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Abbyrose86 On February - 8 - 2011

Universal Health Care

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41315890/ns/us_news/

I’m not sure if I am doing this properly…so bear with me, I am still a newbie here!

I saw the above article on MSNBC and read through the commentary on that site regarding the issues addressed in the article.

I thought it provided much food for thought and would be a great topic of conversation here, as it deals with many of the concerns many of us had expressed throughout the healthcare debate and what still is wrong with our systems.

I’m limiting my initial post on this (this time) because I’m not sure what specifically bothered me most about this article and would appreciated hearing others take on it.

While I am happy that Gabby Gifford was able to receive the help she needed, I’m disturbed by the story of the boy who was not provided such as access, even though he had medicaid.

There are other issues that to  me, seemed glaring, as well, regarding class issues, that our nation just does not like to address.

Written by Abbyrose86

For the last 21 years, I worked in international trade as a licensed customs broker, international freight forwarder and international trade consultant. I ended up in that business after having studied Journalism and communication in college. (Strange how that worked) Over the last 3 years I have been trying to change my life and my career, so I left my job, returned to school and am on the last leg of completing my Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration and Economics, and am planning on going on for my masters in International Business. It might seem odd that I decided to formally study the business I was in for 21 years...but there is a reason for that... I hope to teach and write on the subject in the future. I'm a mother of 2 young adults and have many hobbies; reading, researching, writing, blogging, decorating, are my current favorites.

76 Responses so far.

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  1. KarateKid says:

    People are asking about you, abby. I just told two or three to check this site out.

  2. AdLib says:

    Just saw this headline in our news widget:

    Rep. Giffords speaks for first time since shooting

    How cool is that?

  3. Ana44 says:

    Hi Abbyrose,
    Am happy to be able to follow your fine posts here; many are missing you at HP, but understand why. This is a much better forum, actually. Be Well.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Hi Ana. I was sad to leave so abruptly, but he moderation/deletion thing so got to me. In my mind it is a form of suppression of ideas, I just didn’t feel I could in good conscience continue there.

      My only regret is I didn’t get a chance to really say good bye and I was hoping I would hook up with everyone on other sites.

      Thank you for the understanding.

      This is a nice forum. I think you will like it.

      I hope you will be back!

  4. KarateKid says:

    Good to see you, GW, you’re one of my favorite people.

  5. DustyMills says:

    It’s nice to see some friends here……Abby Rose, I mentioned this subject in a couple of comments last week at HP. I was hesitant to even bring up the Congresswomans care after her injury, as it seemed kind of petty, but as I said then it truly shows the inequity between what is now class differences among our people.

    No one ever mentions that we continue to have thousands of Americans who die everyday due to lack of medical care, who speaks for these people? Do we just allow people to die in the US b/c they have either been discriminated against by the insurance industry or cannot afford medical care?

    Nothing in our politics today makes my blood boil like this subject…..I keep remembering what then Senator Obama spoke about during his campaign…..”everyone should have the same HC as the members of Congress”…..yes, we should, but if the republicans have their way, we won’t.

  6. Nora says:

    Abby, great post. The type of health care and rehabilitation services that will loom in the future under private insurance and Republican leadership is frightening. Think of the medical/rehab. services available to the ruling family and their cronies in Saudi Arabia. They are able to get the best care in and outside the country. Their people, however, are dealing with underfunded and understaffed public hospitals.

    According to fellow graduate students from the country, the average person finds him/herself dealing with gross negligence, poor or inconsistent professional practices, lack of registries (for cancer, liver disease, etc.), and so on.

    We will have great health care like what Gifford has received and will continue to receive. However, fewer and fewer people will have access to it while the majority deal with sub-par standards.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Hi Nora, good to see you here, as silentdances stated, we are becoming a two class society now, the haves and the have-nots, there is no middle class anymore.

      We have allowed this to happen to us and until Corporations are taken out of the equation, via campaign finance and we rise up and demand equal care, it’s only going to get worse for us.

      • Nora says:

        Hi BigDogMom, it’s good to see you here too. We truly have allowed this to happen to us. Unfortunately, even single payer may not take care of our health care access disparity (although it may be superior to the barbarity looming). I find that unless we have serious changes to food subsidy and processing practices, health indicators will continue to show worsening outcomes. Of course, the racket known as health insurance will continue to post profits.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Don’t get me started on food subsidies and processing practices…the movie “Food, Inc.” says it at, they are killing us slowly because of the bottom line and shelf life!

