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Band-Aids and Aspirin

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It's been a while since I last posted on this site, or any other site for that matter. I got caught up both in doing my taxes (Obama's tax cuts saved me over $3000), and dealing with numerous and expensive home repairs mandated upon me by my homeowners insurance underwriter. I switched insurance companies, which took a fair amount of my time, with some time of what remained assigned to those repairs I deemed necessary and not merely cosmetic.

But the biggest issue impeding my output is that I have had a relapse in my health. I first wrote about this back in February, and expanded upon the topic since here on Blogcritics. Things have not gotten better since I was last able to write. Testing still has produced no meaningful results, but my symptoms are worsening. If my research is accurate (I can't know without certain tests being conducted – and you just KNOW the lab will act just on my asking!) I think I have to get my doctor focused on treating my illness and not my symptoms. I'm tired of being a Guinea Pig for the latest barely-tested but profitable pharmaceuticals which cause more problems than they solve.

I had to go the ER one day due to the sort of head pain for which Bret Michaels still gets so much coverage for suffering, even though I didn't come near to having a hemorrhage like he did. But it took some powerful drugs to get me back to having a merely bad headache. I have had to watch my activities ever since as "Too much stress" was deemed to be the cause of that immediate ailment, and having a headache is now a constant in my life. Only the intensity varies.

I also didn't have it as bad as did the mother of blogger Jack Jodell, author of The Saturday Afternoon Post, who was hustled out of necessary medical care by a "hospitalist". Said "hospitalist" is apparently intended both to save the hospital some money on "unnecessary" treatment and to "ease the workload" of the primary care physician. Jodell relates on how they had this "hospitalist" replaced with another, who discovered that cancer was the reason for the serious symptoms his mother was suffering. But who -on an official level- is really going to care about that when there is big money involved? Clearly her own physician doesn't, or there would be no "hospitalist" taking over the rounds.

I got the feeling when I was in the ER that they were in a hurry to move me along as well. Shortly after I was given the powerful painkiller which reduced my agony, I passed out. The attending physician came to release me, but as I was out cold he "allowed" me one hour to nap before awakening me and sending me on my way. I really was in no shape to go anywhere, and I didn't get off the unit before I was hit with a hard wave of nausea. I vomited messily in their only restroom. But I know when someone thinks it's time for me to leave. Despite the continued nausea and vertigo, I allowed my son Bookseller to drive me home to complete what recuperation I would have.

Is this what health care has become? Little more than a room rented by the hour to perform messy acts not suitable for family viewing only to be evacuated when the next paying customer comes along?

Now that the Obama Health Insurance Company Profit Subsidy Act has passed, the focus of the media has now shifted to just what Obama has delivered. Obama flits about in the nation spinning about what a wonderful job his administration has done with this bill, which "provides more control for consumers, more accountability for insurance companies and more affordable choices for uninsured Americans." Is he ignoring that new Gallup poll which finds that 61 percent or respondents remain concerned about the costs of a serious medical condition, not to mention that 48 percent still fret about normal health care costs? One has to wonder if Obama isn't treating symptoms and not the illness.

Over at Insurance Technology -whatever that means- contributing editor Susan J. Campbell discusses corporate plans to dump employee insurance coverage, opting instead to eat what penalty the new law mandates. Such a move would save millions if not billions just in costs. Administering their programs would also save big bucks and reduce the need for certain employees. Campbell concluded with the sardonic observation that any company cost saving from dropping employee health coverage in lieu of paying the fine won't end up in the employees' pay checks to subsidize a replacement plan.

Victor Godinez of The Dallas Morning News examined this issue using AT&T as the model. AT&T, which showed a 2009 profit of $12.5 billion, spent $2.4 billion that year to cover medical costs of its 283,000 employees. Dropping this coverage would result in AT&T being subjected to an annual penalty of $600 million, a net savings of $1.8 billion which could go straight to the executive bonus fund, among other things. Who gives a damn about the employees when there is big money involved? Clearly these employers have an incentive not to, and are making plans to implement this action, or there would be no reason to discuss the looming loss of coverage for their employees. For the record, AT&T insists it has no plans to end employee health care coverage. That would be "for now" as economic conditions could change rapidly.

Rep. Henry Waxman attempted to investigate what this strategy entailed, but after receiving over 1,000 pages of AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar and Deere company memos related to this topic, dropped his investigation and deemed the proposed action as being “proper and in accordance with SEC rules." It's as if the government has shot its wad while loading the cannon and now has nothing left but empty rhetoric to shoot at the problem. If I were a Democratic congressperson, I might obey Obey and bolt for the exit also. I wouldn't have to be around when the Republicans slit the throat of health care upon regaining power in the Congress.

But what about the people who need health care? Dr. Marc Siegel, writing in Forbes, has little comfort to offer:

I am compelled to tell my patients that there are no miracles coming and in fact nothing will change right away or for the better. They will still spend a long time in my waiting room and in the waiting room of the hospital ER. [I did not. I was in the ER within 10 minutes, and there was already a line in the waiting room.] They will still find that many of the tests I order are not approved by their insurance, neither public nor private. [This has happened to me.] My patients will continue to discover that they are often compelled by their insurance to take a different medication than the one I initially prescribe for them. [This has also happened to me.]

Dr. Siegel goes on to complain that Medicare no longer covers his costs and that he won't accept such patients. He offers no solution to his dilemma, nor to the larger one regarding health care in America.

