, Obama would have her up on stage supporting his next housing bail out! This guy doesn’t miss a chance. Here’s quick fix Obama, you’ve got millions. You were able to raise 600 million for your campaign. Why don’t you lend her the money to pay her bills? This is getting crazy. She made a choice. She chose to pay her house payment. Millions of americans make choices every day. Does she have a TV? Does she have cable? Did she choose to buy those? It’s called responsibility and prioritizing. She has to choose between food and a house payment…does the government buy her groceries? She has to choose between clothes and a house payment…does the government buy her clothes? Where does it end? Why not let the government pay for everything. Food, water, shelter are all necessities. Like health care, can’t we find imaginary rights in the constitution to cover those things too!

That’s right, she made a choice folks. She should have paid her insurance instead of her mortgage and really.. she has a TV right? She chose to pay them, so there you go! She deserves everything she gets!  The stupid woman should learn to prioritize, doesn’t she know that the American Dream isn’t to grow up, work hard and buy a house. No! It’s grow up, work hard, pay your insurance even when they’re raping you.

It’s truly disgusting the level of bottom-feeder that the GOP and FoxNews has succeeding in producing. If that comment was the only one like it I would attribute it to a mutant strain of GOP, unfortunately… it’s not

macagcy

Sad story – but here are the facts. This lady could have increased her deductible and reduced her costs. We could be having a fund raiser to pay her $5,000.00 deductible – but no – the taxpayers will be paying the full boat. How can Anthem be the bad guy? What do you think her costs are projected to be? Do you think it would have been cheaper to pay the premium and have coverage or to pay no premiums and have no funds to pay for the care? Personal Responsibility.


How can that poor insurance company be at fault? All they did was continue to raise her rates to the point where she had to decide between them and her mortgage, shheesh.. it’s her fault for not just doubling her deductible, I mean she only paid out $10,000 in costs last year! Hello! Anthem gave her $900 worth coverage for it, what does she want.. more?

It’s gross isn’t it? I just wish that was it…

bigtuna2

As a physician in a town of 75000, I can say that everyone gets treated, and nobody loses their home. Medical bills are the last things people pay. When someone is evaluating your credit, the very last thing they look at are medical bills


As a physician, I recommend we all just not pay our bills.. no one loses their house, no one cares that it’s on your credit and all those non-paid bills really have no affect on the system because the Fairy-Medical-Mother bibbity,bobbity,boos them away.

Are you out of your fucking mind? The solution to “paid for by everyone, shared by everyone’ Universal Health care is? We just don’t pay our bills when we incur them because it’s not like anyone has to pay for it anyway.

Fuck me! Someone shoot me if I get this stupid!

dawnkessler

New York

iamback: Do you not realize that a lot of people are going through the same thing? If you don’t pay for your health insurance, you don’t get health insurance. Many qualify for Medicaid. Everyone qualifies for private charity. Have you ever been to a benefit? That’s what benefits are for. Why do all Americans have to suffer for the plight of a few? There are other ways than allowing the Progressives to take over our lives. You only need a little bit of common sense to understand what this bill is all about and it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with health care. Everyone gets treatment, whether they can afford it or not! That’s the fact that the government hopes to keep from people. Open your eyes and look around. There are not people dying in the streets in this country (yet). The madness needs to stop now.


That’s right, why do all Americans have to suffer for the plight of a few..

We don’t need to end slavery, why do all Americans have to suffer for the plight of a few?

We don’t need to desegregate, I mean why do all Americans have to suffer for the plight of a few?

We don’t need to let woman vote and have a right to equal and fair treatment, why do all Americans have to suffer for the plight of a few

There are other ways than following the Progressives like Franklin, Washington, Adams, or Jefferson! We’re Americans, why do we all have to suffer for a few? Jesus! Everyone gets treatment anyway, whether they have the money or not and the great Fairy-Medical-Mother pays for it!

It just keeps getting better doesn’t it?

Do you think if someone explained that the ‘charity’ and the ‘medicaid’ might only kick in when the disease has reached catastrophic levels  and had the person had coverage before it got that bad, it might have only cost the tax payers and charity houses a few hundred dollars instead of a few million, they’d understand?