  7. Abbyrose86 says:

    Sorry all if I’m being overly opinionated or offering too much commentary..but I still can’t get over the fact we can ACTUALLY discuss issues here!! We really can! Be still my heart! :)

  8. PocketWatch says:

    Before the last Presidential election, I had an interesting conversation…

    Location: Panhandle area of Oklahoma, one of the most conservative areas of the country
    Participants: The owner of a large truck repair company, a couple of his mechanics, a vendor, and 3 customers, and me

    Subject: Socialism (I have no fear!)

    Someone used the word, and I stopped them and asked the following:

    Without regard or thought as to how to pay for it, would you agree or disagree with these things…

    That every citizen has the right to basic health care without regard to ability to pay…

    That every child born in the US should have an education up to about a 2-year degree or vocational school…

    That it is a crime that there are homeless people in this country, and that everyone should have at least a roof over their head, nothing fancy…

    That it is shameful that there are hungry people in the richest country in the world, and that no one should lack for at least a couple of square meals a day…

    And if we could have all those things… just the basics of those things, would you be willing to pay more in taxes to ensure your kids and grandkids would be OK?

    —-

    I got a very interesting reaction… a lot of nodding heads and no objections, many thoughtful looks, and they all agreed that they would be happy to pay higher taxes if that’s what they got for their money. No squalling about paying for somebody else’s problems… none of that. They all understood the issue of shared responsibility and risk.

    I’ve had similar experiences and conversations since then with real people. When put the right way, people recognize the need for these things. Their common sense gets shouted down and drowned out by bumper sticker slogans and screaming talking heads and sloganeering politicians.

    I am firmly convinced that the right message, using the right approach, and the right language can get people to see what’s right in front of them. I am also convinced that most people do not have this locked-in political stance that is assumed by the MSM and the political parties.

    I mean, my God! If I can get people like this to see the sense of a socialistic agenda in 15 minutes of Socratic conversation, how hard should it be?

    • Chernynkaya says:

      PW, your story illustrates something I have to remind myself of on a daily basis, kinda like an affirmation: Americans ARE reasonable. it’s hard to have faith in that. (And BTW, are you familiar with the work of George Lakoff? http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml)

      The locked in stance you speak of is to me a deliberate attempt to keep us divided to prevent real uprising--or at least real demands. And they play on an undereducated, over-distracted populace.

      What both the Left and the Right ignore (or choose not to see) is that voters are now beginning to turn their backs to the excesses of the Right, as they are taking a clearer view of the maturity of this Administration. They forget that the voters will do the same to the Left the more shrill it becomes.

      Now, don’t get me wrong. As a Leftie, I like what the Left wishes for and if you scratched my surface, you’d see a socialist– someone who is frustrated by this President about 1/3 of the time. But the difference between me and many of my ideological compatriots is that I hate the Right more than I am frustrated by the middle.

      I am willing (albeit with unhappiness and incomprehension) to accept the fact that America is a center-Right country for now, and that means I have to play the cards dealt. It doesn’t mean shutting up or making nice or accepting defeat. But it also does not mean trying to defeat this President by allowing my purity to play into the hands of Karl Rove. But I digress. Sorry.
      I see that President Obama is being smart by building on his popularity as the adult in the room, and by reminding the populace that they are better than the Right’s haters. But I am worried too. The fact is, the middle are not passionate; they will not make those calls come 2012, nor knock on doors. Every Party must walk the tightrope of keeping their base enthused while appealing to the huge middle, but each Party NEEDS their base. Pundits say, “Whatever. Where’s the Dem base gonna go? They won’t vote Repub.” How stupid! What they WILL do is sit in their asses and stay home. Obama has recently risen in the polls—good! But he still needs the Dem base, and I fear their alienation is reaching the point of no return.

      What you say about messaging is very true! I think that is Obama’s approach, which will be effective in reaching those still persuadable. It’s not as emotionally satisfying as many on the Left would like-- they’d like Obama to tell them to STFU. I get that, but it’s more important to reach hearts and minds.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Another great comment PW.

      I couldn’t agree more…the message isn’t getting out properly. I actually mentioned this on HP a couple of times…we on the left, need much better PR. Many of us ARE business people, we understand PR, Marketing, Advertising, so why do we have such a problem selling our message?

  9. Gransview says:

    Abby, glad to see you! Was hoping to find you somewhere!

