****March 25, 2010 Update – Reconcilliation bill approved by Sentate with a few changes, sent back to House, and approved by House. This phase of health care reform is compete.
****March 23, 2010 Update – Healthcare reform was signed into law by President Obama, history has been made.
****March 21, 2010 Update – History is made; the Senate Health Care bill was passed by the house. President Obama is expected to sign the bill.
****December 24, 2009 Update – The U.S. Senate has voted to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee health insurance for all Americans and rein in health care costs as proposed by President Obama. Now all that needs to happen is for the House and Senate to reconcile their bills. This thing looks like it will actually happen. No more denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, no more cancelling coverage when people need it the most. This is a good thing.
****December 19, 2009 Update – It appears that the United States Senate is on the eve of passing a historic bill that will revolutionize health care in this nation. Many of the things I wanted to see are not there. However, health insurance companies will no longer be able to wily nily deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. I will write another article once I have the specifics.
****October 21, 2009 Update – The United States Congress have voted to allow debate on a health car bill. Let’s hope these insured Congressmen do the right thing!
****October 9, 2009 Update – The United States House of Representatives has passed a historic health care reform bill which includes the public option. Now it is up to the Senate to act on the bill, and the President to sign.
Well I try to stay away from topics like this on my Blog because I know for sure that some people because of their politics will get pissed off, and some will not. Some will support what I have to say, some won’t. At the least maybe this will get you thinking!
Let me start off by saying this; I am a Democrat, I am a Republican, I am an Independent, and I am an American.
My politics do not get in the way of what I believe is the right thing to do. I decide an issue on what I think is right or wrong, not by what a bunch of political cronies in a particular party say is the right thing to do. I think if all Americans starting thinking and doing what they think was best rather than what some political party tells them is best we would all be much better off. It may never happen but if all of you try it for yourself you will see the lunacy of political parties.
Now, unless you are Bill Gates, and have millions of dollars at your disposal to pay for catastrophic health care bills than maybe this article might make a little sense to you. If you are blinded by politics, still read on, maybe what I say will “break on through,” as quoted by Jim Morrison of the Doors.
You see I am a personal injury lawyer and attorney. I get many new clients that have half assed medical insurance coverage, or very good insurance. However, I also get new clients every week that have no health care insurance at all.
Many of these uninsured client’s literally have suffered for days, weeks, and even months without medical treatment, hoping that their injuries would heal on their own. I can only imagine the untold numbers of others who are suffering with medical ailments and have no insurance or viable way of obtaining medical care.
Out of desperation they call me because they know I can get them treatment for their injuries, even if they do not have health care insurance.
Health care reform to me is not about politics, it is not about profits for doctors, hospitals, medical providers, and medical insurance providers. (All of whom continue to make huge profits while the rest of the nation is in a depression) Health care reform to me is about right and wrong. Let me explain.
I personally know many people who have lost their jobs and their medical insurance before the present depression, and during the present economic depression. It has happened to me in the past!
If you have never lost your job and medical insurance in your life, you are either full of shit, or you are one in a billion; yes I said billion.
If you are an American worker who does not have a multi-million dollar inheritance, rich parents, or are rich yourself, you are going to lose your job and your insurance at some time or another. It is a simple fact of life.
No one can depend on having insurance for life the way the system is set up right now. Your healthcare and possibly life depend on the whim of your employer, or your ability to obtain and pay for individual healthcare plans. This is not acceptable any longer.
What are you supposed to do if you lose your job and your medical insurance? In the good old days you could simply get another job. Those days are pretty much over now.
With unemployment at 10% or more in some locations, and the nation mired in an economic depression, good jobs are hard to come by. Hell even college graduates from top institutions are having trouble finding jobs.
If you lose your job and insurance, the end result is that your sorry ass along with your innocent children and spouse, if they stay with you, may have no insurance to cover your healthcare if you get sick. This situation is a surreal nightmare for millions of our fellow citizens as I type this article. Hell it could be you!
If while you are uninsured due to no fault of your own, you get sick, and you need to go to an emergency room, which by law has to treat and stabilize you, then the rest of us have to pay for your sorry ass through higher taxes and health insurance costs, because the hospitals have to charge more to cover their losses in treating uninsured people.
In the end, it is cheaper just to make sure that there is universal coverage for everyone.
I am no communist, I sure the hell am no socialist, but when it comes to medical care, I believe that in the richest nation on earth, healthcare should be a right for all, not a privilege.
Now forget about politics, forget about what some rich congressman is telling you to believe because of your political party affiliations, forgot about hating certain political figures; what do you think is best for you and your family; the way it is now, or universal health care for all? At least try to be honest with yourself.
UNDER FEDERAL ERISA LAWS, AN INDIVIDUAL CANNOT SUE A HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE COVERAGE; NO SHIT!
Now that I have got your attention, let me tell you about my father; this is a true story that happened last month in October, 2009.