I have said in the past that the only way real reform for the health care issues in America is for the entire system to collapse. Obama's sorry excuse for legislation is little more than a slick banana peel on the ramp. Inspiring America's employers to bail out on there employees long before any benefits from this bill can come about (not that I see many such) only increases the slippery slope, and hastens the time when this collapse will occur. I no longer see it as "if".

So as my medical needs become more pressing, I will have nothing to fall back upon once my personal assets are expended. As there isn't enough there to complete any treatment for my condition (not that a cure is even possible yet – and if there were my insurance wouldn't cover it, and I couldn't support it), and as I have little faith in modern medicine not bleeding me dry down to the last copper-nickel-alloy coin while not curing me or easing my discomfort, I am not going to allow that failure to affect the future support of my family. I have had my run, and I did OK. I refuse to spend everything I have on a losing bet and leave them with nothing.

As the head of the household (when my wife allows it, that is! JOKE! ) I have to be sure that my family is prepared to pick up where I leave off. I am not about to step into the grave, but my time to act is now. I have a wife of 35 years who deserves something other than impoverishment and digging through dumpsters for nourishment. I still have two children whose future avoidance of a similar state requires completion of their ever more expensive college educations. There is no place in this world for someone who expects to have even a comfortable existence working for a living, so college -while not any guarantee- does enhance their prospects for something better.

As the current experience in Greece demonstrates, it is the common working people who pay for the excesses of their economic elites. They pay with their jobs, their retirements, their health care and education benefits, and so much more. I don't want my survivors to lose what little I leave them. I want them to be able to do better for their children than I did for mine, and they are likely to face worse prospects than I did. Every cent is going to matter a great deal – and no thanks to Obama, Wall Street, or Corporate America.

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About pessimist

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    My dear friend, you’re up for a tirade from our liberal friends, Handy and Glenn.

    Be prepared for it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If I understand it correctly, not one physician was a privy to drafting the Obamacare legislation.

    I’m not certain how accurate this is, but so says my sister and my brother-in-law, both physicians with over thirty years of practice.

  • John Wilson

    Indeed, physicians wanting to testify before Baucus’s committee were handcuffed and jailed.

    It’s a put-up deal, and no political party is free of complicity.

    Our Masters have revealed the iron ‘invisible hand’ within the velvet glove of the Ownership Society.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Realist –

    I’m sorry for the situation you’re in. As I understand it, your situation has not improved one whit because of ‘Obamacare’. So I have to ask you the first of three questions: Has your personal access to health care gotten worse specifically because of ‘Obamacare’? (and do you really think it would have gotten better if the Republicans had had their way?)

    Right now, my oldest son is napping on the couch. He just drove back in from Las Vegas last night, after several months of finding out that the job market down there really sucks. But we told him something today that made him really happy. You see, because of ‘Obamacare’, next month I’m going to be able to add him back on to my insurance (Tricare)…if only for one year until he turns 27.

    Why is this such a big deal? Because (thanks to rheumatic fever and ongoing heart problems he’s had since he was 15) once he became an adult and was no longer eligible to be covered by my insurance, nobody, but NObody would cover him. But thanks to the ‘Obamacare’ that you hate so much, next month my son will have health coverage that he couldn’t get otherwise.

    That brings me to the second question – do you realize that the health care law is a work in progress, that the benefits are gradually added over years? It would be nice if we could’ve had everything we want right now, and not everyone will live to see all these benefits…but they’re coming. It is law.

    Lastly, do you know everything that is included in the health reform law? Check out this site, where you can find out what it DOES do (and when) for your particularly state.

    I know I’ve gone further than three questions, but do you really think the status quo we had for so long was better? Do you really think that the Republicans would have pushed through reform of ANY type?

    And one more thing – do you really understand WHY Obama allowed the compromises he did? Because of a little something called DEMOCRACY. You see, the Republicans were voting as a solid bloc against ANY reform…and there were more than a few Blue Dog Democrats (DINO’s, really), and in order to get their votes Obama had to make compromises.

    Whether you like it or not, that is how democracy works. Nobody gets everything they want, nor do they get it right away. That’s why it’s referred to sausage-making – it’s really ugly, but when you finally get to bite into the final product, it can be really, really good.

    Like watching my oldest son’s face light up when he found out that yes, he WILL have access to health insurance.

  • http://populistmanifesto.blogspot.com/ Realist

    Has your personal access to health care gotten worse specifically because of ‘Obamacare’? (and do you really think it would have gotten better if the Republicans had had their way?)

    You miss the point about my mentioning Obamacare. What I was pointing out was that there is little discussion in the media now that the bill was passed. It isn’t going to affect me and mine until at least 2014. And no, the GOP would not have done better. All both parties are doing is attempting to smear their specific color of lipstick on the Obamacare pig.

    But thanks to the ‘Obamacare’ that you hate so much, next month my son will have health coverage that he couldn’t get otherwise.

    This is of course a good thing for him, but this provision doesn’t affect me and mine.

    That brings me to the second question – do you realize that the health care law is a work in progress, that the benefits are gradually added over years? It would be nice if we could’ve had everything we want right now, and not everyone will live to see all these benefits…but they’re coming. It is law.

    Until the Republicans regain the majority and reverse as much as they can get away with. Obama’s record with reform is terrible. We who are to benefit have to wait months and years while those to be “reformed” get away with murder until the regulations go into effect. Look at consumer credit and student loans in particular.

    Lastly, do you know everything that is included in the health reform law?

    No. I have been too busy trying to get health care as it currently exists.

    But do you really think the status quo we had for so long was better?

    Please, Glen, be serious! My gripes are both with the shoddy status quo as well as the lame “reform” Obama was willing to settle for.

    Do you really think that the Republicans would have pushed through reform of ANY type?

