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Shardik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:35 PM
Original message
Few laid-off workers keep health insurance, report says
Source: CNN

Only about one in 10 workers who lose their job opt to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance through the safety-net program COBRA, most likely because the premiums are too expensive, according to an analysis released Friday by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports independent research on health care issues.
Only about one in 10 workers who lose their job opt to keep their insurance through the COBRA program.

Experts worry that the highest unemployment rate in 16 years, combined with a health care system dependent on employer-sponsored health insurance, is a recipe for disaster, and will swell the ranks of the uninsured particularly if people aren't using COBRA. About 46 million people in the United States (18 percent of those under 65) lacked health insurance in 2007. Health.com: Laid off? The healthiest ways to spend your time

The new report is based on a 2007 survey of 3,501 people. The researchers found that two-thirds of workers, if they were laid off, would be eligible for COBRA. Data from 2006 data suggest that only 9 percent would opt into the program. Health care insurance premiums have risen since then, so it's likely that the problem is getting worse not better, they say.

"The affordability issue gets worse every year, that's the big concern," says Meredith Rosenthal, PhD., an associate professor of health economics and policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study. "Of course still get an offer of coverage through a spouse, but we're still talking about very, very serious increases in the number of uninsured." Health.com: Natural cold and flu remedies

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/23/cobra.health.insur... /
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47of74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe it can finally get changed for the better now
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. when your monthly Cobra payments are 50% of your monthly unemployment
or a HIGHER percentage, it's IMPOSSIBLE to pay for Cobra.
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MorganaSeawalker Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Cobra $2000.00 a month
Back when Enron crashed in 2002 my company lost its venture capitol backers (guess they took an Enron bath). The Cobra payment for my husband and I was $2000.00 a month, twice what I got in employment. My husband has a bad heart, 4 stents not having insurance was not an option. I was lucky, I was employed within six weeks. We were in our mid forties then, we're in our mid fifties now and I cannot imagine how much it would cost us. 401K is just so much worthless paper.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. oh man -- that must have been a shock!
I have a son with a blood disorder, and I figured our $1200 a month was based on that. Of course we didn't have it. But 2K -- damn! :wow:
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. Preach it on! Once you hit that 50 mark, its a serious gamble, at best. n/t
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
42. Cobra is way over priced, no one who is laid off can afford the payments.
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dbackjon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. You do realize that COBRA is just what the company pays for it?
Most companies pay around 75% of the premium cost for employees. Under COBRA, the laidoff/fired/quit employee picks up the other portion of the cost.

Who do you suggest pays for it?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. Seeing a COBRA premium
is the first time many people get the full realization of what it has been costing their employer to hire them. I've been on-and-off with health insurance for the past ten years, mostly off. Every time I got dumped and was eligible for COBRA, I've never even given a second though to considering trying to afford it.

Gotta be a big shock for folks who have lost jobs after ten or fifteen years.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #43
54. Self Delete
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 07:49 PM by sarcasmo
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. And this will surprise no one except perhaps
the same "experts" who've been wrong forever about everything else.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. The number of uninsured has got to be a lot more than 47 million
by now. More people are unemployed. And even if you are employed, the employer is shifting more costs to the employee, causing more people to decline coverage because they can't afford it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. ...plus people who are working part time -- no benefits --
and want full time employment -

many of the corporations are game-playing this denying people enough hours

to qualify for benefits!

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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
29. You said it! No damn way there are only 47 million without a healhcare plan, right now. n/t
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Um, duh??
Anybody who's ever looked at a COBRA premium, vs. being uninsured, will know this...

