Posts tagged ‘health care reform’

September 16, 2009

Insurance Companies are the real life Death Panels.

Real-life ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after her health insurance refused to cover her medications.

crystallee

Crystal Lee Sutton, whose courageous efforts organizing Southern textile mills inspired the award-winning 1979 film “Norma Rae,” passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer. Sutton’s story is particularly tragic because after fighting her whole life for rights of working Americans, her health insurance wouldn’t cover the medications she needed:

She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.

“How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”

Although Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken a toll on her.

More from ThinkProgress:

Former Health Insurance Executive Explains How Companies Pocket Billions Through ‘Rescission’

NOTE: This is the first installment of our series — Meet Your Insurance Company Executive: An Interview with Wendell Potter.

Yesterday, ThinkProgress talked with Wendell Potter, Cigna Health Care’s former Communication Director, about a common and widespread practice among insurance companies called “rescission.” As the former Cigna executive explains, rescission is the insurance industry practice of finding reasons — even reasons as flimsy as typos on your enrollment form — to cancel your coverage when you get sick. According to Potter, insurance companies are saving billions by rescinding coverage from Americans who purchase individual insurance:

POTTER: If they determine that you might have left out something that they consider pertinent on your application and might have indicated that you would have had some illness or might get an illness down the road, and you’ve been getting treatment and submitting claims to your insurance company, they will go back and look at that application and they will often rescind or cancel your policy even if you’ve been paying your premiums on-time, every month, for years. You will be left holding the bag with the responsibility of paying all of your medical care when insurance companies do this. They’ve been doing it for many years and saving billions of dollars as a result of this.

Watch the video here.

The Washington Post recently highlighted other examples of rescission:

Woman Lost Her Home Because Coverage Was Canceled For Condition She Didn’t Have. “For Teresa Dietrich, it was fibroids. The Northern California real estate agent was left to pay $19,000 after Blue Cross said she did not disclose a diagnosis of the benign uterine tumors. But Dietrich said the doctor who had written ‘fibroids’ on her medical record never mentioned his suspicions to her. The bills destroyed her credit and cost her her home – and, in a comically cruel twist, the surgery proved the doctor was wrong. ‘They said I had a condition I didn’t even have,’ Dietrich said. ‘And they canceled me.’”

Woman Saddled With $25,000 Debt For Not Disclosing Condition She Didn’t Know She Had. “The untimely disappearance of Sally Marrari’s medical coverage goes a long way toward explaining why insurance companies are cast as the villain in the health-care reform drama. ‘They said I never mentioned I had a back problem,’ said Marrari, 52, whose coverage with Blue Cross was abruptly canceled in 2006 after a thyroid disorder, fluid in the heart and lupus were diagnosed. That left the Los Angeles woman with $25,000 in medical bills and the stigma of the company’s claim that she had committed fraud by not listing on a health questionnaire ‘preexisting conditions’ Marrari said she did not know she had.’”

Woman Denied Coverage For Gall Bladder Surgery Because Of Husband’s High Cholesterol. Washington Post: “In a pending case, Blue Shield searched in vain for an inconsistency in the health records of the wife of a dairy farmer after she filed a claim for emergency gallbladder surgery, according to attorneys for the family. Turning to her husband’s questionnaire, the company discovered he had not mentioned his high cholesterol and dropped them both. Blue Shield officials said they would not comment on a pending case.”

Rescission is widespread – an investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations found that three insurance companies alone (WellPoint, UnitedHealth and Assurant) cancelled more than 20,000 policies in the last five years.

September 15, 2009

Cross Wielding Teabagger + Voices of the Teabagger Movement. (Video)

Yes America, it’s true.  The media is giving power to the most ignorant segment of our country. Of course, the first clue that these people were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier is when they decided to call themselves “Teabaggers.” While they may be a great source of entertainment for those of us who have more than two brain cells to bump together, the topic of health care is an important one. These people are grossly uninformed, misinformed, and  generally motivated by their fear of the unknown. Never once do they consider that perhaps they know so little because they are so overwhelmingly brainless. Oh, and that they refuse to get their news from anywhere other than right-wing propagandists and Fox News – who are bought and paid for by the same corporations that have brought us to the brink of disaster.

Teabagger, Remember when we used to burn these??

Teabagger, "Remember when we used to burn these??" No, he didn't actually SAY that...

Video Highlights:

They believe that czars are bad, generally because it is an unfamiliar word in their vocabulary. When informed that Reagan also used czars, and that czars were expanded under George W. Bush, the crowd expressed dumbfounded confusion and disbelief. Their level of skepticism increased further as they were educated on the roles of the czars here in America. That they wield no executive power and act as advisers.  Not to mention that most of them have been confirmed! Dubiously, one man questioned, “and you know this how?” If Glenn Beck didn’t say it, it must not be true. One woman worried about whether or not they are given land to lord over (like those czars that Caesar had back in “Roman Times.” )

Another deep thinker also contributed to the discussion about czars, stating that, “in Russia, czars are kings. I want people to know that in America, Jesus is king.'” I wish that the guy interviewing her would have said, “many people believe that Jesus was a socialist.” But, he may not have gotten out of there alive.

Other Highlights:

A man goes on and on about abortions and how black women make up a high percentage of said abortions. But this has nothing to do with race.

A man wielding a wooden cross, typically used for cross burnings by the KKK, states that he had no clue that the rally was going on. He goes on to ask the people around him if they wanted to sign the cross, which already had several signatures. But, this has nothing to do with race.

More mention of President Obama being a Muslim, and not a Christian as he states. But, this has nothing to do with race.

