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Author Topic: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick  (Read 21613 times)

Fletcher

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My personal plan if I find I have a terminal disease is to go out on my terms - coupla bags of dope sharp syringe - and a really [REALLY] nice dinner with a few close friends before my health care exit strategy.

I know there are some who want to do the hospital / hospice exit plan... and that can get brutally expensive.  Forcing families to sell homes [etc.] to meet the medical bills from hell.  

I've heard of insurance plans with "spending caps" - and other evil shit like that.  At the moment, I'm unemployed and have zero health care.  Before I moved back to the US in December and was living in the EU - I actually had no health insurance there either [subsequent to the termination of my employment] - but was under the understanding [or maybe I just wanted to believe it] that health care was considered a right - and while the care would have been bottom of the barrel - at least some would have been available.

There is a thread in Whatever Works that has turned into - or begun to turn into a discussion of healthcare in the US.  This was not the primary thrust and focus of what the thread should have been - hence I started this thread so some of our membership who feel strongly on this subject can discuss this topic without derailing the Roger Nichols thread.

Please feel free to discuss - vent - suggest to your hearts content here.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Tidewater

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Thanks buddy. I hear you, and 'me too'.

Before I even go up to WW, let me throw a bit of brevity on the pile before I lose my thought.

All the profits from the top 10 last week couldn't pay for one person's cancer treatments.
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bjornson

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My personal suggestion?
As a parent with four kids, health care decisions/expenses are the highest priority.
Before the new car, house, gear, vacation etc.
If you're self employed, research your options carefully and buy into a quality health insurance plan with a great history before you get sick.
There are good plans out there. Be prepared to pay!
Make use of the COBRA system between jobs.
Ditto on a very large QUALITY life insurance policy.
While that doesn't guarantee anything, it helps me sleep at night knowing I tried to minimize my family's risk through smart decision making and  healthy living habits.
I consider these two (large) monthly payments a critical part of my financial plan.
The system is broken no doubt. But I've got to cover my ass now to the best of my ability.
I also try not to forget that the first group health insurance plan is only 150 or so years old.




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Jay Kadis

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I've had Kaiser Permanante health care since I was born.  It's non-profit and, while far from perfect, has continued to provide what I need at an affordable price.  We can argue about personal responsibility for our health maintenance, but accidents and unavoidable diseases strike often enough to make a comprehensive system that addresses everyone's needs a necessity.  Removing the profit motive from health care seems to me to be the first step towards a maximally functional while still affordable system.

Les Ismore

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I'm from Canada so I find it amazing that the US has such a backward health care system.  I had a very bad disc problem a few years ago. I went to emergency (because I was told if I stayed out and waited for tests it would take a long time) and got an mri that night. I had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks to wait for a surgery slot because it wasn't life threatening (if I went home to wait I would lose my spot in line and it would take a long time). 2 weeks later I had spinal surgery, 2 days after that I was home.
total cost...........
$0.00

put that in your pipe and smoke it.

My dad died of lukemia a couple of years ago. And it did not bankrupt the family. He spent his final days in hospital with proper care, and then in hospice. It was still tough. It always is. But it didn't cost anything. And his life's savings weren't given to some awful corporation just to give him basic hospital care when he needed it.

I think that the way these corporations have the americans by the balls is disgusting and evil. It's time for you yanks to get angry and take control back from the corporations. Quit being a bunch of pussies. Really.
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DarinK

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Of course in the U.S. people should if at all possible purchase the best health insurance that they can, but no one should fool themselves into thinking that's enough.  Most bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to health costs, and most of those are for people who do have insurance.  Every plan requires some sort of payment at some point, and even if that payment isn't necessary until costs reach a certain point, and even if it is only a relatively small percentage, it still can be enough to wipe out all of a family's assets.  Short of overhauling the system, I'd recommend that anyone in such a position declare bankruptcy as soon as possible.  Do not sell your home, do not take out additional loans, do not sell anything at all unless it is absolutely necessary to meet the standards for bankruptcy.  To the best of my knowledge, once bankruptcy is declared you can't lose your primary residence or possessions.  There is currently no good solution.
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ssltech

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I suppose that I'm fortunate among US residents in that I can fall back upon the UK's health system, if something awful were to crop up.

But -since this thread seems to be 'sanctioned' for the political aspects, it annoys me that the shrieking heads of AM radio constantly refer to the US medical system as "the best on the world".

There are some fabulous doctors and healthcare professionals in the United States. -But the rest of the world shares the cost collectively within their borders... the US doesn't, and I've been told -correctly or otherwise, I have no means to test- that the US may be the ONLY civilized western society which doesn't do that.

This I find to be shocking, and I'm glad that I have an option, in case my US insurance bales on me.

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Les Ismore

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DarinK wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 13:37


Short of overhauling the system


Exactly.
Time to overhaul. Interesting that the people who profess to be angry (tea baggers) are actually trying to re-enforce the corporate agenda. I was watching a show on CBC last month (Canada's public national network that does excellent investigative reporting) that was showing that your old buddy Karl Rove was the man behind this "grass roots" organization. They go to great effort to make it appear "grass roots" when in fact it's actually corporate roots.
They're not stupid..... they're evil.

