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even for all its flaws, can be seen in the difference between having insurance and not having insurance.

I have never added up all the bills this year for my wife's cancer treatment.

There are many.

X-rays and lab tests

hospitalization  - both for her original emergency admission in January and for her autologous stem cell transplant in October

doctor's fees

hospital bed (which she still uses) rental

prescriptions

additional over the counter treatments necessary as a part of her therapy but not covered by insurance

Without including what it cost for her care-giver after her stem cell transplant, which is not covered by insurance.

Thing three columns:

nominal costs     what the insurance company pays       what we pay.

Absent a GOOD insurance plan, the figures from the first column would mean a much larger final column.

I got the big bill for her stem cell transplant yesterday. She has asked that I not say what it is,but it is HUGE.

As a result, the nominal costs so far this year now are well over 100,000.   In fact, they are now over 120,000.

Her government health insurance knocks those down significantly.  

And what we pay?  Our out of pocket costs, not including her caregiver, are less than 10,000.

Absent insurance she certainly could not have undergone the stem cell transplant, which while it temporarily cost her her hair, will extend her remission by several years.

Even without the transplant, the out of pocket costs would have wiped out all savings and most of our retirement account.

Absent any insurance, we would be bankrupt.

ACA has its problems. But it will move more people towards the kind of quality coverage that we have from her government employment.

All Americans should be able to afford access to appropriate medical care, without facing bankrupcty.

We should not be rationing health.

ACA can help to move us in the right direction.

We are lucky to have such good insurance.

All Americans should have such good insurance.  Lives are at stake.  People should not have to choose between health and financial security.

Just saying.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the expenses will continue (21+ / 0-)

    she will be on a maintenance does of one chemo-therapy drug

    she has another 18 months or so of infusions to help rebuild her damaged skeleton

    both of those are fully covered by insurance

    we could afford neither without the insurance

    medical insurance, even if not a matter of life or death, is clearly an issue of quality and length of life

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 03:59:31 AM PST

  •  and maybe this is why I am a liberal and a Dem (7+ / 0-)

    I do not believe that the circumstances of our employment and our social class should entitle us to things that should be the right of everyone here

    to carry it further, I would make no distinction in health care just as the  Constitution in theory makes no distinct in criminal justice -  the Bill of Rights speaks of persons, not of citizens, not of a distinction between documented and undocumented aliens

    this should be an important value for this nation

    and while costs should be controlled, they should not be determinative, that is, so long is there are reasonable sources of revenue, there is no reason to deny health care nor any other part of the social safety net.  Differential taxation for investment and carried interest should not be a higher value.  Insofar as it is, I view our policies as immoral.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 04:04:54 AM PST

  •  Keep in mind that the dollars are not edible. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tx LIberal

    Also, all dollars originate in the U.S. Treasury. So, in fact, there is only a single payer. What varies is how many middlemen there are to intercept the transit of a dollar into the hands of a goods and service provider. Dollars that transit via a pension or Medicare to a consumer of goods and services, travel most directly. Dollars that travel through the Federal Reserve to banks to financiers to speculators to bond holders to hospital designers, builders and outfitters do so much more indirectly. However, the consumer would not be able to purchase hospital services, if the indirect system weren't also operating.
    The reason some Congress critters object to the ACA is because they are being cut out of the loop. The distribution of dollars for medical services is out of their hands. No longer will even clinics and hospitals have to rely on special grants and Congressional munificence. Perhaps we should call it "privatization's revenge." In shedding their obligations and duties, Congress critters have rendered themselves superfluous.

    Should doctors be deprived of the opportunity to provide their treatments to individuals who will most benefit? Of course not. Why would Congress want to interfere with that? Because they want to have a finger in the pot. Should we let them? Of course not. Politicians are not qualified to practice medicine.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 04:27:39 AM PST

    •  It appears that our current politicians are (5+ / 0-)

      not qualified to practice politics, either.

      “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

      by YellowDogInGA on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 04:40:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True (0+ / 0-)

      And the main thing I want is for every American to be allowed access to health care, including preventive care which will
      -1 Find conditions in their early stages where the probability of successful treatment is its  highest
      and
      -2 The cost both to the patient and, for those who require assistance, is much less expensive to government programs.

      The Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" whichever you want to call it does this without question.  While it's not single payer it's a good thing for ALL Americans.  And the website is working much better.

      This is why the I overload of coverage by MSM talking heads of old stories about problems with the website and a small minority of people whose insurance companies decided not to continue offering the individual plans because they do not comply with the ACA is infuriating.
      There is very little information given (if any) about the millions of working poor who are being denied healthcare from Medicaid expansion by right wing governors and legislatures who are doing this for obvious and purely political reasons.
      BTW, I put Chris Christie in the same category based on his latest statements about the ACA and why he didn't set up a state exchange:

      "I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit today to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to other options, and how much control they will give the states over this option that comes at the cost of our state's taxpayers," Christie said.

      Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

      by Tx LIberal on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:13:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, all dollars come from the Treasury. (0+ / 0-)

        So, Christie's reference to state tax payers is disingenuous.

        Also, it is passing strange that people who apparently have no sense of time keep insisting that they be told the future ahead of time, and that should be pointed out on a regular basis as an unreasonable demand.

        Fact is that, although insurance companies are a middleman whose contribution to the quality of health/medical care is minimal, if not non-existent, the subsidies and direct payments via Medicare and Medicaid do represent about as direct a relationship between payer and provider as one can get. Compare that to the peregrinations of the dollar through banks and brokers and financiers to industrial or commercial enterprise until it finally gets to the producers of what people need to be sustained.
        So, when Christie carps about the state not having a thumb on the scale, he's looking for another layer of middlemen.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:42:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped and Recc'd (0+ / 0-)

      n/t

      Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

      by Tx LIberal on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:14:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ACA matters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, Calamity Jean

    ...because I handed a friend $800 last night to help pay for  cancer treatment.

    They wanted cash.  Up front.  No insurance.  Uninsurable.  Pre-existing conditions, no employer-provided plan.

    Without the ACA I wouldn't have had to bother.  There wouldn't have been any point in providing the supportive treatment.  Because there wouldn't have been a Medicaid extension to cover the cost of the treatments starting in January.  

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 08:00:00 AM PST

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