Posts Tagged With: Healthcare Reform

People Really Believe This CRAP!!!

This was actually posted on a friends facebook page:

“Just heard the most remarkable statement by a Russian native on CNN. Could not believe CNN didn’t edit it. Old Russian woman “You American people don’t understand, you need to listen what they are telling you! I have lived it, this is exactly how Communism works! It is becoming the Soviet Union all over again.” wow!”

This friend is a good guy.  But he is also a hard-core conservative and has no realization that something good can come of this or that he is believing and repeating the panicked rhetoric and other unfounded reactions of other conservatives and Republicans. He jumped on the chance to use CNN instead of Fox News as his source but I wanted to see this video for myself and cannot find this relevant evidence on CNN, Cnn.com or even youtube.  Remember the Republicans… you know the entire party that did not participate in the creation of the healthcare reform bill because they were not in control and resented the Democrats being in charge and doing something for Americans instead of acting on behalf of Insurance companies, Health Management Organizations and Pharmaceutical Conglomerates.  The Republicans are more interested in playing a blame game to try to regain political control instead of actually being bipartisan and participate in creating this bill.  It is so sad that their “power in Washington” is more important to them than trying to actually do some good for Americans.  Since they could not get their DEMANDS all the time… they took their ball and went home!!   Sen. John McCain vows, “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. “They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.” *(2)  He earlier said, “The first casualty of the Democratic health care bill will be immigration reform. If the health care bill goes through this weekend, that will, in my view, pretty much kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year.” *(3)  Talk about sour grapes and a bad sport!!  And he was a presidential candidate.  Why can’t politicians just represent their constituents and quit representing their party affiliation?  I say this to Democrats as well.  The PARTY POLITICS HAS TO STOP!!  How sincere was the invitation from the Democrats for the Republicans to join the debate?  But the Republicans should not have cried and gave up to only change their game plan to traditional party politics.  Both parties together could have created a better plan… but I am happy we have something.  I also hope the Republican party makes comments soon that John McCain does not speak for all Republicans and there will be a real effort to do more great things for Americans now this bitter fight is over.

Also England has had socialized Medicine since 1911 for all workers over 16 and in 1948 extended the system to the entire population.  Last I checked… socialized healthcare has made England neither Communist nor Socialist.  England remains a capitalist democracy.  In an international comparative study of the health care systems in six countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States), the British health care system was ranked in first place for quality of care. It also gained first rank position for equity and efficiency and a top place ranking for performance overall.*(1)  Amidst all the misinformation about Canada’s universal healthcare system (also called Medicare) which began nationwide in 1966, 43 years later Canada is still not Socialist or Communist.  85.2% of Canadians reported that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the way health care services are provided in their country and an even higher number (89.8%) rated their physician in the same way though slightly lower ratings were awarded to hospitals (79.9% being “satisfied” or “very satisfied”) *(4)  I bet you could not find 85% of Americans to be satisfied with anything much less healthcare!!  lol  Israel established socialized healthcare since the country was established in 1948 and it remains the sole democracy in the Middle East, well the sole democracy until America leaves Iraq and Afghanistan. lol

The next issue with this argument – the healthcare reform bill is not socialism!!  lol  Or it is not any more socialist than the police forces, fire protection, public education or city water systems used in the United States.  These are all services that are funded by taxes and are shared by citizens.  So why would medical services be considered socialist if these other well established and accepted services are not considered socialist systems?  When politicians use words like socialism to describe anything… it is only to cause fear and panic because their argument is to weak to stand on its own.  It also displays to the educated they do not understand the meaning of the words they are using!! lol

This is where I get ugly…. sorry…. but a day or two before my friend posted that status message on facebook he explained to me as a father, he is concerned for his son.  That is understandable.  Fathers want the best for their kids.  But what about that father with a sick child that has fallen in the cracks, is uninsured and wants desperately to help his son, daughter, or even his wife but has no insurance or access to healthcare?  What about a kid with a serious illness like Spina Bifida, Juvenile Diabetes or Leukemia ….. he or she has a pre-existing condition for life and will make his or her having insurance after he is grown nearly impossible in the current healthcare system.  What about the caps insurance places on treatment of costly illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis or cancer?  How is the healthcare reform bad in these situations? ….. Because sadly, my friend and a lot of Americans are not concerned with that other father… he is not concerned about the pre-existing condition that child will live with long after he or she leaves his or her father’s house…. he is not concerned about the caps on treatments for illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer….  he is only concerned with how he feels NOW and is not open to think beyond what he has been taught and believes because as a conservative he is more concerned about his politics.  HE is in a position as a father to protect his child by supporting the healthcare reform bill, help his unemployed neighbor or even a sick former co-worker.  I do not say “he” like “he” is the only one! He is typical of Americans… he is scared… they are scared.