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

mugger32

Pennsylvania

While I sympathize with this lady, wouldn’t it have been easier if she just said she was in the uS illegally to get the care and not worrying about losing her house? Hmmm….maybe there is a problem.

jim4mich

Michigan

if your to sick to work then your to sick to cotribute to the masses so you are exspendable

rickaware

Did you see the floozy that introduced him in Strongville? Not hard to see what kind of trash she is.



That floozy-trash was Natoma’s sister. John Boehner was right though, the GOP is doing everything they can to stop health reform.

I don’t know about you, but after reading the stirrings from the FoxNewies- GOP sycophants I feel unclean. More than that though, I feel frightened that one day a candidate that holds these peoples beliefs as his/her own could one day rule this country. God help us when that day comes.

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Let's just eliminate that dog.

This is who you protect when you wish for Obama to “fail”. This is the side you have chosen to stand with, protect and help defend.

Insurer ends health program

rather than pay out big

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Ian Pearl has fought for his life every day of his 37 years. Confined to a wheelchair and hooked to a breathing tube, the muscular dystrophy victim refuses to give up.

But his insurance company already has.

Legally barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims, the New York-based insurer simply canceled lines of coverage altogether in entire states to avoid paying high-cost claims like Mr. Pearl’s.

In an e-mail, one Guardian Life Insurance Co. executive called high-cost patients such as Mr. Pearl “dogs” that the company could “get rid of.”

That’s right, Mr. Pearl, is a “Dog” that the company needs to “Get rid of”

Let’s put this is perspective for just a second. I told you about a friend of mine recently to try and put a face many of us know on this healthcare debate.  I wanted Chuck’s story to be on everyone’s mind as they were regurgitating the latest poison from Glenn Beck’s mouth. I wanted people to have a visual of the person they were condemning in their almost orgasmic need to have a United States President fail. A failure that  some of these people  dream of, masturbate to…pray for every chance they get. “At all costs” is the motto, “At any cost” is the pledge.

I failed of course, not even the plight of a great man and amazing friend to many of us made a scratch in the shell that surrounds these ideologues.

So I will try again.

Instead of Mr. Pearl, who has the same condition as Chuck, I want to you again put Chuck’s name, his face, his interaction with you, his “self”.. put him in this story. Does that do anything for you ideologues? Can you sit there and hear that Chuck is just a “Dog” who needs to be gotten “rid of” because he dared to buy an insurance policy, he dared to pay it, he dared to get a debilitating degenerative disease and most of all  he dared to not die quickly enough?  The company that waspaid to cover health costs  can’t cancel one ‘dog’  because it would be against the law, so they just cancel an entire state of ‘dogs’. Is there any face I can put on this problem that will make a dent?

You may say “Oh but Kelly, I’m sure the courts will stop the insurance company from canceling everyone with this kind if policy. I’m sure a judge will see that this man, Mr. Pearl will die if this insurance company is allowed to cancel his policy.” But you would be wrong.

A federal court quickly ruled that the company’s actions were legal, so on Dec. 1, barring an order by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Pearl will lose his benefits.

So much for that ‘check and balance’.

For those that abhor government intervention, will you cry with Glenn Beck if the  Health “Czar” Kathleen Sebelius orders the company to live up to it’s contract.

Sadly, we all know the answer to that… Yes, yes  you will.

Will those of you who even thought about trying to explain just how President Obama was creating “Death Panels” care to pick up your pitchfork against this actual ‘death panel’?  Mr. Pearl needs 24 hr nursing care, he is on a ventilator and needs hourly breathing treatments and continuous intravenous medication. Without this he will die, here is your Death Panel Sara Palin, will you ‘tweet’ about how evil this is? Will you take hundreds of thousand of dollars for a speech on this kind of injustice, will the people who aped your stupidity write Mr. Pearl or even Chuck’s name on a sign and demand they not be forgotten?

Sadly, we know the answer to that is.. no, no you won’t.

Guardian, a 150-year-old mutual company, reported profits of $437 million last year, a 50 percent increase over $292 million in 2007. It paid dividends of $723 million to policyholders and had $4.3 billion in capital reserves, according to its annual report. The company’s investment income totaled $1.5 billion that year, a small increase from the year earlier.

This is who you protect with your hatred of a President. This is who you protect with  your ‘at any cost’  ideologue.

“In an e-mail to four other Guardian executives entered into evidence in the Pearls’ suit, company Vice President Tim Birely discussed how the company could “eliminate this entire block to get rid of the few dogs.”