My father just had a major arterial bypass surgery recently, and is presently in a nursing home for recovery. He has probably the best HMO/PPO health insurance on earth, with probably the most famous health insurance provider on the planet.
Until just recently, he was ordered by his doctor to not place any weight whatsoever on his legs, he was basically bedridden in the nursing home. He was and still is dependent upon the nurses and doctors there for care while he recovers.
On October 14, 2009, we found out that his health insurance provider had retroactively determined that he no longer needed to be in the nursing home as of October 10, 2009. In other words a man that is and was bedridden with no viable alternative for other care, was basically told by his insurance company that “we don’t give a shit about you, you are out of there. Oh and by the way, you owe for 4 days.” His health insurance provider made this determination even though 2 of my dad’s doctors ordered him to be placed in a nursing home to recover.
Some health insurance bureaucrat unilaterally decided that they knew what was best for my dad, rather than two of his treating physicians. We all know that this is a bunch of bullshit to save the health insurance company some money don’t we.
Under present ERISA exemptions, my father cannot sue his medical insurance provider for failure to cover the nursing home even though his insurance covers nursing home care, because he is in a group plan. 80% of all health care insurance in this nation is provided under a group plan. How come nobody is taking about the fact that health insurance providers cannot be sued by individuals for failing to provide that which they contract to provide? It is a big scam.
Luckily for my dad, he has an attorney for a son (me) who is pissed off, and the political climate is not good for this kind of bullshit decision on their part right now, especially considering the fact that congress is presently debating health care reform as I write this article.
The insurance company probably thought that my dad was some old Hispanic man (looking at his surname) that they could screw around. Who knows? After talking to them and telling them exactly what I intended to do, they miraculously reinstate his insurance and everything is fine now.
What if this was you or you did not have a son who was an attorney? You would be screwed, blued, and tattooed as they boot your sick ass on the street. You would be dead! Geez, I wonder what will happen to me if god forbid I am in the same boat as my dad, my daughters are not attorneys like me.
The healthcare reform changes being debated right now would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based upon pre-existing conditions, they would prevent insurance companies from terminating coverage because of an illness, and they would prevent insurance companies from placing a lifetime cap on your insurance. It is because of health insurance greed and excesses that these changes need to be implemented in the first place.
How many of you reading this are not worried about anything I stated above? If you are not worried, you are probably full of shit and are lying to yourself, or are too dumb to realize it. I do not think even a billionaire would want to risk a catastrophic illness. The cost of healthcare is so high now; million dollar plus bills are not out of the question.
If you are poor, middle class, or even moderately rich, a catastrophic illness could destroy you financially. Even if you have the best health care insurance. The present system is a free market free for all and it sucks the big one. Health care today is about profits, not about quality medical care for all. Hell, I don’t mind a man making a buck, but under the current system we are all being raped.
Imagine, you saved all of your money for years to buy a home, you have a nice car, your family is doing well, and then little Jenny gets sick, imagine having to lose everything and go bankrupt because of co-payments, no insurance, or your insurance company cutting you off. This is reality for millions of American’s right, it is not right, and it is bullshit.
It is time for healthcare reform.
We Need a Public Option
We need to have a public option just like Congress has. Yes Congress, the same folks that we vote into office to represent us. Why should we not get what they get? Are they better than the rest of us?
What is funny is that there are certain congressmen from a certain political party that all have great “lifetime” medical coverage for themselves and their family as a perk of office, and yet they are opposed to giving us universal healthcare; feature that! These people are so out of touch with the reality and exigency of the situation it is mind blowing. They might as well be from another planet. Their supporters support them along party line regardless of whether the healthcare reform will actually benefit them and their own family. This is truly bizarre to me.
It is kind of like not wearing a jacket in winter so that you will not freeze to death, because your enemy supports wearing the jacket; so you freeze to death! Makes no sense.
Now the public option is just that, an option. You can opt out and still use traditional insurance. Maybe a public option will make private insurance companies pull their collective heads out of the asses and compete on a more even playing field rather than monopolizing the market and making untold billions of dollars of profit each fiscal quarter, at our peril.
I have heard the “socialized medicine” sucks arguments, and the “in Canada they have to wait months” arguments, and they do concern me. Thank goodness we are not talking about a system like that. We are only talking about mandating that all people buy medical insurance, (just like we do with car insurance) and giving them an inexpensive public option if necessary.
Healthcare reform is about what is morally and ethically right. It is about what is right for the most powerful nation on earth. Persons from all political parties have been trying to get this done since Theodore Roosevelt was President to no avail.
The time for half assed excuses, political bullshit, and half measures is over. It is time for Health Care reform with a Public Option.
Call your congressman, write your congressman, this issue is a matter of national security, and could be a matter of life and death for you and your family if healthcare reform is not implemented.
I truly look forward to your comments on this subject, and debating the issue.
God bless you all.
By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009