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Medical Care in America

Jul 22, 2008 - 12 comments

In a nation where 77% of it's citizens claim to be christian, we don't do a very good job of being Christ like. I had always wondered why so many churches sent people out of the country to build houses for the poor and when I asked this one little girl (about 20) years ago why she didn't stay here and build houses for the poor she looked at me like I was stupid and said, "Jan, everybody knows that if you are poor in America you are just lazy".  OMG I wanted to shake some sense into her, and when I asked her how she came to that conclusion she said her minister told her that!!!!!!!  I think people use that excuse to justify not taking care of those who are suffering.

My husband and I have always worked hard and supported ourselves and our children.  We could hardly be classified as lazy, but he has lost his job through no fault of his own, and I lost mine by email. Yep that's right the email said, "We are very sorry for your unfortunate circumstances and we do wish you well, but we hired you for your brain and since we no longer have access to it we can no longer carry you on the payroll."  We are going through everything we have saved just to pay outrageous ins premiums and I don't know how long we can keep that up.  We were paying 450 a month for family coverage when he was working, and now we are paying over 1800.  I don't know how people who work at McDonalds and such pay for ins even with a company plan.  The amt we were paying would be two weeks salary for someone working a minimum wage job.  What are they supposed to live on?  I saw an interview where they were talking about forcing people to buy ins, and this guy said that he should not have to pay for people who CHOOSE not to have ins.  HELLO!!!!!!!!  CHOOSE, is he crazy?  It isn't much of a choice.  Um lets see, Rock or Hard place for 200 Alex.  

I saw some people in Canada being interviewed about their health care system (and these were people with money), and they could not understand how americans could be so cold and callous.  They ALL said it could just as easily be them that fell on hard times and then they would need the help so they are happy to help support a system that they might actually need some day.  

The prevailing attitude here is, I got mine, you get yours.  It really kills me when politicians invoke the name of God in one breath and in another allocate trillions of dollars to kill people, while slashing the budget for health care, education etc.  Everybody thought that Medicare part d or whatever for prescription drugs was going to help old people, but the only people it helped were the ins companies.  Our country doesn't care about us.  We are all expendable.  Until we start placing a higher value on human life than the corporate bottom line, things will never change.  

Here are some lovely bushisms.

"You work three jobs?  … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." —President George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005  Why didn't he just slap her in the face while he was at it. No one should have to work 3 jobs to support their family.  That woman was hardly lazy and she was still having trouble making ends meet.  All of her employers made sure she was part time so they didn't have to pay for ins coverage.

"First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill." —President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 19, 2003  On recruitment in the military.

"You're working hard to put food on your family." —Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Nashua, N.H.,  Jan. 27, 2000

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." —Presidential candidate George W. Bush, LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." —President George W. Bush, Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." —President George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005  

"Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." —President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2004   Okay it doesn't have anything to do with poor people but ya gotta love it.

When aides finally briefed the President on the existence of the poor, the President was reportedly quite surprised to discover that some people do not own cars and are often forced to take public transportation, or even to walk or ride bicycles to get places.
"These poor people must be very fit," the President said.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004   It is about the only thing he has ever said that I believe.

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488689 tn?1337996758
by vallieanne, Jul 23, 2008
Thanks for summing up everything I felt like adding to my own journal today. It's all so very sickening, and you and your husband deserved so much better than what you got and the way you got it. This country has sold it's own people out  and we are being stretched so thin financially I wonder how we'll ever recover as a nation sometimes.
The reason my insurance is getting away with the limits is because I'm on medicaid and it's the federal government that dictates policy along with the individual states. Here in NY medicaid budgets are very high but there are so many people on it and it's essentially a broken system.  A huge number of the recipients getting aid here aren't even citizens but are taking services away from Americans that have illnesses and disabilities, but the politicians won't touch that issue with a ten foot pole.
Thanks for the bushisms, I needed a good laugh tonight and he's certainly a joke. That last one is priceless, but I love the "poor must be very fit".  What a dolt!!
take care,

483733 tn?1326802046
by TrudieC, Jul 23, 2008
It breaks my heart when I read about so many ladies here not having insurance or not being able to afford it.  This is such a foreign idea to me being Canadian.  I feel quite blessed to have what I have here.  Oh I so hope that your politicians find a way to provide access to healthcare for all your citizens.  You are country with some of the best doctors and nurses and your people should be able to benefit from that.

