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View Diary: Audit shows 98% of federal funds earmarked to help uninsured haven't been spent (108 comments)

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  •  The mistake on the administration's and Dems' part (11+ / 0-)

    was ceding ground at the beginning re:  whether or not the poor could afford to pay anything, and whether or not pre-existing conditions would be "forgiven" for any new coverage.

    It's not going to benefit the very populations it's supposed to benefit, unless they can have access to it and can afford to pay for it.  For-profit insurance will never work to the benefit of such populations unless there is a strong governmental set of regulations and laws in place forcing them to take care of such populations.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 09:21:57 AM PDT

    •  "For profit insurance" = hiring someone to insure (17+ / 0-)

      your health, that makes the most money by not paying for your health care.

      Yeah.  That's always been a great idea!   To actually pay somebody to make a greater profit by figuring out ways not to do what I hired them to do.

      •  Exactly-- it's one of the worst things that (10+ / 0-)

        developed in our country in the 20th century.  Absolutely one of the most disastrous developments in our nation's modern history.  And nobody seems to be able to do a thing about fixing it.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 09:44:04 AM PDT

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        •  It's not insurance if you're certain to need it (7+ / 0-)

          That's the thing - the whole concept of "insurance" supposes that there's a risk of an event not certain to occur.  The insurer believes, through actuarial tables, can put a price on the likelihood of its occurrence, and I, with risk aversion, will pay more than the statistical "price" of that occurrence because the loss, if it occurred, would be devastating to me.

          But none of this works in the context of health care.  I have never gone a year in my life without utilizing at least routine wellness care.  And I tend to get minor stuff, like sinus infections, all the way up to more serious stuff, more or less yearly.  About every 5 years something really expensive tends to happen.

          It doesn't make sense - the for-profit insurance industry is always looking to minimize the payout and maximize profits.  But I am certain to need medical care virtually continuously throughout my life, escalating in frequency and severity as I age.  "Insurance" isn't a good model for this.

          We need a way to provide health care that is in no way conceptually tied to "insurance."  There may still be a place for insurance against catastrophic health events.  Think the AFLAC-style cancer policies - get diagnosed, get a lump sum payout, etc.

          We need a national health system that we pay into, and then both expect AND receive health care without further hassle.  It's just the only system that makes any kind of sense conceptually.

          Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

          by milton333 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:05:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The poor were left out of PPACA (17+ / 0-)

      for the most part.

      Benefits to help low income uninsured people won't become effective until 2014.

      It's difficult to say if the problem in DC is tunnel vision, negligence, ignorance or cruel political calculation.

      In my advocacy work, I'm always amazed at how ignorant some members of Congress and their staff are when it comes to having accurate information about the uninsured in America.

      Some in DC refuse to grasp the reality that there aren't enough government programs to help low income, non-elderly, uninsured Americans.  

      DC leaders also remain stubbornly ignorant about the complete inadequacy of the "charity health care system" in the US.  They may think they're allocating money to hospitals to cover the cost of uncompensated care, but they don't realize how much hospitals are padding their costs, nor how effective most of those hospitals are at keeping uninsured people out of their systems.

      Members of Congress and the Administration just don't want to hear about growing holes in the safety net.  There are too many lobbyists for the health care industry willing to feed them a lot of false information and they desperately cling to it.  

      To the benefit of our elected officials, low income, sick people aren't very visible to the public. They don't show up at in district meetings with their members of Congress. They don't get coverage on the nightly news.  They just die quietly.


      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 11:02:40 AM PDT

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      •  The poor were left out, and the middle-class were (8+ / 0-)


        Well, except for the community health centers, which is one of the very few (and relatively small) things in the bill that actually are good.

      •  well, instead of constantly complaining about how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Into The Woods

        ignorant and useless Congress is, let the left teach them their job and explain the provisions of existing laws to the public.  Now that is advocacy work to be proud of.

        In local venues there are tons of opportunities to get the word out to the poor and sick through personal advocacy. Go to the Senior Centres, go to the local papers, do programs on local radio, take the initiative and explain people's rights to them and show them how they can access avoidable programs.

