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My first thread in Activism...what do you think?

2511 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  madrone

I think the link works. And let me say, sorry if this has been discussed here in the past.

What do you all think about this?

Pretty soon, no one will be able to afford health care, unless you happen to be ultra rich.

My DH and I cannot afford health care b/c the insurance that my DH's employer offers costs at least $500 a month for a family. We'd buy it if it didn't take one of his paychecks to do so. Doesn't leave much left to live on. The funny thing is, his employer just raised the cost. It's interesting how they will not help pay more, b/c they cry about not being able to afford it, but yet the owners of this company have huge homes (DH has taken me to see them), brand new super nice cars, collect antiques. Why is this?

Sorry to ramble on, this is just something that I find very frustrating.

What are your thoughts?
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The most startling story line behind the census figures is the ongoing loss of health benefits in the workplace. For the second year in a row, the proportion of people who received insurance through an employer fell, from 62.6 percent in 2001 to 61.3 percent last year. Cost appeared to be the primary reason for the decline.

"Employment-based coverage is getting really expensive," said Kate Sullivan, director of health care policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (news - web sites). "Either the company doesn't make it available or individuals are turning down coverage at work because they can't afford it. That's very alarming."
This is exactly it. The cost of health insurance (and health care) has been rising in the double digits for the past couple years now. Employers have largely passed these increases on to their employees or, in an increasing number of cases, have simply stopped offerring coverage altogether.

Of course, as also noted, those who have been laid off often cannot afford to take advantage of COBRA, yet do not qualify for publicly-funded health care programs. Given their horrible financial condition, additionally, many states have cut back significantly on their Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility standards, further worsening the problem (since now fewer people qualify in many cases).

We need, at minimum, a single-payer primary health care system - something through which people can get most of their most basic health care needs attended to (such as preventative care, primary health care (such as a generalist would perform) and chronic care (such as basic diabetes management)). Folks could have private health insurance to cover more specialized needs, and we could additionally have publicly-funded specialized coverage insurance for those who, say, presently qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP. We could likely pay for it by revamping the med mal system and by reallocating Medicaid funds that presently go to hospitals that serve a disproportionately high number of indigent and uninsured patients.
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I love your first post in activism!!!

And Amen to you! Marlena!!
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Dear Cat Liver 976

Nice first post - welcome to Activism!
But really - cat liver?
As a mother to my Purr-son, I think I take objection to your name!

(LKCS - going back to lurking mode)
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It is supposed to mean catLOVER.

When I read that post, I was like

That's the first time anyone ever thought that's what my screen name meant!! LOL!!!
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Great first post. I'm sitting here watching the news on this very topic.

According to our local news (Channel 7 in Detroit). 17% off all full time employees have NO insurance. That's about 20 million people. That's staggering. I'll try to get a link later when they update thier site with today's news.

We pay $380 a month for insurance for the family. Dh's employeer pays the same (totaling $760 a month for a family of 4). In the past year our perscription co-pay has gone from $5.00 - $10.00 to $20 - $40 That's outragous! Our office visits went from $10.00 to $20.00. And they've raised the cost from $350 to the $380 we now pay. Again, I just don't get it?

This is an issue that's been heavily on my mind for some time now. I think we need to look deeper into Canada's healthcare. Yes, you have to spend a day sitting around sometimes just for an office visit, but in the end the care is excellent and the cost dosn't force families to live in fear should they get seriously ill.

I am curious to hear what others think of this.
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I think it is ver telling, and sad, how the self-proclaimed richest and most powerful nation in the world cannot provide basic needs for its citizens.

social healthcare and it is not all it seems. Long waiting lines, no choice in Dr. etc etc.
Interesting! That's EXACTLY what happens in the US, using insurance!

I want freedom to choose my Dr. and when I need a test done I don't want to wait 6 months. I want the care of a private Dr. who has my and my families best interest at heart...
1. I have GREAT insurance coverage and cannot choose WHATEVER doctor I want.
2. After 2 MCs, I needed to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist- first available appointment=13 weeks later.
3. Oh yes! US doctors really care about their long as they remember their names and see them for over 4 mins a visit!
And when they push surgeries (i.e. C-sections, circumcision) to make the extra biuck...that's great too!

I would rather have the government (a non-profit entity) take care of my needs, than a FOR PROFIT entity like insurance companies. Hearing that they care about my health is the funniest thing I heard today!

