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    Anybody might get lucky out of wedlock but only a religious prude would feel guilty about it..., 2011-08-01 18:37:03 | Main | the courts are closed..., 2011-08-02 16:31:33

    merely 19 million more uninsured Americans than when Obama was elected:

    The Orlando Sentinel's Kate Santich starts this story out with a tear jerker, about a family that goes bankrupt, despite the fact that they're covered by two health insurance policies, when their infant daughter ends up in intensive care with a rare disorder. Then Santich hits the compression button and sends your blood pressure rocketing into the heavens:

    "To this day," Simon said, "we still have creditors calling us, wanting to talk to Ellie. They'll say things like, 'We want to discuss how she's going to take care of this overdue bill.' I just lose it."

    Ellie Sutherland died June 26. She was two months shy of her fourth birthday.

    Maybe things would be better under the new laws, once they actually kick in, any year now:

    If Ellie had been born today, her parents' insurance plan because of the federal health-care overhaul would have no limit on how much coverage the policy would pay out over a lifetime. If Ellie were born in 2014, there also would be strict out-of-pocket limits that would include such things as prescription-drug costs.

    But a major problem for this family, unshockingly, is in large part rescission and spaghetti contracts that are the profit centers of the insurance industry. The monumental historic pinnacle of Barry's 11-dimensional chess game doesn't do much about either:

    For the first trip to Johns Hopkins, for instance, Marsha had gotten preapproval from her insurer, only to have the company deny coverage when the bills came due. And though the policy had a $10,000 out-of-pocket cap, there were so many copays, deductibles and prescription costs excluded that the Sutherlands spent close to $20,000 the first year alone.

    It's what the industry calls "innovation", I guess. Anyway, this is still going to be a huge fucking problem, and will just get bigger after Obama's new Super Congress decides how to gut the only heath insurance programs in this country that actually work:

    Two years ago, researchers at Harvard and Ohio universities reported that 62 percent of all bankruptcies were related to medical debt. An American family, they said, filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds and three-quarters of those families had health insurance.

    Although the data used for the study is now 4 years old, most experts interviewed said the problem is likely only to have worsened, at least until this year, as out-of-pocket medical costs have continued to spiral.

    In addition, widespread layoffs have contributed to the rapid rise in uninsured Americans, who now number more than 59 million.

    To top it all off, after the mother quits to take care of the child full time, the father is let go after the insurance companies jack up his company's premiums 70%.

    The job loss, ironically, made his daughter eligible for Medicaid at last. Suddenly, all the battles over coverage were over, and administrators even asked whether the girl might need a wheelchair.

    The Sutherlands were still paying off the $5,000 tab for the wheelchair their private insurance refused to cover.

    ...

    Despite the debts wiped away by the bankruptcy, the Sutherlands still owe about $2,000 on Ellie's medical bills, not including her funeral expenses. Marsha and Simon have no credit cards, and they no longer have any insurance coverage themselves. For now, they simply hope they don't get sick.

    It's just so fucking stupid how simple it would be to fix this, and how the second order effects would stop so much buffoonery in our national politics: putting healthcare costs on par with other industrialized countries would halve our medical bills, repairing the long term debt outlook without any painful cuts or tax increases, making it infinitely less risky to start new businesses, dramatically lower labor and human resources costs for existing business, dramatically enhance labor and social mobility, all of which would greatly enhance the job prospects of the portion of the 2.3 million health insurance industry workers that would have to be let go as the industry downsizes into supplemental coverage provision, and all contributing thusly to any economic recovery that might take place, some far off day when our economic system is no longer built on a foundation of fraud.


:: posted by buermann @ 2011-08-02 12:35:53 CST | link





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