Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Better Healthcare System-In The Business of Caring

Despite the Whitehouse's new focus on the Middle East, people here at home are still waiting to see what Congress is going to do to make sure that their medical needs will be covered.

My own appeal for my medication still sits on the sidelines. A form was supposed to be mailed out for me to pursue my next level appeal and two weeks later I still have not received it. Things just don't tend to get lost in the mail here and it is about as unlikely as winning the lottery that they would have been lost twice in a row.

My pain level has been worse lately, but I wanted to get another article on healthcare written before going back to bed. This issue is too important to let fade into obscurity. Please keep up the pressure on your elected officials and on the Whitehouse to keep this front and center on their agenda.

If you have a healthcare story you'd like me to cover, please contact me on Etsy or leave me an e-mail address so that I can get it from you in its entirety, and I'll publish it in an upcoming article.

I found several more good videos on YouTube today. You will find alot of this information appalling, but please forward the link to your friends and family, even your elected officials;

Cigna’s annual report for 2008:
Revenue $19.1 Billion dollars
Net income: $292

Private Healthcare are the true DEATH PANELS - Denying Claims for Paying Customers (Cigna)

This woman in the next video was an attorney who used to work for the Federal government authorizing benefits for people with disabilities and Social Security. Now she herself is sick with Dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease and was just told her insurance company will not pay for her care.

Real People DENIED Real Healthcare: Bonnie Drew (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)

There is a practice among insurance companies called rescission which means that the company sets up potential patients who file initial applications by asking them confusing and deceptive questions and later removing them from coverage claiming they “lied” on the application. Rescinded patients are routinely blacklisted with other insurance companies. This woman was rescinded merely for taking a medication in the past that she was no longer taking simply because she did not know the reason the doctor had charted in her medical records. She became the lead plaintiff against Blue Cross/Blue Shield in a class action suit. She spoke before a US Congressional Subcomittee about the need to outlaw such discriminatory practices.

Jennifer Wittney Horton: Make Them Keep That Promise (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)

The president of United Healthcare Steven Helmsley gets a salary of 3.2 million dollars! Every day in 2009 he makes $819, 363.10. They have a pattern of telling people that their treatment is “medically unnecessary”. You can do the math as to why they’re really denying so many claims.

You might remember if you’ve been reading my blog that I covered the story of Isabella, a little girl who was unable to eat on her own. In this video her struggle to have her treatment covered continues, as does a little boy’s with a Plagiocephalic condition, and a woman with a necrotic colon. The insurance companies in these cases also claimed these treatments were “medically unnecessary”. Oh, yeah, and I guess their private jets were necessary that they used to shuttle top level executives around, or the gold-plated silverwear provided travelers on that plane. Give me a break!

Fight back against health insurance lies

There's something intrinsically and morally wrong when people are living high on the hog at the expense of human lives. I mean who in the world needs that kind of excess?

Don't believe for a minute that the government would commit that level of unethical fraud and medical neglect against the American people. Pencil pushers they may be and of course the current government-run systems need to be improved as well, but at least nobody's getting filthy rich on the deaths of it's recipients.

The level of direct reward these HMOs are receiving by denying claims is exactly what makes privatization so dangerous. Something needs to be done to place limits on these private companies whether they like it or not, whether it's popular or not. If politicians have to forgo a few campaigne contributions then so be it. Other industries have state or federally mandated requirements, so the insurance industry should not be exempt from regulation either. It is high time for that, and the sooner the better. If they don't like it then maybe they need to go into another line of work.

I don't believe that private enterprise comes without responsability and neither should money. That is not the kind of freedom this country should become known for. Freedom without responsability is just anarchy, and that's not a good thing, not for us, not for our children, and not for society in the long-term for generations to come. Along with teaching our children to support themselves and achieve the American dream we should also be teaching them to have compassion for their fellow man, and to recognize that nobody "makes it" in a vaccuum. Those successes we achieve are not ours alone, but a conglomeration of hard work, being at the right place at the right time, and of help from others outside ourselves. We often forget just how many factors got us where we are today, how we landed a good job, what brought us to where we found that great partner, or who all the people were who contributed to our achieving some other good fortune. Sometimes we might not even know the answer to that question, but it is important that we know that man is not an island, and that our many collaborations in life are instrumental to our success.

In many ways the key to our success lies in our acknowledgement that we are in fact "our brother's keeper", and our lack thereof, may lead to our extinction. We alone can prevent it by creating a kinder and gentler society now. That energy and intention will bounce back and forth between ourselves and everyone we touch in the process of living our lives.

America should maintain citizens' individuality, but not to the extent that it steps on the rights of others or takes advantage of people less powerful.

It's clear that these insurance companies cannot be trusted to police themselves and that left to their own devices they won't do the right thing.

When an entire industry raises the bar on its own moral turpitude and it becomes industry standard then people working within that framework begin to become desensitized toward those they are harming in the course of their work, and it becomes generally acceptable. This should bother anyone and everyone when they see these practices in motion because anybody could end up on the bad end of a very sharp stick! If things have become so bad out there that "everybody does it" then who do you have left to turn to? Rather than to scale down our expectations to live within a cage of our society's own design, why not design something the way we want it, and then make our own expectations the new industry standard?

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