Healthcare should not be a BUSINESS, it should be a SERVICE avilable to all.

It's interesting that if you look at countries with the lowest infant mortality and highest quality of life, they all have universal health care...but alas, the US is soooo far behind, it's pathetic.
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Originally posted by Nursing Mother
Well I (and dh) have been beneficiaries of social healthcare and it is not all it seems. Long waiting lines, no choice in Dr. etc etc. My dh can rant real well about social healthcare.
And I can beat your dh in a rant about the private US health care system.

I say we find a middle ground.

We must stay with private health care, but make it affordable to the average person.....

You're not serious, right? I mean, I'm sorry, I know you've felt put upon in this forum lately in particular, but you can't REALLY be serious here. WHY would private health care have an interest in making health coverage "affordable" to the "average" person? What, through employment? Employers are raising the employee's share of costs like there's no tomorrow, or dropping coverage altogether. Check out what just happened to employees of the state of Texas, for example: While copays and prescription costs went up only about $10 a pop in the HMO, one now must pay 20% of all hospital costs after one's paid one's deductible. This is the only plan they offer many employees. So, you get all the charming restrictions on providers and services that come with an HMO and must jump through all the usual hoops to get care, at the cost of a traditional major medical plan.

What, you think the market will restrict their increases? Ha! Lookit how health care is funded! It's considered a major benefit of employment (even though, what?, 17% or so of all full -time employees lack health benefits?). Employers can deduct the benefit as a cost of doing business (like many other employee expenses). And, at least above a certain income level and and in certain classes of employment, employees expect health coverage. Yet, as they're not paying for it, there's no incentive for those utilizing health care services to restrict use. It's all done by the plans, or in capitated systems, by the physicians themselves.

So we should all purchase individual plans and have a voucher system or something, like many Republicans propose? No chance. You lose your pooling system that way. And unless you're going to use a community rather than individual rating system (good luck getting insurers to buy into that one again), you're SOL. This means monstrous premiums, comparatively.

Don't get me started.

and then have the individual states themselves offer back-up care for the unemployed and under-privildged.
This already happens, at least for very, very particular classes of individuals (adults without children are usually excluded, at least in most states - I believe WA is an exception).

I want freedom to choose my Dr. and when I need a test done I don't want to wait 6 months. I want the care of a private Dr. who has my and my families best interest at heart...not some mechanical assembly line I'm on shifted from one Dr. to the next. Cause the state or gov doesn't want to fit the bill.
Uh, have you ever been in a managed care plan? You must've been. Most Americans are, or have been. You'll know, then, that this experience fits the usual American health care experience to a 'T'.

Ilaria hit the mark.
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Let me rant for a minute.

My dh works for a large, rahter stable company and he used to have wonderful benefits. They provided free uniforms, tee-shirts, comapny picnics, a a weekly bonus check based on the company profits, good health insurance at a truly affordable cost.

Then the *new* management came in. Strip away the free unis, tee-shirts are given no more, company picnics gone, bonus check went from weekly to monthly to quarterly with the amounts decreasing all the time. Health insureance is a joke.

We are a family of four. Dh pays 130$ per month for coverage. Compared to the other figures I have read that is rather decent, but if you consider that he has to work 60 hour weeks every week to make 40,000$ yearly its not so tidy anymore. Add to that 20.00 office visit co-pays, no perscription coverage, no eye coverage (unless you consider the 5$ off coupon for ONE doctor coverage) and a 500.00 deductable and things start to get even worse.

The new offers this coming year? Oh, well they are even better!
Either we stick with the crappy plan we have now, only with higher premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductable etc....OR have 1000.00 for all four of us for the entire year for everything and then it goes to 90/10 their favor, of course :puke

We have no choice of doctors or even medicines should we choose to take any. I had to give the doctors a formulary so that they would know which meds the insurance company "allows"

While the workers are busting butt day in day out and their families can't even seek medical attention without needing to go through a ton of crap and shell out precious dollars that we cannot truly afford, the CEO has a huge mansion, private "company" lear jet, make over 1 mill a year, lives in a mansion gets complete coverage on him and his family etc.... and who foots those bills? We do. The workers and their families.

What needs to happen is people gotta stop being so
greedy and blind to the needs of others (who are in reality making them the rich
they are) and the companies need to focus on taking care of the REAL assets they have.

