ghoulsis: (spock bitch please)
[personal profile] ghoulsis
Watch this. Because this issue isn't really about people milking the system, or "choosing" not to have health insurance. It's not about a government takeover of anything, or Obama's birth certificate, or socialism, or any of that other bullshit. For most of us, it's about what this woman is going through -- having a valid health claim denied by your insurance company, insurance that you've probably been paying on for years, even though the premiums have been skyrocketing... only to be told, when the unthinkable happens, that you're on your own.

(And Sen. Coburn, precisely which of this woman's neighbors is she supposed to call upon to be able to provide skilled nursing care to her husband following his traumatic brain injury? She did all the things she was supposed to do, and she's still getting screwed -- just like all the rest of us.)

Make no mistake -- that man was sent home by the insurance company to die, because they made a calculated decision that paying to keep him alive would be too expensive. It would cut too much into the shareholders' profits this year. They knew the man had no recourse, so it was a win-win for them. Never mind the human cost. That will be borne by others.

Do you want to know why I'm immune to the scare tactics about the so-called death panels? It's because we already have them -- they're headquartered at Blue Cross and Aetna and Humana and Cigna and every other "managed care" company in this great land of ours. Except you don't get to stand in front of an actual panel, oh no. You don't get to look them in the eye, plead your case and beg for your life. Some doctor you've never met, who has never examined you, looks at your claim and decides whether you really need the treatment... even though your doctor, who has examined you, has already decided that you do. Your physician's opinion is less important. In fact, it really isn't important at all, because the insurance company holds the final trump card. They can always simply refuse to pay.

Sure, you can appeal, but it's all on paper -- good luck getting any of those bureaucrats on the telephone. It's a big game. There's big money in the insurance racket, after all. Of course, for us, the stakes are a bit higher.

I know we're all sick, and we're tired, and it seems like Washington isn't listening, but this time we really need to MAKE THEM LISTEN. Call your congressional representatives, call your Senators, write the President. I have. We have to get money out of the health care game, because when money comes into the equation, humanity disappears. We need an affordable, dependable public option to compete with the private insurers. Right now, for most of us, our options on insurance are to take it or leave it. That isn't good enough. If you like your insurance, great -- stick with it. I would like a choice. Because reform without choice is ultimately meaningless.

These bastards don't care about us -- all they care about is the bottom line. It's time to make the government servants start doing their jobs and work for us for a change, instead of the lobbyists who are lining their pockets. Make a call, write a letter, do something. Please.

As for our leadership... Anne Lamott says it better than I ever could.

Date: 2009-08-28 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nutmeg3.livejournal.com
<< Do you want to know why I'm immune to the scare tactics about the so-called death panels? It's because we already have them -- they're headquartered at Blue Cross and Aetna and Humana and Cigna and every other "managed care" company in this great land of ours. >>

Exactly! Why are so many people so blind to this?

Date: 2009-08-28 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoulsis.livejournal.com
People are blind to it because so far, their insurance has worked just fine for them. They go in for the occasional sore throat or UTI, and insurance pays, so they think it's great. What they haven't run into yet is being denied a needed medication or a lifesaving medical procedure, the endless bureaucracy of appeals, the runaround. I think the strategy is to literally outwait you, until you either give up or die trying.

Health insurance in our country is great until you need it for something, and that's when you find out that the insurance companies will do anything to get out of paying. I'm starting to get calls from my insurance, wanting to wriggle out of paying for my PT for my migraines. They keep asking if I was in an accident, because they're hoping somebody else is responsible for the bills. Um, no. Nice try, guys, but you're stuck with it.

Date: 2009-08-28 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spongeychicken.livejournal.com
We have to get money out of the health care game, because when money comes into the equation, humanity disappears.

Couldn't have said it better myself. I am so sick of people thinking that our capitalist system is the bees knees when spiraling greed is just what has gotten us into all of these problems in the first place. People are afraid of a government take-over, but why aren't they concerned that the dollar is currently governing every aspect of their entire lives?

I absolutely hate to say this, but maybe people need to face serious medical issues (or just work in health related fields for a while) to understand how many people get screwed by insurance companies. After all, tragedy seems to be about the only thing that makes people wake up and realize how stupid they have been. And those who work in health care know exactly what is going on because they either see it everyday or they are facilitating it.

I am just getting so sick of people turning a blind eye to issues like this. And I'm especially sick of the people who are trying to stifle changes that will save lives.

Date: 2009-08-28 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoulsis.livejournal.com
I absolutely hate to say this, but maybe people need to face serious medical issues (or just work in health related fields for a while) to understand how many people get screwed by insurance companies.

Please, don't hate to say it -- the fact of the matter is, most people don't care about social issues until it's personal. I will admit, I care more about health insurance reform than I might otherwise because my parents are currently being bankrupted by obscene premiums on a horrible, high-deductible policy that covers very little -- but it's the only one they can get.

And, I have an axe to grind ever since, way back in the day, I had to take a second job in order to pay for a medication that I needed which wasn't on my insurance company's formulary. I had a full-time job and insurance (I was, ironically, working for a hospital at the time) but they wouldn't cover it, even though none of the alternate drugs worked for me. I didn't want to choose between paying rent and taking my meds, so I chose a third path -- I worked more. There's no way I could do that now though, with a child at home. Point is, though, I shouldn't have to do that.

