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resist Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:05 PM
Original message
Who is following the health care stuff? x(
I am very interested in the issue of health care but can hardly keep up with all the little bits and pieces of legislation that fly about. I know that 45 million people are without it, that the fudging Bush has done with medicare has mostly harmed it, and that states, like Mississippi tried to throw 60,000 people off their medicaid rolls because they couldn't afford it anymore. We (my husband and I) are paying $700 per month for health care that gets worse and worse while our co-pays go up and up.

I'm curious to know if anyone out there understands this issue well enough to bring some facts to bear. I don't see how this can keep going much longer - when health care costs as much as many people's mortgage, more and more people will be unable to pay it - especially as Mr. Bush keeps lowering businesses requirements to their employees. Does anyone have a sense of when this might reach critical mass and be forced upon the legislature to deal with?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. In MO
they are throwing 90,000 off of medicaid.
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. 300,000 thrown off TennCare in Tennesse; as I read it here in
DU. This is happening state by state to one degree or another. In terms of private health insurance, I've only seen bits and pieces about the problems there. I heard some folks complain about the co pays and shares of cost were skyrocketing. A talkshow host I listen to was complaining that his insurance actually cut out certain features/coverages for his family........but didn't lessen the cost.

In my state, CA, they are starting rachett back medicaid/medicare services..I haven't seen the worst case yet; I'm sure it's right around the corner though.

The word is that the federal government isn't sending back much money to the states so they are forced to shut down certain services. Seems quite dragonian to shut down services to the weakest and most needy among us though, don't ya think. At this rate, there may come a time when one can't even get an ambulance to come to your home!

I think this is a national crisis, yea a national scandal.

My primary interests under this current "regime" are Healthcare for all, affordable housing for all, jobs, and social security w/disability care.

There are so VERY many fires burning, so many problems in and with the country right now, one has to "pick their fights". Mine are the above. Best, SB
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I follow it very closely...
The bottom line is that it is getting more expensive, and people are continuing to lose coverage. As to whether a bandaid or overhall is in the works, and as to what that will be, I have no idea.

For a variety of reasons, the HSA will not work on a societal basis. I see major insurance reform or nationalized healthcare coming our way (either could work).

Finally, more and more doctors and hospitals are starting to refuse to accept Medicare and Medicaid for anything but emergencies. The micromanagement (compared to the rest of the economy) of these two entities hasn't worked, and the problem is getting worse.

People are already dying because they don't have health insurance -- about 20,000 a year, which is more than die from DUI related accidents.
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resist Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. But
These facts are things most Americans already know, and apparently, are willing to tolerate. Surely our sainted legislators know this, too. Do you think its just that the public has yet to make it a vote-determining issue? Cause so far, I can't see why repukes and dems couldn't agree on this - all of us are gonna' run out of medical care together. Weird, huh?
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. You are so right....
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 10:22 PM by Sugarbleus
It's getting very very scary. In my general area, hospitals have actually CLOSED the emergency rooms because of the "expense". A local radio host was lambasting the gov saying that the emergency rooms were the last best chance for the uninsured...HOWEVER, he also made it clear that, YES, it's very very expensive to care for people this way.

His premise is that we SHOULD have preventative care, national care, for those that need it (whatever), so that people are NOT dependant on emergency care solely, get the care they need before it becomes an emergency therefore keeping the costs down for the general public/hospitals and everyone's needs are met. Seems simple enough to me. I wonder why the bass tards in DC don't see it that way!!

There are so so many ways to deal with these problems, any number of solutions would be acceptable. Our Gov and it's bootlickers simply don't "wanna".. This is treachery.

My brother in law died, I believe, because his medicare was underfunded; he ended up in a teaching hospital, was bounced from one doc to another in his own community and died anyway. What his medicare didn't cover (drugs, long hospital stays, etc) left his widow, my sister in ENORMOUS DEBT!! The medical/hospital gang were trying to take her home away. She quickly put it in Trust for her son.

Now she is in need of medical care; swollen arthritic knees that need replacing, her teeth are falling out, but she cannot get any state healthcare. They say she has too much property. She owns a house, a guitar, an old extra car(which she is trying to sell) and depends on the kindness of friends to help her keep the house in sellable condition. So HIP HIP HOORAY for "Home ownership/the ownership society". :eyes:

Our own story isn't much better. Hubby's doc is such a quack, a neocon quack at that. It took an act of God to get the dumbF*** to make a referral for hubby to see a proctologist and have his prostate re examined. He's scared to death they are going to let him die.

