POLICY: Two awful stories

Just before you get too lost in the wonkiness of health policy, just remember the financial implications of being sick in the wrong circumstancesin this country. Here’s a woman with a sick kid who is going to have her husband take a pay cut so that she can qualify for S-CHIP.

And here’s a benefit tonight in Richmond Virginia, for Kellie Brown, a student who needed an emergency appendectomy and has dropped out of college to pay of the $10,000 she owes. I kicked in a few bucks; if you’re feeling nice you might too.

Think of the economic insanity of these two things–someone dropping out of college, and someone moving to a lower pay grade because of health care costs!And no, this shit does not happen anywhere else in the civilized world.

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10 replies »

  1. Ann Malone,
    Your comment above “(btw stuart browning is a troll on the payroll of corporate healthcare …)” is untrue and slanderous. I have made clear on my website (http://www.freemarketcure.com) that I receive no funding from the health insurance or health care industries. Yet no matter how many times I have made this statement, advocates of socialism such as yourself nevertheless resort to conspiracy theories.
    By the way – your advice here to warn others about me is a little late. My video “A Short Course in Brain Surgery” has now been viewed over 1.7 million times on the internet – while my Free Market Cure website has been receiving over 50,000 unique visits each day of last week.

  2. Thanks for raising this paramount moral dimension of our worsening hc crisis. as a nurse who works mostly w/folks who are of low/moderate income in the inner city, and as a sibling of someone w/chronic mental illness, i, too, know of countless stories like these that occur every. hour. of. every. single. day. – only in the USA. (btw stuart browning is a troll on the payroll of corporate healthcare; i hope you’ll ignore him and warn others to do the same)
    i approach health reform activism in an unusually feisty style, or at least it feels that way compared to what else i see going on in this realm, but i’ll admit after so many these years of working on the issue (w/many groups and coalitions etc) i force myself to often lead w/the economic dimensions b/c that’s what gets the most people, politicians, and the media to pay closer and longer attention and maybe even put some effort into doing something about it. the human cost is immense but it’s the financial cost crisis that pushes policy or so it seems.
    it might sound harsh but i have come to believe that any person – especially those who work in healthcare, health policy, or human services – who isn’t actively engaged (in a small, medium, or big way) in trying to fix our inhumane and grotesquely expensive healthcare non-system is directly responsible for continuation of the problem.
    Take heart! many great resources and groups are out there across the country looking for you to get involved, even if it’s simply to endorse a reform plan online, sign a petition, make a phone call to politician once in a while, or sign up for action alerts that will help you stay informed and engaged in whatever way is possible for you.
    a variety of ways to connect with dynamic health reform activities that are gaining momentum (on the state or nat’l level) can be found on the following websites: please spread the word to others – thanks.

  3. Mr Browning as usual fails to note the difference between us and those savage nations which have waiting lists. Here if you get sick, it’s a financial catastrophe, not just a health one.

  4. As of November there are 6 million more KayTars out there, courtesy of Bush killing the SCHIP extension.
    6. million.
    On top of the 9 million uninsured children.
    Thanks for getting this story out there. I think too many people believe in the oh-so-very-wrong image of “lazy people who don’t want to work and have entitlement issues and want everything handed to them on a silver platter.”
    These are hard-working people who fall through the cracks, or should I say canyons.
    And personally, I don’t think it’s an issue to feel entitled to health care in this country.

  5. Peter is right–Kyla’s story is just one among many. If you read the comments at MOMocrats, you’ll find a number of others. The question is, what can we do about it? We can use our votes, but that does not seem like enough.
    Thanks for getting this story out there for discussion.

  6. Peter, I’m in contact with Kayla and trying to find out a little more about the economics of her situation. As for Kellie–if it’s a scam it’s a good one, with lots of pepple roped in!

  7. …. and then there is the real situation of families with two parents who both work at jobs where health insurance is offered. Instead of getting family coverage with just one employer, they get family coverage at both!! So, when one plan doesn’t cover something, the other one will!
    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
    Ain’t that America.

  8. To think the S-CHIP example is just an isolated anecdote does not recognize how the S-CHIP/insurance system creates many Kylas who are caught on the border of no way out solutions. I would guess that the biggest hurdle (other than mindset) for welfare recipients to work instead of collect public tax payments is healthcare coverage. Their children may qualify for S-CHIP but what covers them?
    As for Kellie Brown, I’ll have to know a lot more than just a plea for money and a web payment page before I am assured I’m not being scammed. I wonder if Kellie is going to vote, and if so, vote Repuglican, for that free market feeling?