    Please, Glen, be serious! We all know that the Republicans only care about the unborn. I have not been in that group for many decades.

    And one more thing – do you really understand WHY Obama allowed the compromises he did? Because of a little something called DEMOCRACY. You see, the Republicans were voting as a solid bloc against ANY reform…and there were more than a few Blue Dog Democrats (DINO’s, really), and in order to get their votes Obama had to make compromises.

    And sold out any hope of real reform. If Obama wasn’t such a sellout, we might have gotten something meaningful that the Republicans won’t reverse the first chance they get.

    If you are done putting words in my post that I didn’t write, we can yield the floor to other commenters.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Hell, Realist, every time I read your articles, I become more and more grateful that we left America for a land with real socialized medicine that it can afford. That you should have to think of dying rather than impoverishing your loved ones is a sickening comment on how far the country I once loved and called home has slid from being a quality place to live. America sounds more and more like Central Asia daily. I keep wondering when the men are going to start to pull down their pants and defecate in public?

    I have to wonder if Jeannie Danna (you remember her, don’t you – the hot Obama-momma waving the pom-poms for “Obamacare”?) will be along to commiserate with you, at least. It’s less even than an aspirin or a bandaid – but it is something.

    I wish I knew of a way to help you. When we’ve been in trouble, help has come through for us from the most unexpected of sources. But I don’t know, my friend. That hurts to write more than anything else.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    But thanks to the ‘Obamacare’ that you hate so much, next month my son will have health coverage that he couldn’t get otherwise.

    For a year?

    Listen to yourself. You’re defending Obama when your son gets a crumb. Your son is only getting a year of coverage. Listen to yourself. Doesn’t he deserve complete coverage?

    I heard Obama’s speech patting himself on the back for such a good job. I am not sure what he’s even talking about. The change for seniors seems to be that when they fall into the (what $5000?) gap, Obama might send them a check for something like $300?

    I know our situation has not changed an iota. My husband is insured. Our business has lost its largest customer and now we are awaiting our fate. My husband needs a heart transplant. That he has MRSA (This is the latest antibiotic-resistant form of staph–known as the superbug–that is guarantees him maximal problems once his immune system is lowered.)

    Will he opt for death or for the heart transplant? If he opts for the transplant will the business crash leaving us with no insurance and him with the fate of needing $5k worth of drugs /month and no way to pay for them?

    If I divorce him will his social security be low enough to get him some kind of gov’t medical coverage as a single person? Or will he miss the mark because he makes $200 too much?

    Thanks Obama, your plan may kill my husband. Oh, I see when you were elected you didn’t really mean ALL seniors would be okay. Hope your son doesn’t end up having anything that takes longer than a year to treat, Glenn. You know he will. You should be outraged.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    I was rather harsh to you in a comment elsewhere, a comment on another article. I had no idea you were going through this hell, and apologize for hurting your feelings if I did….

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Realist, sorry to hear about your health and your ongoing problems. I’m still reserving my opinion of Obamacare for when the you know what really hits the fan.

    Will it really help some people? Will it really hurt? I don’t know. My son will have the ability to come back to our plan but doesn’t want to. Our plan covers very little and San Francisco has their own health care, as long as you work a part time job.

    As a small business, the verdict is up on how much this is going to hurt. Obviously with the big businesses like AT & T, they are probably going to make something if they choose not to provide health care. We’re not in the same ball park. It is unclear if 20 hour a week workers are going to be counted, and those who already have plans with their other jobs, we don’t know if they will be counted with our employees or not.

    Any way you slice it, this is a huge mess, and I feel it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy and Realist –

    Both of you are in very, very tough situations and I don’t envy what you’re both going through – but what neither of you are understanding is that this ‘Obamacare’ that both of you revile so much is the best we could get for NOW.

    Why? Because if either of you had paid attention, you’d know already that because the Republicans were ALL – repeat, ALL – against health care reform, Obama could not spare even a single vote on the Democratic side in the Senate.

    What this meant is that the “Blue Dog” Democrats effectively held a sword over the bill…and the president cannot ORDER those in Congress to vote how he wants them to vote.

    We liberals hated this, too. We wanted single-payer right now…and we couldn’t get it, thanks to the DINO’s. We wanted a public option (which the House DID pass)…and we couldn’t get it, thanks to the DINO’s in the Senate. Thanks to DINO’s like Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson and Max Baucus.

    No, President Obama could NOT ‘order’ these people to accept what HE wanted…and the Republicans gave him NO room to maneuver. So he had to compromise, and we’re stuck with ‘Obamacare’.

    Did he have a choice? No. And never mind that he had no real choice, you’re both pillorying him for not giving you everything you wanted right away.

    What you both need to understand is that this was the best we could get right now. Hopefully, ‘Obamacare’ will take the same path that Social Security did when it was first passed by FDR, and that Welfare did when it was first passed by LBJ…for in both cases, they both covered much more than they originally did as the years went by.

    No, ‘Obamacare’ is not everything that ANY of us want, including me – and the ones you can blame for us not having all the coverage we needed right away is NOT Obama, but (1) the Republicans who opposed HCR in lockstep and gave him absolutely NO room to maneuver, and (2) the ‘Blue Dog’ DINO’s who held the program hostage until they got their respective pounds of flesh. I’ve heard several political commentators mention that it’s a minor miracle that Obama was even able to accomplish this much, what with the opposition he faced from the bloc-opposition form the Republicans and the obstinacy of the DINO’s.

    Benjamin Franklin said it best – “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Right now, we’ve got a bird in our hands. It’s not as filling as having the two we really wanted, but it’s a hell of a lot better than having none at all.

