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  • OT: My next door neighbor died needlessly

    My neignbor told me she wasn;t feeling well, but didn't have any health insurance and couldn;t afford to see a doctor. She figured whatever was run would run it's course and she's be OK in a little while.

    Next thing I know, her mother is telling me she's in the hospital in intensive care, and 2 days later she died. She had a kidney infection that spread to her liver. had she treated it immediately, she would still be alive.

    This woman died because she couldn't afford health insurance. I think it's time we instituted some sort of national health care system to make sure that never happens again. Some people will call that socialism. I don't care. People's lives are more important than lables or political or economic philosophies.
    "When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist." - Mother Teresa.

    "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in the American flag and carrying the cross of Jesus"- Sinclair Lewis.

    'Ketchup is a vegetable" - Ronald Reagan.

    "Let's all hope Olbermann gets put in the hospital for something serious fairly soon" - G.Z. Sound
    +++++
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  • #2
    It happens all the time, sadly.

    I'm not a fan of the idea of a national healthcare program. I just think our nation has become too reliant on insurance companies for aid with healthcare coverage, and I've been wondering what would happen if that type of coverage was abolished. My questions are:

    Could doctors, pharmaceutical co's, etc, survive at their current rates if there were no insurance companies? Also, could the US survive the shock of the transition to a society without them, or are we too far gone? It's clear that healthcare is something everyone needs. Therefore, should not the average bill be reasonable? Most US citizens already have insurance of some sort, so it's unlikely that there would be an astronomical influx of clientele, large enough to overwhelm practices. However, what new clientele there would be might recoup a bit of the lost profits from reduced fees. It's a really tough issue to tackle, because there are so many variables. Some might argue that today's fees are justified. Honestly, I can't say. I'm not a doctor. I'm a history major. Just observing, looking back through US history tends to make me think that the existence of the insurance companies is how drastic fees for simple things are derived. I might be wrong. Won't know till something goes down.

    [/incoherent rambling]
    Reality is the original Rorschach.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's really sad.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bummer.

        Comment


        • #5
          In december, I graduate college and I won't be insured anymore. According to my insurance company, once I'm done with college they consider me out of the family. I won't have a job with benefits right away...and I'm a corneal transplant patient. This is going to be expensive....Oh, to be in america, where you have to buy yoru health like it was just a gigantic glazed donut...

          This should be interesting...

          Bummer about your neighbor...you'd think the government would get a wakeup call from things like this...but hey, there's no money in wakeup calls, now, is there?
          GuitarCenter sucks.
          MusiciansFriend sucks.
          This has been a public service message.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mike, I'm sorry to hear about your neighbor. That sounds like a really sad story.

            You know...the Christian in me says that no one who needs help should ever go without that help regardless of where it comes from.
            But the realist in me knows that in this world there are many who will take advantage of a situation that is designed to help people and there are those who are selfish and would not want to contribute to helping others.
            Unfortunately this world runs on generalizations, stereotypes, and the principles of "to each his own", "fend for yourself" and "take what you can WHILE you can".

            It's sad really...
            "Sarcasm...it's what's for dinner!"
            Dave's tunage and more...
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            • #7
              ...creaking under the strain a bit but if you need care you get it! You can get to see your doctor, you can go to emergency day or night and if you are in deep trouble an ambulance will pick you up.
              My mother died in February and she couldn't have got better treatment anywhere in the world and it was all free. Well of course it is not free...we all have to contibute from our pay packets but it is percentage based. I reckon that when my kids were born the true cost easily outweighed any contributions that I made. It isn't perfect now because our political masters have let it slide but it is still better than nothing!

              Comment


              • #8
                Unfortunately, Mike, your neighbor was ignorant of the fact that LA County would have provided free health services. That means she would have had to have gone to a county hospital, like USC...and arguably the care provided is not the best, but it would have most likely been adequate to diagnose her condition and prevent her needless passing. My heart goes out to her family and friends who, for whatever reason, were unable to help her or counsel her.

                No one should feel as though they cannot get medical attention , particularly in this country, and this state. We do have socialistic programs, perhaps not as well conceived or executed as those of other industrialized nations, but the safety net is there if you can find it.
                "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

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                • #9
                  You're right.

                  If this was just one single case it would be bad enough, but this must be repeated virtually every day all over the nation. I just don't get why we're prepared to put up with it, and being being gouged on the insurance at the same time too. Crazy.

                  Still , sympathy and condolencences,

                  MQTA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Eristic
                    It happens all the time, sadly.

                    I'm not a fan of the idea of a national healthcare program. I just think our nation has become too reliant on insurance companies for aid with healthcare coverage, and I've been wondering what would happen if that type of coverage was abolished. My questions are:

                    Could doctors, pharmaceutical co's, etc, survive at their current rates if there were no insurance companies? Also, could the US survive the shock of the transition to a society without them, or are we too far gone? It's clear that healthcare is something everyone needs. Therefore, should not the average bill be reasonable? Most US citizens already have insurance of some sort, so it's unlikely that there would be an astronomical influx of clientele, large enough to overwhelm practices. However, what new clientele there would be might recoup a bit of the lost profits from reduced fees. It's a really tough issue to tackle, because there are so many variables. Some might argue that today's fees are justified. Honestly, I can't say. I'm not a doctor. I'm a history major. Just observing, looking back through US history tends to make me think that the existence of the insurance companies is how drastic fees for simple things are derived. I might be wrong. Won't know till something goes down.

