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Reposted from jpmassar by aigeanta Editor's Note: Another step in the right direction for protecting the health of some of our most vulnerable and valuable members of society: pregnant women and their babies. -- aigeanta

It is always nice to read about a victory for the little guy (or in this case, gal) in the context of health care.

After all health insurance premiums continue to rise. More people are uninsured or underinsured. Medicare and Medicaid are threatened. The PPACA, if it survives constitutional challenges and further Congressional attempts to repeal it, will not see its major component -- subsidies for coverage -- take effect for another twenty-eight months.

But as the California legislature wrapped up its session late into the night last week, it passed SB 299, a bill that would

guarantee the continuation of employer-provided health insurance coverage for women on pregnancy disability leave.

-- SB 299 Fact Sheet, via California State Senator Noreen Evans' Office

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 10:09 PM PDT


by sherlyle

Reposted from sherlyle by aigeanta Editor's Note: This story breaks my heart. It could be any of us. All it takes to be uninsured is a little bad luck. What a pity that a misfortune such as this should doom a small child to death. Shame on America for allowing this. -- aigeanta

I know this isn't going to affect anyone's lives here.  It's none of your concern, you have enough problems to deal with.  But my sister's grandchild, the "apple of her eye", just died.  She was ten.  All of ten years old.
She had the flu, you see.  The doctor wasn't concerned.  And since her Mom and Dad had no insurance, she was just another one of those Pains In the Butt.  Go home, Kid, and lump it.  A couple of days later, Mom and Dad were reaqlly getting worried.  She was blue around her mouth and nose.  She said she couldn't breathe.  She couldn't pee, either.  
The second doctor that saw her said it was the "worst kidney infection he'd ever seen".  Gave her some antibiotic samples and sent her home.  That was just yesterday, at 3:30.  She died today just after noon, with a helicopter trying to get there in time and a young doctor in the ER doing everything he could think of for a little girl that told him, "I trust you.  I see in your eyes you're a good person.  You will help me".  Lexy's heart stopped, and this young man threw all his training, all his will, into making that heart start up again.  He cried, he sobbed, while he shouted orders and pitted all he was against the forces arrayed against him.  In anguish he cried out, "Why the HELL didn't he KEEP HER IN THE HOSPITAL"??, referring to the second physician to see her, with her blue nails and mouth.  
My sister's had a hard life.  We shared more fear, pain, and terror than any child should ever be asked to endure.  I won't go into details because I don't think I need to.  I was the kid that tried to be invisible, and she was the one who fought and defied and stood like a giant against the evil done to us both.  I was in awe of her then and now.  The courage of her.  I wish I had the words to tell you about her, about her spirit.  The sheer...hugeness...of her spirit.  I have never before nor since known a human being with more courage than my sister.  
Her husband has been blind for years.  Sheila was told years ago that she would be in a wheelchair within 5 years because her body was so beaten and worn from the work she did to support her family.  She has continued to work because she must.  She is not in a wheelchair, but she's tired.  She's so tired, with disappointment and difficulty the only constant in her life.  
Lexy was a delight to my sister.  The same spark in my sister's eyes was reflected in the eyes of her granddaughter.  From the beginning they saw in each other a kindred spirit, and they've been the best of friends.  "Grandma Sweetheart" Lexy called her, and she was the joy so hard-earned in Sheila's life.  
Lexy died today.  Sheila couldn't let go of her.  She held her darling girl in her arms until the nurses pried the two apart.  
I can't think of anything to do for my sister.  On this unbearable day,  I find I have the guts to do anything at all for her, and there's nothing to be done.  Nothing to be done.
I wish I could explain her to you, paint a picture for you of the person she is.  If I could do this, you would love her too.  She's the fiercest Liberal I know, she's raised so many "stray children" besides her own.  She's strong and brave and wounded now beyond her ability to bear.  
Love each other.  Hold each other close.  And forgive me for my fear for a spirit I love so very much.  
Lexy's Mom and Dad didn't have health insurance, even though they both work.  Until we live in a world where a child gets the treatment she needs, we live in a world where horror lurks.  