  10. SueInCa says:

    Abby

    Good first try there, Abby. I just saw the movie John Q again the other day. I had forgotten that it was about the lack of healthcare and insurance companies putting the almighty dollar ahead of even people who are covered. I don’t know if you ever read the book Rainmaker by John Grisham but it was the same. The insurance company just kept denying the claim and it was standard practice hoping the client would get tired of trying. Now days they are not even trying to hide their disdain for their customers.

    I wonder what would happen if a father did what John Q did in the movie? Would we applaud him? Would the judicial system work in his favor? Would his hostages end up attending his trial because in the end they really liked him?

    I am glad Gabrielle got the medical care she needed, but there are alot more out there who deserve it as well. We all deserve good, decent, affordable healthcare but there is something (capitalism) in this country that just won’t allow it to happen.

  11. Silentdances says:

    In my opinion, what shows the problem (one of many) in our society started from the shooting, to finally accumulate in such news pieces as these. It’s much easier to see towards the end. The contrast between the value of Gifford and those whom have to deal with TBI, or really anyone that has suffered some injury.

    The news at the time of the shooting and for a bit afterward, could be summed up as ‘Congresswoman Gifford, Judge Roll, and those other people’. There’s a brief period following where the other victims are spoken of in a sort of human interest story aspect. Eventually the original narrative continues.

    Also notice how Jared was especially shown to be a deranged monster. Normally (except in smaller towns, where most people know one another) This incident would have made a minor mention in some local news piece, ending up as a statistic later on (statistics dehumanize people). This type of reporting is very common. The only other type that (normally) makes headlines are those that are particularly brutal.

    We live in a strictly tiered society. Almost everything you come across reinforces the value of people based upon their ranking.

    What’s wrong with the story above and in general, is the failure to recognize how precious each life and person is. It’s also the acceptance of that failure.

    *being able to edit my post for having missed something is kewl beyond measure*

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head as to what bothered me most about the story, with this statement….”…is the failure to recognize how precious each life and person is. It’s also the acceptance of that failure.”

      WE as a society don’t seem to have evolved in our enlightenment very far if we find this disparity, acceptable.

      Throughout the article was the acknowledgment by the parents of the boy, and others that our system is not fair, and the acceptance of the inequities inherent in our systems.

      I was bothered by the fact that his young man, lost potential for his life, due to a tragic accidental turn of events. The lost opportunities and LOST potential for a real life, is what bothers me most about our society works. IT’S something that has bothered me, since I was a child.

      IF someone has the ability or potential, but not the access, we all lose, from that lost potential.

      It seems to me, the healthcare debate, highlights what is inherently wrong with all of our systems.

      It also seems to me, in our current social state, those who are MOST Machiavellian OR who have the best contacts are the ones who can benefit the most…not those who are most talented, or most intelligent…but those who have the best ability to manipulate are those who are society ends up rewarding with riches.

      • Silentdances says:

        In addition to being able to provide real health care to everyone, this is something that really needs to be addressed in our society.

        • Abbyrose86 says:

          I couldn’t agree more…I want off on my rant on the system as a whole but without health what does ANYONE really have?

        • BigDogMom says:

          It’s the “who you know, not what you know” mentality that King Reagan promoted that is still with us today…being able to manipulate yourself into higher and higher positions, more exposure, better deals, more perks for personal gain.

          • Silentdances says:

            It’s not just Reagan though. This goes a bit beyond whom you know. It’s the acceptance and use of a corrupt system (which includes the monetary and materialistic aspects. who you can buy, that the system is an acceptable method of mobility, etc). It is also this continuing move towards individualism as something solitary, without connection to those around you. In some ways, the TP represent a slide further along in this. Where finally, altruism is a flaw or a disease.

            Incidentally, if we are saying the same thing, but I am seeming to speak as we are not, it is because I don’t think in english and so miss certain cues and such.

  12. Chernynkaya says:

    Abby, you articulated something that I have thought but never said aloud—about the gold standard health care that Rep. Giffords is getting. At the time, it seemed petty to mention it, but I thought it. I want her to get the best, but I want us ALL to get the best too. Why should health care be based on ability to pay? Yes, I understand the realities of cost and access. But there IS a tremendous amount of waste, and the actual costs get lost when hospitals charge $20 for an aspirin.

    Plus, we have to somehow take a realistic look at where those costs are, although this is a very delicate subject. Should a premie weighing 2 pounds at birth get the resources that would insure the health of older children? Should an 80-year old get a transplant? I don’t know the answers, but the questions are valid, I think.

    Hey, big tip o’ the hat to you!

