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View Diary: Unaffordable co-pays and deductibles, death by a million cuts for insured Americans (248 comments)

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  •  That would be true... (30+ / 0-)

    were it being replaced with Medicare for all or National Health Plan, but as it stands now? Not so much.

    I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

    by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 11:21:21 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  currently, we have SCHIP, medicaid, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99

      the federal PCE pool plan, and the public health clinics (the ACA funding for which has already gone out).

      increased demand due to lower employment coverage only works in our favor.

      Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

      by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In NY if you make over $600/month (28+ / 0-)

        you can't get those programs. Even if your rent is twice that.

        The bottom line is more people have less real-world-usable coverage, and at greater cost, no matter how you slice it; no matter the formalisms of it all.

        We talked about 42-43 million without insurance in 2009-2010. Now we have 50-55 million. And those with remaining care are paying between 10-40% more for coverage, and more for deductibles and co-pays.

        The situation is worse, and will continue to worsen, for the average American while the middle-class continues to disappear and job benefits continue to decline.


        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:20:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SpecialKinFlag

          criminal rentiers.

          Michael Hudson
          starts at 20:00

        •  none of that changes my point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          which is that increased demand due to less employer-provided coverage will force the issue.

          health insurance should have nothing to do with one's employment and the sooner we stop propping up the meme that current woes are due to less EPI, the better.

          Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

          by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:28:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's my point. (16+ / 0-)

            I lost my recent job which gave me coverage, and now I have cataracts in my good eye and there's no way in hell I can afford to have them removed.

            I, and about 200 million plus other Americans, don't have the luxury of the long-view, though some Big Picture people might feel things are going good.

            Get rid of employer-provided AFTER single-payer (or MFA) goes into effect, not before, then it's good. Right now if fucks up the health and health prospects for millions of people and will continue to do so.


            Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

            by Jim P on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:35:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  how can it be true both (0+ / 0-)

              that we can't get rid of employer-provided coverage, because it will leave people in a lurch

              AND

              that having EPI leaves people in a lurch, due to affordability

              or rather, if they're already in a lurch, what's the difference?  the difference is that waiting around for single payer is the status quo, but EPI going the way of the dinosaur forces the issue.

              besides, it's not like i'm talking about everyone waking up one morning with EPI just up and gone.  it would be gradual.  

              anyhoo, what i'm mainly on about is framing:  we have got to stop discussing health insurance in terms of EPI, as though more EPI is what is good and right and needed.  it isn't.  nor should we be lamenting the decline in EPI.  that is the model we need to get away from, not solidify.

              Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

              by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:02:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This isn't about fucking framing. (6+ / 0-)

                It's about fucking blindness.

                Christ.

                Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

                by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:17:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  jesus christ your fucking self (0+ / 0-)

                  i wasn't talking about blindness.  i was talking about the broader point Jim made and i'm sure even he would agree with me.

                  and yes; framing does matter.  or do you think we should be reinforcing the notion the EPI is the way it's supposed to be?

                  good grief.

                  Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:22:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  would agree with me (0+ / 0-)

                    about what we're discussing, not necessarily the opinions expressed.

                    Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

                    by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:23:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You're arguing that it's great when people with (7+ / 0-)

                    a desperate need for care lose access to it.

                    Virtually everyone is ignoring you in this diary on a general "do not feed the trolls" approach.  But the shit you're spewing needs to be addressed.

                    Shit doesn't need to get worse before it gets better.  We don't need a bigger pool of desperate people in order to make better policy.

                    We just need fewer people making excuses for the politicians who continue these abuses.

                    Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

                    by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:54:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  again, learn to read (0+ / 0-)

                      because i am not saying the things you say i'm saying.

                      and i love how you still haven't answered my question:

                      do you think it's wise to reinforce the notion that EPI is the way it's supposed to be?

                      that's really all i'm saying and you fucking know it.

                      Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

                      by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:58:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  This is a time where partisan politics fly (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    triv33, SpecialKinFlag

                    out the window in strong favor of The People.  This is one of them.  