I appreciate the fun "quotes".  One of the differences I've noticed between Canadians and Americans is that we and the media continually feel the right to question and yes, even mock, our politicians.  I guess when you're cold there isn't much more you can do!  I do believe we are starting to become more alike in this way :)

282804 tn?1236837191
by Jan214, Jul 24, 2008
I am just bumping this up because I am a little disappointed that more people have not commented on it.  Thank you two that did.  Trudie you are right, we revere our politicians way more than we should.  It is our own fault.  We vote the buffoons into office so we don't have any right to b!tch.  The only good thing now is that McCain is an old fool and he is just a carbon copy of bush, except he may have actually earned his grades in school.  The republican party could not have picked a worse candidate (that's actually good news) and even those that are reluctant to put a black guy in the white house would rather see him in office than their money go down the toilet and I think people really understand now that it is not a republican that is going to fix things for us.  Not after McCain's 100 yrs of war ****.  Do you know that we spend almost 30% of our budget on war and war related items.  How crazy is that. Well, I will save this rant for another journal on the politics of money.

523728 tn?1264625121
by bohan54, Jul 24, 2008
I hesitate to comment for a couple of reasons.  First, let me qualify that I am not a supporter of George Bush nor any of his Republican predecessors.  I also do not support the bloated U.S. defense fund.

My life's work has been in public welfare as a state of Michigan civil servant.  If the abuses of this system were corrected, there would be a great infusion of funds which could be directed at providing at least a medical safety net for most citizens.   It is difficult to preserve an altruistic mentality when confronted daily with fraudulent claims for public monies.  I can't begin to list the scamming bs stories I've been told over the last 29 years.  Sometimes I am ashamed to be so cynical and skeptical until I discover I've been conned yet again.

Secondly, I love my adopted country but would never entrust my current medical situation to the Canadian health care system.  It would be like putting a bandaid on a hemorrage.  Additionally, I find the taxation levels to be punitive to the hard working middle class.  My husband is a skilled tradesman making a decent wage and we get to keep about 55% of his earnings.  Americans would never put up with those kind of taxes no matter what the cause.  

As a long term bureaucrat, I believe that if employees at my level were consulted about policies to reduce expenditures, the budget could be stretched much further to benefit more people in need.  This would apply to both countries.

415684 tn?1257332918
by JC145, Jul 24, 2008
I didn't respond simply because I don't have an answer to the problem.  Just the $$$ spent on campaigning sickens me.  I'm afraid I don't have faith in either candidate.  Wish a strong independent candidate would "suit up".

Judy C

282804 tn?1236837191
by Jan214, Jul 24, 2008
Judy I am with you.  I tell people I belong to the Chinese party.  You know, a little from column a and a little from comumn b.  It would be nice to have a candidate that makes sense and is actually good for the country.  Unfortunately we don't vote for the guy who tells the truth, just the guy who blows smoke up our butts until we believe his particular fairy tale.  It is outrageous the money that is spent on trying to convince us to vote for someone else that won't do anything to fix things either.

Sharon;  I have seen the things you have seen.  I too believe that they ask the wrong people what is wrong with the system.  It is the people like you on the front line that really know what needs to be fixed.  As for the taxes, we pay about 38% right now & I don't feel that we get anything for it,so to pay more to get more, I wouldn't mind.  Look at the system they have in France.  House call Drs, nannies to help new mom's.  Wow, now that's a tax dollar at work for the people.  If I only got to keep 50% of my salary, but had all the services they do there I would be fine with that.  They don't need that much to live on considering all the services they get.

