Matthew Holt

Voices from the deserving mob

From the (UK) Independent. Real quotes from real people attending the free care in LA this week:

“I had a gastric bypass in 2002, but it went wrong, and stomach acid began rotting my teeth. I’ve had several jobs since, but none with medical insurance, so I’ve not been able to see a dentist to get it fixed,” she told The Independent. “I’ve not been able to chew food for as long as I can remember. I’ve been living on soup, and noodles, and blending meals in a food mixer. I’m in constant pain. Normally, it would cost $5,000 to fix it. So if I have to wait a week to get treated for free, I’ll do it. This will change my life.”

***

She works for a major supermarket chain but can’t afford the $200 a month that would be deducted from her salary for insurance. “It’s a simple choice: pay my rent, or pay my healthcare. What am I supposed to do?” she asked. “I’m one of the working poor: people who do work but can’t afford healthcare and are ineligible for any free healthcare or assistance. I can’t remember the last time I saw a doctor.”

***

“You’d think, with the money in this country, that we’d be able to look after people’s health properly,” she said. “But the truth is that the rich, and the insurance firms, just don’t realise what we are going through, or simply don’t care. Look around this room and tell me that America’s healthcare don’t need fixing.”

And that last one is the money quote.

And despite all the good people in Community Health Centers do, I’m really worried that a good liberal Bob Herbert is so impressed that he thinks that they’re almost a good enough solution. After all there are plenty of FQHCs in Los Angeles—but somehow they’re not meeting the needs of these legions of anonymous poor people. And even if they were, I can’t believe Bob would be in favor of separate but equal.

And it’s clearly true that the rich (or at least some of those not so badly off) simply don’t care—or at least aren’t thinking about these people when they spread their idiotic propaganda, or show up to shout down Democratic Congress people.

And that’s why, despite all the problems, I am in favor of health reform even in its current limited state passing. Because somehow we have to get help to these people—which means getting them into the system not hoping that charity care will get them by.

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TheGroupGuyPeterJuneRobertMatthew Holt Recent comment authors
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Nate
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Nate

about 6 months ago I was trying to find a carrier that would cover it. Had a small group client with a long time employee that was 500 pounds and about to die. Small group plans wouldn’t cover it, medicaid wouldn’t, I beleive Medicare would but it is impossible to get it approved we where told. What surprised me was the cost. 8 years ago when it seemed like 20% of the people where dieing they cost 40K plus. Now that insurance doesn’t cover it and people but it own their own its around 10K. Almost makes you think the… Read more »

TheGroupGuy
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Whether someone had health insurance or not would hardly matter today in the case of a gastric bypass or other types of bariatric surgery since very few plans cover bariatric surgery whether insured or self-insured, primarily due to outcomes like the one cited in this post. It is possible some plans might have covered it in 2002. Of course torts have something to do with the subject of covering bariatric surgery as do evidenced based medicine guidelines.
Is bariatric surgery coverage going to be one of the mandated benefits of Obamacare?
Matthew are you suggesting it should be covered?

Nate
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Nate

Peter you can’t link to national labor stats when discussing CA super markets. CA is heavily unionized. Other parts of the country are not. CA grocery stores are not made up of entry level part timers.

Peter
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Peter

“5-6 hours a nite” I would look at your lengthy rants Nate as a sign of sleep deprivation.:>) “Sleep deprivation can adversely affect brain function.[11] A 2000 study, by the UCSD School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, used functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to monitor activity in the brains of sleep-deprived subjects performing simple verbal learning tasks.[12] The study showed that regions of the brain’s prefrontal cortex displayed more activity in sleepier subjects. Depending on the task at hand, the brain would sometimes attempt to compensate for the adverse effects caused by lack of… Read more »

Nate
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Nate

wrote the editor, asked why if she is making 50K plus a year she can’t afford $160, we’ll see if they respond. If they are anything like NYT, NPR, or the rest of the lefty media I have questioned in the past the request will get deleted without responce. I am curious, Matt, Peter, Margalit and others who strongly beleive in reform, when you hear stories like this don’t you care if they are accurate? Doesn’t it bother you in the least that so many important facts are just left out? You are suppose to rely 100% on the jornalist… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

