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  •  Here's the bottom line . . . (21+ / 0-)

    The other day, Mr. Bush told the world that all is well in the United States because anyone can go to an emergency room and get healthcare.

    This is a lie. Where is the MSM? Why has there not been a peep from the MSM about this crap?

    Dr. Gupta is the health correspondent for CNN?  Why hasn't he said a word about the lunacy uttered by the President?

    Why is Daily Kos the only place where this stuff sees the light of day?

    This is real bad for our country, folks.

    •  and then, of course, (13+ / 0-)

      all the ER docs are crying about the crisis in emergency room medicine, and what about that report about the prolonged waiting times (worse in the Baltimore region than just about anywhere else, btw.)

      And here in Maryland, because of screaming about raising taxes, the guv just cut 46million out of the state department of health and human services.

      Yeah, that'll help the ER situation.

      •  My Mom is 85 and went to an emergency room in (16+ / 0-)

        late March.  She had the flu and was dehydrated and meds for type II diabetes out of whack.  They admitted her as she was very weak and not responding well.  They kept her two nights at the hospital and then released her but told us she needed rehab in a nursing home.  Guess what, she got care, but BECAUSE the hospital released her after only two nights, not three, Medicare did not cover any of the next three weeks she spent in the nursing home getting her strength back and medications back in order.  It cost her every bit of her short term savings to pay the bill.  Six thousand dollars.  So yeah, Medicare covers stuff but it doesn't cover everything.  She was a complete and total private pay patient because the hospital wouldn't keep her one more night.  If she had stayed three it would have been totally covered.  I asked the hospital could she please stay one more night and they bascally said, no, there was nothing they could do.  Her vitals were back where they needed to be and if they kept her they'd get investigated for Medicare fraud.  (If that's true, I totally understand the hospital's position).  But let me tell you what, she got cleaned out by that little stint and Medicare does not Pay for everything.  So yeah, George, she went to an emergency room.  Big fucking deal!!

        Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.

        by churchlady on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:24:08 AM PDT

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        •  thanks for posting this (12+ / 0-)

          let me say straight off that I am completely in favor of a single payor system.

          But if anyone thinks that that will solve all the problems, they're kidding themselves. There are things Medicare will cover; there are things Medicare won't cover. Medicare, for example, does not cover routine physical examinations or certain screening tests without an appropriate diagnosis.

          And this was part of the topic at grand rounds just this very morning: can we pay for everything we want to have in our medical system?

          It's really about more than the insurance, while that's a huge problem. The whole system needs work.

          I'm sorry your mom got stuck like this. In our hospital, it seems like the social workers are always on top of whether a patient will qualify for subacute or not: the three day stay is a long-standing rule. But then again, Maryland is the only non-DRG state, so if you're not in Maryland the length of your hospital stay is often pre-determined.

          There is a new rule, though, that you (and everyone else) should know about. I'm not completely up to speed on this, but as of 7/1 the hospital has to let Medicare patients know about their right to protest if they feel they are being discharged too early. There are a whole bunch of rules that go along with that, but if your mom (or anyone else) is ever in that situation again, that is an important thing to know.

          •  Thanks for the info. (10+ / 0-)

            As she is getting older, her health is gradually failing and it helps to know this.  I'm not so much complaining about the six grand as at least she had it.  Think of all the people who have gone through this once and then let themselves get good and sick before they go in because they know what they're facing in terms of bills.  There's probably people who have more than enough to pay the bills and just don't want to spend it that way.  I would have taken her out of the nursing home, and they were great by the way!  County run, beautiful, clean and very caring long term employee type staff.  They knew we were worried about money and did what they could to get her out as quickly as possible, but she NEEDED to be there.  She was very weak and I couldn't take care of her at my home.  I was just making the point that George thinks it's so easy to just turn up at an emergency room and all is taken care of after that.  One more sign he's not from the America I live in.  

            Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.

            by churchlady on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

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        •  The ignorance of his statement is criminal (6+ / 0-)

          in light of experiences like your mother's, churchlady. He is doing a fine job upholding his reputation as a Bubble Boy.

          "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

          by madaprn on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:38:21 AM PDT

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        •  been there, done that (8+ / 0-)

          the only consolation is that sometimes private pay patients get better treatment in nursing homes than the ones who are on medicare or medicaid.

          My mom had a 19 day private pay rehab before she was Medicare eligible and she was on the nicest floor with the highest staff to patient ratio and a view of flowers outside her window and received all kinds of other minor amenities provided for the short-term private pay patients.  They actually courted us to choose their facility, treated me with all kinds of exaggerated politeness (because being able to afford $350 a day means you get the respectful treatment reserved for the rich) and worried that I might choose to take my private pay dollars to some other SNF.

          But once they have to take the (discounted) payments from Medicare or state aid they shuffle people off to dingy floors and indifferent care because they know they've "got you" and you don't have any choice.

          I'm sorry your mom had to spend her savings, but as you say at least you had it and at least my mom had it (we had to take premature withdrawals from her IRA).  God help the people who don't have it, cause the "compassionate conservatives" like Dubya damn sure won't help them.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:53:49 AM PDT

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