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Joined: Sep 2001
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Platinum_AS_Kicker
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Quote:

another day, another story about the pharmaceutical companies breaking the law

even the existing laws:

Pfizer pays largest criminal fine in U.S. history, 1.19 billion

hits close to home for me, I'm taking Neurontin!



You're right, another day, another story...here's a new article that may be of interest to those taking Neurontin.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091111/ap_on_he_me/us_med_pfizer_research_flap

And another today (zyprexa) http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705343716/Drug-company-settles-Utah-suit.html

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Silver_AS_Kicker
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Dow,

I guess I interpreted that blog post a little differently. He, based on what I interpreted, is basically stating that the healthcare system (sickcare as he termed it) is broken no matter who foots the bill. He also was attempting to make a point that private entities (insurers, etc.) are in cahoots with the state. It is a similar concept to that of what took place with the bailouts. Privatize profits and publicize losses.

I'm attempting to see this health insurance reform thing constructively, full spectrum if you will. Us versus them (Dems vs. Repubs...where in the end they will both sell the American public out) perpetuate the status quo.

A couple of thoughts on the Congressman's words...

Regarding Veteran's Health Benefits...nothing will change for a person under Veteran's Benefits. That means that they will continue to receive the same level of questionable care that they currently receive. No improvements. I must be missing something on this one.

Regarding the illegal aliens. Sure, they are left out of the bill. In other words, now they don't have to pay any taxes like citizens do if they do not procure suitable coverage, yet they will still get, what amounts to care at no cost, through Emergency Rooms. Best of both worlds.

Regarding his spiel about "evading taxation, etc". He's basically telling you that a new tax is on the way. Who do you think is going to enforce that? The IRS. IRS agents carry guns. Fabulous.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
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Dow Offline
Imperial_AS_Kicker
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Imperial_AS_Kicker
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Quote:

Dow,

I guess I interpreted that blog post a little differently. He, based on what I interpreted, is basically stating that the healthcare system (sickcare as he termed it) is broken no matter who foots the bill. He also was attempting to make a point that private entities (insurers, etc.) are in cahoots with the state. It is a similar concept to that of what took place with the bailouts. Privatize profits and publicize losses.

I'm attempting to see this health insurance reform thing constructively, full spectrum if you will. Us versus them (Dems vs. Repubs...where in the end they will both sell the American public out) perpetuate the status quo.




I may be a little more optimistic, don't see it as impossible to fix, and not so much as a thing between Dems vs Repubs BUT between the public and the health care giants

I DO see resistance from those who would not like this to be a feather-in-the-cap for Obama, and increase his chance of re-election...

and like I said, I'm not so naive to think that this would be the end of scandals regarding payoffs from the health care companies to influence legislation, I have no doubt that we will continue to see that, but that this will move things in the right direction.


Quote:

A couple of thoughts on the Congressman's words...

Regarding Veteran's Health Benefits...nothing will change for a person under Veteran's Benefits. That means that they will continue to receive the same level of questionable care that they currently receive. No improvements. I must be missing something on this one.




Well, the health care reform isn't specifically aimed at veterans, more about bringing health care to people that have none at this time. But on that subject, there are other improvements being brought about now:

Administration, Congress Seek To Provide More Assistance To Homeless, Jobless Vets. According to the Christian Science Monitor (11/12, 48K), the Obama Administration is "trying to accelerate support for military veterans who are homeless or jobless." New initiatives by the President Obama, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, "and by members of Congress focus on improving" vets' living standards. Shinseki recently "convened a national summit aimed at ending homelessness among vets within five years." Several "bills in Congress...aim to support Shinseki's goal." Obama, meanwhile, "signed an executive order Monday establishing a new interagency Council on Veterans Employment to encourage" Federal "hiring of former service members." The initiatives come "as a recession has added to challenges that war veterans often face."

Quote:

Regarding the illegal aliens. Sure, they are left out of the bill. In other words, now they don't have to pay any taxes like citizens do if they do not procure suitable coverage, yet they will still get, what amounts to care at no cost, through Emergency Rooms. Best of both worlds.




Emergency room only coverage is not comparable to real health care! And their treatment here is nothing compared to what we as vacationers to other countries would get, for instance if you were to visit the UK, get sick, need medical assistance, the coverage would be free, as it would be for UK citizens

Or how about the recent story about John McCain's mother, who needed medical care after falling while being in Portugal, wonder how much she had to pay?

Quote:

Regarding his spiel about "evading taxation, etc". He's basically telling you that a new tax is on the way. Who do you think is going to enforce that? The IRS. IRS agents carry guns. Fabulous.