.. and don’t think you can get away with the argument of “Well, you Democrats are in power now and we can’t do anything stop you.” It’s condescending, it’s insincere and it’s bullshit. Most insulting of all.. you know it, snicker and use it anyway.

20 years ago a friend of mine took a ride with a person he had just recently started hanging around. He didn’t know him too well but he seemed cool and they got along. That night the new guy told my friend he was going to rob a local mom & pop grocer for some extra cash. My friend wasn’t a violent person, he wasn’t a criminal, he wasn’t a bad person in any way… but he because he was 17 and stupid he didn’t speak up.

The new guy went into the store while my friend waited in the car, he could have left at that point but for whatever reason he didn’t. After a few minutes the new guy came running back out, jumped in the car and away they went. They never spoke of what went on inside the store and it wasn’t until the next morning when the police showed up at his parents house to arrest him that my friend found out that the store owner had been shot and killed by the new guy. My friend was tried and convicted as an accessory to the crime and is on death row awaiting his date with the executioner. Does he deserve to die for a crime he had no part in? Some would say yes he does, but then again.. they would also be the ones to tell Mr. Pearl to go out and get a job if he wants health care.

The real “Dog” here isn’t Mr. Pearl and it isn’t Chuck or any of the other poor souls who have paid their premiums each month only to have them canceled because they did not die quick enough. The real “dogs” are the insurance company who cares more about an enormous bottom line over the lives they are supposed to be protecting. You all fighting reform at all costs.. at any cost, this is the dog you have allowed into your bed by not saying anything even when you know what they are doing is not only wrong, dangerous and against humanity, but could possibly be murderous. Just like the saying “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas”  this is on you whether you like it or not.

Lindsey Graham is currently finding that sad fact out. Arlen Specter and Colin Powell could have told him, but a conservative republican of Grahams stature, with his conservative record would have ignored their warnings just as the rest of the ideologues will ignore this liberal’s warning. When you go against the beast you create, the beast you’ve allowed to take over to fight your battle for you, when you go against it… you pay their price. It’s apropos that Graham is now the one to fight off charges that can not be defended because they have no basis in reality. “Fake Republican,” “RINO” (Republican in name only), a “traitor,” “disgrace,” “asshat,” “democrat in drag,” and a “wussypants, girly-man, half-a-sissy”.

The beast you fed,nurtured, appeased every step of the way while pretending “that’s  not what my belief..it’s theirs”.. and “Hey, you guys are in power not us”.. that beast is self-aware and is devouring your party.  That is who your next leaders will have no choice but to cater to. The metaphorically date with the executioner that you await for being an accessory to the crime, would be justice in and of itself if so many truly innocent people weren’t being punished along with you. Don’t believe there are ‘truly innocent’ people being punished? Well, I give you one final story

17-Pound, 4-Month-Old Baby

Denied Health Insurance

for Being Too Fat

Underwriters, the people who are in charge of assessing risk for insurance companies, have decided that baby Alex’s pre-existing condition — obesity — makes him a high-risk patient and have denied him coverage.

His parents were shocked.

“I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. He’s breast-feeding. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill,” joked his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant.”


The beast you continue to actively support or just ignore because the end is justified by the means for you… denied a 4 month old, breastfed baby for the pre-existing condition of  obesity.

I hope you are happy with your creation.

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why a non-profit public option is important..

This was brought up on the MucheDumbre forum today in regards to a government involvement in healthcare..

Essentially, that is my problem with all of this. I already have a problem with the FDA and AMA being owned by drug companies, why make the problem bigger?

If this is how you feel, that private companies already have too many fingers in the political arena and are turning policy in their favor, then the only option for you is the public option.

As it stands now all healthcare options are  owned,regulated,price marked and everything else relating to  them by the for-profit health insurance companies. Your doctor doesn’t decide his fee, Cigna,Aetna,BCBS decide what and if they will pay him.It is the insurance company who decides what they will pay, who they will pay, where they will pay.. who can get their product and  who can keep their product even after paying for it for decades. Without a public option, the way it is now will look like the ‘better’ way in 5 years..

