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You may have seen this headline on Huffingtonpost but apparently there is no health care problem in America.

Mississippi's GOP Governor Says No American Lacks Health Care

Republican Governor Phil Bryant knows something that nobody else does! When did we pass single payer?

"There is no one who doesn't have health care in America. No one."
Wow.  But there's a catch:
Now, they may end up going to the emergency room. There are better ways to deal with people that need health care than this massive new program."
More below the orange squiggle of love...

There's the rub. If you are one of 48 million Americans who don't yet have insurance, there's always the emergency room, says Bryant.

As the article points out, he's referring to the law that requires hospitals receiving Medicare funding to treat anyone who enters an ER, regardless of ability to pay. But that "care" does have a price -- in unpaid medical bills that can drive people into bankruptcy.

Bryant's worst statement, that offering health care in the form of Medicaid "discourages people from getting better jobs," is the worst lie of them all.

Now for a personal story....

I currently don't have health insurance because I'm between jobs (writer in the age of non-writing) and got turned down by one insurer for having pre-existing conditions (too fat, too anxious, and too much psoriasis). I just learned today that my two kids are eligible and enrolled in Medicaid, thank God. My husband has insurance through his grad school, but can't add anyone to his insurance.

We don't have the worst health insurance story by any stretch, but it's probably a typical one. We're not broke enough to all qualify for Medicaid, but we don't have enough income to afford the premiums of any individual plan -- I've checked. COBRA is out of the question -- too expensive.  I'll probably sign up for a local clinic plan but it is not insurance that I can take from state to state.

I'm hopeful I'll get a job and unlike what Bryant says, dealing with Medicaid has made me ever more eager to find another job - and quick! Even though my kids can continue to see their doctor on Medicaid, we need to find another dentist and few accept Medicaid. The Medicaid office initially sent me a denial letter, and when I called they told me that they had actually approved coverage for my kids. When I asked about Healthy Families, the state program, the said it is no longer.

Just a few years ago, I could have applied for an income-based plan through Kaiser, or applied for Healthy Families.  Now those options are both gone.

So to paraphrase Whoopie Goldberg, I say to Governor Bryant:  Until ACA fully kicks in, maybe we should bring all the sick people to your house!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:57:31 PM PST

  •  You can't get treated for cancer in an ER. (11+ / 0-)

    The ER's responsibility is to keep you from dying that day if they can. But they will not, and cannot, treat you for any chronic condition, nor will they treat you to restore function.

    If you are diagnosed with cancer, and you have no health insurance, the next thing you will do is spend weeks or months trying to find a program that will treat you.

    You can't get set up for diabetes care or asthma medication in the ER, either. The situation with asthma is hilarious except for the part that is deadly, because treating asthma in an ER costs about $2000 a pop, but it's possible to make rescue inhalers for about a dollar that would keep most asthmatics out of the ER indefinitely. Of course, there's a catch, which is that you need a  prescription and the pharmaceutical companies cleverly arranged to require themselves to reformulate inhalers with new propellants... which coincidentally put them back on patent. They're now $85 a pop. Thanks Congress.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:21:12 PM PST

    •  I used to get inhalers in Mexico. (6+ / 0-)

      Then I started going to a clinic that got grants for prescriptions. While the clinic pharmacy was a little more expensive than Mexico, it didn't require a 200 mile round trip drive. Then, to keep the ozone layer healthy, it was decided that inhalers shouldn't have CFC (that must be the propellant you referred to). Then, even with the grants, the pharmacy charged $54 for the same thing I had been paying $13 for. Then the pharmacy gave me information about getting inhalers directly from the pharmaceutical company. And then they were free. And finally I got Medicare, including Part D. Because I am dual-eligible, I now pay $6.50. And I don't think the plan pays anywhere near $54. It's a racket.

      •  Asthma/COPD (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I still have refills on my meds because they just cut my medicaid to medically needy. However, they no longer cover my prescriptions. This is my monthly cost:

        43.29 ventolin

        16 prednisone

        21 with discount tessalon


        251.14 symbicort

        That's not counting the OTC things I need, calciium and potassium because the meds I'm on inhibit absorption of both. Magnesium to minimize smooth muscle tremors (like asthma), meds for acid reflux which they've made OTC, allergy meds (Claritin is the only one that works), daily aspirin to prevent another pulmonary embolism (cheapest).

        I don't see how I'm getting my inhalers, especially the symbicort. I can keep up the prednisone and the tessalon. I may be able to swing the ventolin from time to time. But the symbicort? That's our utilities.  Without that maintenance med, I'm going to be a lot more unstable and end up in the ER more often. Medically needy will cover ER visits. So in the end it's going to cost them more than if they'd kept me on medicaid.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:24:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No emergency room (5+ / 0-)

    does chemotherapy or radiation for cancer. Just to name one condition which kills which is not treated in the emergency room.

                            Just my two sad cents,

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:23:25 PM PST

  •  That emergency room meme (7+ / 0-)

    is such utter bullshit.

    Yes, if you go to an emergency room they have to treat you. For things like a broken leg or a heart attack or a bullet wound. Those can be treated.

    And it's not free. They'll send you a bill. Then they'll send bill collectors after you if you don't pay the bill. You may have to declare bankruptcy or sell your house to pay the bills.

    But what if you have diabetes? You go to the emergency room every day of your life and get insulin? What if you have high blood pressure and need meds to lower it?

    The economics are all screwed up. The insurance companies negotiate for lower prices for drugs or doctor visits, which is fine, because that will send their customers to certain doctors. OK. But that means the hospitals and doctors and drug companies have to charge more for people who aren't covered by insurance. So poor people without insurance are charged exorbitant rates for everything. And they don't get cheaper preventive care, like advice on diet or exercise.

    People who say "you can just go to the E.R." really piss me off.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:41:48 PM PST

  •  Certainly our inefficient and inequitable (3+ / 0-)

    healthcare system costs more lives than war, gun violence, traffic accidents and industrial/agricultural accidents combined......

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:53:26 PM PST

  •  So, when the cyst in my spinal cord (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    finally presses hard enough to paralyze my arms and legs, I should visit an Emergency Room to have the cyst drained? (Needle inserted into the spinal cord)

    When I get to that point there will be permanent loss (not to mention what the needle severs). Will they provide physical therapy there in the ER?

    Not so much a "woe is me" as an "answer my question or I will not support repeal" ever.

    I will take a flawed mandate over hearing pre-existing condition ever again.

    Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. Kurt Vonnegut

    by ToKnowWhy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:07:10 AM PST

  •  Says the guy (0+ / 0-)

    with the Platinum Insurance paid for by our taxes.

    It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

    by sboucher on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:46:39 PM PST

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