Healthcare is NOT a basic human right. - Page 46Register Today!
- Oct 7, '12 by withasmilelpnFrom http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-05/h...e?_s=PM:HEALTH
Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies
"Unless you're a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you're one illness away from financial ruin in this country," says lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass. "If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that's the major finding in our study."
Woolhandler and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 2,314 people who filed for bankruptcy in early 2007, looked at their court records, and then interviewed more than 1,000 of them. Health.com: Expert advice on getting health insurance and affordable care for chronic pain
They concluded that 62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.
Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance, they say.
"That was actually the predominant problem in patients in our study -- 78 percent of them had health insurance, but many of them were bankrupted anyway because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services," says Woolhandler. "Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance." Health.com: Where the money goes -- A breast cancer donation guide
How is this ok?
- Oct 7, '12 by FMF CorpsmanWhat I find particularly nauseating are those cases, even after the policyholder has paid their premiums for years and years, the insurance companies are able, no, justified in declining the claim, and then cancelling the policy of certain policyholders who are suffering from terminal diseases or catastrophic injuries. This just doesn’t somehow seem right, yet it happens all of time.
- Oct 7, '12 by withasmilelpnQuote from realmaninuniformThe part I object to the most is -' the name of "research"? Take your propaganda somewhere else comrade. It's not welcome here in the land of the free, and home of the brave!"'"And in our land, we have the 'right' to free speech. Don't trample on 37 degree's rights because you don't agree with him. I for one don't care if he's a janitor. What he has to say is interesting, just as this debate is interesting. What you think is as valid as him and this is an important topic to all. It needs to be discussed - respectfully please."
I'm all for free speech, and if it "janitor" wants to speak his opinion he can do so. A forum for nurses is probably not the best choice. I'm sure there's plenty of janitor boards out there.
It all comes down to credibility, especially within the healthcare field. I wouldn't go to a janitorial board and say that we need a federal takeover of janitorial duties, and I sure wouldn't pretend to be one and or dodge the question.
Illustrating someone's credibility or lack there of is not trampling on free speech. Let's try to stay relevant here. Just think about it... Would you take a janitor's advice on what you as a nurse should do with your own health care? I don't think so.
And yes - I would discuss any issue with any educated person regardless of their job title. My husband himself was once a chauffeur after being laid off again - now he owns his own very successful company. We've been in the position of paying for Cobra, no insurance for us and CHIP for our kids, using clinics for care when we couldn't use our insurance because we were 'out of network' in another state. I've had Aetna, IBC, keystone, POS, etc etc and 3 jobs at one time to make needs met for us. Now my husband is providing health insurance for others. I think you'd be surprised who might know a thing or two about healthcare. Furthermore, lots of non nurses post here all the time.
- I think we should consider healthcare a human right and address it in our society. I think to not do so sets the stage for continued negative outcomes, including rights abuses. I think it's also a humane thing to do...
I know a couple (female lower 40s, male late 30s) with ability and means to pay outrageous health insuance rates but that were recently denied (they were on COBRA at the time - no breaks in insurance). One had seen a rheumatologist over the years for rheumatoid-like syndrome (but not rheumatoid arthritis as there was no joint damage). Neither were on prescription drugs. They were unable to get insurance. They had recently started their own small business (less than 15 employees, I think), so they initiated insurance through it for themselves and their employees. If they had not had this option, they would have been up a creek. They were surprised that most of their employees took the insurance (I think only one opted out).
Something they noted - insurance rates for a young woman is much higher than for a young man of same age. Insurance rates for older employees are also much higher. (They examined the rates for all the workers and set a rate according to their particular pool of workers, but also noted that they were paying a large percentage of it.) With such a system (that we have in place today), I could see how some companies might avoid hiring women or older workers to avoid higher premiums. I never really thought of that before. I think if we had universal coverage, it would help eliminate some discrimination that surely goes on (against women and older workers per higher insurance costs).
This couple is for Obamacare.
- Oct 7, '12 by cdsgaAs I know some do-they buy the cheapest car insurance in order to get their car tag, then let it lapse after they get the tag/registration for the year.
The same thing will happen with other purchases that are forced. They bet on NOT getting caught, NOT getting sick.
Driving a car is a privilege and a choice. You don't have to drive. You can take public transit and pay to ride, or you can ride with someone else who foots the bill for the car. But you won't have the maintenance, the upkeep, the fuel cost or the insurance to buy.
You don't have to work, you can get public assistance-where the people who do work pay for the ones who don't through tax dollars who fund public programs.
Same thing will happen with health insurance that is mandated.
- Quote from cdsgaHmm...I'd like to see some statistics on that... I would have thought the greatest expenses would be for cardiac surgeries, transplant surgeries, chemotherapeutic drugs, and such. Many of those things give folks quite a bit more time. Maybe you are including those things in the definition of "end of life care"? I would think hospice/palliative care would not be as expensive as the other items.... I could see it being a great expense for some folks who have not been sick much....as hospice towards end of life would require more intense monitoring to ensure the patient is comfortable.The biggest amount of money spent in healthcare is end of life care.
- Quote from cdsgaI think some folks do that already. Makes me wonder about the notion of universal healthcare. I personally have health insurance through my work, but it seems to me that universal healthcare is socially just as I view healthcare as a human right... I also think that if we provide early education/prevention/intervention and have a 100% pool that costs should come down over the long run.Same thing will happen with health insurance that is mandated.
Relative to your other comment about end of life costs... After working in healthcare for a time, my view on heroic interventions at end of life has changed... I am inclined to say that for myself, I would like to be a DNR as the time comes... I am more okay with the concept of palliative care say in the face of certain forms of advanced cancer, as often the cure comes at great costs physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think we have to look at cost benefits of a procedure (and costs should not just include monetary costs)....especially in a universal system....and even in our current system.
- Oct 7, '12 by tntrn"I could see it being a great expense for some folks who have not been sick much....as hospice towards end of life would require more intense monitoring to ensure the patient is comfortable"
My father passed away on September 2 and was on hospice care since mid-May. He lived in his own home until July 29 at which point he went to a nursing home, because one of my sisters needed to return to her home in Alaska, and i couldn't be there until August 8 from my home in the Seattle area. (He elected to stay there after I arrived.) During his time at home and at the nursing home he was still under hospice care (we will pay the nursing home costs), he had a nurse visit twice a week and a social worker more or less weekly. Thus, very little monitoring of any kind. Pain questions were just that: how are you, where do you feel pain, is it better or worse than before, do you think something else needs to be done. Most of his routine meds were dc'd along the journey for various reasons (his vitamins were too big for him to swallow and useless for what lay ahead. I have no idea what the hospice charges to Medicare were (we didn't get or haven't yet anyway any information on that.) And as I said, we are responsible for his month of nursing home care.
Nothing that will is considered curative is covered by hospice. A patient can decide to go off of hospice to resume curative care, however. But at that point, the costs incurred would not be due to hospice. Possibly end of life and pricey, but not due to hospice.
So I hardly think hospice care accounts for huge end of life costs. I have no figures to back that up, but he was never seen by an MD and except for nighttimes at the nursing home and meds administered there, my sisters and I did everything. Everything.