Whadda country...........

edited for typo
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. our insurance man came in today, said health ins going up 40%
my husband is canceling insurance to the employees. cant afford it any longer. will give them an extra 100 a month, but is theirs to find. all these people voted for bush. the greatest excitement was for kerry to see if he could do something for us small business owners so we could pay health insurance for employees. we are done
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I hear you on this...
It is my personal belief that employers should NOT be the ones issuing healthcare benefits. I believe the healthcare should come for a government program separate from employment. A single payer thing or some other configuration, but not from employers.

My conclusion on this is that it frees up employers to handle and hire employees in a more efficient and profitable manner (for both parites) AND it provides Americans with health care all the while, even between goes with them. It also supplies access to quality healthcare for those who may be long term unemployed as well.

People pay into a single insurer on the basis of their ability to pay. The wealthier folk pay more, the lesser solvent folk pay less or zero. Just a thought. There are many scenarios that would work.

Any monies an employer might be paying into a health plan can be rolled over into "raises" :)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Dem Agenda
It has some of the tax credits for small business health care that Kerry had in his plan. The only thing I didn't see was buying into the federal plan, which is what I was interested in. But help for small business would help me too. The Kids First plan has a mechanism to help parents buy employer coverage, which would help employers too I would imagine. If you haven't signed the petition, here's a link to sign the petition and we've also set up a letter campaign to get Senators to co-sponsor it:
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resist Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I did sign the petition
But I'm sorry, this is not enough - all americans need health care, not just children,not just the totally indigent - we all need it. And we can afford it, by God. We all pay taxes and we have the right to use those taxes collectively in sensible ways. Star Wars is just NOT important enough to make upwards of 80 million people have to depend on dumb luck to stay alive.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. First step
Did you watch the speech? And on that note, did you read the Dem agenda, the actual agenda, not just the excerpts posted on it. It has more for health care as well. This is just the strategy used to get us back on a realistic plan for health care. People can have HSA's that cover nothing, or complete health care for their kids. What do you think they're going to choose?

"...I fought these last two years for a comprehensive health care plan that expanded coverage and lowered premiums, but Washington today is unwilling to tackle comprehensive health care reform. But we can sure begin where the cost of immediate action is low, and the cost of continued inaction is so very high: with our children.."

"...That's how the president who promised to usher in a "responsibility era" proposes to deal with a real and present health care crisis, even as he seeks to hype a phony crisis in Social Security. You know what that sounds like to me? Sounds like a cradle-to-grave irresponsibility plan.

My Kids First proposal is meant to serve as the first step towards ending this irresponsibility era and keeping our promises. And when it comes to giving kids health care coverage, it's a promise we not only can afford to keep, but one we cannot afford to break.."
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
10. Texas loses $104 million for not using CHIPs funds
Keep in mind, the bickering between these two is related to her wanting to take his job from him in the next gov election.

AUSTIN (AP) - Texas forfeited $104 million in federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program when it failed to spend all that was allocated to the state in 2002, according to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Gov. Rick Perry's office criticized Hutchison and Congress for not passing legislation that would allow the state to keep all the money allocated to the program.

"This is a problem of the senator's own making," said Perry spokesman Robert Black. "Texas didn't lose this money, the federal government took it away because we have no effective voice on the federal health subcommittee looking out for the interests of Texas uninsured." States have three years to spend each year's CHIP allotment before the money is redistributed to other states. Therefore, federal money allocated to Texas in 2002 could have been spent that year, or in 2003 or 2004.

Facing a $10 billion shortfall, lawmakers two years ago balanced the 2004-2005 state budget in part by tightening CHIP eligibility requirements and reducing services.

AUSTIN Texas' new wealth restrictions for poor families caused nearly 900 low-income children to be denied health care in the rules' first two months, according to the state.

Critics of cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program also say confusion about the new thresholds for a family's cash and car value has delayed the applications for thousands of children.

On Aug. 24, Texas became one of the few states to impose an "asset test" in CHIP, the state-federal program designed to help families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford health coverage. Through October, 870 kids were dropped using the test.

Under the new rule, as families apply for CHIP or come up for renewal each six months, they are supposed to be denied coverage if their incomes exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($23,505 for a family of three) and they own more than $5,000 in specified assets.
CHIP changes:
Higher premiums
Renewal every six months instead of annually
Elimination of dental and vision benefits
Reduction of mental health coverage
A 90-day wait for new coverage

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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Mississippi
Has a 3-1 federal match for Medicaid and is cutting 500 million from medicaid this year -- money that probably pays for itself in income taxes, etc. (we only need to collect 25 cents to provide 1 dollar of Medicaid funding due to the Federal Match rate).

500 million in MS with a population of 2 million HUGE. It will destroy many lives in this the most poverty ridden state in the country.

/rant off

Although I don't believe in a single payer system for a myriad of reasons, I do believe that everyone should have available basline (think VA) type care. If employers or individuals want to purchase amounts above that, I would have no problem with the idea. The baseline care I would see funded through private, not public companies.
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