THCB

I Would Rather Die at Home

A THCB reader in Tennessee writes:

Thanks for listening. I am a single 55 year old male in Tennessee. I’m not offered insurance from my employer. June of 2012 I was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocytosis. A blood disease that messes up your platelets. Took every test they could think of to figure it out. In and out of hospital, adding up debt by the second, I stopped going to doctors, stopped buying meds. I drag myself to work, every day, just to survive. Under Obamacare it will be, for the worst plan, $571.00 a month, with a $ 5100.00 deductible. I can’t afford that. I would rather die in my home as it would be better than being homeless. Is this a joke?

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PaulEager StudentAdamBCarchon41 Recent comment authors
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Paul
Guest
Paul

Sorry to hear that you are down with ET, i also have ET, by the way I would suggest that you do a endoscopy to find out if H. Pylori related Gastritis with Erosion is the cause of it

Adam
Guest

ObamaCare is really messed up right now, if the had a little compassion over people, they would be fixing al that horrible taxes and insurance plans. It´s obvious that it will be impossible for people with no money to pay for that.

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

“it will be impossible for people with no money to pay for that.”

There’s a subsidy for that.

Bob Hertz
Guest
Bob Hertz

Even if the poor gentleman in this post had a subsidy for his entire Bronze plan premium, he would still face the large deductible. And therefore be just as broke after the ACA. God, how Americans seem to love deductibles. And just when you look favorably on Medicaid, which has no conventional deductibles, you realize the ugly fact noted here — that with Medicaid, the deductible is your entire life savings! (and even a future inheritance, due to estate recovery rules) One might note that in Medicare, no senior citizen has to turn over assets to have his hospital bills… Read more »

John Ballard
Guest

Excellent point. As you say, normally overlooked. One of the puzzles presented by ACA was the issue of “double-eligibles” — those who are both poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but also dependent on Medicare. The new rules present yet another layer of complexity to the challenge of how to award benefits (read “private sector providers quarreling over tax dollars”) in the form of premium subsidies, especially for drugs. I have no idea how that cat is being skinned but once again we can see what happens without either single-payer “reimbursement” or true government health care (which makes reimbursements unnecessary).… Read more »

archon41
Guest
archon41

In the absence of a legal mandate or contract of insurance, insurers have no more duty to fund medical expenses than your local grocer.

John Ballard
Guest

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but insurance is not the problem. Insurance is nothing more than risk management for how charges are to be paid (or not). The real problem is the amounts being charged, which are more often than not way more than they should be. There are many reasons for high charges, but over-testing and over-treatment are the two biggies — plus the fact that fees and charges for medical care are packed with expenses having little or nothing with medical care. The footprint of most health care systems in America is often as big as an… Read more »

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

Thanks for that John.

Eager Student
Guest
Eager Student

Please don’t be quiet. And please do let us know when the next lecture …er, rant, is scheduled for.

John Ballard
Guest
Eager Student
Guest
Eager Student

Nope, no sarcasm there. I learned much from the post. Thanks.

John Ballard
Guest

Thanks. I’m flattered.

archon41
Guest
archon41

And the original poster says your “Affordable” Care Act would leave his family destitute. I respect his decision.

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

The poster did not say if the premium included any subsidies. For those with pre-exist and no subsidies prior to ACA more would be left “destitute. Did the insurance industry have any “compassionate” program for them?

William Hersh, MD
Guest

Yes, and many of those unwilling to pay for it do not realize that in the future, when they get sick and have pre-existing conditions, it will still cover them, unlike most non-group insurance plans now.

Author: archon41
Comment:
Many “support” Obamacare, but it seems that few are willing to pay for it.

archon41
Guest
archon41

Many “support” Obamacare, but it seems that few are willing to pay for it.

BC
Guest
BC

archon41,

This is true of most govt. spending. People want all sorts of things, but it’s always someone else that’s supposed to pay. Probably the reason why we have $17 trillion in debt.

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

Let’s not tax you and let’s not tax me, let’s tax that man behind that tree.

Bob Hertz
Guest
Bob Hertz

Compassion in my book is the feeling that anyone who suffers from a serious illness has enough pain to deal with. I would support full no-deductible insurance for some ailments whether the patient is broke or a multi-millionaire.

Come to think of it, that is how Medicare works.

The millionaire does support the program when he/she pays taxes, of course.
I just do not want them paying at the time of illness.

Call me a health care socialist, I confess!

Bob Hertz, The Health Care Crusade

BC
Guest
BC

Bob:

ACA is good in that you can’t be kicked off or denied insurance, but what happens if you can’t afford the insurance due to inability to work brought on by illness?

I assume if you don’t pay the premium the policy is cancelled. If you don’t pay rent or mortgage you are on a path to eviction. Not everyone has AFLAC or disability.

To get onto medicaid I’m guessing you have to part with your assets. So in such a scenario can one actually become bankrupt or am I missing something?

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

BC, true before the ACA. True now with ACA, but less so for those qualifying for subsidy. The ACA will also reduce the disposable income of those not receiving a subsidy – better cancel that trip to Disney.

Medicaid has stringent asset qualifications, you really do have to be indigent in most states, so Archon should be satisfied with spending down ones own resources before the public will foot the bill.

Unlike the banks, they got to keep their assets and bonuses when the tax payer bailed them out. If you can fund election campaigns there’s plenty of compassion for you.

John Ballard
Guest

Bankruptcy would be an exhilarating joy ride for most Medicaid beneficiaries. There is hope of recovery in many cases following bankruptcy but certified Medicaid recipients mostly look forward to a life of destitution and dependency with all their tools of recovery gone forever. When my mother was being Medicaid certified the caseworker even asked if her assets included prepaid funeral arrangements. (Georgia allows up to ten thousand dollars — current value — for a prepaid funeral.) I had to furnish a letter from the funeral home stating the current value of her arrangements, not what she and Dad might have… Read more »

archon41
Guest
archon41

Are we talking about “compassion” for illness or “compassion” for being required to exhaust one’s own resources before qualifying for public assistance?

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

Do you really care which “compassion”?

Bob Hertz
Guest
Bob Hertz

The French health care system has a list of painful chronic conditions where no deductible or coinsurance applies. I would be fairly sure that this illness would be one of them. If our system had an ounce of compassion we would do the same thing. We would also need price controls on some of the drugs and procedures, so that insurers are not bankrupted by the charges they must pay in full. France has a Pharmacy Price Review Board for drugs, and a national fee schedule for outpatient procedures. Another ounce of strength required. Neither of which is present in… Read more »

Peter1
Guest
Peter1

“I can’t afford that. I would rather die in my home as it would be better than being homeless.”

Not trying to be glib but I’d advise getting a SS disability lawyer, that’s the best scam going for the down and out.

I’m for health care not resulting in bankruptcy, but there’s no full story here about the life this person led and what decisions were made to get here from there. Not enough info.

Obamacare was never going to pay your rent, no system would do that.

John Ballard
Guest

Something wrong with this picture but I’m not informed well enough to comment further.
I want to read the comments that come in to this post.

William Hersh, MD
Guest

I don’t want to wallow in your misfortune (unlike Republican critics of the ACA), but I can’t resist noting that the *old* pre-Obamacare system has bankrupted you, and the new system (Obamacare) has much more chance of helping you. If your income is low, you may well quality for subsidies, assuming your state is not one that eschews such help. I wish you all the best, and hopefully kind people will lessen the financial insult on top of your physical illness.

Bobby Gladd
Guest
Bobby Gladd

Be real easy to make heart-tugging BS up here.