Change is hard and yes, even frightening.  I also feel they are scared of the 1/2 black, Democratic  President that has accomplished something that his predictors have been unsuccessful at achieving and OMG what happens when a President can accomplish things with the cooperation of Congress?  We only have to look to the Bush administration that has left us in 2 wars that has cost more than this healthcare reform will cost, Bush started the big Bailouts for the banks and the economy was crap when Obama inherited his office.  Bush accomplished this with his same party controlled Congress.  So a President getting what he wants from Congress is not new…. but a Democrat President getting what he wants is new!!  Keep it up President Obama – keep fighting for me and the other Americans that have not been able to afford to buy our influence in Washington D.C.!!

I have been that uninsured person with a chronic illness and I want no one to be in that same or even a similar situation.  I want to ask the Americans that are upset about the healthcare reform bill to just take one second to realize they can be happy for the ones this will help – even if it is not them!  But if they take the time to learn what the bill is… they will see it is good, the U.S. will not become socialist or communist as a result and most of all – we can share even healthcare in a country as great as the United States of America.  Others do not have to be WITHOUT insurance so others CAN have insurance.  Americans are not as selfish and uncaring as they are presenting themselves to be to the rest of the world with this issue… Americans need to think, read and learn about this (and other) issues without trusting only one news source like CNN, Fox News or even The Daily Show. But I do kind of like they are getting a taste of the fear I lived with, without having an actual bad situation at hand.  But they are getting the taste without having to eat the whole meal I have choked on for 2 years.

President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  I change that just a little to say, Americans ask not what I can do for myself, ask what can we do for each other. Americans may be afraid of change… I was afraid there would be no change and I thank GOD there is a change!

I feel there is Hope Again for a New way of life for the forgotten Americans!!

Although almost 90% of my blog is opinion, I try not to rely on rhetoric… I try to show where information I consider relevant comes from lol Sources below:

*(1)  Davis, Karen; Cathy Schoen et. al. (May 2007). “MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL: AN INTERNATIONAL UPDATE ON THE COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE OF AMERICAN HEALTH CARE”

*(2)  http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/88285-mccain-dont-expect-gop-cooperation-the-rest-of-this-year

*(3)  http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/vengeance-will-be-mccains

*(4)  “Healthy Canadians: Canadian government report on comparable health care indicators”

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ignorance Is Bliss

Healthcare remains a HOT issue in the U.S.!  But if people actually took the time to read for themselves what is going on, maybe they would not be so frightened.  Ignorance is bliss, but I ask that you take the time to try to learn about what you think you are afraid of – Let’s turn on the lights and see the is no Boogie Man!!!

The highlights of the immediate change are:

  • No more caps on severe or catastrophic illnesses.
  • Help for the uninsured with pre-existing conditions.
  • Children will be able to remain on parents insurance until age 26.
  • Drug discount for seniors.

The highlights of changes for 2014 are:

  • Health insurance exchanges will be created to help insure small businesses, self-employed and the uninsured.
  • Health insurance will be required or individual will be penalized.
  • Medicaid expansion.
  • Tax breaks for families based on income.

I find none of these to be bad.  I see no reason for this to cause concern or alarm.

Here is my story – I am an uninsured American that has found refuge in Colombia, South America.  I have had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for over 13 years and a few years back, my doctor determined I needed to be on disability.  I had worked for over 25 years and since I knew I had MS, I thought I had prepared for the possibility I would not be able to work one day.  In this post I will not even begin to describe the problems I have had with Cigna (my private disability insurer) but will only focus on the healthcare insurance aspect.  During the process of being approved for disability I was paying for my health insurance through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).  I moved from private short-term disability to private long-term insurance then to Social Security Disability and this process took all the time COBRA covers and left me 4 months uninsured.  I thought once on Social Security Disability I would have Medicare and was STRESSED to find out that I would have to wait 2 years to qualify for Medicare which meant 2 more years with no health insurance while living with MS.  Bush was still President and there was NO discussion of Healthcare Reform.  I began looking for alternatives and even applied for Medicaid.  The results.. even just with disability… I made a whopping $8 a month too much to qualify!  So I found myself living at home with my family (who does not have the money to help me but tries all they can) with no insurance, no alternatives for insurance and a chronic illness getting worse.