$700 for individual, $1100 for family, MONTHLY, when it was offered to us 6 years ago. There was no way we could do that. So we elected to go without coverage for 7 months until we could enroll in new coverage once I got a job. As a diabetic, that was an awfully scary time for me... got by with help from some very sympathetic CDEs at my endocrinologist's office, and by buying cheapest supplies available, at Wal-Mart. x( Others, I know, are not nearly so lucky.
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lostnotforgotten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I Went Without Health Insurance For 5 Years During Bush's Tenure
eom
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. Didn't you have problems getting coverage
for pre-existing conditions when you got insurance again. Most plans won't cover conditions if there was a gap.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
40. It depends.
I can get insurance through group plans at work. Other than that, I can't buy insurance at pretty much any cost, yeah. In Indiana, I would have had to join the high-risk pool for the state, where the plans (6 years ago) were starting at $315/month for *just me*.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. I've been laid off several times over the past
15 years and at no time did I opt for COBRA. The cost was too high. I was lucky in that I didn't have any health issues and was able to find a job within 60 days or so. I don't think it'd be as easy in these times. The thing that sucks is that with HIPAA, if one does not take COBRA within the 60 day decision making period then one risks being subject to pre-existing clauses with one's next employer. As I understand it HIPAA protects from pre-existing for 60 days following loss of group health insurance.
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GreenTea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. And both Democrats & republicans STILL use that same old 2001 figure of "46 million" without health
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:06 PM by GreenTea
insurance, as if the "46 million" people figure hasn't gone up in the past eight years.

As they recite some bullshit 2007 figure, and for over ten years now they've been giving us the same figures, between 46 to 48 million uninsured - BULLSHIT!....It's more like 100 million people uninsured and not counting the tens of millions of people who are under insured, simply because they can't afford full benefits or it's not offered to them by their employers.

How do we get Universal Health Care for all, when the extremely rich & profitable insurance corporations will be fighting (and bribing) against us?
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
30. Don't shop at places like Walmart, who put the screws on thier employees. n/t
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nancyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. The unemployed cannot afford it.
"Opt" into is not even an option for the average person. The whole program is a farce.
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. Farce is absolutely the right word.
They were required by law to offer coverage to leaving employees. They didn't want to do it, so they priced it prohibitively. People are just now figuring this out?
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Exactly
I became disabled in the late 80's and even then it was more than I could afford. I went without till my Social Security came through.
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dabenpb Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. I just switched jobs
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:19 PM by dabenpb
and had a week hiatus between the 2. When I finally got my Cobra statement (which I opted out of since we had my wife's insurance) I was shocked at the amount for Cobra, over $990 for just the medical for my wife and I. My premium through my company was only $160/month (for us both). Why would I opt for Cobra, ever? What a joke this program is.
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
35. We're on Social Securtiy and we pay $871 a month for
Blue cross and two hundred for Medicare. We have no choice. Doctors and drugs are too expensive.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. It's not the affordability, it's the crappy care you receive that makes you get out.
I could understand paying a fair price for excellent care, but in reality, people on Cobra pay a great deal for very little.

This loophole that the insurers have finagled into the system -- "Proof of Coverage", especially for people with pre-existing conditions is basically a Government mandate to keep insurance, or face explosive increases in healthcare premiums in the future.

A good example is the typical American male, who although has health insurance, is in good health, and rarely goes in to see a doctor. Even though he is not getting regular checkups, his health is good, yet he has basically just been paying his premiums for several years. Does the "Proof of Coverage" mean that he has received Health Care, or does it really mean that he has paid into the system, who cares whether he received adequate health care or not.

Then there are the state run health programs for those unfortunate enough to have a chronic condition. We have relegated these folk into Major Risk pools, and therefore, they have to pay through the nose, just for ongoing supplies necessary for survival. Overall, their deductible nearly doubles the amount they pay, even though they may be stable and living healthy lives.

God forbid when they figure out that they are getting no service and decide to drop out of the program, since the cure for say Diabetes, the biggest money maker for the medical supply companies there is, is constantly pushed out further and further due to the extreme profit made by the Corporations that cater to the treatment of the disease. So the individual drops out and goes it alone, and finds that as an individual without insurance, the already expensive supplies cost more, because the Insurance companies have made it so by negotiating the costs to next to nothing.

Does it really make sense that with the productivity of automation and robotics that the price of disposable insulin syringes goes up nearly 100% a year? Where is this so called productivity going? The answer is the Corporate pockets and the shareholders that demand 10% growth per year.

Question you bill and the insurers seem incapable of finding a real human to compose a letter, make a phone call, or is able to answer a question of respond to a letter of inquiry.

Sorry, but overall costs of $8,000 per year on average for people with a chronic disease is untenable, immoral, and borders on usury.

When one looks at the reality of American Medicine, you can see that we are all kept in the dark when it comes to preventative medicine, kept in the dark on what actually drives our body and protects us from disease, shielded from the fact that our food supply is a vast industrialized agribusiness that is foceused on profits and growth instead of health and nutrition, and a pharmaceutical conglomerate that markets a cure all for everything that ails you.