Doctors are too greedy as well. I mean a well baby exam. What is it really? Weight, length, two-second physical and the
doctor asking a bunch of un-necessary personal questions. then you get the honor of shelling out your co-pay or paying for it in its enitrety and then waiting on reinbursement. Please. Health care in the Us is a cruel joke.

All the doctors, insurance companies and employers are interested in is themselves and their fat wallets.

While I am sure that there are still some great ethical doctors who genuinely care about their patients around, I have never seen or heard of one. But hey, I mean since there is a possibility of their being aliens, the Loch Ness monster and Big Foot, a truly caring, concerned, not greedy or selfish doctor is a possibility too.

I can't say that I have any ideas, other than we simply MUST take charge of our own health and educate ourselves in how to manage, treat and prevent illnesses. I am learning about herbs and homeopathy. It may take some time, but hey, its worth it in the end. I hate docotrs (if you can't already tell) and if I know what I am doing then I can care for us better than any unionvolved third party ever could.

My two and a half cents.

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Mamaof2, I couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm glad you guys think I picked a good topic.

This is somthing that really burns me up. I love how we can help out every other country on this planet, but we somehow "conveniently" forget that we have so many in need in our own soil.

It's sad.
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I love how we can help out every other country on this planet, but we somehow "conveniently" forget that we have so many in need in our own soil.
Foreign aid is a tiny portion of total U.S. government expenditures. The real crime is that we don't have universal health care due to the generous tax breaks given to corporations, and the money wasted by the Pentagon.
The real crime is that we don't have universal health care due to the generous tax breaks given to corporations, and the money wasted by the Pentagon
No disagreement here.

How could I have forgotten about that?? That's yet another thing that makes me ill. Where I live, they revamped a whole section that used to be steel mills that were shut down years ago. There are now all kinds of retail stores, and restaurants. From what I understand, these establishments were given ALL kinds of tax breaks. It sickens me b/c in the school district where I live, there are not enough books for the students, no school busses (sp); it's not like our district couldn't use the money we could get from taxing these places. Although I'm sure it wouldn't make a difference one way or another b/c that money would more than likely go into the pockets of the greedy politicians.

Reading and writing these replies has made me feel like the situation our country's in is hopeless.
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The problem is that the richest people make the decisions in our country. They decide for the policy makers, and before someone steps in to say that is not true (if anyone would) think on this: the politican needs money to fund his campaign, so the rich supporter says I will "donate" x amount to you if you will help out with this ____. Before you know it big business is running our health care, ripping off our schools and who cares about kids in PS since all the richies go to exclusive private schools anyhow?

Makes me sick! The PS teachers I had couldn't care less about teaching, they were in it for the IMO overinflates paychecks to do nothing but stand up in front of the chalkboard and drone on and on and then stick a test in front of you. Never mind the kids who were lost, never mind the kids who didn't understand or grasp the concepts. Just get 'em in and get 'em out. Yet those private school kids were getting a top notch education with caring teachers and made darn sure they knew their stuff. Why?

Because every society needs its politicans and its gravediggers.
There is nothing wrong with being a gravedigger (its honest work) or a politican (though the honsety here is debateable) but to have the government decide who gets to be what infuriates me! The cost of a decent post HS education is enormous enough without having to add equal costs to put your child through a good high scholl or jr high or even elementary for that matter.
Besides getting a crappy education you have the added bonus of worrying about school violence and sex. I don't care what your views on sex are, how would you feel if your child, like a friends of mine had to ride a bus to school in a district infamous for the amount of oral sex going on ON the busses among the junior high kids? Then theres the bullies and the junk foods (fried cheeseburger sticks anyone?)

I doubt if much will ever change, because regardless of how it is worded our country is a democracy in name only. we are in fact a monarchy with the "royalty" being the wealthy and powerful and the "pesants" being people like my family, working and surviving. Never able to save up enough to make a dent in our childrens future educations, living hand-to-mouth and at the mercy of the "royals"

It is all our fault too. That is the worst part. Every day we see how willing our society is to hand off personal power to lawmakers, government entities and businesses.
Whatever happened to taking personal responsibility for your family and yourself? it flew out the window and was replaced by people desperate for someone else to think, research and decide for them. The old they-know-better-than-me mindset. Did we start it or did they? Its like the chicken or the egg.
We need to begin to truly use the one great tool available to all people, the internet, to educate ourselves on everthing from managing the health of our families, to political issues and exercise or right to vote (while we still have it), take back our responsibility to educate our own children and raise up a generation of people who are not afraid to have personal power, who are willing to make a stand and who, despite this countries efforts, are well educated and know what is really going on in the world. People who can and do think for themselves.
Of, course this makes us troublemakers, anarchists and maybe homeland terriorists too.