                    We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

                    by gooderservice on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:06:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  So how many people are you willing to let (0+ / 0-)

                    die for your framing?  If you get rid of EPI too early then those people will simply be left without insurance and a fair number will die from easily treatable medical conditions.  So I ask you again, how many lives are you willing to sacrifice on the altar of "framing"?

                    There is no saving throw against stupid.

                    by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 09:01:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Its about doing the right thing for Americans (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  triv33, elwior

                  We need affordable health care for everyone in America.
                  No one should be sacrificed for the good of insurance profits.

              •  For profit death by spreadsheet is the (10+ / 0-)

                model we need to get away from...OOPS! That kinda went out the window the moment Candidate Obama became President Obama, eh?

                Anyhoo, if you're done with your casual dismissal of real people and their real suffering while you coolly talk of "framing" and what we should stop discussing and how everything's eventual, you might remember that our very best chance of of phasing out EPI was this:

                National Health Insurance Exchange: The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible. Insurers would have to issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums that will not depend upon health status. The Exchange will require that all the plans offered are at least as generous as the new public plan and have the same standards for quality and efficiency. The Exchange would evaluate plans and make the differences among the plans, including cost of services, public.
                LINK

                Because people would have chosen that public plan--they were begging for it.

                Just keep talking about how much you support single payer all the while propping up the very policies that feed that status quo.

                I'm done here.

                I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

                by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:38:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It goes well beyond that and always has. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                triv33, priceman, SpecialKinFlag, raboof
                we have got to stop discussing health insurance in terms of EPI
                We have got to stop embracing, advocating for, rah-rahing for what these Democrats, including Obama have offered up as crumbs.  POS.

                There is no way, no how had George Bush got this passed that we would be cheering this on.

                This is too little, too late.  And I have no respect for people who champion it just because a President with a D after his named signed it into law.

                This is shameful.

                As long as Democratic partisans keep shamefully trying to put that cherry on the top and say how wonderful "Obamacare" is, we'll never have a consensus to fight for meaningful healthcare reform -- and I don't mean healthcare insurance regulations.  I mean actual healthcare for The People.

                We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

                by gooderservice on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:03:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  i don't know where you live (0+ / 0-)

              but a lot of hospitals have programs for people in situations like yours.  it's usually a lot of paperwork, but you can get some good help.  i saw an orthopedic doctor and got x-rays and they forgave it all.  i never saw a bill.

              is medicaid available to you?

              i hope you find an answer.

              Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

              by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:31:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My ex (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                triv33, gooderservice, BradyB, elwior

                had some of the bills forgiven over the past year when he needed treatment and hospitalization but the surgery that he really needed was not eligible.  He was working with the hospital's charity assistance program all the way and this hospital is known for being good with that.  So he did get some help but the (multiple hospitalizations) care was so outrageously expensive and finally the surgery that he had to go into debt for even more so that he still ended up with crippling debt.  

                I don't know anybody who has walked away with no bills for any kind of significant treatment.  It always ended up as horrendous bills, six figures.  And no, he can't afford the catastrophic coverage either nor was he eligible for the SCHIP parents option.

                I would really love to see some real, true numbers on how many people get any significant help, and percentages.

                Hell, even people with decent insurance end up with bills for all kinds of things and hospitalizations are just unbelievably expensive.  Even surgeries that are only a one night stay can be close to 100K.  I know because for my last one the itemized bill came to 72K though the insurance co. probably bargained it down.  Having had a lot of surgeries over the past 18 years, I watched the costs just skyrocket.  A c-section in 1993, 3 nights in the hospital for me and my son was around 10K.  A gall bladder surgery in 2008, one night stay (just me, obviously), 72K.  In 1993 I did not have to pay. In 2008 I ended up with thousands that ended up being billed after insurance paid.  Good coverage both times though in 2008 it was COBRA.


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:01:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Give details, please. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BradyB, triv33, raboof

                Please feel free to share the wonderful free diagnostic tests you got and how you got treated at no cost by an orthopedist.  I'm sure you know that it would help so many others to be able to find out where to get the free care you got.

                And even if they don't live in the area you do, maybe the bus fare would be affordable to travel to your area in order to get the free care you got.