Yet we go to work, stuck in traffic which surrounds us with Carbon Dioxide, unburnt Hydrocarbons and reduced oxygen levels for several hours a day. Breath in massive quantities of micro-particles that need to be processed and removed by the lungs, and bath ourselves on water containing Chlorine, Chloramine and many other dissolved minerals that are absorbed directly into our skin.

The food we eat now has the genetic code from Bacteria that allows the production of pesticides in every cell of the plant, as well as traits that provide antibiotic resistance as a side effect of the Genetic Manipulation and selection process. Who are we to rewrite the software that shapes life when we don't even know how the software was created in the first place?

Personally, after much research and experimentation, I feel health is most certainly better left to our own hands, intuition and remedies. Everyone needs to become aware of the toxins we expose ourselves to daily, and understand that Parasites did not disappear overnight, even though American Medicine would have you believe that Roundworms, Hookworms only exist in the poor south, with Golbalization, chronic carriers of these organisms travel freely everywhere in the U.S. today. Poor diet and unhealthy conditions are the bread and butter to parasites and pathogens, yet people are oblivious to this fact.








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eggplant Donating Member (395 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. To be fair...
Many employers pay part, most, or (in you are really lucky) all of your premiums when the are an employee. The huge cost of COBRA is because you have to make up the difference. It is the same insurance for (nominally) the same total cost.

As yes, it sucks, and the premiums are high, but the concept (as it was originally drafted) makes perfect sense. Rather than getting FORCED out of your existing plan, at least provide the option of staying. It was a big improvement of what was there before, which was nothing.

And yes, I did opt in to COBRA after multiple job losses.

There is one nice perk about COBRA -- you don't have to make your first payment for close to 60 days after the axe falls, so you are essentially covered for catastrophic problems for free. (That is, if something bad happens in those 60 days, you can retroactively make the payment and have the coverage.)

The other huge reason for taking it (even at the high cost) is that your next employer's plan can exclude pre-existing conditions if you've dropped coverage in the meantime. If you've maintained it the whole time, they can't limit you and all the benefits start on day 1 of the coverage.
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biopowertoday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #13
33. yes, the original concept was and is great. Yet these premiums
are pushing many out of the program. simple as that.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
50. Does that mean they can exclude those pre-existing conditions forever and ever, amen,

the way private insurers do?

"The other huge reason for taking (COBRA)(even at the high cost) is that your next employer's plan can exclude pre-existing conditions if you've dropped coverage in the meantime."

Although I doubt I will ever have group medical through an employer again. Haven't had it since 1993.



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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
14. I had to have a COBRA policy for 6-9 months
Cost me $1500/month. Had no choice, have a chronically ill kid. Finally got health care at work now....a skeletal policy that isn't worth shit, but costs me over $600/month.

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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. I have no choice.
With my MS, I can't be without.

I was fired LAST January, and our COBRA premiums were about $900 a month. That's more than our rent, but thank God it's just my husband and I. No kids.

And I was fortunate to have a job again by the end of the February. HOWEVER, the insurance is the employer's OWN program, and it sucks BALLS. With the pre-existing condition exception, I had to show them a "Certificate of Creditable Coverage" that I had had insurance since I'd been diagnosed. I thought that would take care of the problem. I was wrong. I went in for my yearly checkup with my neurologist (who is the best MS doctor in Milwaukee), and I racked up $294 in charges for the appointment and a Vitamin D lab test. Turns out they have a $300 deductible, the fuckers.

I dread getting anything from them in the mail, because it's usually something saying they won't pay my bill. I've NEVER had these kinds of problems before, so I guess I'm lucky.

And my injectable drugs? I've never had to pay more than $100 a month for my Betaseron. Sometimes I can get a 3-month supply. Under this plan, they want to charge me $538 a MONTH for my co-pay. I about had a heart attack. When I asked higher ups about this, they were very casual about it. To them, it's normal. I'm fortunate that the drug companies (for all their problems) have payment assistance programs. Because without them I'd be fucked.

