Posted on Jul 27th, 2009 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

It really should be Health Insurance Reform, because the “care” really isn’t the issue – it’s access and affordability.

And coverage – since insurance companies spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars each year trying to figure out ways to deny legitimate claims. That disgusts me.

There have been periods of my life where I have been completely without insurance because I was self employed and could not get or afford it. Luckily, I remained mostly healthy during those times.

Now, still self employed, I do have health insurance, but I don’t even have access to a full coverage policy that would pay for office visits, etc. That means I (and millions like me) put off having tests done when we should, preventative appointments etc. because insurance won’t cover the visit/tests – which can be very expensive. I tend to put things off as long as I can – which isn’t a very good way to nip a disease in the bud. So I pay hundreds of dollars a month so that if some major health crisis hits I’ll have insurance to keep me from going bankrupt – though the copay could nearly break me.

Our health INSURANCE system is broken, and I’m a big proponent of reform that includes a government option. I believe every citizen should have access to the same insurance plans that our senators and other government officials have – and with the same affordability. I hear people bemoaning socialized medicine like they have in Canada, UK and most of Europe – and yet people I know who live in those countries aren’t complaining – and, frankly, are shocked at the cost of our health care. I’d actually be delighted with Universal Health Care, but that’s not what is being proposed. I’m ok with a compromise though I’m very disappointed that the bill continues to be watered down to appease lobbyists and conservatives.

surgeryI also see these ridiculous polls on Facebook like “Do you support government run health care?” which are designed to imply that THAT is exactly what reform is all about (see RNC talking point lie below). Very misleading. I don’t think the general population really understand what Obama is trying to do here…. and they aren’t helped by the media.

According to Pew research, 22 percent of Americans get their news from talk radio. And conservative talkers have been lying to their listeners about what’s in the health care bill.

  • Lies like, “If you don’t have private insurance the year that this bill is passed, you can’t get that later on from your employer.”
  • Lies that the bill would “outlaw individual private coverage.”
  • Lies provided in talking points from the RNC like “Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines and even what doctors a patient may see.”

Enough lies and fear mongering and the public will be afraid of reform… which is just what the drug companies, insurance companies and the politicians who take their money want. But there is a good editorial today in the NY Times called Health Care Reform and You that explains “what’s in it for you” without all the hype. You’ll probably have to set up a free account to read it (if you don’t have one already) but it’s worth it.

What is your experience with insurance & health care in the US or abroad? Do you support Health Care Reform?

(21) Comments   


Robert on July 27th, 2009 at 7:26 am

I’m totally disgusted with the game conservatives are playing with this. It has always been the case that conservatives look out for the interests of big business while liberals and progressives look out for the little guy. Nothing demonstrates this better than the debate on Healthcare reform.

They are now saying that what Democrats want is to completely take over Healthcare, and it’s so blatantly a lie that it would be laughable if for the fact that so many of the eternally ‘undecideds’ are so easily swayed.

Obama wanted this wrapped up by the August recess, and the Repugnants fought that – saying they wanted more time ‘to get it right.’ In fact, they wanted a month so they and the lobbyists could scare people into opposing it. In August, look for gobs of advertisements referring to ‘government run socialized healthcare.’ And then wonder who benefits from reform failing. That is what people don’t look at. When these lies are aired and people see it, they don’t ask, who is behind these ads. Well, the people making millions and millions of dollars off of us are.

Newly unemployed, I now have no insurance. And I have health issues that require medications and regular visits. I will now not be able to continue with these. If there were a public option, I could.

Recently, one of the lobbyist bought Republicans stated that if we have a public option, there will be waiting lists to get in to see a doctor. Not remotely true. But for the sake of argument, even if it were the case – what is worse? Having a system that might ask those with non-serious conditions to wait a day or two longer, or a system where anyone with a serious illness can lose their life savings and homes in order to fight for their life? A system where the insurance companies, who make $$ by denying coverage – simply drops someone with terminal illness? That is our reality now.

There must be a public option, but I’m betting that will be dropped before any final bill is voted upon. And it makes me shake my head with disgust and sadness that they (the conservatives) will destroy the effort to maintain the profits of the corporations who control our healthcare.

We really need to ban all private insurance altogether and simply extend Medicare to every man, woman and child in this country. Single payer is the only way to get everyone covered and costs under control.

Robert on July 27th, 2009 at 8:26 am

Food for thought:

Dennis Kucinich is the ONLY politician I completely trust to tell the truth every time.

Jean Hays Cornwall on July 27th, 2009 at 10:13 am

One of the hardest challenges I have had since Doug’s death is keeping myself insured. I am currently paying over $800 a month for health insurance and it is taking a big toll on my security.

I really wish there were a way to allow people to buy into medicare or another govt. program at a reasonable rate. When you are 64 years old with pre-existing conditions you don’t have many options.