Gun carrying IRS agents??! They just do the paperwork, send out notices of delinquent tax payments, put the ball in motion that can lead to a court date, and due process.

Personally, I'm not at this moment concerned about paying more in taxes health care reform, last I looked, I'm definitely not one of the top 0.3 percent of US citizens, pretty sure I'm not going to be making more than $500,000 a year adjusted gross income any time soon!


Dow
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This is such a hot topic, it's too much to try and jump into the middle of it and understand what is going on so I'll just toss this into the foaming waters and hope it might be useful...

I saw a fantastic show on TV last week about how the US might be able to learn from other healthcare systems around the world. It was a great show and would be of interest to people here, I suspect.

It was a PBS thing, Frontline: Sick Around the World,
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

Hope you enjoy it (unless of course four-hundred people have already posted this link...in which case I guess, I hope you enjoyed it...lol)

Chris

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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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thanks chris,

i'm pretty sure i haven't seen this program mentioned here yet, unless i missed it somehow.....looks interesting!



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
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Imperial_AS_Kicker
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excellent, Chris

Documentary seems to do a really good job of focusing on each country, including both the pros and cons

in the UK section, the section I was able find to find to view online, it shows that the citizens are shielded from out of pocket expenses, but doesn't pretend that it is without a price, we all know that they pay for it in their high taxes, but the amount per-person by the National Health Service is about half what we Americans pay. And doesn't ignore the weak points, elective procedures, and that in order to get access to a specialist they must go through the gatekeeper of their primary doctor, and often wait long times for those specialist appointments

Really key to their system is the fact that the hospitals compete for the government-paid services, the citizens get to choose which hospital to go to, so it's not like the least expensive hospital will automatically get that contract, quality counts, that strikes me as sensible mechanism

and just wild to see the people protesting in the streets, upset about the idea that there were at the time of the film, efforts to privatize some health care functions, just the opposite of what people are doing in America

In contrast:

I wish PBS would re-run our "Critical Condition" doc, which tells the stories of 4 Americans, who for different reasons, couldn't get adequate health care. Though there are portions of the individual segments available on YouTube:

sorry if they are tough to watch, this is what the problem actually looks like

Carlos (suffers from AS)

Hector's (gangrene, diabetes)

Joe (diabetes, edema)


Dow
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I watched Carlos' story and that was pretty sobering. Not that I was drunk when I watched it...you know what I mean.

The stats at the end were the most startling, I thought.

The "Sick Around the World" doc gets really interesting when you look at the whole thing because they show four or five countries, how they structured their healthcare systems and what the inherent flaws with each system are. The idea is all about which lessons might Americans learn from each of these other systems and how could they be incorporated into the current healthcare system - what would the major challenges be and such.

The one question they asked in every single country was "How many people go bankrupt due to medical bills each year in your country" and in every case, they look at the guy like he was speaking in tongues...none, no one has ever gone bankrupt, etc. is the answer every time. If you can find the whole show, you wouldn't regret it, I'm sure.

From our perspective up here in the frosty north, any improvement would be a good improvement. I for one, think the US is taking steps in the right direction.

Not to imply that our system should be the model for everyone else either, we need to do a lot of work up here to sort out our own issues too.

Chris

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I really don't see this as a battle between the public (Joe and Jane on the street) and the health care giants. Sure there is a battle going on there. However, I see a mighty struggle between government (public) and big business (private). I also guess I see this as much less of political issue too (i.e. feather in the cap of Obama comment). I think if the bill wasn't so radical, instead enacting measured changes, there wouldn't be as much of a hullabaloo. Looking at it from a partisan view (which seems to be a recurring theme), I laud the Dems for initiating the process. I certainly can get behind the effort to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Enacting other mandates such as eliminating obstacles for those preexisting illnesses, retroactively canceling policies, and likely a few more are also favorable in my opinion. However, I believe much of the bill is too vast at this time and I don't believe their underlying intentions are genuine. I think my opinion could be supported by the fact that the health care reform bill (whether it be H.R. 3200 or the recently passed H.R. 3962) has few co-sponsors given the fact that it is such important legislation. That tells me that either folks in the House don't believe it in, or are afraid to put their name to it fearing that it would be somehow destructive to their political careers. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

The healthcare bill may not be specifically aimed at Veterans, however the first sentence in the bill reads "To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans
and reduce the growth in health care spending, and
for other purposes." It occurs to me that Veterans would fall under the "all Americans" umbrella. I'm also left scratching my head if these legislators took time to craft a near 2,000 page document, but found no room or time to address the healthcare of Veterans. Also, I'm all for anything that benefits those who serve or served our country (regarding combating homelessness among veterans). This is somehow shocking though seeing that the President's Homeland Security Secretary issued a memo a while back that all servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan should be suspected of domestic terror activities. Way to marginalize those that serve our country.