I can't count the number of times I had to change doctors because Zip's insurance changed at work, and suddenly the doctor I'd been seeing was no longer on the new plan's list. Oh, sorry -- have to start over with someone new. But everyone bellyaches about "I don't know if I'll be able to see my doctor under the government plan!" -- good grief, we don't get those kind of assurances under the current system either!

So help me, if I hear one more person screeching "I don't want MY tax dollars going to treat someone who [fill in the blank]..." I'm gonna need someone to restrain me from beating their head into Barney Frank's dining room table. News flash: I didn't want MY tax dollars going to the Iraq war either, or to support Guantanamo, or the School of the Americas, or a whole host of other military adventures in my tax-paying life to date. Fat lot of good it did me to complain about it. Suck it up. Sometimes our tax dollars go places we would rather they wouldn't; be a grownup about it. Sheesh.

Sorry. *mops up*

Date: 2009-08-29 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spongeychicken.livejournal.com
It's ridiculous that it took that much work for you to afford your medication! See, that's the stuff I see in the pharmacy all the time and it's so depressing. I see the people who are sick with serious medical issues, but their medication is so expensive because their insurance won't cover it despite how important it is for them to have. All the while, those who abuse medication (like painkillers) can buy a month's supply for just a few dollars or get it for free if they are on some kind of government aid (speaking of which, welfare is another system that desperately needs reform). If more people had to see the look in these people's eyes when you tell them that the medication their doctor prescribed is $300 because their insurance company won't cover it and instead wants the doctor to change to a cheaper drug that they've already tried and had no success with, well, then maybe they would understand what is wrong with the health care system. And if the pharmaceutical end is that bad, how bad is it for people in oncology clinics or those dying in the hospital because they can't afford care?

I DEFINITELY agree with you on that whole tax dollars bit. There are a lot of things that our country does that I don't agree with (everything you listed and more), but I don't gripe about "where my tax dollars are going." If people are so greedy that they have to worry about the money the government takes (most of which they never actually see anyway), then maybe they need to start educating themselves on this issue by taking in as many different viewpoints as they can to understand every nook and cranny of the controversy. I've found that the majority of people who are against health care reform are the ones who could stand to learn A LOT more about the issue in the first place. People who have been through these situations or at least have researched the issue cannot possibly argue that a universal health care plan is a bad idea(not counting the debates over specific issues as that is a big part of all of this too).

Don't apologize! This stuff infuriates me too and what is worse is knowing that no matter how much I know that we need change, there are so many people who won't ever try to see it that way and will let innocent people die because of soaring health care prices.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-08-28 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoulsis.livejournal.com
I think there would have been a lot of screaming about bipartisanship no matter who was elected... and yes, I agree, Obama seems to be floundering in the leadership department. I think what he doesn't understand is that nobody outside of Washington really cares about bipartisanship, so long as the legislation works. If you pass a good bill, and people are happy, who gives a crap how it got on the books? People pay a lot of lip service to bipartisanship but I really don't think the average American gives a crap, at the end of the day. ("Wow, this interstate is so much better now that the highway reconstruction funds finally came through and they resurfaced it. And it's so much smoother since it was a bipartisan bill!" *eyeroll*)

Hopefully the leadership is waking up to the fact that there is a core constituency of Republicans who will vote against the bill, no matter the language, and that they are committed to one thing only: taking Obama down politically. I think Obama's advisors are interpreting his slumping poll numbers as unhappiness with health insurance reform. I'm not unhappy with reform -- I'm unhappy with his apparent retreat from his campaign promises of meaningful change. We elected him to lead, and I expect him to do just that, no matter how much whining there is from the other side. Do what needs to be done and drag the obstructionists along with you for the ride. Make them the ones who voted against insuring uninsured kids. Seriously, can I be the only one seeing an opportunity here, going into the next election cycle?

Sorry to ramble on, but sometimes I feel like I've been transported to Planet Nutjob or something, where nothing makes any freaking sense, and I'm just screaming into the darkness about the insanity of it all.

Date: 2009-08-28 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoulchick.livejournal.com
sometimes I feel like I've been transported to Planet Nutjob or something, where nothing makes any freaking sense, and I'm just screaming into the darkness about the insanity of it all.

Dude, if I had a proverbial nickel for every time I've said that. *beats the We Are SO Sisters drum*

Date: 2009-08-28 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoulsis.livejournal.com
Why hello there! Welcome to Planet Nutjob! *hands you a blender drink with an umbrella innit*
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-08-29 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spongeychicken.livejournal.com
I agree with you completely. Obama needs to stop pretending this is some high school popularity contest. Part of being a leader of any kind is having to make tough decisions that some people aren't going to like. But he needs to do it because it's the right thing to do and because it will cause the least harm for all involved. I'm certainly not just pointing the finger at Obama either. I feel that all the presidents have cared about (at least in my lifetime) is re-election. I just wish sometime we could have someone in office who wouldn't care if they were still president in four years and concern themselves with what our country needs NOW. Maybe that's too idealistic, haha, but I don't think so.

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