I am greatful for medicare (next Sept) .. My main concern about a govt. health care is that some care would be with held from me and others like me
because of our age. I also worry that it will bankrupt the nation.

Medicare is in trouble, social security is in trouble and the dollar is losing value quickly. I don’t pretend to know the answers.

I have an HMO and it is pretty limiting as far as most things go, but I can live with it.. If Govt. insurance worked like my HMO I could work with it.
It’s not as good the policy we had when Doug got cancer but that company is no longer in business…

I guess I am afraid of Govt. spending and Govt. control mostly..

Robert on July 27th, 2009 at 11:31 am

Watch Dennis confront a righ-wing ‘expert’ on healthcare:

Extending Medicare to everyone (single payer) would cover all conditions for everyone. What care do you think would be withheld?

It would be only 1/3 as costly to cover everyone under Medicare than the system we have now. The system we have now is bankrupting the country.

All Government would be doing is paying for it… the doctors would control what a patient experiences, not the insurance companies.

You really wish there were a way to allow people to buy into medicare or another gov’t program? Well, that is Obama’s public option. That is what he is trying to do for you and me and everyone else. If there was a public option, I could retain insurance coverage at the same amount of premium I pay now, or less. But without it, I have the option of ‘COBRA’ which is more expensive than a car payment, and unaffordable to me. So now I am uninsured….

Our system is ranked 32nd or 34th in the world. It’s not the ‘greatest’ system as conservative policians would have you believe. It’s a joke, excpet that when people lose everything because the insurers won’t pay, or they lost coverage due to unemployment, etc.. it’s a crime.

Allison on July 27th, 2009 at 11:44 am

I’m so sorry Rob – I know you’ve really counted on that insurance with the health challenges you’ve been experiencing.

Wow, Jean, that’s a huge monthly premium for one person – what a worry for you. The reform Obama is talking about would make insurance more affordable for you!

Don’t let the lies and fear tactics scare you. What Obama is proposing is so far from what the right wing talk show hosts and RNC are saying.

Read that NY Times article. And call your senators and insist that they support Health Care Reform! We’ll all benefit from it!

craig on July 27th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I’ll never pretend to know enough about this issue and what’s going on with it now. I try to read as much as I can. Like you Allison, everyone I know who has lived with socialized medicine has loved it. My sister who of course grew up here in the U.S. moved to Canada for about 7 years. She had 4 or 5 kids at the time. Their family had always been insured here through her husband’s employment coverage. But she always has said that she absolutely loved socialized medicine. Could be worse now in Canada. That was 20 years ago. My personal experience is that I have almost always had insurance through work so I’ve not been affected (plus – I have not had any health probems yet and hate going to doctors). Paul has often been uninured but lucky to not have needed it much either.

The only thing I can say about Obama’s current plan is that I hear small business will bear the brunt. As small business owners with a payroll of 95K per year for our 7 part time employees our “penalty tax” would be $4K per year because we don’t offer health inurance. 6 of the 7 employees are high shool and JC students working 20-30 hours per week and living at home with their parents. I do have one lady that works 40 hours per week and is thankfully covered by her husband’s insurance. My buddy who owns the restaurant next door to us has a payroll of 400k/year. His penalty for not insuring his part time workers would be 32K under the current Obama plan.

Let me say that both Paul and I are more than willing to pay the 4k and are just grateful that our penalty would not be 32k. (that would definitely make me need to lay off one or two kids to meet the cost and I would have to work the extra hours to cover their missing shifts.)

My figures could be wrong. I am going on what I’ve read and understand and have been told.

I agree with Rob – ban all private insurance and extend Medicare to everyone – and everyone share the burden not just small business.

Jean on July 27th, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Yes Craig… Having been a small business owner .. Insurance can make or break your ability to stay in business sometimes. The Construction Company Doug and I had provided insurance for our employees. The Salon I had could not have stayed open if I had been required to provide Health Insurance. The profit margine in the Salon was not big enough. Small business should not be penalized.

I really don’t uderstand or know who to trust on the health care situation but I do know that 20 years ago Doug’s 90 day illness cost over 1/2 million dollars. If we had not had great insurance I would have been left broke with a family to finish raising.

Robert on July 27th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

If you watch the Kucinich clip you will see a right winger stupidly thingking he could go in there and use the scare tactics. He had no idea that Kucinich is an expert in healthcare and knows all the stats.. He really tore into him. Left him speechless because he could not refute it.

Single Payer is the only way to go. And what is discouraging is that the leaders in Congress, both parties, immediately took single payer off the table. Why? Because they are bought and paid for by the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists.

So, do we need to go bankrupt before people actually wake up and think?

Robert on July 27th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Whoa, here you go. I said earlier I wouldn’t be surprised to see a final bill omitting the public option. Well, here is a story saying that is exactly what they are doing:


Allison on July 27th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Call your congressmen and yell like the dickens.