                    [/incoherent rambling]


                    First of all, it is very sad that the neighbor was unaware of alternatives to going without health care. I'm sure this is a common occurence. People tend to downplay their illnesses, anyway, and being without health care in this society makes you a charity case. People are reluctant to put themselves in such a degrading position as to go to the hospital without the ability to pay.

                    Unfortunately, I think if the insurance system were abolished, unless malpractice laws were changed, it would either keep costs high or drive doctors out of business. This society has somehow come to believe that medicine is an exact science and that those who practice it should be accountable for results. The consumer is protected from sub-standard medical care through the court system. Individual doctors could be ruined by one judgment against them, so the cost is spread out among all doctors through malpractice insurance. All consumers pay for the privilege of suing doctors through fees calculated to absorb the cost of malpractice insurance.

                    The result is that the system is open to abuse by the litigious, bad doctors are supported by the system, and health care is not affordable without health insurance. Malpractice insurance not only raises the overall cost of health care to meet the cost of judgments against doctors, but it adds the cost of all the insurance company employees and profits, and all the lawyers who engage in the litigation. Health care insurance is another layer of costs due to the involvement of more giant organizations with the need to absorb overhead and show a profit.

                    I don't mind my doctors and nurses making good money from their investment in education and the hard work they put in every day, and the claim this profession puts on their time. But I really don't want to be making lawyers and insurance company executives rich in the process.

                    Nobody wants to be the victim of incompetent doctors, but do we want to pay every time we visit the doctor for the sympathy the jury feels for the mother who lost her child due to complications during child birth? Juries know doctors have insurance, so even if they feel the doctor did all he could, they may award money to the plaintiff - why not screw the insurance company when you get a chance? Not that juries are necessarily that jaded, but emotions may color their perceptions.

                    I think we need to get away from the idea that any time something goes wrong there is someone to blame, and that the loss of life can be re-paid in money to the survivors. The problem is, with the current system, the only ones who win in health care are the those willing to sue whenever things don't go their way - and those who help them do it.

                    Sorry for the length, but this is a complicated issue, and I'm just scratching the surface. Just MHO.

                    No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

                    Old is the new new.

                    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
                    -Dorothy Parker

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most US citizens already have insurance of some sort

                      I don't know the exact figures, but there are millions who do not.

                      .....in this world there are many who will take advantage of a situation that is designed to help people

                      Sad but true. Under our current Medicare system, millions of dollars are being ripped off every year by quacks and frauds.

                      your neighbor was ignorant of the fact that LA County would have provided free health services...

                      I have no personal experience with the county system, but I've heard a few horror stories about the quality of care, including a case of a man with diabetes who was unable to get a correct diagnosis for 9 months, while he continually was shuffled from one doctor to another.

                      I don't know what the answer is. I do know though that other countries have better public health care systems than we do.

                      Terje, What is it like in Sweden?
                      "When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist." - Mother Teresa.

                      "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in the American flag and carrying the cross of Jesus"- Sinclair Lewis.

                      'Ketchup is a vegetable" - Ronald Reagan.

                      "Let's all hope Olbermann gets put in the hospital for something serious fairly soon" - G.Z. Sound
                      +++++
                      My web site

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stringman

                        I don't know the exact figures, but there are millions who do not.


                        According to the Census Bureau in 2002, there are about 43.6 million without health insurance. However, that works out to only about 15.2 percent of the 288,368,698 (2002).

                        You've inspired me to start researching more in depth on the issue, to see why that 15.2% does not have health ins (poverty, etc...).
                        Reality is the original Rorschach.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ooops, don't forget to add anyone NOT included in the census to those numbers. I'm sure there are plenty of people that don't have health insurance not included there--could be anywhere from homeless to just dodging the government, for all we know. I wonder what kind of an estimate the census bureau has for this?
                          GuitarCenter sucks.
                          MusiciansFriend sucks.
                          This has been a public service message.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dirtyragamuffin
                            I wonder what kind of an estimate the census bureau has for this?


                            I don't know. http://www.census.gov/
                            Reality is the original Rorschach.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Eristic


                              According to the Census Bureau in 2002, there are about 43.6 million without health insurance. However, that works out to only about 15.2 percent of the 288,368,698 (2002).

                              You've inspired me to start researching more in depth on the issue, to see why that 15.2% does not have health ins (poverty, etc...).


                              Only 15%?!?

                              That's a lot! One out of seven people without insurance is way too many.

                              I wonder how many people who have medical conditions have lost their jobs, and because they were unable to maintain exorbitant COBRA costs while unemployed, even though they have health insurance now, their condition is excluded because it was pre-existing?

                              I would imagine a large number of people in their early twenties are in that (no insurance) group. They lost their parents' coverage at 18 or when they left college, and haven't gotten a job with coverage yet. Or they have a job which offers insurance only if you pay a large percentage of it. At that age, it doesn't seem like that big of a risk to go without it.

                              Add to the fifteen percent the number of people who have to pay huge amounts for insurance, keeping their lifestyle at a poverty level.

                              I'll be interested to see the results of your research.
                              No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

                              Old is the new new.

                              I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
                              -Dorothy Parker

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