Think about it for  second… A not-for-profit public option that would be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects, going from the Government to the healthcare provider(i.e.. doctor,clinic,hospital)  is  a direct line to the ones doing the service. Yet, this has been deemed evil,socialistic,freedom robbing and bad because it is the government who is collecting the money and giving it out to the providers…

The other alternative is that we subsidized[pay for] not just the >5% who would chose a public option but all 45 million uninsured American with a credit that comes from private and public funds{i.e. taxpayers} . The difference is  that the money goes directly to the insurance company where they take their 30% cut and then decide whether to pay the doctors/hospitals the rest. It is a mainline from your wallet into the wallets of the same types you say you are against, the private companies- NOT the doctors and hospitals proving your care.

Somehow the government  paying the insurance company with taxpayer’s money instead of the provider being paid with the fees that those in the option have paid for is the better option for some. How it’s  better or less socialist for the government to subsidize the insurance companies is something I haven’t had explained to me even though I keep asking,but let’s keep moving.

Not only will the government subsidize the insurance company, but without regulation or something in the market competing with them, the insurance companies can get their ‘asking price’ for any policy they offer, meaning they can start charging the government whatever they want for the healthcare the government is buying from them..while still retaining the right to decide how much they will reimburse the doctors,hospitals or if they even will reimburse them.

What is being asked for here to control this is the choice of a public option, for  less than 5% of the uninsured in the United States .   Less than 5% of those uninsured now, not 20% of the entire population, 50% all of the United States of America, but >5% of the 18% who are without insurance..

I’m not being a smart-ass.. but read that again before moving on…

“Let me be clear — it would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance,” he said.

“No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates,

we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would

sign up.”-Obama health speech before congress

we’re talking millions of people yes,  but single digit millions.

The not-for-profit public  option will force these unregulated companies to atleast keep their fees reasonable. It won’t put them out of business, the creation of any reform will ensure 45 million more people buy their product. That’s not taking money away from them… that is a windfall of fat cash coming their direction.

The not-for-profit public option will force these companies to own up to their contracts and actually pay out more claims, because to deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition will become illegal.  It will force them to become a better product than they are right now, because  right now the ‘free market’ is allowing them to have all the marbles whether those be taxpayers marbles or private marbles. It is allowing them to collect whatever amount of money they want while choosing when and who to pay it out to. You purchased your insurance plan to cover your medical costs, you didn’t  purchase it so they company you chose could have complete autonomy to do with your money as they saw fit and thus leaving you responsible for the doctor bill at the same time.

Again, read this again. You pay the insurance company to cover your health care costs.. if they deem your claim unworthy, you are still responsible for the payment  to the doctor/clinic or hospital who treated you. So now you have paid the insurance company to keep your money and the doctor to treat you. Seriously people, if you just want to send your money to someone while still being responsible for your bills, I’ll be glad to accept it instead.



To put it simply, there are only two choices here.. .We either pay the insurance companies to insure the uninsured and thus, paying their fee for doing this  or we pay the doctors directly to treat the uninsured. If you don’t like big Pharma being involved in the politics and decision making, then you can’t be against something that  takes big insurance out of the politics and decision making on people lives.

What is wrong with giving the overwhelming majority of the people a choice of what is out there?  That’s all, a choice.

I found a quote from Bill Moyers on another blog that said

“we should be treating health as a condition, not a commodity.”

I can’t imagine it being put into simpler terms.

If you are wondering just how much around the fingers of the insurance CEO’s the politicians have wrapped themselves, there are calls for ‘tort reform’.  This will in essence regulate how much money a lawyer can be paid for his services. Why are we so against providers of the actual services being reimbursed for their product and so much in favor of the companies who offer no other service than to hold our money and decide who or if they will pay with it. If the doctors and lawyers charge too much, isn’t one of the tenents of ‘free market capitalism’ that they will be weeded out as their competitors  offered the same for less?  Isn’t government imposing the will of   a select few companies, who service is solely to pay these doctors and lawyers the money you gave them, isn’t imposing those companies will over the will of the ones doing  the service you hired them for,  more detrimental to  the idea of Capitalism?

****UPDATE****

sometimes a good video says it all…




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Chuck's story…

Anecdotal evidence is never a game-changer unless the subject of the evidence is a great friend who has accomplished so many things in his life and has made the best out of a crappy hand life dealt him. Then, sometimes.. not always but sometimes.. that kind of evidence strikes the right cord in the right people and then change really does come.