135691 tn?1271100723
by Tybear, Jul 24, 2008
Well, I have to politely disagree with you Bohan...I would rather pay a portion of my taxes (whatever amount that is) to make sure I never get told that my insurance won't cover a CT scan, then have to pay $1800 a month to make sure I get insurance. If your paying that much money a month to have coverage, than aren't you really paying more out of your salary than we are? I am on disability and make more money now than I did when I was working...because my income is so low, the government funding for things like the child canada tax benefit and CPP disability etc... goes up.
Yes our system has it's flaws...I had to take my son into emerg last night because he was rolling on the floor with abdominal pain and we had to wait 4 hours to see a doc. Did it cost me anything? No. Did I have to get permission from my insurance company to go? No. Do I have to fill out any forms or submit any paperwork? No. Did I enjoy waiting that long? No, but I'd rather have to wait then worry about whether or not to take him in the first place.
I cannot imagine having to worry about money when you are sick...yes, I have to pay for my Avastin, but if the Ontario Health Insurance Plan covered every drug that was available, we'd be paying even more in taxes. It will be covered one day...just not right now. Besides, I knew full well it wasn't covered when I asked to go on it...I just didn't know how much it was. They actually just set aside $50 million in funding for Avastin and a couple other drugs, but because it's indicated for use in Colorectal cancer, it will go to those people first.
I will not bad mouth my health care system (too much)...I got one  YEAR off after my son was born and collected 55% of my income, I get my monthly benefits from the government programs available to me that allow me to enjoy life and not always be worrying about where the money's going to come from, and although I may have to wait a little longer than most for my care, I don't have the added stress of insurance companies breathing down my back trying to find a loophole so they can cut me off. I'm also off work with no pressure to go back...I can be home, enjoying life and resting up. Don't get me wrong, if I could work, I would...but the pressure or the need to isn't there.
Every system has it's positives and negatives but from what I know and see, I'll keep the system I've got.

356929 tn?1246393356
by Sandymac, Jul 24, 2008
Hey Jan,     I just saw this post this afternoon but I probably wouldn't have posted to it even if I had seen it earlier because ...... DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED !!!! Every single day that I turn on this T.V. , I feel like hurling it across the room !! I cannot believe what has happened to this wonderful country of ours AND, the sooner that fella that occupies the White House is gone the better !! And, I wish I had a lot of confidence in either of the ones running but I don't and if that makes me a disloyal American, so be it.

My son is unemployed (through no fault of his own either) And I am so sick to death of people saying that people are lazy or
particular in their employment choices or that Illegals are only taking jobs that Americans won't do... Bull Hockey !!! There were illegals employed in Lee County Florida doing construction work on the County JAIL!!! And don't anyone write me that I'm against immigration... I'm not at all .. I'm against people coming into this country ILLEGALLY... My ancestors and everyone else's ancestors that I know came over here from someplace else.. BUT-- they were anxious to learn the language and assimilate into this country. And, yes, I know there are a good many illegals that made this country their home and did the same but by and large in Florida, most if not all of these people don't give a rat's a** about this country . They have no intention of assimilating and want US to learn Spanish !!!And... they want (and receive ) every free service available including hospital care!!!

We are so dependent on other countries for every little thing that in a very few short years, we won't know how to make so much as a rubber band over here... so DON'T  GET ME STARTED!!! ,

Now, see what you've gone and done.... you got me on my soap box !!! I'm gonna hop down now that I've said my piece !!!

523728 tn?1264625121
by bohan54, Jul 24, 2008
Sandy - Come on down to the welfare office if you really want to get steamed.  We have to have Arabic and Spanish interpreters to help illegals figure out what to say to be eligible for assistance.  