One more layoff at work, and we're headed to Canada. We'd go through our entire savings in 6 months on COBRA payments. Fortunately, we have this option since spouse is Canadian.
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Snarkoleptic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. When I was laid off, we couldn't affort the $1,370/m COBRA for my family of three.
We purchased a high-deductible, low-premium plan for $285/m in order to avoid having a gap in coverage.
This bare-bones policy excluded pre-existing conditions if they were diagnosed within 3-years, which was a major weakness.
Typically these policies are issued for a policy period of 6-months and can be renewed just once before you must seek another carrier.

If anyone in your family has a major pre-existing condition, one of these short-term policies can be a decent alternative to COBRA.
This type of policy is skimpy on payable benefits, but can help you avoid a "gap in creditable coverage".
Such a gap can result in pre-existing conditions being excluded, at least temporarily, if/when you get "real" insurance.
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Snarkoleptic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Here's another tip.
On another layoff, I put my wife on COBRA as she'd been treated for cancer 2-year earlier.
My son and I had no apparent health issues, so I got a temporary policy for us while my wife was on COBRA.
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. Duh!
COBRA is insane. Between mortgages and car payments, who can afford insurance with no job? Hell most people can't afford the mortgages and car payments with no job - let alone $1000+ a month more for insurance.

This country needs national health care.

If we have trillions upon trillions for warmongering and corporate bailouts it's time for the most basic of needs for the common man.
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DallasNE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
22. COBRA Is Expensive For A Reason
The presumption is that people subscribe to COBRA only when they have a pre-existing condition that other health insurance options would not cover. For everybody else they should be able to purchase health insurance on the open market for less than the COBRA premium. Also, in many cases a spouse is working and the coverage is now covered by the spouse. That still leaves a large number of people without any coverage whatsoever though the 9 out of 10 number is misleading.
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jzodda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
32. I have a pre-existing condition (diabetes) and couldn't afford COBRA
Of course I wouldn't be able to afford anything on the open market but COBRA was totally and 100% unaffordable as well.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. Who can afford Cobra?
They make it absolutely unaffordable.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
24. Wasn't the Obama plan supposedly to help pay for health insurance?
I don't know if it's Cobra or if it would be approved ---

What we need is Single Payer Health care --- which would be very inexpensive compared to Cobra

for government to carry for someone who was unemployed. Could be part of unemployment

insurance. Which also needs to be brought back up to prior standards after being

crushed by GOP!

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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. Obama's plan leaves the big "for- profit" HMO's in the loop. We need to get rid of them, period! nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. No . . . . I didn't make clear that I believe he mentioned helping unemployed with
covering health care payments ---

But, YES . . . I'm aware of his NOT-single--payer --insurance-companies-still-in-it

pretend national health care.

Obama should just lift age restrictions on Medicare and get on with it ---

and, in fact, end any privatization that has already occurred re Medicare.

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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. I agree with that. Medicare is already in place and it works for everyone now. nt
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. The only reason Medicare works
is because they cost-shift to other patients. Medicare reimbursements have been dropping relative to the costs of care, and the providers just third-party it over to the people who can afford to pay. And that means those who have insurance.

Maybe that's why we see premiums going up, that people actually get a gander at when they get the bill for a month's COBRA. The whole system has to be completely rebuilt from the ground up, but I've not seen that in the Obama stimulus plan, there's only a plan to help laid off people with their COBRA, and just some plans to computerize paperwork. I've worked in a lot of companies that had computerized systems, yet were as bungling a bureaucracy as any you could imagine.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. And insurance companies don't "cherry pick" . . .
Wake up . . . Medicare exists because the elderly couldn't get insurance at any cost!

AND, now that's pretty much the case with anyone who has had as much as a hangnail in the

past. Insurance companies don't want them, won't insure them -- or charge outrageously.

Or both!!

Medicare has been "Bushed" as most of our government has been --- why be surprised?

Sen. Arlen Specter was still trying recently to get $1 Billion more out of Medicare.

It's their way of destroying the program -- what's new?

Meanwhile, we're subsidizing Catholic hospitals and Catholic "faith-based" programs!

Insurance programs are based on NOT providing care --- see SICKO/Michael Moore.

Did you miss it? Probably at your library!

ALSO, Medicare is regularly subjected to heavy organized corporate-theft ---

and little has been done about it. Ask the average person, however, and they think

patients are stealing from Medicare ---!!!!

Bush also tried to TOTALLY stop checks from going to doctors who had already treated

patients!!! In certain states he was succeeding at that!! How does that help doctors

have confidence in Medicare???