I say regardless of who you are you can make a difference if you are willing to give up some useless activities like television and instead read a book or article on the internet. Then go out and put it into practice. Teach your children yourself. No, not everyone can homeschool, but you can suppliment the education your children get in school and fill in the holes so to speak. Don't be afraid to make big changes in your family to protect them from disease naturally rather than feed into the medical establishments IMO conspiracy with the FDA to make our country fat and helpless. Know what foods really do to your body, what is really in the food you are eating and what good nutrition really is.
Hippocraties said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." A strong body that is well nourished, hydrated and exercised is more resistant to disease and an educated person who can use the earth's medicine, herbs, vitamins, etc to treat illnesses is no longer at the mercy of some greedy doctor to perscribe some anitbiotic that wil only further weaken your immune system and in the process make you even more dependent on them.

In this century the battle for our freedom is not against some war-monger tyrant in another country (not that there are not legitamate threats out there) but against our government and our selves. True freedom will only exist when people take back what is rightfully theirs and buck-up and take some real responsibility for the well-being of themselves and their families.
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catlvr - great first Activism post - as family that pays over $400/month for managed health care, I heartily agree. We do not get to choose our drs. or even the hosp. that will service us - and god forbid that we get sick in another state (which would include MA and CT - practically impossible when you consider how small RI is).

As far as socialized meds. go , I can't really say which is worse. I have lived under socialized meds. and yeah there is a wait for basic service. OTH they offered homebirth as the norm - with a CNM and a Dr. if needed. They offered services as a scaled version of as needed.

OTH I have been at the hosp. in the US with my kids where I've waited for hours to see a dr. due to many people using the ER as a regular dr.'s office due to lack of ins. coverage. But the US is usually ahead of most medical practices in most countries (although you must pay for it).
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This is a huge pet peeve and an issue I am passionate about. I don't have much to add except to say that I have come to realize that nearly everyone is getting screwed with our current system: doctors, hospitals, employers and patients.

I think we have to move away from a system that requires "employment" as a prerequisite for healthcare access and coverage. We absolutely need a single payer system.

Marlena summed up my feelings very well and made some great proposals....unfortunately most Americans have bought into the myth that single payer means a person can never see the Dr. they want and will have to wait 6 months for an appt.

Here is my little anecdotal story to add to the others:
My mother had to visit the emergency room the other day (it was a Sunday and she doesn't have a Dr. as she just moved cross country) When she asked the ER Dr. for a recommendation for a Primary Care Physician he said "good luck finding a Dr. in this area that is taking patients". This happens to be a major urban area which also is very expensive to live in...what new Dr. would think of setting up practice here when they are reimbursed at such pathetic levels?? For that matter, who would even want to be a Dr given the way they are micromanaged by insurance companies?

What a big mess

BTW, Great first post, cat liver lover
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I received wonderful health care in France. I could choose my doctors and get test results (blood, ultrasound, x-ray, cat scan) the same afternoon if I took the test in the morning. My general pract charged 15 bucks/visit, 30 for house calls, making health care affordable on the very off-chance one couldn't get coverage. My ultrasounds cost under 30 dollars, x-rays the same. I had a wonderful natural childbirth and stayed 6 days in the clinic, the cost of which was outrageously inexpensive, though I didn't shell out a single dime! And I never waited in a single, solitary line. Despite brief unemployment for my dh he was able to keep his coverage. No problems. No ridiculous pre-existing condition crap!

I despise generalizations!

Yes, as we all saw this summer, there are problems with the system - but they are flaws in a good system.
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I despise generalizations!
.......but they are flaws in a good system
I was uninsured in the US (pre-existing condition). But my husband's French. I have needed health benefits during the past month. I have received excellent care here without waiting months. I am grateful every day that the man I fell in love with happened to be French. And I'm so thankful to be here.

Although I feel guilty. Cannot get this American view out of my head that I need to give everything for healthcare.
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