Reposted from CatM by aigeanta Editor's Note: An excellent rebuttal to the notion that raising the age of eligibility for Medicare would in any way, shape, or form reduce the total cost of healthcare for Americans. In fact, it completely decimates that notion. -- aigeanta

Supposedly proposals have been floated by the president to raise the Medicare age to 67. This is in line with the Social Security retirement age of 67 for people born after 1960.

The premise is that shifting expenses for individuals 65 to 67 years of age from Medicare to private insurers will save taxpayers a lot of money without hurting access to coverage because, since these people will theoretically be employed to age 67, they will receive affordable private insurance through an employer or the insurance exchanges, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

As Joan McCarter rightly highlights in her excellent diary, this would "[shift]costs to individuals, employers, and states. These increased costs would be twice as large as the net federal savings."

Who believes employers and insurers will eagerly absorb these higher costs? And that states will not raise taxes or fees to cover their increased expense for having to extend Medicaid to be the sole payer for anyone 65 to 67 years old who meets the legal definition of poor (which, by the way, excludes a lot of poor people)? Ultimately, the cost of this care will land on the back of the healthcare consumer, through increased premiums, higher coinsurance/copayments, reduced wages, and more taxes.

Even outside of a recession and despite anti-discrimination laws, it is challenging for older adults--even those younger than age 65--to find employment; and for older people in labor-intensive positions, early retirement may not be optional. We will have to confront the consequences of extending retirement past 65 years of age in the years to come, which was likely the point when politicians decided to "save money" (on paper) by raising the Social Security eligibility age. After all, the real-world consequences of that decision would burden another president and another Congress down the road, while scoring political brownie points for the current officeholders.

Of course, somewhere in the decisionmaking process, someone neglected to explain to Congress that guys like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke do not concern themselves with laws and do not wait for people to reach the legal age of retirement before making their often career-ending introduction.

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Reposted from War on Error by aigeanta Editor's Note: I think it's about time for us to reconstitute a grassroots coalition in order to protect and extend Medicare to all people of this nation. Single payer is the only way to arrest the accelerating cost of insurance and ensure equal access to medical care for all. -- aigeanta

I am so angry my head might explode.  You stupid pieces of crap in Congress.  Why not just shoot us because we certainly can't afford health care anymore.  You know what?  

Like millions of others, I have been without health insurance for a very long time.  The cost in my state is between $600-$800 a month in premiums.  Yeah, like that's doable.

I can't get a decent job with decent benefits BECAUSE COMPANIES DON'T HIRE MY AGE GROUP!  Why?  It costs them too much in insurance premium hikes. With my whopping $681 Social Security I certainly can't afford the Health Exchange premiums, which will suck eggs in "Screw Low Income People Utah".

Too responsible to qualify for Medicaid because I paid off my home.  If you own more than a couch, some pots and pans, and newer than a 1980 car you disqualify for Medicaid in Utah.

I've been hanging on, not doing anything where I might get injured, until I reach 65 in 2013 so I can get a complete complimentary check up which I can't afford to do now.

So, when I finally arrive at the MUCH ANTICIPATED ELIGIBILITY IN 2013, I won't be eligible. Really?  

SCREW YOU ALL, you cheap, heartless, even murderous pieces of crap!

I'm so tired of the KISS THE ASSES OF THE RICH & POWERFUL politicians in DC and the States I might just implode before I EVER see a Medicare benefit.

Is that the plan?  Are you hoping we will die from lack of medical care.  If so,

OUR BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS you pompous, ignorant, rock-hearted jerks!

Details in this Report

From the Kaiser Foundation Report:

A Fresh Look Following Implementation of Health Reform (below the fold)

Also, this diary inspired the writing of the this diary:  

IT'S JUST A BAD IDEA written today by Horace Boothroyd III

"From the black hole of the stupidest of the stupid ideas we now have this:

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and  Tom Coburn(R-Okla.) acknowledged that there's something in their Medicare plan for just about everyone to dislike. But they say it's necessary to bring the program under control.

"Nobody's going to like this plan. We understand that," Coburn said at a press conference Tuesday as he and Lieberman rolled out their proposal."

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS DIARY.  For a bit more history and absurdity from Stupid Congress.

Should those eligible in years law implemented be exempt from new law and get Medicare we were promised, just like Social Security age laws?

90%201 votes
9%21 votes

| 222 votes | Vote | Results

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