February 5th, 2011

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Pass it on

Seven and a half years ago my husband had a major stroke. Just the initial transfer to a hospital and the first battery of tests and then the three days he spent in an intensive care ward were billed at more than $50,000. More money followed, in terms of a lengthy nursing home stay, and then both in-patient and out-patient rehab.

If he had not been on Medicare already, we would have been wiped out. Or he would have been dead.

American healthcare is a desperate joke - and will remain one as long as the idea that health can be a profit-based business is clung to. Health care is a goddamned service industry, not a company whose shares are bought and sold in a stock market. There should be no "stockholder involvement" here at all. Health is a basic necessity for human existence, a productive one at least, and entirely too many of AMerica's productive and creative citizens are being hung out to dry because they do not receive CEO salaries, or are being buried alive in jobs that are killing them because they cannot afford to leave them in case they lose their benefits.

The current healthcare bill could have been so much more, had the powers-that-be not already caved to the demands to take a single-payer option or even a Medicare buy-in off the table before the GOP would even deign to come up to the table.

I seriously advocate rescinding that oh-so-heinous "socialist" healthcare package currently enjoyed by Congresscritters and Senators. That, or give the same damned deal to the rest of us.

Originally posted by ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [info]ramblin_phyl)

and as referenced by rolanni

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.

I'm going to post my story as the first comment to this post if anyone would like to read it. If anyone wants to tell their story, please tell it on your own journal and post a link in the comments. Maybe, just maybe, TPTB will listen to the slaves peons who clean their toilets before they have to clean their own.