I’ve tried to give you guys the examples of people I knew, in the hopes that you may have known people like them and/or could feel the desperation of their situation and maybe want to find a way to help them, but I failed in bringing the people I was targeting over to just the idea that change is needed, much less my idea of what that change should be. But maybe this time, with the example being someone we all know, we all respect and care for.. maybe this is the straw that breaks the camels back for some people and maybe some of those will go on to help fight for what is desperately needed in this country, instead of trying to kill any hope at all of a reprieve for those that are stuck in a situation they had no control over.

Even though he gave me permission, I  still thought about changing the name in this piece and just sticking to the story. I knew that even with omitting the name most of us would know who I was talking about with just one or 2 words about him so there was no need for him to be anything other than anonymous to the rest, but I don’t want him to  be just another blind example, I want you to say his name in your head when you are fighting against health care reform. When you look at the words of the President

But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

I want the name Chuck Conners aka Uselesslegs in your thoughts when you blithely mock  this very real problem in our very broken system. I want Chuck’s story in the forefront of your brain, when you argue that we have the best care anywhere, that there is no such thing as that silly concept of doctors charging for a surgery when you only need a pill.. I want you to tell Chuck’s story to a friend or family member, and then explain to them why President OBama and the Democrats are just trying to kill this country and kill our ‘wonderful’ healthcare.

Before I continue, after Chuck told me his story and I started writing it I realized that this is the story for not having a public option, this is the reason why the government shouldn’t be in the medical insurance field. I know that there are blind loyalists  out there who will miss the point of this story and only latch on to the easy part of the problem, they’ll do this because they don’t have the intellect to see the big picture, they are the ‘death panelists’.. and ‘birthers’…the ideologue,  to them I will just nod and say “Yes Dear”.. I  was worried about writing this because the lack of brain mass some of these people have is more than made up by their vocal abilities and abhorrent behavior, but if I want to be true, if I want to be honest.. this type of story should never happen. It should not happen with private  or government run care. We need reform and anyone not seeing that, or not seeing that this is also a problem in the private sector needs to just go build another sign and leave the serious matters to the adults to figure out.

First a little back story for those that don’t know. Chuck has muscular dystrophy and it has progressed so over the past few years that he is completely dependent on a wheelchair to get around and someone to help him in and out of it. At 42, he’s already lived well past anyone’s guess…and he’s done so with a kind of dignity,humility and humor that I never knew existed. Chuck understands that people are uncomfortable with the disabled,  we don’t know how to act, where to look, what to say, so Chuck takes it upon himself to break that uncomfortable moment with a self deprecating joke or a well-rehearsed fart noise. My oldest daughter was one of the people he endeared himself to immediately with his ‘ice-breaking’. She knew of him and his disability, but she didn’t know of his humor..yet. When he called my house and she answered, she very innocently asked “How ya doing Chuck?”.. His reply was a simple scream “I”m in a wheelchair.. HOW DO YOU THINK I’M DOING!”. She immediately stared to cry because she thought she had done something to offend him, she was in the act of throwing the phone at me and spilling the story out when I couldn’t control my laughing any longer, I told her to listen to the phone, and there was Chuck laughing while at the same time trying to soothe her into knowing he was just kidding around with her. He hadn’t joked with her to be mean to her, but he knew, like all people in his or similar situations know, that us ‘normal’ people just don’t know how to react to them. He taught not only her, but my younger daughter, that it’s ok to look at someone in a wheelchair, or someone who is disabled, it’s ok to talk with them and be relaxed around them.. He taught them that it’s ok to treat them as normal and to laugh with and enjoy them just as they would anyone else. For that I say Thank you, because I didn’t learn this ease and comfort until I was much much older and Chuck was the one who taught it to me also.

But, the perfect example of Chuck and the way he looks at life is right there on the back of  his car, his registration tag, which simply reads…. “Gimpy”. The humor in that one word sums up the man that’s sitting the wheelchair inside that van.

When you hear Chucks life story, you can’t help but wonder what it would have been had he been physically ‘normal’, personally I don’t think he would have been as colorful, as funny.. and unique, what God took, he gave back in other ways.  The stories he can tell you about how his father scared him with a tarantula, how because of the ‘fear’ practical jokes his father would play on him, he ‘accidentally’ hit his father in the head with hammer to save his older brother, the teenage girl who peed on his couch when a stuffed squirrel was thrown at her, and my family’s favorite.. when his poncho got stuck in the wheels of his wheelchair and he was stuck going in circles until his companions could stop laughing long enough to extricate him.. These are the stories that make him who he is and had he not had a debilitating disease, I wonder if would he have had the same sense of humor?