DHS Memo

However, neither the initiative of which you speak or this memo have little, if anything, to do with this healthcare reform. I'm not sure why that Congressman brought the subject up if it is a non-issue.

Regarding the illegal aliens and healthcare. There's a significant difference between a tourist/visitor to this country receiving temporary, ambulatory care versus those that enter the country, taking up permanent residence, expecting free health care and clogging up Emergency Rooms to obtain it. I wouldn't have a problem including the cost of care for tourists in dire need (as I really don't think those who vacation here have intentions of falling ill). Illegal immigrant clearly aren't tourists. I don't know if other citizens share this opinion. There was quite some coverage locally about Grady hospital and what would happen to the illegal immigrants receiving free dialysis care Grady Dialysis. While I don't want to see anyone suffer, there is no reason that these folks can't return to Mexico to get the care they need. The hospital has even offered to return them to Mexico. Personally, what perplexes me is why ICE isn't all over this making sure that they are back in Mexico. Perhaps another government agency failing to adequately execute their mission? Back to health care.

Regarding the IRS agents. Yes. They do carry guns. Do all IRS employees. Probably not. I hope the unhelpful old bat I spoke to when the IRS failed to process my payment a few years ago didn't carry. All IRS agents? I don't know. However, my father remarked that the neighbor down the street who works for the IRS and carried a gun. I said, oh, yes, some of these agents do carry firearms. I then relayed a story of my friend's father (who currently owns and has owned multiple small businesses) decided, for a month(?) or whatever period of time, that it was (temporarily) more important to pay his employees than it was to pay the feds. The revenue agent he was required to meet about the issue was armed. Yes, it's true, some of them do a little more than "the paperwork, send out notices of delinquent tax payments, put the ball in motion that can lead to a court date, and due process."

I'm not worried about that (earning $500,000 or more any time ever) either. However, I do have concerns about not potentially being able to afford health insurance and having some goon show up to apprehend me because of it. That is a huge flaw I see in this healthcare bill. What might be more disturbing is that they now have the power to tell you that you must have health insurance or else.

Wishing us all good health.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
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Imperial_AS_Kicker
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Quote:

The one question they asked in every single country was "How many people go bankrupt due to medical bills each year in your country" and in every case, they look at the guy like he was speaking in tongues...none, no one has ever gone bankrupt, etc. is the answer every time. If you can find the whole show, you wouldn't regret it, I'm sure.




The scariest US statistic of all the research done so far is this one:

"Using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical"

Himmelstein study


and those medical problems often lead to mortgage defaults:

"Half of all respondents (49%) indicated that their foreclosure was caused in part by a medical problem, including illness or injuries (32%), unmanageable medical bills (23%), lost work due to a medical problem (27%), or caring for sick family members (14%)"

Get Sick, Get Out

that's where this health care reform issue intersects with the nation's economy, and our ability to compete on a world scale


Dow
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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Im not really directing this at anyone in particular but I just wanted to say that yes, we have filed bancruptcy in the past due to medical bills..it was a really hard decision because we did use the services but between the high prices of the insurance, the co-pays, drugs ect..we just couldn't keep up.

I do not condone bancruptcy as a way to so call wipe the slate clean unless it is a last alternative. I don't agree with people that run up credit and use it as a way to get out of their responsibility.

I believe we filed with more than $50,000 in medical debt, our credit card debt was less than $1000.00

I have seen people basically lose all they have because of staggering medical treatment or expenses with little or no insurance.

The really sad thing is that we HAD health insurance and were paying $650.00 a month to have it with a $5000.00 deductible even having that wiped us out.

From what I read about what they so called passed last week was nothing but a joke.

They will REQUIRE every american to carry health insurance...sometimes I can't believe how stupid our government can be. If you force people to have it it will be worse than it is now.

I read where the insurance companies said they would just sky rocket the rates before the new law kicked in....WOW!

Im not sure what it is going to take but it sure seems like no one gets it (in the government) or realizes just how bad it is....oh but I forgot if you are a member of the congress, house ect... besides your many hundreds of thousands of dollars you get a year, you will also get that when you retire..we have to keep paying for you once you retire with I am sure the best insurance available to you...sheesh!


Speak kindly, Live simply, Care deeply, Love generously, and BLAH, HA, HA, LOUDLY! every chance you get.

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