Single payer is the way to go -- and basically that's what Medicare is --










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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #49
51. Oh, I'm no fan whatsoever of the insurance companies
paying armies of people to sit around and figure out how to not pay for something, then paying another army of people to piss away money on advertising to cherry pick the "good" people away from each other is the grossest waste I can imagine. We will have to go to single payer, but if I look at the direction President Obama and even the Democratic Congress are going, all I can say is that it is not likely to happen until after Obama's re-election. Our leadership just seems to have no stomach for it.

I will say one thing though, hospitals run by religious organizations are a very large part of the health care system in this country. I used to work for a company that sold endoscopy equipment, and fully a quarter of the institutions I dealt with on the phone were faith-based, a large proportion of them were Catholic. You cannot shut those organizations down, that would leave a very large number of people without care in the US. And if you force them to offer things that they are morally opposed to, you will give them no alternative but to shut down.

May as well try to force the corner kosher deli to serve BLT sandwiches.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. You mean our DLC "leadership" ...
has no stomach for single payer . . .

O once supported single payer, but turned from it --

Re the Catholic hospitals, we've been moving them in --

and subsidizing them.

Meanwhile, the Catholic hospitals leave many without health care ---

they refuse info re condoms to people with AIDS, they refuse birth control info

to women -- or sterilization operations. AND, recently I've heard that a woman

having a miscarriage was refused entry to the hospitals because the guy

administrating or managing things was frightened that his license would be pulled

because someone could accuse the woman of having tried to cause an abortion!

The woman was pretty much saved by a relative who got her into another hospital.

It was always common for women who had illegal abortions --- rarely complete -- to

have to then enter the hospitals -- usually very, very ill. And, they were dependent

upon the hospitals then saving their lives. Usually high fevers, long term bleeding,

infections, whatever

Catholic hospitals are a threat to more than half the population and more!!!



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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
26. This is news?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:21 PM by progressoid
Cobra and other similar plans have always sucked the big one.
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
34. K&R ...
... for this life and death issue. It's long past the time for this country to transition to first-world status and make healthcare a human right. It's absolutely insane to tie healthcare to one's job.


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tomhayes Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
36. I have to sign up for Cobra at $440 a month
For a single person. It's ridiculous. I'll be trying to get value for money and go to the doctor A WHOLE BUNCH.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Yea I would have to pay about the same so I did not get it.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
37. Well dah.
I looked into cobra but when they told me how much it was, I said thanks but no thanks. How many people that have been laid off can afford it?
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
39. They say this as if the unemployed people ...
... are "making a bad choice", but for a lot of people, there is no choice. You can either afford food and housing, or insurance. Giving up a place to live and food to eat is not good for your health.
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dbackjon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
44. It is apparent from this thread that most have NO CLUE about COBRA
What is was designed for, how it is priced, etc.

Under COBRA, you keep your existing health insurance. The only change is that YOU pay the portion that your company used to pay.


So if you think COBRA is high, just remember your employer HAD been paying that amount to provide you with health care.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. Doesn't matter
No one can afford it anyway. Not employers, not employees.

We need Universal Health Care. Now. Putting us all in the same public risk pool will bring down the costs for everyone.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. It's more than just the risk pool
We need a lot of comprehensive revamping of the system. I worked in a place that had a whole department just to figure out how much to charge a particular facility for their endoscopy equipment. Everybody had a different price. Also, everybody used wildly different forms for purchase orders, and they were often shot through with inaccuracies, some of which was caused by the byzantine pricing structure.

We're going to need to take a look at the way we police medicine in this country, as well. Having doctors and hospitals do expensive things to avoid lawsuits is one waste we can all do without. Then, the lawyers make settlements that involve no disclosure, as long as they get their third of the pie. We need something that is open, honest, and swift to right the true wrongs of malpractice if we're ever going to get a handle on costs.
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Runcible Spoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
53. If I ever get sick or need surgery, I'm booking a flight to Buenos Aires
They have universal healthcare, and for 50 pesos a month we can keep private coverage that is the best of the best, including DENTAL. That's like $17/month. In Argentina, you can even get one plastic surgery covered without additional cost under the cheap private plans. It's insane that we can't even have full coverage in the USA. However, if I get seriously hurt, I'm eating the ambulance bill and hospital stay.
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