At one time Chuck was THE Jerry’s Kid. His face graced many a magazine and poster. Not only was he part of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon’s we all used to sit around and watch all weekend, but he was also the youngest Jaycee and was an honorary member of the VFW. He’s made the best of what was given to him, but even with all of the support he was given by all of these great and selfless people and an amazing organization, if it wasn’t for the Medicaid/Medicare program, he wouldn’t have lived past his early teens.  The Muscular Dystrophy Association helps with what they can, but they are not equipped to deal with it all.

For people like Chuck, the idea of a private insurance is laughable.. to them, the idea that a government run system would destroy what this country was built on, is an insanity. It’s because of medicaid/medicare that people like Chuck aren’t regulated to some orphanage or ditch out behind the woodshed. It’s Medicare/Medicaid that pays for his medicine, his doctors, his wheelchair. It was medicaid that came into his house recently and installed rails on his ceiling for a ‘body lift’ that can take him from his bed, to his toilet, to his bath. Until that day earlier this year when the rail was installed, Chuck  hasn’t had an actual “bath” in years. Showers and sponge baths, sure, but a tub bath? No.  He doesn’t measure life in grand increments, he’s never been able to, but to be able to finally sit down in a tub was a grand day for him.

It wasn’t until the other day that Chuck also found out just how horrible our system really is. Government run or not, he found himself in a pile of shit with no way out of it.   The sad part is that I’m not exaggerating or hyper-ventilating hyperbole..

Chuck’s mother moved in with him some years ago when it became apparent that he was going to start needing more intensive around the clock care. He’s been able to do for  himself for so many years, but his disease isn’t one that goes into remission or gets better over time, even the strongest or most lucky eventually fall victim to disappearing strength due the shrinking muscles. It’s because of his mother that he doesn’t need a daily visiting nurse, or God-forbid to live in an assisted living facility. It’s also in my opinion what has kept him going all these years, had she been like other parents who just couldn’t do it anymore and put him in a state run, or if by some stroke of luck, privately  funded assisted living care, disease and disregard would have killed him years ago. It’s not that these places would have necessarily treated him poorly,  but it’s just the nature of the beast that they zap  your will to live in small increments over time and then there is the spread of colds,flu’s and other disease that affects someone like Chuck so detrimentally and are so rampant in the close confines of these homes. Yes, it’s my belief that his mothers sacrifice all these years has lead to his longevity, not just in the extended  years of  his life, but in the life he has lived over the years. A nursing home would have curb his spirit, his joy, his imagination.. it would have killed what makes Chuck, Chuck.

A couple of weeks ago Chuck’s mom was struck by an acute illness that required emergency surgery, which required an extended hospital stay and a long convalescence at home. In other words, now she needed to be cared for and not only was Chuck unable to do this in return for her sacrifice all these years for him, but his physical capabilities have deteriorated so much that he was left wondering who was going to care for him.  He knew that his brother would come up and help him once, maybe twice a week, but he was also painfully aware that there were going to be times when he would be in need of assistance and no one would be there to help. I don’t mean in need of showers or baths, cooking food to eat, or help getting into bed. No, Chuck has learned to go without a bath or shower and use a washcloth, he’s learned to eat whatever is handy in his line of reach, and as for sleeping.. well he can just roll his chair up to the dining room table and rest his head on his arms and get a few winks that way.  Things we all take for granted, things that are the extreme of simple to us.. well, he’s found his way to enjoy also. No, the help I am talking about is our own basic body functions..  urination and defecation.  Chuck has found a way around those too, he just stops eating and drinking.  But even this is not perfection.

Because he knew that he was going to need just a few minutes help each week until his mother had recovered, he called his medicaid office to ask for a visiting nurse or nursing assistant to come out 30 minutes a week to help him. Before I go any farther I want you to think about that. Try for a minute to think if you could limit yourself to a bathroom break at a predestined time, once or maybe twice during a 7 day period.  Do you have that kind of control, do you think it would be easy on a Monday to just say to  yourself  “Ok, I can’t poop again until Thursday at 9am” .  Welcome to Chuck’s world.