    My oldest son will have coverage for about 15 months…which is 15 months more than he would’ve had otherwise. If he’s able to survive until 2014, he’ll have coverage for the rest of his life. I hate the fact that there’s a gap of no coverage…but I am deeply grateful for the coverage that he WILL have, despite the best efforts of Republicans, DINO’s, and the trillion-dollar health-insurance industry to fight it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “I got the feeling when I was in the ER that they were in a hurry to move me along as well.”

    Unusual ER. The usual approach is to stick you in a corner and forget about you for hours.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    You are good with the hand-spreading routine – but what you need to get straight is that Obama-care will not last more than a few years before it breaks the bank – and even then, its bureaucracy will be so hated that people will attack the buildings they are in.

    Enjoy it while it lasts – and find yourself a good Philippine doctor for when you finally make the big move.

    As you can see, not everybody else will be able to enjoy this pathetic “health plan”.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The tendency of writers to overstate and exaggerate makes it difficult to discuss this issue with anything approaching fairness. This has applied frequently to the right-wingers on here, but in the current case it applies to Realist and Cindy.

    The current health system is full of bad incentives and very undesirable consequences. The compromise legislation that was passed improves some but not all of those elements.

    To focus on individual holes/shortcomings in the bill [which are in every bill, always] and use that as the basis for blistering accusations of lying and murder against the president…well, that’s venting, that’s not a real argument/discussion.

    If 32 million more people have health insurance five years from now, people who have no current coverage, that is some kind of progress. Health coverage will still not be as cheap as we prefer, and 32 million newly covered is still not universal care.

    But there’s nothing to prevent additional legislation in the coming years to improve the bill.

  • John Wilson

    The USA needs UHC. Every American should have easy access to competent medical care for little cost.

    The appropriate insurance pool is the entire population.

    Using withheld medical care to bludgeon people into higher financial achievement is perverse.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    And, Glenn,

    For your sake, I hope the Filipinos clean up their act with selling kids as sex slaves for your sake. Otherwise, a Divine Judgment will destroy the place.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    If I understand it correctly, not one physician was a privy to drafting the Obamacare legislation.

    Well, the American Medical Association supported the bill, if not with great enthusiasm. And there are 16 physicians in Congress: 11 are Republicans and 5 are Democrats. Two serve in the Senate and 14 in the House, 7 of whom are on the three committees who worked on the preliminary health care bill.

    Not sure whether your own relatives are Republicans or Democrats, but I’m not sure you yourself would much like a health bill written entirely by doctors, many of whom are conservative.

    But many doctors apparently supported the “public option” that was floated during negotiations on the bill. I would have liked that too. But it couldn’t pass the Senate! So how could it happen?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Realist devotes a significant part of his article to speculation that companies may drop insurance coverage. This would indeed be a disaster, but it will be no more likely under the Obama plan than it is right now. Both of the articles he link to emphasize that this is all speculative.

    Currently, no employer has to offer insurance and they face no penalty other than workers choosing to work somewhere else.

    Under the new law, they will face stiff government fines. So how does the new law make it more likely that they will drop coverage? Doesn’t make sense.

    Employee health coverage still provides a huge tax deduction for large companies, so I can’t see this as likely.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Handy –

    It’s grown apparent to me over the year or so on this site that those who are conservative tend to focus on their own personal situation and not pay much attention to the big picture.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    I may criticize the actions of the nation of Israel, but I do not disparage the conduct of the Jewish people. While I am not by any means Filipino, I do take some offense at your disparaging remarks and unsavory implications concerning the Philippines…because they are people like any other, and you’d be surprised how much they have in common with the Jews e.g. they tend to be downtrodden by the other ‘great peoples’ of the world, and they’ve had a diaspora of sorts and can be found in almost any country. In fact, like the Jews, the second-greatest number of Filipinos is found in America (only Mexico has more immigrants in America).

    If you’d learn to appreciate the challenges other people face, and learn to appreciate their cultures, you wouldn’t be so quick to disparage other peoples.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why would you assume, Handy, that Realist’s position is more subjective than yours simply because he speaks from personal concerns and you don’t? Is this a relevant criterion, and if so, I fail to see why. The truth is, no one really know how Obamacare is going to unfold, and we all going to have to see how it does guess what? – in invididual cases. I think it rather interesting that you stay at the level of statistics and derive a great deal of comfort from that. It’s individual human lives that we should be talking about, and dismissing individual concerns just isn’t very convincing to me. Besides, the last I check, Realist is far from being a conservative, so perhaps you ought to amend your nomenclature.

    As to the question you raised earlier, most physicians are dropping Medicare patients like hot potatoes and certainly refuse to take new ones. Not only are the Medicare reimbursements being cut; there is a climate of uncertaintly, as Medicare reimbursement rates can now be adjusted and readjusted every two months or so.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    1. I didn’t call Realist a conservative; I specifically contrasted his and Cindy’s comments with right-wingers’. And I often like his articles.

    2. He takes a pretty negative position toward the health bill, and I responded, on the merits. What does subjectivity have to do with it?

    3. My comments on this thread have not been statistic-heavy. And I care a lot about the human costs, both of the current awful system and the compromise health bill. Why do you think otherwise? But I care about real human costs, not hypothetical ones based on false assumptions or worst-case scenarios. What purpose does that serve?

    4. What does your second paragraph have to do with the health reform bill? Real universal health care would be “Medicare for all.” The health bill just passed is not that, and it isn’t Medicare. At any rate, “Most physicians are dropping Medicare patients like hot potatoes” is a false statement. Prove otherwise.