My search for alternative places began with looking for climates that better suited my condition.  Colombia fit this need.  Then I found Colombia has private insurance companies that do not cover pre-existing conditions, government option health insurance (called E.P.S.) which residents pay an affordable price to participate in and does cover pre-existing conditions, and there is also a system that is similar to the U.S. Medicare/Medicaid that assists the very poor and senior citizens for free.  I also found that prescriptions are also covered.  One of my medications in the U.S. with no insurance cost $1,500 a month (more than I make each month) and the other treatments have higher or similar costs.  I began to investigate how I could an American participate.  It turns out… there is a law requiring residents to have health insurance and the Colombian Consulate was happy to give me a resident visa.  The U.S. cannot consider a plan that works for another country because this system does not kiss the insurance companies asses.  It turns out Colombia has not only addressed the issue of Healthcare, but also immigration reform (they like to let visitors come as tourist and enjoy that they want to be residents as well), gays can receive equal governmental benefits via a civil union (everyone gets civil unions here from the government gay or straight and the church issues marriage certificates), and although drugs may be made in the jungles of Colombia… there is no drug epidemic in the cities of Colombia like in the U.S.  I have found that Colombia is much more progressive politically, socially and environmentally on issues American can not even discuss civilly.

Recently I posted on my facebook page “Americans are upset about healthcare reform.  I ask you to take one second and quit complaining about how this may affect you and take time to be thankful for the millions that have not had access that will be able to have insurance without having to leave the country”.  This is an actual response from a relative of mine “Since you are on disability and had health care and still made the decision to move out of our country, I really don’t want to listen to you discuss what is going on here. You lost that right when you chose to leave. Key word here: CHOSE.”  I had to explain that I dd NOT have healthcare and asked what choice she would have made.  I explained my situation and here is her response, “You are right; I had no right to say anything to you. This is a very touchy situation and those of us that have worked hard for our health care had rather not have to pay for healthcare for those sitting on their butts living on welfare! Let’s all quit our jobs and let the Gov’t completely support us! Get real Tommy. Do they have welfare in Columbia? Yes, this free health care works great in countries that don’t have welfare. Our country can’t afford it, and we shouldn’t have to suffer because of it!”  The U.S. cannot afford this?  The U.S. has spent close to $1 trillion on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (http://costofwar.com/), but the U.S. government cannot afford healthcare?  Since when did war become more affordable and more important than citizens health?  Why does healthcare cost so much to begin with?

I guess I had not worked hard enough while working for 10 years with Multiple Sclerosis. lol  About 11% of Americans are on welfare and ALREADY have Medicaid (government-run healthcare), so what else is she thinking she will have to pay for the people sitting on their butts that she does not already pay for?  Healthcare reform is for the people who do not have access to insurance through work (opps working people), people with catastrophic illnesses (we understand it is expensive to treat cancer… but after X amount, you are not worth covering and that is acceptable behavior for insurance companies), people with pre-existing conditions (damn lazy people who have sat on their butts and not curing the diseases they have) and uninsured ( people who cannot pay crazy expensive health insurance premiums with honest days wages – they should have gone to college and let the illegal immigrants have their low paying job), and expanding Medicaid (OMG poor people, when they get sick… we should just put them to sleep like an old dog).  But an expansion of Medicaid would help cover the working poor not the freeloaders sitting on their butts. So lets not reform or change anything because “I (any American)” might have to pay something more for the less fortunate!!

Contrary to her opinion, I did work hard, I tried to be prepared for illness or disability and my CHOICES were taken from me, my preparation was useless.  Few Americans realize how close they are to being in my situation.  But I have resolved my issue of not having insurance by taking extreme but necessary changes.  I would love to know what choices I had that I did not consider before leaving the United States?  I would like to know what others would have done in my situation that I had not already tried.

This blog will continue tomorrow I have only commented on one statement I find completely confused about and do not understand as a response to healthcare reform.  I will discuss one of these comments and if time permits both:

“Nebraska Senator’s status: Obama’s healthcare plan was written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it, signed by a President that smokes, funded by a Treasury Chief that didn’t pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by …a country that is nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?”

and this comment and exchange:

“Everyone, your new Medicaid card is now in the mail! Bad day gang!”

Categories: Colombia, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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