    • jdmn17 says:

      I worked as a therapist in the 70’s at the local county hospital. We had a lot of indigent patients and did our best to help them, scraping together the best we could within a limited budget. To be honest, in some cases the therapy we provided was more outcome focused because we had limited time with them and the resources to support it. They left us as good as we could get them but once they got back “home” and came to us for followup I saw all too often how they slipped back into their disabilities and were often worse than when they left. Contrast that with a one year stint at one of the most prestigious medical centers in the world. Patients there all got gold star treatment and amazing followup. It isn’t really fair of course since wounds I dealt with (burns) didn’t seem to give a socioeconomic damn about how much money you had. Thanks Abby, nice post

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Thanks Cher…you and I seem to be on the same page.

      I think what you brought up was I wanted to bring this up here.

      It is a delicate subject. But as you pointed out there is a lot of waste and I would add, corruption (not sure if that’s the right word I’m looking for) that perhaps create the illusion that providing health care HAS to be expensive.

      I’m not sure if the disparity in care HAS to be the case or if it is the result of something else all together.

      If I look at our healthcare delivery system as I would any other business entity, I see many things that don’t fit any free market model. At the same time, it doesn’t fit into a non profit model either.

      As a an example…in what business are the costs to the end consumer completely hidden? WHY can’t the costs be negotiated?

      Right there it doesn’t fit into the free market system, at all. At the same time in what non for profit or government model can those who work the system set their own rates and pay, based on supply/demand considerations?

      Maybe that is the problem our paradigms as to what model it should follow are wrong…maybe it should have its own model.

      • Ana44 says:

        Yes, I believe that the paradigm itself has to change, be reinvented entirely based on a compassionate model. That will have to be done on local levels that bypass the current systems; such as using a Doctors Without Borders approach, using ad hoc “field” facilities.

        That will require a bit more time, evolution of consciousness, and probably real need as this economic mire continues to expand.

  13. funksands says:

    Abby, most excellent to see you posting here. I despaired briefly when I saw you were gone at the “other” site. I look forward to more!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      FUNK!! Hooray!

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Thanks Funk…I couldn’t keep my big mouth quite for long! Just needed to find the right forum! :)

      I had to leave. It was with heavy heart I did…but so glad to see so many great people, such as yourself here!!!!!!!!

      Nice to see you! :)

      • PocketWatch says:

        I saw that you were really getting frustrated last week, Abby. I played the game and got nowhere, reporting deletions that made no sense. Posted the instructions to do it over and over again, thinking that it might help, until those, too, were deleted unceremoniously.

        I try and play the game as written. Call me naive or an optimist (anyone that knows me, knows that THAT is far from the truth!), but I tried. I had thought that my limited cache as a voice of reason and reasonable debate would carry SOME weight, but, as in any corporate culture, there is little or no loyalty downward.

        • Abbyrose86 says:

          I was very frustrated as of late. The deletions…not even just my own, were really getting to me…especially when you noticed they didn’t violate ANY rules. In addition, the 100% moderation on any topic that could have controversial comments…was another issue I couldn’t handle.

          I found myself getting very testy and making somewhat snarky comments as a result, which didn’t help.

          Thanks for noticing PW. I noticed you have tried to remain about the fray…I was actually impressed a couple times with how you handled yourself!

          • Ana44 says:

            It’s gotten worse over there since Monday morning. “interpretation” of the guidelines is skewed to a corporate agenda in the extreme. Thoughtful posts and historically based background pieces are pulled without reference to “guidelines.” Many more have left in disgust, as will I very soon. The heavy hand of Mubarak is mirrored precisely.

      • funksands says:

        No thanks necessary. I think this platform will suit you very well.

  14. PocketWatch says:

    Question for discussion…. I don’t have a sense of what people envision…

    Would a single payer, everything for everybody health care system be preferable (think about the problems that might result), or should it be more of a single payer basics plan, with the ability to add riders privately to cover “extras”?

    (Who would determine what is basic and what is extra, for example…)

    • Silentdances says:

      I think a single payer system would be the better choice. It’s my belief that many of the problems that arise are a feature (in that they spread money around and increase the GDP), and are not necessarily problems in and of themselves. I could, however, be wrong in this belief. I could see a basic system with purchasable perks eventually leading back to a similar system as we currently have.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      PW I know there are several problems inherent in Single Payer, and, as you mentioned, even Medicare-for-all has issues. But I don’t expect perfection from the get-go. The main thing for me is that everyone have access to basic care, and by that I mean beyond First Aid. In an older post, writer Marion discussed her issues with health care in the UK. But to me, and to my son who went for a long period without ANY health care, that seems like Paradise. I have no problem with incremental change vis a vis health care overhaul, because I see it as broken now. I wish everyone could immediately get the care that Giffords is getting, but I know that’s not possible. In the meantime, if I have a heart attack, I want to be getting reasonable care. And better still, having the ability to get preventive treatment and drugs. i don;t think that’s too much to ask.