    For the record, a France or UK type of government health system, which I would support as much as you would, might still not help cases like Realist’s or like Cindy’s husband’s. And a government-run system was never in the cards for the US, under this or any other president.

    Sometimes you just type a lot of words, without actually saying anything.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And you’re too impressed with your own content, Handy, haven’t you noticed?

    As to Realist’s charecterization, your compadre did and you did not bother to correct him.

    You really ought to apply for an anchor person on MSNBC, Handy, because all I hear from you is the same old talking points – a rehash of the old spiel. And that’s no better than what the people at Fox do as far as their methods are concerned. You’re just as ideological as they are.

    Again, it’s really tiresome. Try to think for yourself, and outside the box, if possible, than constantly be recounting the mantra.

    I gave you an assignment to listen to Wolff’s video lecture (as per Cindy’s link). I bet you haven’t done it. Yet, you find it more profitable to keep on repeating yourself ad nauseum trying to convince all and sundry how blue the sky really is.

    Well, I’m not convinced. And if this is your idea of the kind of progress we need -because that’s how things get done and there is no other way – than indeed we have nothing to talk about.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Fine, no problem, bye.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ rogernowosielski

    I was being rhetorical, Handy, just trying to make my point. I don’t believe in constant valorizing of this administration as though it was manna from heaven. Let be a bit critical of it – of what it fails to do, of how little people’s lives are improved.

    Not to say I necessarily blame them; I blame the system. So do try to stumble through Wolff’s lecture, and let’s talk.
    I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t think it could benefit both of us.

    I apologize for having gone over the top, but it was only to shake you up.

  • Franco

    4 – Glenn Contrarian

    Right now, my oldest son is napping on the couch. He just drove back in from Las Vegas last night, after several months of finding out that the job market down there really sucks. But we told him something today that made him really happy. You see, because of ‘Obamacare’, next month I’m going to be able to add him back on to my insurance (Tricare)…if only for one year until he turns 27.

    Why is this such a big deal? Because (thanks to rheumatic fever and ongoing heart problems he’s had since he was 15) once he became an adult and was no longer eligible to be covered by my insurance, nobody, but NObody would cover him. But thanks to the ‘Obamacare’ that you hate so much, next month my son will have health coverage that he couldn’t get otherwise.

    What you are asserting is misleading and untrue.

    Your son my not have been eligible to be covered by your existing insurance, but he could have gotten other insurance coverage, it just would have cost more. That’s the part you are being dishonest about.

    I had rheumatic fever and the associated heart problems that go with it. What I could not get from Insurance companies was the same cheaper coverage as those who did not have rheumatic fever, I had to pay more.

    Why? Because the chances of my needing health care for my condition is clearly higher then for someone without this condition. If I did not pay more for my insurance then that extra risk and cost associated with me would have had to be added to the less expensive insurance policies of those who did not posse such risks. So they would then have become responsive for something they are not even responsible for. How is that fare to all those people?

    When you assert “You see, because of ‘Obamacare’, next month I’m going to be able to add him back on to my insurance (Tricare)…if only for one year until he turns 27.” You are failing to account for the once added costs you would have had to pay without Obamacare. Those costs do not just magically disappear as you seem to belive.

    What your saying is you are going to be able to get him cheaper coverage because under Obamacare you do not have to fork out the extra costs in covering your unemployed son for his high risk condition. So by your not having to pay the exact costs, which still exist, they have now be dispersed across all the taxpayers under the Obamacare scheme

    Your happy as a pig is shit living off the welfare dime and loving it, and whats worst of all, you don’t even know it and your teaching your 26 year old unemployed son to do the same thing.

    Glenn says….do you really think the status quo we had for so long was better?

    The status quo of costs acocated with risk, as in your sons case and mine, are still the same as before. The only differaceis now they can be socialized accorss the pupblic at its expence. So to answer your questionu, yes, we were better off before we took on a Greece type systme of the absurdity that everone thinks they can life at the expecies of everyone else.

    Glenn says…..And one more thing – do you really understand WHY Obama allowed the compromises he did? Because of a little something called DEMOCRACY.

    And the bull shit just keeps on coming! Obama made no heart felt compromise for the sake of democray. He is for a single payer state run medical system. He only speaks of the public option to get his plan in the door so he and his ilk can ram home single payer on us in future.

    Glenn, to not know that in the face of all the evidence is to be brain dead.

    You see, the Republicans were voting as a solid bloc against ANY reform…

    Flat out flat lie! But then again, that is the only way you can sell it, just like your master that now feeds you at the public trough.

    Like watching my oldest son’s face light up when he found out that yes, he WILL have access to health insurance.

    How inspirational Glenn. Only problem is you want to five at the expences of every one else through a forced insurance program by the goverment with is 100% based on redistubution of other peoples personal property. Something the law is supposet to pprotect at all times.

    Correction: Like watching my oldest son’s face light up when he found out that yes, he WILL get to eat at the public trough.

    I disgress

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Thanks Obama, your plan may kill my husband.”

    Sorry about your troubles, which must have you not thinking clearly but how is it Obama gave your husband a heart condition? What’s killing him is his genetics, so take it up with his family. You seem to be under the mistaken impression life is fair and everyone else owes you something. It would be nice if they did, but they don’t.

    “I gave you an assignment to listen to Wolff’s video lecture”

    An assignment? Talk about being impressed with one’s content. What’s tiresome is your mistaken superiority that litters this site. I have an assignment for you, Roger. Get the f over yourself.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good ole LB – always takes things literally.