A man holds up a tall sign that proudly states, “Joe Wilson for President.” He changed his mind after he was informed that Joe Wilson actually voted to pay the hospital bills of illegal immigrants that visited the Emergency Room – with taxpayers money.

A man states that there are simply not enough doctors in America for everyone to receive health care. That we would be 200,000 doctors short!  When asked what should be done for the millions of Americans who lack coverage, he didn’t have a solution. Especially when there is no solution that would conjure up more doctors. In other words, those without health care, feel free to rot.

A woman states her belief that President Obama is interested in building an army of 2 million people who will be as well armed as the military. She goes on the repeat the false claim, even as she is corrected. I guess she also believes in FEMA Death Camps.

A man states that Hitler wooed all with his fancy words, just like President Obama. Does this mean that all educated men with charisma should be out of the question for the presidency in the future?

A woman whose been in the health care industry 20 years claims that the, “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” signs are simply “sarcastic.” While another individual  goes on to state that the sign was okay, because the Kennedy’s had “done other stuff too,” though he could not think of any of that stuff “off the bat.”

And finally, ignoramuses attending the rally believe that being a communist, fascist, and socialist are all the same thing. Practically interchangeable. To top it off, when further questioned about just WHY they are protesting, most of them can’t come up with an even halfway coherent response.

::sighs::

There are other blatant examples of the overall ignorance of the crowd. All brought together by the hard work of Glenn Beck and Faux News.

These are the people keeping us from having a REAL health care debate. And their “representatives” are allowing it to happen!

At the end of the video, a woman is in a tizzy about how she is frustrated that they aren’t being listened to by the government, as a whole…

God help us if they ever are.



September 13, 2009

Census Report Shows Bush Economic Legacy Is Failure On Every Measurement

Thursday’s annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau’s principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush.
It’s not a record many Republicans are likely to point to with pride.
On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country’s condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton’s two terms, often substantially.

Read the rest of the article.

Let’s see. The economy IMPROVED under a democratic president… The economy TANKED under a republican president. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Where  are all those “fiscally responsible” republicans that you Teabaggers are ACHING to put back into power?

Facts are such a pesky little thing, aren’t they?

September 12, 2009

Read My Lips: No Pubic Option!

Republican Teabaggers, in all of their intellectual dexterity, descended on the US Capitol today. A crowd numbering 5,000 or 2 million people (I’m sure official numbers are due shortly) came from near and far wielding well written and thought provoking placards meant to make a strong, unified statement!

The classiest of such placards stated:

Such a touching display of human decency. Keep it classy, Teabaggers.

Well what can I say, really? The TB’s are fed up and are putting their foot down!

No wasteful spending.

No fiscal irresponsibility.

No Gov’ment hands on their gov’ment Medicare.

NO PUBIC OPTION!

No Siree! Not on their watch!

If only they weren’t a day late and a trillion dollars short.

Now, as an American, I can understand how it’s difficult to know when it is the right and wrong time to make a stand. Especially when Fox News hasn’t spelled it out for you by way of ominous music, misleading/untruthful headlines and big scary looking pictures of mean people who don’t look like you. If only Glenn Beck had been on FN those 8 years that Bush was president. Maybe things would be different!

At any rate, that’s the past. This here is about the future of these United States of America!

Just say no to Obamas Pubic Option!!!

Just say no to Obama's Pubic Option!!!

Now, while today is the first time I’ve heard about this so called “Pubic Option” that Obama insists on cramming down our throats, I personally don’t see the problem with free bikini waxes. Especially if it is followed by a free Teabagging session! That said, I am a reasonable person. So, for the betterment of this great nation, I am willing to side with the republicans on this one. No Pubic Option!

There! A compromise with the Republican Party: Yes We Can!

All joking, snarkiness and sarcasm aside, I am simply amused by this movement that the republican party has embarked on.  At the same time, I’m forced to ponder… Just where was this anger and outrage when the Bush Administration happen to lose billions of dollars in Iraq? When I say “lose” I don’t mean that they placed a bad bet on a Super Bowl game. I mean that they have no clue where it is!  It’s just somewhere in the abyss… That abyss, of course, may start with an H and end with an N, but hey, now is not the time for speculation!

Furthermore, where was this outrage when the deficit began to grow under Bush/Chaney, helped along by huge tax cuts given to the wealthiest people in the country?  Now, I know that Dick Chaney said that Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, but how is this theory working for the average American today? Better yet, if Reagan proved that deficits indeed don’t matter – what’s the problem with, theoretically, increasing the deficit in a way that will help Americans when we need it most? Are we really concerned with the wealthy more than we are concerned with the middle and lower class in this country? Or was Chaney saying whatever he needed to say to get people on the side of fiscal irresponsibility?

Not to mention, years and years before the financial crisis came to a head last year, economists warned that we were headed for trouble. Big trouble. Yet, the Bush Administration, and their republican controlled congress, stayed the course. They did not stray from their ultimate objective. An objective that had nothing to do with me, you, our grandparents, nor our grandchildren. An objective that lined the pockets of Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Big Business in general.

I can still remember quite well, republicans brushing off any mention of wasteful and irresponsible spending in regards to the war and the Bush administration as a whole.  When, in June of 2007 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report that stated the US Government was committed to spending $1.1 trillion with companies holding government contracts, there was not one peep out of these so-called fiscal responsible TB’s.

More than $200 billion in taxpayer money was spent on projects for which only one or a handful of companies submitted bids, the committee found.

That figure has more than tripled since 2000, according to the report, and now comprises more than half of all government spending outside of entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Teabaggers, can you spell “Disingenuous Hypocrite?” Probably not.

A picture is worth a trillion words:

THANK YOU FOX!

THANK YOU FOX!

God bless Amercia, indeed.