    • funksands says:

      One of the interesting issues that many single payor and/or Medicare-style delivery systems are facing worldwide is that they aren’t asking citizens to pay enough into the system.

      If our current system is revamped to focus on outcomes, rather than procdures I think the finances would improve tremendously.

      However, like squeezing a balloon, a different problem occurs;

      If outcome becomes the standard of payment with a Medicare-type delivery system, then prevention of disease will become the most-cost effective way to battle that cost. The problem with that is that there are not nearly enough physicians to deliver general preventative medicine.

      In my opinion, we’ll need to end up with two tiers of medical practioners. The doctor that specalizes in a particular type of care, i.e. cardiology, and a different tier of “doctor” who’s specialty is localized preventative care.

      That will create a need for tens of thousands of new practioners. The AMA and medical schools will fight this tooth and nail, and these new “medical infantry” will not be able to rack up a million dollars in school debt simply to obtain the designations to do their work.

      It’s a difficult question.

      • Abbyrose86 says:

        Good points Funk.

        I wonder though if there really WOULD be such a problem attracting doctors if the system wasn’t the way it currently is.

        My point on that, is back when I was kid, Doctors were plentiful and they were well respected, BUT they became doctors as a vocation and earn a good income, but never expected to become uber wealthy either.

        Back then you had more GP’s not specialists. TOday it’s just the opposite, but specializing pays significantly more.

        I know a doctor, who’s family is very wealthy. He’s a GP, by choice. He didn’t need the money or care about the money…he wants to help people and that is his primary focus…not the money.

        By making it ALL about money…Medicine lost its position as a vocation and many who SHOULD not be doctors ARE doctors and many who should be doctors, aren’t because they couldn’t afford to support themselves while gaining the schooling required.

        • funksands says:

          Oh I have no doubt that we could attract as many people as needed to fill these positions.

          Lobbying has a funny way of killing good ideas.

          The two (or as PW correctly stated, three or four) tiers of care occurred to me when I watched the National Association of Free Clinics go out on their road show around the country, or the organization (name escapes me that KO and Ed Schultz championed last year) that usually goes to other countries instead decided to hold health clinics in LA, NO, and other major cities.

          Thousands and thousands of people showed up to get in many cases the first preventative care they had EVER received.

          How much money did that one clinic experience save that community in the long run? How many emergency room visits won’t occur because someone had a quick check-up?

          How much more productive is someone to their employer because they finally got a painful tooth pulled?

          This can and should be reproduced on a permanent, national level. The danger of this though is dooming our lower and lower-middle class to permanenet triage status rather than localized, permanent medical care.

      • PocketWatch says:

        FS, good to see you… I was tempted to troll you, just for old time’s sake (like 2 days ago) so you’d feel at home, but refrained. 😉

        I think you are on to something, and maybe MORE than 2 tiers… 3 or 4 maybe.

        If I have a cold, I really don’t need a doc, I just need someone that can check to be sure it’s nothing worse and maybe give me a scrip for something to ease the symptoms, give flu shots, that sort of thing.

        Next level is maybe flu, small cuts, ordinary stuff that doesn’t need much more than the average military medic or EMT couldn’t do.

        After that, normal pregnancies, sprains, maybe even simple broken bones… I don’t know…

        Then you get into the heavier stuff that needs a full time staffed and equipped clinic.

        Finally, full-on hospital and after care for serious stuff.

        Seems to me that at each level, your records might be available and they could bump you up to the next level easily.

        Point is, if I need a few stitches, I’m sure a competent nurse or EMT could handle it just as easily as a doc could.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      I’m not sure exactly what I envision.

      I think cost and payment are one issue. Accessibility is another, as is systems of delivery. Not to mention, preemptive care and access to those services. In addition, education on health issues seems another component.

      So far the debate seems to have completely centered on how to pay for care. But I think until we address the other issues as WELL, we are missing the boat.

      Lack of access to preventive care and access to education on health issues seems to me should be a starting point. Critical care and access to catastrophic care is another issue that needs to be addressed.

      QUALITY of care should be another part of the debate as well.

      SO many issues.


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