    Thanks for the contribution, though. I’ll keep it in mind, if only to make you feel warm and cozy.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Franco –

    1. I didn’t insult you. You threw the first ball of mud. If you’ll read back through ALL my posts and comments and articles on this and every other blog and forum I’ve been on, you’ll find NOT ONE INSULT that I’ve made against anyone. EVER.

    2. I’m retired Navy. Unlike many of my fellow retirees, I didn’t make a single false claim for my disabilities. I’ve never drawn a single DIME of unemployment. I’m running my own business. My wife and I take care of medically-fragile children. My oldest son is about a year away from finishing his MBA. He’ll go back on my Tricare (for which I won’t pay a dime extra) for about 15 months. I didn’t tell you everything about his medical condition, and I won’t.

    In other words, guy, I’ve EARNED what I have and my family and I do NOT “feed from the public trough” as you seem to think. Perhaps you should open your eyes, get rid of your assumptions, and realize that maybe, just maybe liberals aren’t the evil lazy stupid people you seem to think we are.

    I recommend you learn who people are and what they do and what they have done in their lives before you start making assumptions about them…and you just might learn what we learn in the military – that in order to GET respect, you must GIVE respect. That’s a life lesson that you can benefit from…if you’ve the courage to learn it.

  • http://populistmanifesto.blogspot.com/ Realist

    Allow me to add the latest upset in my travels through MedicalCareLand.

    I received a letter from my doctor “reminding” me that it was time for a set of blood tests, and that I was to call the office and make an appointment within the next two weeks. The earliest appointment they had to offer that I could get was just after the Fourth of July. Two weeks!!! It is to laugh! My blood tests will essentially be meaningless considering how my symptoms keep getting worse!

    Maybe I should take a crate of chickens to Nevada and see a doctor there.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Franco, that is a despicable post.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And, El B: Thanks. Someone needed to say it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Realist: where are you located? I have lived in New York and in Boston since the 1980s, and I have never had to wait for any medical procedure or had trouble scheduling an appointment with any doctor.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression life is fair and everyone else owes you something. It would be nice if they did, but they don’t.

    I am not under the impression that life is fair. But, life should be humane and it should be just. We are capable of that. Children, who often use the ‘that’s not fair’ claim are correct. we should all aim for that.

    As far as owing someone something…I think that healthcare should be a right based on the medical knowledge created by humankind, not by insurance companies, nor by gov’ts. And created at great expense to the average income, not wealthy, person who essentially pays the most for its subsidy.

    And if that is not enough, I don’t accept your arbitrary decision (or indoctrinated belief) that leaders should decide what coverage the populous should have. I believe that we should decide ourselves. I don’t know anyone who has voted that they personally and their own family should not received adequate medical care.

    A requisite to being a reasonable social human being is to care that other humans have basic needs met. Hope you aim to become a human soon….the world could use a few more.

  • http://populistmanifesto.blogspot.com Realist

    I live in California, handyguy. Doctors here are plentiful, but my insurance requires that I see one of their approved providers if I expect them to cover a portion of my costs. I have lost doctors I liked because they got tired of being low balled on fees by my company and resigned their association.

    I’m getting very tired of this racket, and am beginning to consider paying out of pocket rather than having to go through a committee for approvals. At least then I could write much of my expenses off on my taxes. Isn’t that what conservatives do, Glenn?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Realist –

    You and Cindy both have my sympathy – you really do. Again, I don’t envy either of you. But by the same token, I have to point out the facts – and it is a fact that Obama didn’t WANT the kind of health care reform we wound up with, but it was the best he could get when he was up against a solid bloc of 40 Republican senators, Blue Dog DINO’s, and the trillion-dollar-plus health-insurance industry.

    The glass is half full…and as time goes on, in four years from now when 30M+ Americans finally get the health insurance they don’t have today, the glass will be more than half full. It will never, ever be completely full, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the status quo to which the Republicans would’ve consigned all of us.

    I know all this is only cold comfort to you and to Cindy…but this is the bigger picture. I hate quoting Star Trek (who got it from someone else, I’m sure), but the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one. I’m sorry that the benefits aren’t coming soon enough to help you…but they are helping my son.

  • STM

    Doc: “Unusual ER. The usual approach is to stick you in a corner and forget about you for hours.”

    There too, eh.

    But on Cindy’s issue regatrding her ill husband: at least heart transplants and the immune-suppresant drugs required will cost you zilch here, as will treating any chronic illness.

    For all its faults, I’m glad I don’t have the stress that Cindy and her husband are having to go through right, along with obviously millions of other Americans.

    My wife works in a heart/lung transplant unit: you can’t jump the queue or pay over the odds to get a transplant … everyone is treated equally, billionaire or struggling farmer from the bush. And it’s allocated on need and the life-threatening potential of not getting new hearts or lungs.

    I can’t understand a society that doesn’t provide decent free health care to its citizens … seriously. The US is the onlt developed western nation that puts its citizens through this needless worry at the time when they are most vulnerable, all because of some ridiculous belief by a section of the population (probably a minority too) that UHC = socialism. How does a nation like America keep confusing socialism with community. There’s a big diff.

    Pay your taxes, expect to get something tangible back. Just take a small chunk of the money that goes into those huge fleets of rusting warships designed to fight a war against an enemy that no longer exists.

    Voila … healthcare for the nation.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    It is really straightforward to comprehend Stan when you consider that American insurance companies co-own their government with their petrol companies.

    Jeff

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy and Realist. I am so sorry to hear that things have gotten worse for both of you since I was around here last. I don’t even know what to say, but I wanted to say at least that.