                Thank you.

                i don't know where you live (0+ / 0-)

                but a lot of hospitals have programs for people in situations like yours.  it's usually a lot of paperwork, but you can get some good help.  i saw an orthopedic doctor and got x-rays and they forgave it all.  i never saw a bill.

                We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

                by gooderservice on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:12:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I thought we understood the law here (4+ / 0-)

          First, the ACA is federal law. That is why states governed well are now preparing for the mandatory changes. You think the Republicans would be fighting so hard if the new law didn't expand Medicaid coverage in their states?

          And I thought we understood  back when the ACA passed that during the (too) long phase-in period that things would get worse which is was part of the disappointment?

          We are now in campaign season and we need to know at least the basics of the ACA if we are going to best profit from our hard work. We certainly do not want to make the Republican case that the ACA isn't anything good and will only hurt more people.

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:56:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We also need to remember that all politics is (12+ / 0-)

            personal. You can't make a great case to someone who is struggling with a lack of affordable care that the ACA will be a great deal for them in the future when they need care now and can't afford it.

          •  Republicans would fight and scream if (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33

            President Obama pushed to change the name of Idaho to "Reagan".

            What they protest should never be considered a guide to what we ought to be supporting.  They are not sane.

            The basics of the ACA are these -

            Millions of people are going to wind up paying hefty fines for the crime of not being able to afford insurance.

            This money will be used to provide subsidies for relatively wealthy people to get insurance they will be able to afford the co-pays and deductibles to make use of.

            It's lemon socialism at its worst.

            Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

            by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:20:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  As long as people keep making excuses for our (7+ / 0-)

          current system supported by most politicians, who not so coincidently get their campaign money from the current system of insurance and pharmaceutical companies as well as Wall Street, then most of the people most of the time will be screwed.

          Heh, I don't have to donate to a politician -- I partake of the murder by spreadsheet offerings, paying more than I can afford, and in turn, their profits go into their pockets and into the pockets of politicians.  

          We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

          by gooderservice on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 04:09:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hey, but it's going to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice, JesseCW

            benefit them! that's an "I'm getting mine!" kinda thing, never mind the people who are going to wind up still screwed, and then they have the nerve to say others are acting like Republicans. Mind boggling.

            I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

            by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 04:20:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The current Administration has been way too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              triv33, JesseCW

              selective with groups of people with their policies and laws.

              If it's Tuesday and the sun is out, X people get Y.  But if it's Thursday and it's rained in the morning and the sun did not come out in the afternoon, then W people get T.

              But IF the sun DID come out in the afternoon, then P people get T.

              Other than the tax cuts, I'm hard-pressed to think of any new laws or policies by this Administration that will satisfactorily affect all people who need the help.  Except maybe SCHIP.

              Kudos, though, for funding war and the drones and killing people, even if they're U.S. citizens.  Not to mention keeping quiet when police departments torture, maim and injure peaceful protestors.  Power to the Wealthy. Rah Rah.

              We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

              by gooderservice on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 04:30:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Whose favor, Cedwyn? (20+ / 0-)

        Do you have a need to avail yourself of any of those services?
         Guess what? Be in Pa and just try to get medicaid. We used to have a thing called Adult Basic, but that's gone.

         You been to the clinic? Where is the closest one to you? Ours are few and far between and limited in their services.

         Did you mean PEC pool plan? What if you don't have a PEC? Just go fuck off and hope you stay healthy until they mandate you buy insurance you can't afford to use?

         You speak with the smug ignorance of someone who is not watching the people you love seek help and get shit and shoved in it.

        Yeah, tout yer happy crappy to somebody who benefits in some way instead of somebody who is dealing with the absolute harshest of the reality of watching a good portion of my family do without health care.

        They can't throw my autistic son off MA and I have my older son on CHIP, but I watch my over stressed and out of work husband try to hide his symptoms from me...because I will want him to go to the ER and say "fuck those bills, you matter more." but he won't--because if it's not a fucking heart attack--they won't try to get him MA and we'll be FUCKED!

        Do you have any fucking clue how that feels?

        Our favor...what a load of shit.

        I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

        by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you misunderstood.... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, orestes1963, irmaly, priceman, JesseCW

          It works in your favor if you are trying to win an election. Not so much if you are trying to get your husband to the doctor.

