Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Politicians and Health Insurers

As the drug made from blood product drips slowly into my daughter's veins this morning, I am struck by the irony of the article I am reading in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, an article with the title: HEALTH LOBBY SPENDS HEAVILY ON GOP. In a nutshell, the article describes the fantastic amounts of money being poured into Republican coffers as we speak, as the drug drips slowly into my daughter's veins, by the insurance companies, those bastions of health and service and morality whose lobbying efforts are the real movers and shakers in this "healthcare reform debate." I'm reading of their initial interest in the healthcare reform act, of how they poured money into Democratic leaders' coffers when they realized how much they stood to benefit should tens of millions of uninsured people be compelled to purchase insurance. But now the tide has turned. They are chafing at the new bits imposed. "The health reform law did not deliver the uninsured in the way that insurers wanted," says one veteran healthcare analyst. "Some insurers have said recently that they will stop selling some policies rather than comply with the mandate to cover sick children."

Do you want to feel sick? Read this article -- although I imagine most of you suspected it all, anyway. I'm reading it as the drug drips into my child's veins, and it's making my own blood boil. I'm going to let it boil, but I'm also going to use this anger productively and vote, stay engaged, fight for healthcare reform. There's a part of me that feels as if it's a losing cause -- that our country has totally succumbed to the evils of corporatism and big money -- the military/pharmaceutical/industrial complex - and who am I to go against these Goliaths? I am admonished by my conservative friends, by my conservative relatives. I feel pressure to be more "moderate" -- to lessen my own "rhetoric" and see to understand "the other side." 

You know what? I'm reading a little book right now for my training fellowship called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It's not really my cup of tea as it combines self-help with business principles, but what I read last night resonates with me this morning. There is an exercise the author recommends -- imagine your end, he says, imagine knowing when your end, your death might be. 

Here's how I'm using that today:

If I were to die tomorrow, I'd want to be on THIS side and not theirs -- the Republicans and the Insurance Industry. They make my blood boil, and they make me sick.


  1. Think of us the Lilliputians and they are Gulliver. Together, we can bring them down and tie them up.

    I was allowing myself to sink into a deep gloom, but I will not quit. We dare not, for the result is unthinkable if we do.

  2. People have gotten so selfish. The more the social safety net is torn, the more selfish people get--out of fear. I'm talking about the way most people are responding to the healthcare crisis, not so much the insurers. Also, few people have our experiences and perspectives. People just can't imagine that their lives will fall apart or that they will be dependent.

  3. There are multitudes of Americans who are one sickness away from bankruptcy, and they don't even know it. And not just the uninsured, but also people with "fairly good" coverage. A car accident, a heart attack, a stroke, a complication at birth that requires time in the NICU are not highly unlikely events: they can easily happen to anyone. Just for reference, a simple little NICU bill can be a couple hundred thousand dollars.

    It is scary how easily people can be manipulated into acting against their own interest. It's also funny that the same people who rail against healthcare reform will take advantage of medicare or medicaid after they retire. Isn't it ironic that 'in the greatest country in the world', on the 'land of the free' healthcare is not considered a basic right? I know, healthcare costs money, but so does education, or the fire department, or the police department, or the war(s).

  4. It's sickening and there is no pun intended there.

  5. I believe in doing whatever we can. One hand in the dike made a difference...

  6. Definitely makes me sick. We can't afford not to do all we can to change it.

  7. Sickened by the story but inspired by your commitment.

  8. Try this: into ER at 7:30 PM, one X-ray, 1 CTscan, 1 shot of Lovenox and some morphine, pulmonary embolism found after 5 hours (!) out of there by 6:00 AM. The bill? $6,800.- No insurance because of "preexisting condition".

    Per singular infusion, 5 hours, lab and pharmacy. The bill? $10,800.- No insurance because the treatment is for a "preexisting condition". So far we have gone through 10 infusions.

    Of course the oligarchy in this country doesn't care. Why should they? you and I are paying for their health insurance with our taxes to support a corrupt system. A dear friend is now fighting with Blue Cross in California after she had surgery approved by them and now denying payment. Thank goodness her doctors kept every single email, phone call and signed little piece of paper. But she has to fight it anyway, adding insult to injury.

    I just don't get it, I swear. It is not only the ignorance that drives me crazy, but the lack of compassion and caring for other human beings that makes this as sinister as any nightmare. What the Republicans have become is incomprehensible. The environment, health issues, education...sigh. Not only the NO! party but worse, the GOP stands now for Greed Over People.

    Heaven help us if we don't get them out of our hair and our lives long enough to go back to reason and act upon it.

  9. I am thankful that Sophie had her infusion. I hope/pray that it helps her. XOXOXO

  10. I didn't read the article because even reading this made me break out in a sweat....sick is right.

  11. Amen! its so ridiculous, and i am stumped as to why so many people cant see it right under their noses....

  12. Yes, Americans should wake up and smell the anesthesia that seems to permeate the air in the USA these days. Of course the "health care providers" and drug companies pouring money into defeating any change in the status quo in America, that is where the "health care" game is rigged to the Max.

    A friend just had a cyst removed in France this summer, the surgery under anesthetic and recovery for four hours in the hospital and pain medicine for the rest of the week cost 75 Euros. Even at the current exchange rate of $1.39 to 1 Euro, that's around $105.

    Several years ago I had a bout with the flu turn into walking pneumonia. The hotel clerk got me an appointment right away with a doctor down the street. The visit was 25 Euros, the antibiotic and cough syrup cost 8 Euros. A similar visit and medicine in the US at that time, after having to struggle to get anyone within a 15 mile radius to see me, since my "regular doctor" had recently died, was $100 for the 5 minutes with the doctor and $50 for only the antibiotic.

    The American people are being royally screwed for comparatively Bad Quality "health care", even when they are paying through the nose every month for insurance.

    And then you add the collusion going on between the politicians and the drug + "health care" corporations?!! Truly a pitiful state of affairs.

    My heart goes out to you, Elizabeth. You have to deal with this system on a daily basis.


  13. I have a particular satisfaction that things aren't turning out the way the insurance company's thought .... until I think that it has to do with people continuing to go without insurance. So much of our current events reminds me of Charles Dickens' era ... it is so good that you are writing about this .... voice is power.

  14. Amen. I am so discouraged, but I keep up the good fight. Did you know that Jon Stewart is heading up a rally in Washington, DC on 10/30/10? Perhaps folks are starting to take to the streets (even if Glen Beck had to do it first).

  15. It seems sometimes that things never change.

    I am reminded of a bracelet that used to be all the rage a few years ago. It said, WWJD. What would Jesus do?

    Bear with me as I have given up christianity, but I believe Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple and lived with prostitutes and the poor. Hmmm.

  16. I think that the state of healthcare is pretty much a bipartisan mess. The Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame in my eyes. The insurance companies already have a captive market with physicans, for whom malpractice insurance is mandatory, and it's such a scam. First, the premiums are exorbitant, and secondly the payouts are about nil because the insurance companies have locked up the judicial system with their expert witnesses. I am worried that we will become another captive and helpless audience.

    One of my friends was recently denied insurance for a preexisting condition -- she was pregnant at the time!



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