  • STM

    Make that “Cindy and her husband and Realist”.

    Didn’t mean to leave you out mate.

  • STM

    Jeff … it’s a sad state of affairs, really. I don’t think I am far off the mark when I (only half-jokingly) refer to the US as an oligarchy.

    The thing is, when we introduced our Medicare system here, it created jobs both in the government AND private sectors.

    I have medical insurance, and the stuff they offer is amazing. I always go as a private patient even in a public hospital, which means I’m fully covered both ways and my out of pocket expenses so far, including for my daughter’s chronic illness, have been next to nothing.

    Had they not been, and had I had to do this under the American system, it could possibly have been disastrous.

    And I know America has the best medical care for those who can pay, but it’s not that far behind here for those who can’t … and not behind at all in some areas.

    I seriously can’t get my head around the notion that provision of medical care in the US is primarily a money-making business … with all the dramas that entails in regard to the bottom line and ability to pay.

    Sheer madness.

  • Ruvy

    Stan,

    it’s a sad state of affairs, really. I don’t think I am far off the mark when I (only half-jokingly) refer to the US as an oligarchy….I seriously can’t get my head around the notion that provision of medical care in the US is primarily a money-making business … with all the dramas that entails in regard to the bottom line and ability to pay. Sheer madness.

    Giving a man a fair go: it’s one thing the Americans never learned that you Aussies did. Maybe because you have a root culture of prisoners rather than aristocrats. In America, the basic rule is “never give a sucker an even break”.

    And America is an oligarchy – you are right on the money.

  • STM

    Ruve, I never really thought about it that way but when I look at some of this stuff, especially regarding health care and the mess America’s in over it, I wonder sometimes if the fervent desire in this country (possibly going back to the convict era) to have everyone treated equally and fairly actually stacks up better in egalitarian Oz without a Bill of Rights than it does in America with one.

    Australia’s de facto national motto: “A fair go for everyone”. It’s not lip service either. Everyone does get a fair go.

    I just don’t understand what seems like a pure business mentality in the US surrounding provision of health care. I’m not just saying it, either: it’s a totally foreign concept to me and my understanding of how health care system work.

    I agree there are quite a few aspects of it that should be approached with a business rationale (manufacture of pharmaceuticals for instance), but there are many others that shouldn’t.

  • John Wilson

    Many lower middleclass Americans think monopolies and oligarchs are good because they themselves have always been able to find a niche in those enterprises. But finding that niche and holding it requires a lot of Praise of The Emperors Clothes.

  • Franco

    28 – Glenn Contrarian

    Franco – I didn’t insult you. You threw the first ball of mud.

    Yes you did, and others as well…..the moment you tried to make me/us all believe that without Obamacare your son would have been left out in the cold unable to have medical insurance coverage. And that is not true. He could have had insurance coverage without Obamacare.

    These are your exact words in your post #4…………”nobody, but NObody would cover him”

    There is no gap for your son. You want us to belive that when it is unture. You simple chose publicly subsidized Obamacare over private sector insurance. Why are you trying deceive us on that?

    To intentionally deceive someone is a total insult to them and it’s intentionally disrespectful, and it is also an affront to intellectually honest discussion/debate.

    You could have chosen to tell the truth, that you opted for the publicly subsidized Obamacare entitlement over the insurance in the privite sector and simply explened way, but you didn’t do that. Instead choose to claim the private sector insurance was refusing to provide medical insuracce for your son, and thus would have left him out in the cold without insurance if it weren’t for Obamacare.

    Whether you like the private sector insurance or not, it is an intentional insult and a mudsliging at the private sector insurance company to claim they would had abanded your son, when in fact they would have willingly covered him, while you knew that all the time.

    Normally I would not zero in on someone’s deceptions on matter of unimportance as they are a dime a dozen on these threads.

    But this is no small matter. And when I see people all over the MSM and the internet making such false claims about Obamacare, and when it comes to the governmental take over of 16% of our GDP, I can not site silently by and watch the deception not being called out.

    Because every single case for what the government estmates the cost to be of any new public entitlemnet program, is has always more the trippled and blown out all four walls of accountability and control to the point that it threatens the very foundation of a free peoole in our Republic.

    And for Obama and company to use the very sins of goverments proven inablity to contol any of major entitlement programs exploding costs over the past 40 years, to use that as justifcation for wanting more and larger entitlement programs to put out the past fires, is like allowing an arsonist free rain to cool and control the flames of a forest fire with gasoline.

    I am in favor of healthcare reform and arresting the increasing costs of medical care, but not the way Obama and company are going about it. Because if they are willing to intentionally deceive and misleading all of the American people about the public option / singer payer, they are willing to be just as deceptive about a whole lot of other things involved including its real costs.

    To you, apparently intentional deception is just a mere means to an end. You’ll take it any way you can get it, and be dammed with the overwhelming majority of American who do want true healthcare reform without the deception.

    It is a shit house of cards promoted by far left deceptive progressives who will end up creating bigger fires storms in the street then Greece could ever imagine as a result of their own deceptions. And I do not want to see any of us in the streets like that.

    get rid of your assumptions, and realize that maybe, just maybe liberals aren’t the evil lazy stupid people you seem to think we are.

    I never assumed you were evil lazy or stupid. Ironically, those are all your assumptions about me in what you assume I think about you.

    However after your intentional deception, and the intentional deception of Obama and company outlined above, no one has to assume anything, the facts are on the table.

    Now seeing that your post response had everything in it except a response to your intentional deception, perhaps you can lay aside the stawmen for a moment and actually tell us why you tried to deceive us. Because as someone once said to me “in order to GET respect, you must GIVE respect.”

