And some of those find that they now have a "pre-existing condition" and can never come home again, because they are uninsurable.
I have also noted something else: For many years the emigration/immigration balance between the USA and my native Norway was pretty even. But over the last 10 years its shifted so that it is now about two Americans entering for every Norwegian leaving.
This is quite peculiar, because it is just easier to emigrate the other way. Norwegians learn English in school, Hollywood and TV gives a surface insight in the culture...an American coming the other way has neither going for him.
And the laws just make it difficult for Americans to immigrate. (This is not anything against the Americans. But after Norway joined up with the EEA laws of free movement of people withing the EEA area, it was felt that some kind of line needed to be drawn, and Americans ended up in the "Everyone else" bucket).
Despite this, the flow is 2:1 from the US to Norway. I wonder if other countries have the same experience.
Last edited by Gnarl; 10-16-2009 at 09:55 AM.
I'm not liberal, liberals have beliefs. I'm a democrat, the only belief I have is that republicans are wrong.
Let's free the market, so it can enslave us all
Patient Denied Care For Her Brain Tumor Says Insurers Want You To ‘Die Now, So We Can Save Money Later’
Yesterday, Dawn Smith — who has a brain tumor her insurer has refused to help treat — traveled from her home in Atlanta, Georgia to request a meeting with H. Edward Hanway, CEO of the health insurance giant CIGNA. She has been a victim of a series of insurance company abuses, and she wanted to give both Hanway and leaders in Congress a message. Hanway refused to meet with Smith, and instead dispatched his Cheif Medical Officer Jeff Kang to listen to her. Kang admitted that CIGNA’s complex claims unit requires serious changes but said his company would not even review the possibility of paying for her care until November.
Smith, a premiums-paying customer of CIGNA, was diagnosed with a type of brain tumor in 2005, then another one in 2007. Although CIGNA covered her brain biospy and some medication payments, she has battled with the insurer for years because of multiple denials of payment for the specialized care she needs to cure the tumors. After paying out-of-pocket for care in one instance, CIGNA nearly doubled her premiums anyway. In early October, a CIGNA representative told her that the co-pay on her anti-epileptic medicine was being hiked by more than $3,000 a year.
With the assistance of MoveOn.org, Smith has launched a nationwide campaign to not only receive the treatments she deserves from her insurance company, but to help reform the entire system and help all Americans gain quality, affordable healthcare. ThinkProgress asked Smith what message she has for Congress:
DAWN SMITH: I would encourage them to hear the stories from their citizens because, you know, a lot of people talk about the cost [to] children of our future, our grandchildren. But, there are grandchildren dying now. There are children dying now.
I don’t understand how you can justify ‘die now, so we can save money later.’ Because that’s what it is; that’s what it boils down to.
CIGNA has a long history of denying care for its own policyholders. One of the most infamous cases involves Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17-year-old who died after CIGNA refused to cover her liver transplant. When Nataline’s mother requested a meeting with CIGNA officials, employees of CIGNA reportedly started heckling her from a balcony above the building’s lobby, with one giving her “the finger.”
Rather than use Smith’s or Sarkisyan’s premium dollars to pay for life-saving medical treatments, CIGNA has poured its cash into lobbying against health reform. Those premium dollars are also spent on two private luxory jets, sky-high CEO compensation (Hanway was paid $25.8 million in 2007 alone), and profits.
I’ll actually give you a speech made up entirely, almost on the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. In other words, this is what the truth is and a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say if we were in the kind of democracy where citizens were honored in terms of their practice of citizenship and they were educated in terms of what the issues were and they could separate myth from reality in terms of what candidates would tell them:
“Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I’m so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that’s true and what I’m going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you, particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy people…you’re going to have to pay more.
“Thank you. And by the way, we’re going to have to, if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die.”
“Also I’m going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid—we already have a lot of bargaining leverage—to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents. Thank you.”
This SOB sounds just like Fox News. Or Sarah Palin.
The really funny thing is the Berkely audience was applauding? " Hey guys, you're going to pay more for health care while your young and healthy. And then you're going to die cause were not going to use resources to keep you alive when you're old and sick. " The crowd goes wild!
Oh, that's easy. The ones who are frightened aren't currently part of those being "rationed". In words of your country "I got mine, Jack".Charles RB just needs to follow the money:
I do wonder why a number of Americans seem frightened by rationing when they already have a form of rationing.
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson
"Can it, you nit!" - Violet Beauregard
"And Paradox is never correct. About anything."- Kid Omega
Decorum & Friends (A City of Heroes archive)
What have I always believed? That, on the whole, and by and large, if a person lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out ok.
It takes serious financial resources to set up a health insurance company. In case you haven't heard, health costs are very high in this country and you'll need a lot of customers in order to lobby it down even a little.So you want us to deregulate it so that anybody can sell health insurance and then watch tons of little insurance companies go bust from unexpected costs, especially in the start-up phase? Companies can figure out average costs for customers, especially if they can discriminate upon them based on medical history or region. But those are just averages and aren't consistent from year to year or from company to company. The little guys could purchase their own insurance to hedge against those kinds of losses, but they're going to be facing high rates if they're undercapitalized. So that's a third disadvantage that newcomers would face in a less regulated environment. How is this going to solve the problem again?
They've already relaxed laws to allow non-profit coops to form insurance companies, but almost nobody has the capital to create them so very few have been created.
This one I can say as a Canadian is a crock.
People don't go to doctors more often than it is available. In Canada, we have the HINI shot available for everyone and yet the government still doesn't think we will get even 50% of the populace to take it.
Healthcare != Consumer item
It basically has an inelastic demand so even if you make the cost cheaper, you're not going to see more people use it....
Then again, America's system is screwed up and in the first few years, everyone who was too scared to go to the doctor WILL use the system and thus put an initial strain on it.
The first half is almost correct although the main problem with Fed policy was not raising interest rates in response to the massive deficits being run by the Bush administration.No, that was a combination of a) bad Fed policy, and b) government forcing lenders to make loans to people who had no business owning a house in the first place.
The secobd half is pretty much a downright lie. The law which is claimed to have "forced" banks to make loans to "people who had no business owning a house in the first place" (you know - blacks and other minorities) was the Community Reinvestment ACt.
Guess what, banks covered by the Community Reinvestment Act have LOWER defalut rates and made fewer non-prime loans than non-CRA lenders.
Take a look at maps of how house prices have fallen. The biggest falls came in places like the south-west and Florida. These weren't areas with lots of poorer inner-city communities where CRA applied, they are however areas where there was massive investment in holiday homes and investment properties.
Most of the loans for those properties came from so-called monoline lenders. These specialsit firms weren't part of regular banks and were exempt from lots of Fed banking regulation. They didn't take in savings, they raised money by sellign bonds and by securitising their loans into mortgage-backed securities.
That's those same mortgage-backed securities that nearly bankrupted the US banking system and wrecked the derivatives market.
The monoline lenders owe their existence to Republican deregulation of lending.
The Republicans used to boast about that back in 2006 and 2007, they'd made home owning affordable .and were helping poor Americans build their very own American Dream.
The only people who expressed concern were liberal elitists who wanted to keep the poor poor and confined to urban ghettoes so the Democrat could exploit and dupe them into voting for them.
But I guess "Them librul Jew-Queer Democrats gave free houses to a bunch of lazy shiftless no-account darkies" is a much more comforting story for some people.