“it is safe to assume she is a member of the Union, makes 50K plus a year, and has some of the best healthcare benefits in the country”
Assuming full time employment.
“and nearly 32 percent of employees working a part-time schedule”
“Part-time workers who are not unionized may receive few benefits. Unionized part-time workers sometimes receive partial benefits.”
“Average weekly earnings in grocery stores are considerably lower than the average for all industries, reflecting the large proportion of entry-level, part-time jobs.”
http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs024.htm

Nate
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Nate

The Article says; “She works for a major supermarket chain” All the major chains in CA are unionized, so unless the journalist, used losly, misspoke it is safe to assume she is a member of the Union, makes 50K plus a year, and has some of the best healthcare benefits in the country if she would pay her $160 after taxes. The poor journalism skills leaves it up to the reader to deduct most of these facts, all the more reason any serious discussion should never link to such drivil. The article was clearly meant to play on the emotions… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

“1 full time and 2-3 part time jobs and you can enjoy some of lifes finer things.”
Sleeping wouldn’t be one of them.
“Grocery clerks are making well north of $24 plus excellent benefits.”
Assuming they work for unionized wages.

Nate
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Nate

Easy ones first, I don’t make $17 an hour, I just work a TON of hours and jobs to make as much as I do. 1 full time and 2-3 part time jobs and you can enjoy some of lifes finer things. linking to post behind paid subscrptions is playing dirty Matt! I think when a service is so overpriced that you can drive 2 hours and get it for 1/4 the cost you drive drive the two hours. Yes the strike was about the two tier pay structure and reducing benefits, the 2007 contract undid all of that. Grocery… Read more »

June
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June

I do care about the uninsured, but I care about senior citizens too. We can care about both! I’m also worried that our concern is being taken advantage of by those who are anxious for their physician friends to make “the incomes they deserve.” (To judge by the frequency of that phrase in commercials, it is one that people have a weakness for.) There are many changes we could make in order to improve our system. I believe that we could look at a wider range of options than we have been offered so far, instead of being told that… Read more »

Robert
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Robert

A simple solution to a complex problem:: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. The government should pay 100% of the cost for every person to get preventative medicine. Treatment or cures should be handled by a system that is close to today’s system. 1- This gets the government off-the-hook for deciding who gets what 2- The government gets the most bank for its buck 3- People will flock to get their portion of free medical treatment (prevention) with the knowledge that if they don’t get the free prevention, they have to pay for the treatment /… Read more »

Matthew Holt
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Oh, and the canard that half the uninsured are rich and are choosing not to buy insurance–another steaming heap of crap comprehensively disproved in this Health Affairs article. http://fineurl.com/b9tk
But don’t trouble yourselves with the facts, Nate

Matthew Holt
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Nate–10 lines buddy a) To be charitable, you’re wrong; the Safewway strike was about the employers REDUCING health benefits for new workers and charging their employees more, in order to compete with other grocers (Walmart and more) who don’t cover their workers or offer such good benefits. You don’t know where she works, but I’m sure that for a $17 an hour worker $200 is a lot more than it is for you. b) You think that the poor (passport or none) should be leaving the country to get health care? You really think that’s the best option? And what… Read more »

Freddy Lang
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Freddy Lang

Healthcare ? But do they really help you ?
I saw this and i don´t know what to say..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOeaZNBBIjs

Nate
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Nate

you swallowed this hook, line, and sinker. What do sob stories that hide the truth add to debate? Living in CA you should know most of these are BS. Do you know and hide the facts since most readers are outside Ca and might not be so quick or are you really that blinded by the partisan politics you will believe anything? “Liz Cruise was one of scores of people waiting for a free eye exam. She works for a major supermarket chain but can’t afford the $200 a month that would be deducted from her salary for insurance.” Have… Read more »