    As for everything you put in your response post that had nothing to do with responding to my premis, I will address all such unrelated responces as follows.

    I didn’t make a single false claim for my disabilities.

    I commend you for that Glenn. I never did either.

    I’ve never drawn a single DIME of unemployment.

    I commend you for that. I never did either.

    I’m running my own business.

    I commend you for that. So am I.

    My wife and I take care of medically-fragile children.

    I commend you for that. After my divorce and the courts took our two very young daughters away from there mother and placed them with me, I raised both of them as a single parent until they were in their early twenties. My younger daughter is handicapped as a result of physical abuse at the hands of her mother when she was quite young. Today both live productive lives with families of their own. I have 4 grandsons, two from each daugher. I am a blessed father and I am sure you are too.

    I’ve EARNED what I have.

    I commend you for that. So have I. Started all of that in the 5th grade.

    my family and I do NOT “feed from the public trough” as you seem to think.

    I know I don’t, and neither do my daughers, but if you wish to clear up the questions relating to that about you then explain to us honestly way you chose the publicly subsidized Obamacare instead of the private sector incsurace to cover your son. Instead of trying get keep making us believe “nobody, but Nobody” would cover him in the private sector because he had rheumatic fever, when in fact they would still cover him with that condition.

    I had rheumatic fever when I was young and the related complications and I have always had and still do have private sector insurance, and I’m 32 years older then your son, I smoke, and the insurance company knows it. Your son at 25 could find coverage in the private sector. I‘m the guy you can’t bull shit Glenn.

    If you’ll read back through ALL my posts and comments and articles on this and every other blog and forum I’ve been on, you’ll find NOT ONE INSULT that I’ve made against anyone. EVER.

    Trying to intentionally deceive others in this thread or any other thread is a flat out insult to them personally, any way you cut it.

    Tell us way your insulted us.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Franco, while you’re probably correct in asserting that Glenn’s son could theoretically have purchased his own health insurance, it would have been prohibitively expensive – especially considering his medical conditions and his difficulty in finding stable employment.

    Insisting that Glenn is being deceitful may be technically true – if you bend logic into some rather fantastic shapes – but it’s extremely petty.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Franco –

    Yes you did, and others as well…..the moment you tried to make me/us all believe that without Obamacare your son would have been left out in the cold unable to have medical insurance coverage. And that is not true. He could have had insurance coverage without Obamacare.

    (1) Maybe YOU can afford an extra several hundred per month. Maybe YOU can afford the hideous co-pay. Maybe YOU could afford to sign on the dotted line that says, “we’ll cover your son’s medical care EXCEPT for anything related to pre-existing conditions.” Furthermore, did you miss the part where I said that my son has other health problems that I won’t go into here?

    HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THE PLETHORA OF STORIES OF PEOPLE DENIED CARE BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY’S HABIT OF “RESCISSION”?

    I never assumed you were evil lazy or stupid.

    Hm. Not only did you claim I intentionally deceived (which to me is CERTAINLY evil), you also said “Your happy as a pig is shit living off the welfare dime and loving it, and whats worst of all, you don’t even know it and your teaching your 26 year old unemployed son to do the same thing.”

    So when you said I intentionally deceived, and said I was living off the welfare dime, and said I didn’t even know I was teaching my son to do the same, EXACTLY HOW IS THAT NOT CALLING ME EVIL, LAZY, AND STUPID?

    So which is it, Franco? Were you or were you not in so many words calling me evil, lazy, and stupid?

    Now. You’re saying I insulted you. No, I did NOT. If you took insult at my words – which are ALWAYS sincere (unless obviously sarcastic) – then you’ve got a hair-trigger on your “insult” button. I have always been sincere in every single one of my articles and comments. Sometimes I’m wrong, and I’m normally grateful to others for pointing out when I’m wrong…but nothing I have ever posted has been written with intent to insult. However, I cannot stop you from feeling insulted – or at least pretending to feel insulted – by what I write.

    I have not made ANY intentional insults in my writing. You cannot say the same.

    One last thing. When I am wrong, I make a point of sincerely apologizing for my error to the person who was wronged. That person may or may not deserve my apology, but I do it because that is the honorable thing to do. Bear that in mind while you read the next few sentences.

    You falsely accused me of intentional deceit, falsely accused me of living off the welfare dime, and falsely accused me of unknowingly teaching my son to do the same. You then said you never assumed I was evil, lazy, or stupid. I wonder whether your own sense of honor will lead you to apologize for false accusations which you then denied…or if your personal honor will force you to refuse to apologize to protect your own pride?

    We’ll see.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s the greatest human folly to judge others by their own limited experiences and circumstances.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    …and his silence provides precisely the answer I expected.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We’re OK Glenn, aren’t we? I went over the top a few days ago – just vented my frustration. Peace!

  • John Wilson

    Franco brags: “…I’ve EARNED what I have.

    I commend you for that. So have I. Started all of that in the 5th grade.”

    At age 10 you were paying your rent? Buying your groceries? Paying for dental care? Paying tutors to teach you ABCs?

    Wow!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    He was and is a child prodigy. Or perhaps an idiot savant.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I’ve felt nothing but good will towards you since the beginning, and I’ve seen no reason to feel otherwise. You earned my respect in several ways – not the least of which was having the wherewithal to tell me I’m wrong while doing so in a thoughtful, courteous way. I’ve yet to see you toss insults towards anyone – and to me, that says a lot.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I thank you, Glenn, for being fair-minded and forgiving. I only hope of being able to live up to the very same standard.