        Spread the word, be a Johnny Appleseed health care Advocate and tell the people.

        •  Tried That. Did not even get a call back. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          From my centrist Democratic Senator's office.  

          Evidently they have bigger fish to fry.

          Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

          by Into The Woods on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:16:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then try again, Tell people and demand an answer. (0+ / 0-)

            Use all the resources at your disposal. If your Senator's office is NOT responsive go to the newspapers and radio and Telly. Go to meetings.  Hold meetings.

          •  They don't want to talk about it (0+ / 0-)

            Recall, you don't hear the WH talk about it, either.  

            They just want to ignore the problem of persistently high numbers of uninsured Americans in hopes everything will work out in 2014.  Or until they retire.

            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:14:47 PM PDT

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        •  Sounds good but ... (4+ / 0-)

          but how do you get to your target populations?  almost by definition, these are people who need healthcare but don't have the resources for it.  Frequently these are also scattered and not easily reached.   Are you going to to emergency rooms to ask for data?  to docs to see who would qualify?  thru insurance companies to see who they have refused? Many would need some handholding to see if they qualify.  What kind of advocacy work are you proposing?

          I am one of those who could qualify but can't afford it.  I have been without health insurance since 2007.  I am fairly smart and have some experience in the medical field, but it took me a while to figure out what was going on and that I could not afford any of it.

          I really would like to know why it took them this long to figure out that it was not being used and why.  Sound like a real snafu on the part of the program adiminstration ... or an intentional mistake (I know I am being bitter and cynical ... forgive my human failings).

          For everyone born, a place at the table, to live without fear, and simply to be, to work, to speak out, to witness and worship, for everyone born, the right to be free. [Shirley Erena Murray (1996)]

          by CorinaR on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:17:08 PM PDT

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          •  you are forgiven, but put your human failings (0+ / 0-)

            behind you and put your hart and mind and experience to work to see what we can do to be part of the solution.

            I believe that is what President Obama meant when he said he couldn't do it without us, so instead of blaming the administration (on the basis of one article or diary) fro not reacting sooner, see what we can do to help.

            May be start by trying to contact Health and Human Services to see what the problem really is?

            Contact your local State Services as see what the problem is and whether there is something the citizenry can do to volunteer and get people in the loop.

            Get involved.

            It doesn't matter who is to blame, the public has fallen into a 'No, we Can't' mode and we need to get back into Ye, we Can'.  That's up to us. Each according to their ability.

            Challenge your own pre-conceptions. Deliberate mistake. If so why? find out.  Snafu? why, find out.  You want to know why it took so long, then ask?

          •  Given that you had scores of people on this site (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soccergrandmom, WillR

            claiming that the PCIP budget of $5 billion would be exhausted way before 2014 because of the vast demand for the program, it's hard to blame the professionals whose estimates were routinely criticized for being unrealistically low, but then turned out to be unrealistically high.

            They did figure out pretty quickly that the program was being way underutilized.  The program basically started in August a year ago and by January 1 they were lowering the premiums to attract more people; they realized after a few months things were not going as planned.

            But they can't, by law, get rid of the six-month waiting period, which is a major stumbling block, and they can't by law reduce the premiums too much either (they have to be approximately what 'normal' people would pay).  Granted, they haven't done a good job (or much of any job) of advertising the program.  They should have done that and they should be doing it now.

          •  Poor people still can't afford it (0+ / 0-)

            even if you make them aware of it.  

            There are no subsidies available that make it available for free.

            I'll repeat that:

            There are no subsidies available that make it available for free.

            Those who can afford the high risk pool and are able to enter the health care system after being fiscally vetted, are usually told of the program by the health care provider.

            But it makes no difference to have the program for those who can't afford the premiums.

            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:12:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Girlfriend (0+ / 0-)

          That's what I do for a living.  Except I'm a volunteer.

          Every day.

          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

          by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:09:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  we NEED to start dying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson


        Republican Health Care Plan: Stay Sick so we can keep the Insurance Companies Solvent oh Bush/Cheney 2004 because it takes 8 years to destroy the country

        by demnomore on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:03:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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