Becky - I use my OHIP for routine matters and am thankful to have it but since there is a severe shortage of specialists in Windsor, I feel it prudent to seek my cancer care in Detroit rather than travel to Toronto.  My Windsor family doc is in complete agreement with my decision.  Bottom line is, many of our specialists are dissatisfied with the cap on their salaries imposed by OHIP and end up moving to the states for bigger bucks.  I know I am very fortunate to have options due to my US employment.  

Good discussion Jan!  

135691 tn?1271100723
by Tybear, Jul 24, 2008
Oh I agree Bohan...I think our doctor's are way under paid...and people wonder why they all go to the U.S. to get work?!
I have a huge problem when a hockey player here can make 10 million dollars a season yet the most skillful of surgeons are lucky to make $250,000. - that's just absurd.
I remember finding the website to Sunnybrook and it outlined the top 10 salaries there...and I'm not joking, I was appalled at how low the wages were. Considering the hours they work and the fact that they are saving peoples's a shame. Your better off being a business executive...didn't the CEO of Hydro One make something like 1 or 2 million a year?
I would like to think that when people decide to become a doctor it's not for the money, it's for the impact they can make on peoples lives...but when you invest as much time and money as they do for training and consider all the personal sacrifices they have to make...well, they deserve much more than they get.
I guess you are lucky in that you do get the best of both situations...

408448 tn?1286887421
by marie3B, Jul 24, 2008
The way it is now I may have to get a divorce if I lose my insurance to get a medical card.  Is that fair?  We have always worked and worked hard for everything and now this may cause us to lose everything.. That is just not right.  Healthcare should not discriminate based on wealth.  The amount of money wasted in government is beyond ridiculous.  I don't have the answer, but the status quo is just not working for the middle class (or lower middle like us)  Marie

447161 tn?1262926684
by kimmywah, Jul 30, 2008
Don't get me
Ok....although I do not work in or live in the U.S.A, I am aware of the amount of money that has been  (and will be) spent on the political campaigns this year.  The same thing is happening here in NZ with our elections looming.  
As far as I can tell, our Medical and Social services here are probably more similar to Canada - but.. I work in a Drug and Alcohol counselling service in a Trust that has Social Services, Parenting classes, Budgeting advice, Housing advocates and Medical services etc, all FREE services and we mostly deal with low social economic areas and mostly with Maori and Pacific Island peoples (although our services are available to anyone).  WHY do we have to do this when this country has a 'very adequate' social benefit system????  Why indeed???  Because it is not enough.
Because....we DO NOT spend any money on Educating people (from the earliest possible age) to change learned patterns of behavior.

This isn't just our problem here, this is, I suspect, the problem there too.  
Money is instead spent on Defense of the Nation, Drug companies, political gain, Lip service to be politically correct (how i hate that term), help for other nations that we Must contribute too.  

It pisses me off that, for instance, a politician or a movie star is absolutely revered for the contribution that they make to the world by giving their time or their name to a fund helping a child in Africa or Afghanistan or somewhere, when POVERTY is happening down the road or in their own back yard.  

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying not to help other countries, but in reality some would not be in the state that they are now, without the POWERS that Be stepping in to do what they have decided is best,  in the first place!!  WE could afford to feed the hungry if we stopped trying spending that on supplying them with guns instead.  WE could afford to give free medicine if the Drug companies didn't control the chips.

The rich will always get richer and poor poorer.  This is a capitalist society that we live in, a FREE country but man, some people ain't free!  SOMETHING just ain't working.  There must be a better way.  Believe me, in my job, and we are Government funded,  we have to fight tooth and nail to justify that funding every minute of every day and we are paid very low in comparison to other services.

To pay your taxes, work hard all your life, raise a family to be responsible and have a good work ethic, then get sick and be told we cannot help you anymore.  You have given to society all your life but now you are no use to us so we really can't help you...that is a kick in the guts.  I don't know how to fix it.


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