Jennifer Pearce on July 29th, 2009 at 10:12 am

I just wish things could all work together in a way that benefits everyone fairly, and didn’t have to be so complicated and expensive for the majority of us. Those insurance companies really are just so completely out of control.

Kathleen on July 30th, 2009 at 8:57 am

I have one particular prescription that can only be filled on a month to month basis. Even when I travel, I am not allowed to “stock up”, it’s a pain in the US, but when I am in England it’s simple. I call the Dr. in the morning, see him that afternoon and by early evening have my meds. The cost? 12 pounds, roughly $20.00 for a months supply. I pay over $200 a month here in the states for the same meds. Since I have been out of the country for over 30 years, I am now a second class citizen, so I paid more for the meds than if I had been a permanent resident in Britain. Oh, and the Dr. still makes house calls.

Anyone see the video of Rachael Maddow reporting on the Repulsives, claiming that under Obama’s plan,the elderly will be killed! No kidding! Someone needs to let France, Sweden, Britain et al., know that their socialized plan is not working, you wouldn’t believe how many elderly people I’ve seen in Europe!

Robert on July 30th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Yes,I watch Maddow every night. She is hands down the best news caster on TV… IMO. And she is very good at making these idiots look like idiots. And this particular rumor has been traced back to a single woman who spread outright lies back in 93 when Hillary tried to reform. This woman, on the sole basis that the bill recommends that the elderly fill out a living will, has turned that into a rumor that Healthcare reform authorizes the government to kill the elderly. And shockingly, but not surprisingly, people are buying this nonsense. But then, they bought the idea that Obama is a socialist and pall’ed around with terrorists too.

So, now we have the ‘deathers’ as well as the ‘birthers.’ LOL.. No wonder we can’t move forward as a country…

When I was in Colombia the 3rd time last year, I got a bacterial infection, with red spots on my legs. I actually got the infection here in NY, but the spots didn’t turn up until my 3rd day there. We walked three blocks to a doctor, and waited in a courtyard with flowers and a cocatoo… and he gave me a prescription. Now when we got home, she called in the prescription, and the pharmacy delivered it an hour or two later. Cost to me? $10 for everything.

Robert on July 30th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Howard Dean is substituting for Keith Olbermann, and he had a guest on two days ago that spoke about the public option we need. And he states flat out the best healthcare system in this country is the VA healthcare system.

Now I’m very lucky because I just found out that I am approved for coverage under the VA. It will cost me nothing except $8 for any prescriptions. Under the private deal I was paying a $20 deductible for each prescription. I have my first appointment on Tuesday, and I am grateful b/c I need the meds, and I need to see if they can either get me a new c-pap machine or continue the payments on this one. I got a new one in May but you have to have it for 10 months before it becomes yours. So I’m going to lose it unless they take over the monthly rental fee from the private insurance for 7 more months.

The VA interview was really intersting if anyone is interested:

Dean also played a clip where John Stewart, with sheer logic, backed a leading conservative to admit that government ran healthcare is superior to private insurance. It’s really quite hilarious as he realized what just happened and tried to get out of it… Funny:

Robert on July 30th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Here is the link from Maddow’s show on the deathers and the woman who began these lies..

Kathleen on July 31st, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Glad to hear your good news Rob. John Stewart shredded Kristol, I loved it! I’m getting nervous and angry about the damn Blue Dogs, I’d like to neuter every, last one of them!

Robert on July 31st, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Yeah, he tried to back out of it by saying the VA system was more expensive, but it isn’t. The cost outlays per patient are only 2/3 of what it is in the private sector. And I suppose that 2/3 is what the insurance companies pocket…

Jean on August 4th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Rob I am so glad you qualify for the VA.. Uncle Troy has it and several friends of mine and it is a God Send. They are treated wonderfully and get excellent care.

Robert on August 5th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Yes, I am very lucky. I went yesterday for my initial appointment, and had to go back today to do bloodwork. He said I’d get a card in the mail notifying me of my appointment in Northport with the Pulmonary specialist. He said they likely would pay for my c-pap machine, or give me a new one through the VA. I just hope it is before the 21st as I have to either pay for the machine by then, have a payment through the VA set up by then, or give it back. I asked him if I could get orthotics through the VA, and he said sure.. and said he’d set an appointment up for me with the podiatrist there too… Now, under private insurance, orthotics aren’t covered at all…

Good article by a Canadian doctor:,0,538126.story

Robert on August 11th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

There are 2 John Steward clips here that are hilarious. Especially the 2nd one where he interviews a group of experts on Obama’s ‘death panels.’

Robert on August 15th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Well I don’t mean to keep harping on a subject that apparently nobody else is commenting on, but I encountered another hilarious clip from John Stewart. I’ve never really watched him, except a bit here and there, but he is really good…..

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