'I'm Not Sure It's A Fact' That Lack Of Health Insurance Causes People To Die

  1. 3
    I'm not sure that it's a fact that more and more people die because they don't have health insurance. But because they don't have health insurance, the care is not delivered in the best and most efficient way.

    vs reality:

    And for the record, a highly-publicized Harvard study released last month said that 45,000 deaths are linked to lack of health insurance coverage each year -- and that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher death risk than their privately-insured counterparts.
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo...die.php?ref=mp
    Cherybaby, flightnurse2b, and GCTMT like this.
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    You know, I just talked to someone today who almost did not have health insurance. Her husband put her on his policy when he was able even though they weren't really able to afford the premiums. She was not eligible for coverage for six months because of any pre-existing conditions. Within weeks after she became eligible, she found a lump on her breast, went through surgery and is now going through chemo. She will have radiation next spring. She told me that if she had found the lump before she was covered, she would have waited to be treated. So how much longer could her cancer have progressed? Maybe to the point that her chances of survival were significantly decreased?

    One thing she said that made me angry was that the insurance company refused to pay for her wig after she lost her hair. This is the same company (ND Blue Cross and Blue Shield) that spent $238,000 on a trip for sales managers to the Grand Caymans. :angryfire

    On the other hand, at least they did not weasel out of paying for her treatments by trying to claim that the cancer must have been present for some time and was thus a "pre-existing" condition. However, had the company not been under so much scrutiny for excessive and unnecessary spending---while denying claims and decreasing coverage---maybe they would have tried.

    Thanks for the link, Viking!
    tewdles, TruNurse86, Katie82, and 3 others like this.
  5. 2
    One of those "studies" is so poorly done. It surveyed several thousand people, one time, and then several years later went back to find out how many had died. Then published the stats about how many had insurance and how many didn't. BUT, it didn't establish how they died, what their conditions were at any time. Living or Dead, insurance or none. Two questions. And the difference was a very small percentage, well within the margin of error. From that the numbers were expanded as if it were an overall stat of the entire US population and they came up with the number of deaths number. Poorly done, but being used to further the reform point. I don't know if that was the Harvard Study or not. I heard this on the Michael Medved show, and just looked on his website but couldn't plug in the right search words to come up with the actual study.
    Onekidneynurse and Spidey's mom like this.
  6. 2
    Moogie - I'm glad your friend is getting good care.

    I don't think wigs should be covered though.

    I'm in favor of medical insurance for the big things - and let the market handle the little things . . . search around for the best price at doctors' offices for checkups and regular stuff, for mammograms, for MRI's, for PT, etc. Then they'd have to compete for my $ and might just lower the cost.

    steph
    canoehead and Rebel Yell like this.
  7. 3
    I am not in favor of taxing health insurance benefits.
    Not even if wigs for hair loss or even gym memberships are included in the plan.
    Rebel Yell, sharpeimom, and HM2VikingRN like this.
  8. 5
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    Moogie - I'm glad your friend is getting good care.
    Thank you.

    Quote from Spidey's mom
    I don't think wigs should be covered though.
    I'm mixed on that. I would think that if there isn't enough money to provide other services, then, no, wigs should not be covered. I am not sure if there is an area chapter of the organization "Look Good, Feel Better" for cancer patients. Link: http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org/

    If I were independently wealthy and never had to work again, I would so consider going to cosmetology school only so I could volunteer for this organization. They help provide wigs, makeup tips, things that make a woman feel feminine even when her skin is sallow from chemo and her hair has all fallen out.

    I think they accept donations of wigs and such; not entirely sure, though.

    Quote from Spidey's mom
    I'm in favor of medical insurance for the big things - and let the market handle the little things . . . search around for the best price at doctors' offices for checkups and regular stuff, for mammograms, for MRI's, for PT, etc. Then they'd have to compete for my $ and might just lower the cost.
    The thing is, though, in smaller cities and rural areas, the competition may be over an hour away. If there's one little rural clinic in your community and you can't drive, you're pretty much stuck going to that little rural clinic, regardless of what it might charge. It costs time and money to go to metro areas that have more services (and more competition.) Someone who lives 50 miles from a small metro area will spend an hour getting to an appointment, an hour to three hours at the appointment (depending on any treatments, radiation therapy, chemo), an hour getting back---the day is shot.

    Rural hospitals here rarely have more than one or two patients for anywhere from 8 to 18 beds. Sure, they get ER patients at all times, but sometimes there are no in-house patients at all. Is it cost effective to keep them going? I don't know.

    I have a feeling that with---or without---health care, some rural areas are going to lose their hospitals in the near future. I don't know how the system will be able to afford them or if it would ultimately be less expensive to take, via ambulance, any sick persons to the community that's about an hour away.
    Rebel Yell, sharpeimom, Elvish, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    I live in a rural area and I am also a nurse here and I cannot think of one person who could not travel to another area if they wanted to. In fact, a community a little more than 1/2 way to the "big city" south of us has a burgeoning clinic that offers many services for less and many folks up here are going there. I've been considering it myself - I see docs/NP's in the "big city" but I really like this clinic and they cost less than the ones here in my valley and in the city and right now I don't have insurance.

    We also, as a community, do our big grocery shopping in the "big cities" nearby . .. about 1 1/2 hour away either north or south. Everyone has a Costco card or Sam's Club card or go to Winco or Grocery Outlet. Christmas shopping is done in these two areas too. There is a senior bus system too that goes south (it is about 70 miles).

    Even "poor" people travel there.

    I think it is an option. But then I live in California and people are wedded to their cars. :-)

    steph
  10. 3
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    Even "poor" people travel there.

    I think it is an option. But then I live in California and people are wedded to their cars.

    Not where I live. I'm in MinneSNOWta and at least six months of the year, the roads are icy, slippery or snow-covered. A senior-citizen bus going to the next-largest city comes twice a week. Those without cars are dependent on others. Wintertime, and the livin' ain't easy.
    GCTMT, sharpeimom, and HM2VikingRN like this.
  11. 3
    Quote from Moogie
    Not where I live. I'm in MinneSNOWta and at least six months of the year, the roads are icy, slippery or snow-covered. A senior-citizen bus going to the next-largest city comes twice a week. Those without cars are dependent on others. Wintertime, and the livin' ain't easy.
    You have a point - and the US is so very diverse that a one-size-fits-all solution won't work.

    My son is getting his Masters in city planning right now - he lives in So. Cal. He wants to move to Portland when he is finished.

    He says the diversity is mind boggling.

    I just can't imagine not being able to get to a bigger town to shop or get my hair done or take Danny to the museum or walk the river trail. We think nothing of driving 70 miles to do stuff. Tuesday I drive down to get my gray roots colored.

    steph
    Onekidneynurse, sharpeimom, and Moogie like this.
  12. 4
    I did a public health rotation in Winthrop MN. There was a Doctor who came for 1 afternoon a week. Otherwise the elderly were dependent on volunteer drivers to get to Hutchinson for medical care....
    GCTMT, sharpeimom, Elvish, and 1 other like this.


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