          To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

          by kareylou on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 02:23:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's about the size of it (7+ / 0-)

            But Obama had better hope that people don't wake up to the truth. That being that he HAD THE CHANCE, the maybe once-in-our-lifetime chance, to make massive, game-changing improvements to the system. If ever we had a chance of getting Single Payer done, it was during the HCR debate. Had Barack Obama pushed 24/7, using his "bully pulpit", the demand for Single Payer from the American people would have become so loud that no amount of lobbyists could have stopped it.

            But Barack Obama did not do that. Not because "the votes weren't there" or any of the other lies he and others spouted. But rather because he did not WANT Single Payer. We. Were. Sold. Out.

            "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

            by ratmach on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 02:58:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  why so vitriolic? (0+ / 0-)

          i said less availability of EPI would create increased demand for alternative, i.e. government, options.  demand drives changes.

          i also said that we need to get away from this notion that EPI is the way it's supposed to be.

          do you actually disagree with either of those statements, unfortunate current realities aside?

          Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

          by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:11:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You said that depriving people of health care (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, GeeBee

            was a good thing.

            It's not the first time you've said it.

            Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

            by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:22:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  bullshit i said that (0+ / 0-)

              stop making things up

              Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

              by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:33:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You sure as hell did. You claimed that people (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                triv33, GeeBee, nyceve

                losing their coverage was great thing because it would "create pressure to reform the system".

                I understand you hate being called on it, but that's exactly what your claims boil down to - an argument that it's a good thing someone can't get their cataracts treated.

                I finally understand your reason for appearing in every diary Eve or Slink writes, and the reason for your impassioned argument for dropping the fight for the Public Option.

                You think fewer people with access to care a good thing.

                Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

                by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:51:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i never said it was great (0+ / 0-)

                  see, that's the thing:  recognizing reality for what it is is not the same thing as endorsing it.

                  we are where we are and systems do what they do.

                  weren't you all up on the kill the bill bandwagon because then we'd just HAVE to have stronger reform?

                   

                  Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:56:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you'd ever bothered to listen (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    triv33, GeeBee

                    to any of the arguments put forth by those of us who opposed the effort to punish struggling workers in order to benefit wealthy shareholders, you wouldn't have asked that question.

                    Fewer people with access to health care isn't the path to Single Payer and/or Universal Coverage.

                    Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

                    by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:21:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  the real question here is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            priceman, SpecialKinFlag, BradyB

            why so damn nonchalant in the face of millions suffering? I can't put "unfortunate current realities" aside--they're not talking points to me, Cedwyn--they are my actual realities.

            And, yeah...you may not have put it in those exact words, but you are saying that people being deprived of health care is a good thing.

            i said less availability of EPI would create increased demand for alternative, i.e. government, options.  demand drives changes.
            Less availability of EPI would create increased demand...

            why? why would they be demanding something they aren't deprived of, Cedwyn? who will be driving this big demand if it isn't people who are being deprived of it? Open your damned eyes.

            I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

            by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:55:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  nothing i said even remotely approaches (0+ / 0-)

              it would be a good thing.

              i placed no value judgement on any element of the equation.  i merely pointed out a simple truth about systems.  they tend to have tipping points.

              but i'll point out again that i am not talking about EPI just disappearing overnight.

              and don't you think that maybe less EPI would increase the ranks of the individual policy pools, shifting the cost advantage to that group?  

              why do you assume diminishing EPI automatically equals people with just no coverage?

              Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

              by Cedwyn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:03:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you honestly that lacking (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BradyB

                in self awareness? Do you not see how cold and uncaring your comments are here?

                I assume nothing beyond what is evident on it's face. People have tried to convey to you the harsh realities they are facing and they are met with a blase' and seemingly single minded attempt to brush that aside as if it were of no importance at all.

                I can't be that that coldly clinical for the sake of partisan politics. It's corrosive to my humanity.

                I do put a value judgement on the human cost, something you don't even seem to want to take into account.

                I shave my legs with Occam's razor.

                by triv33 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:38:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. More desperate people dying for lack of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triv33, BradyB

        care is a good thing.

        Only you.

        Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

        by JesseCW on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 07:16:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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