EDIT: My memory is not as good as it used to be. Perhaps it was another senior Republican power broker instead of Rove. But I believe it was Rove. The real people behind the tea baggers go to great lengths to stay hidden.
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Barry Hufker

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There is so much to say about the evils of the American Healthcare System.  Limiting my comments, I will say I find it odd that when discussing a person's illness, it can be freely said we should donate money to find a cure, but it is discouraged as "irrelevant" and "political" that we can't encourage people to fight against the diseased system driving the sick person to bankruptcy.

Barry

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Eric H.

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Tidewater wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 20:02


All the profits from the top 10 last week couldn't pay for one person's cancer treatments.

Who is making the prices?
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eric harizanos

Les Ismore

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 05:29:02 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 14:14

There is so much to say about the evils of the American Healthcare System.  Limiting my comments, I will say I find it odd that when discussing a person's illness, it can be freely said we should donate money to find a cure, but it is discouraged as "irrelevant" and "political" that we can't encourage people to fight against the diseased system driving the sick person to bankruptcy.

Barry




But there is no "cure" for cancer. And if they did discover one (I personally believe it is almost everything in our lifestyle that contributes) they would bury it because cancer "treatment" is such a huge business. This is great! An perpetual un-winable war against an invisible enemy. Lot's of money in there....

Meanwhile corporations are still putting chemicals into your food, clothing, furniture, bedding, cars, and everything else you can think of, that are known to cause cancer.

The "cure" for cancer is to go to some island somewhere and live completely separate from society. But wait, you'll have to get to the island by boat. And most older boats are contaminated with asbestos....  (that's what killed my Aunt and another close family friend)

Arghhh.....
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DarinK

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 05:51:51 pm »

Les Ismore wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 14:09

DarinK wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 13:37


Short of overhauling the system


Exactly.
Time to overhaul. Interesting that the people who profess to be angry (tea baggers) are actually trying to re-enforce the corporate agenda. I was watching a show on CBC last month (Canada's public national network that does excellent investigative reporting) that was showing that your old buddy Karl Rove was the man behind this "grass roots" organization. They go to great effort to make it appear "grass roots" when in fact it's actually corporate roots.
They're not stupid..... they're evil.

EDIT: My memory is not as good as it used to be. Perhaps it was another senior Republican power broker instead of Rove. But I believe it was Rove. The real people behind the tea baggers go to great lengths to stay hidden.


Most Americans actually do want to overhaul the system.  Polls have indicated that 60% want some sort of public option or single payer system.  Even with that much support, there was never even a serious attempt to put such a thing in the last big health care "overhaul" (corporate giveaway with a few decent bits & pieces for the rest of us).  So it's tough to know what to do when third parties (my choice) have no real say in the system and neither major party shows any real interest in change.  Some Dem pols may talk a good game, but even Kucinich signed off on the last package after private meetings with the president.

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Tidewater

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 07:31:35 pm »

Eric H. wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 17:24

Tidewater wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 20:02


All the profits from the top 10 last week couldn't pay for one person's cancer treatments.

Who is making the prices?



The elves that live in the magic place that cures come from?

A shiny jewel that is polished by a unicorn princess crossing a golden rainbow of happiness?

An evil guy who only invested money in a cure to make a profit?

My mother belongs to the tea party. I take HUGE offense to anyone who calls my mother a tea bagger. Watch your mouths. Thanks. I don't call you all pillow biting commies.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I just lost a great friend to colon cancer, and he was on $60k worth of meds a month. and one experimental drug to the next. Was a miracle. It was free.

You know how he got that stuff? He searched for it. Helping hisself.. with help from others.

2 in a year, same circumstances. Over 1m dollars worth of meds between 2 people, not including the treatments, and visits. I have seen our system working.

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DarinK

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 08:00:32 pm »

Tidewater wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 16:31

Eric H. wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 17:24

Tidewater wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 20:02


All the profits from the top 10 last week couldn't pay for one person's cancer treatments.

Who is making the prices?



The elves that live in the magic place that cures come from?

A shiny jewel that is polished by a unicorn princess crossing a golden rainbow of happiness?

An evil guy who only invested money in a cure to make a profit?

My mother belongs to the tea party. I take HUGE offense to anyone who calls my mother a tea bagger. Watch your mouths. Thanks. I don't call you all pillow biting commies.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I just lost a great friend to colon cancer, and he was on $60k worth of meds a month. and one experimental drug to the next. Was a miracle. It was free.

You know how he got that stuff? He searched for it. Helping hisself.. with help from others.

2 in a year, same circumstances. Over 1m dollars worth of meds between 2 people, not including the treatments, and visits. I have seen our system working.




You may not mean it this way, but please understand that what you are saying is translated in some of our minds to be, "If you go bankrupt due to illness it's your own damn fault and I don't care about you or your family's suffering, I don't care about all the Americans without healthcare, I don't care about the children who suffer & die in the current system, because it's all somebody else's fault, and if that somebody else would just try harder then all the problems would disappear."
Again, I doubt you mean it that way, but that's the way it can be interpreted.
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maxim

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 08:05:53 pm »

australian medicare is funded by 1.5-2.5 % tax:

  http://www.ato.gov.au/youth/content.asp?doc=/content/39655.h tm

when my father was dying from prostate cancer, he wanted to die at home, rather than a respite centre

the government provided (FREE OF CHARGE) an adjustable bed, all the necessary pain relief, including intravenous access units and twice daily respite nurse visits

it was a dignified way to go...
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