When he made his request to the insurance office, he didn’t ask for someone to come out every other day and bathe him, or every day to help him  on the toilet. Like I said, those things he’s been able to curb by not eating or drinking. But even the best starvation doesn’t keep you from having to use the bathroom for an entire week and he knew that. So Chuck’s humble request was for someone to come out once a week and help him with that problem, the rest of the time he would ration his food and drink and ‘hold it’ until his brother could come up on the weekend. The medicaid representative  was very helpful, she understood what he needed and told him she had just the thing for him.. a 90 day stay in an assisted living facility. Now, besides this being a death sentence for someone in Chucks condition, it was an absurdity to him because he didn’t need that kind of help, he just needed someone to come out and help him in and out of his chair for a couple minutes a week. He explained this again to the woman on the phone, but as sympathetic as she was, she couldn’t give him a visiting nurse or CNA.. she could only give him a 90 stay at his local old-folks home. Chuck, understandable upset, refused and then started the process of limiting his food,water and ‘holding it’…. and he almost made it.

It had only been a few days, he’d gone longer in the past, but whether it was something he ate that didn’t agree with him or whether nature just had to take it’s course, he failed in his attempted to not soil himself. It wasn’t much, just a little bit of a bowel movement, but it was enough that he knew he was sitting in his own shit and worse than that, there was nothing he could do about it anytime soon. Even if his brother came up right then, he was an hour away and Chuck would be sitting there in his own mess the whole time, and that is exactly what happened.

I’ve noticed that even the most ‘shy’ of us reach a point where it doesn’t matter who sees or smells what, we just need help and we need it right then. That’s the place were Chuck was, sitting in his own shit, waiting for his brother to come up and help wash him up. Help wash the area on Chuck off, was his clothes off and wash his chair off. What a humbling experience this must have been, it had to have the most humbling hour of his life. But it eventually came to the point where he didn’t care who came in and saw or smelled what… he just wanted help. He found out those moments waiting for his brother to come up and clean him, just what it meant that he was disabled. I’m know that through the years there had to be many other moments that came up and made him realize this fact, but I’m not sure that any humiliated him the way this time did.

The next day he again called and begged the insurance company for 1-30 minute visit a week so he could avoid a repeat of the day before, he was again denied. They would of course be happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars for him to unnecessarily stay in a 24 hr facility for 90 days, but no. .. they would not under any circumstances pay  $50-$75 a week for 5-6 weeks for a nurse to come to his home.

…and people say reform is not needed, that there is no waste in healthcare, that to cut any unnecessary procedures means a ‘rationing’ of care, that doctors don’t prescribe  that which is unnecessary over that which is needed in the name of greed and the all mighty dollar?

Chuck’s story has ended well, he finally got a hold of a worker who would listened to his sense that he didn’t need a 90 day,thousands of dollars treatment… he just need a 30 minute weekly visit. She set him up with not one, but 2 visits a week.

Whether it’s medicare,medicaid or private insurance.. reform is needed.  Had Chuck decided to take the medicaid office up on it’s offer, thousands of dollars would have been wasted when only a couple hundred were all that was needed. Those thousands could have gone to someone else care instead, someone who didn’t have insurance.. or 100 someone’s without insurance but in need of a flu shot this season. There are a million different ways that money could have been used properly, but because it is a Democrat asking for that reform, the psycho ‘right’ has an apoplectic  fit about him wanting to pull the plug on grandma, him wanting to stop seniors from getting hip-replacements and heart surgery or him wanting to kill of  the ‘damaged’ children of our society.

When a party says that the President who wants to talk to kids about the value of eduction and to stay in school is really trying to ‘indoctrinate’ them into a new version of ‘Hitler’s Youth’.. it’s time the adults stand up and tell these crazies to shut the fuck up already…the adults on both sides of the aisle. The sad part is the GOP’s lack of caring in all that is going on.  Some know that the fringe they are courting and allowing into the debate field are as bat-shit crazy as they come, but they know that they are also so desperate for an answer that if the Liberals are distracted enough by the insanity, they themselves will have time to actually come up with that answer. The crazies will eventually be throw out of the party,  the Conservatives aren’t that stupid, but until then the rest of will just sit in our chairs… not eating.. not drinking.. and praying that we don’t shit ourselves before our brother comes to rescue us from situation that we can’t just ‘pull our boot-straps up’ and get out of on our own.


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