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Old 09-15-2009, 07:44 PM   #1
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MANDATORY health insurance, part 2

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
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whoa, one of MY threads got a part 2?!?!
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:27 PM   #3
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Another real story about what can happen with health insurance and the spiraling effects of health care bills

Huffington Post 9/16


For Mary McCurnin and husband Ron Bednar, money trouble has followed health trouble. In 2003, the couple declared bankruptcy after their insurance covered only 10 percent of treatment costs for her breast cancer and his intestinal bleeding. In 2004, McCurnin's breast cancer returned, and Bednar underwent open heart surgery.

Now, after repeatedly refinancing their house to pay medical bills and living expenses, they're broke. To improve their chances of growing old together, they've filed for divorce.

"It occurred to me that I could get my first husband's Social Security," said McCurnin. Her first husband, to whom she'd been married 20 years, died in 1989. When she turns 60 in November, McCurnin said she will be eligible for $1,200 in monthly survivor's benefits from the previous marriage. As the Social Security Administration told her, she can't have the survivor benefit if she's married to someone else.

The Rancho Cordova, Calif. couple has been scraping by with the occasional freelance gig -- both are graphic artists -- and Bednar brings in $1,000 a month in Social Security benefits. They haven't made a payment on either of their mortgages in two months and fully expect a foreclosure. McCurnin told the Huffington Post that they don't bother opening mail from their credit card companies, to whom they owe at least $10,000.

McCurnin said she suspects their horrendous credit is a huge obstacle to either of them landing a job, and Bednar talks about the "gray wall" that faces perfectly qualified older workers.

"We literally live from week to week," said McCurnin. "We got $300 in the bank."

McCurnin has health insurance via Medi-Cal; Bednar is hoping to stay healthy until next August, when he turns 65 and will be eligible for Medicare.

The couple first attempted to file for divorce in February, but ultimately hired a paralegal when their paperwork kept getting rejected for errors. They expect the divorce to be finalized in the coming weeks. There's a bright side: After the widow's benefits kick in, they could remarry without her losing them.

"She could divorce him now to collect short-term benefits on her earlier husband, and then at some later point after age 60 remarry him without it affecting her widow's benefits," said Lowell Kepke, a spokesman for the San Francisco regional office of the Social Security Administration. "Congress put that in precisely to stop encouraging elderly couples from not getting married."

But the widow's benefits aren't the only reasons for the divorce. McCurnin and Bednar will be able to earn more money working before reaching a cap that would reduce their Social Security payments. Married couples are allowed to earn much less than the sum of what two individuals can earn separately.

"It's always significantly less for the couple than it is after a divorce," said Mary Thuerwachter, an elder law attorney in California, in an interview with the Huffington Post.

And, potentially more importantly, McCurnin and Bednar will be indemnified from each other's future debts, should expensive medical problems come up.

"They will be off the hook," Thuerwachter said.

The couple will be glad to get a break, but it's not exactly the ideal kind.

Bednar, the couple agrees, is a little more romantic about it.

"It makes me feel awful, to tell you the truth," he told the Huffington Post. "It makes me sad. It really does. I believe in the marriage. I believe in the whole act of marriage, to declare that we are married in front of friends and family and God and all that. It just makes me sad to have to go through that process."

"The only thing that happens is a check mark in a box in a courthouse," said McCurnin, who takes a more pragmatic view. "It's absurd... Having to get divorced in order to be able to eat. I have no idea why it's like that."
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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I know of someone whose husband was in a bad accident, left in a coma and died eventually. She was pregnant with twins at the time, also had a young son. Even with insurance, the price was hundreds of thousands of dollars and he did not even survive. This is an educated, hard working person, good citizen, good mother, now a mother of three babies all on her own. She had to file for bankruptcy in order move on.

It is not just lazy people, or people trying to rip off the system, or people making poor financial choices that are getting screwed every day.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
It is not just lazy people, or people trying to rip off the system, or people making poor financial choices that are getting screwed every day.
Exactly-but I guess it's just easier for some people to think it is. For whatever reasons.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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Sorry to burst your bubble guys:

Quote:
45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul
By TERRY JONES, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 09/15/2009 07:09 PM ET



View Enlarged Image
Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors' own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

The IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted by mail the past two weeks, with 1,376 practicing physicians chosen randomly throughout the country taking part. Responses are still coming in, and doctors' positions on related topics — including the impact of an overhaul on senior care, medical school applications and drug development — will be covered later in this series.

Major findings included:

Two-thirds, or 65%, of doctors say they oppose the proposed government expansion plan. This contradicts the administration's claims that doctors are part of an "unprecedented coalition" supporting a medical overhaul.

It also differs with findings of a poll released Monday by National Public Radio that suggests a "majority of physicians want public and private insurance options," and clashes with media reports such as Tuesday's front-page story in the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Doctors Go For Obama's Reform."

Nowhere in the Times story does it say doctors as a whole back the overhaul. It says only that the AMA — the "association representing the nation's physicians" and what "many still regard as the country's premier lobbying force" — is "lobbying and advertising to win public support for President Obama's sweeping plan."

The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit with a number of defections by members opposed to the AMA's support of Democrats' proposed health care overhaul.• Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.

More than 800,000 doctors were practicing in 2006, the government says. Projecting the poll's finding onto that population, 360,000 doctors would consider quitting.

• More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the poll — answered "no" when asked if theybelieved "the government can cover 47 million more people and that it will cost less money and the quality of care will be better."
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
The IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted by mail the past two weeks, with 1,376 practicing physicians
Sorry, but I find a poll done by less than 1400 doctors by an INVESTMENT journal to be quite laughable. How many doctors do you know that answer random mailings by investment journals? I'll tell you this, any doctor who actually gets around to reading junkmail within 2 weeks isn't doing his or her job very well.

Yes, there will be some doctors who probably quit, most of which are not the doctors we wanted working on us in the first place. How do other countries even get doctors?
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
Sorry, but I find a poll done by less than 1400 doctors?
Yes, I guess these are the smart Drs.

Of course you do would find it laughable, but you fail do acknowlege the AMA who is on Obama's side and touted often represents less than 20% of the nations's doctors.

Quote:
The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit with a number of defections by members opposed to the AMA's support of Democrats' proposed health care overhaul.
thank you

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Old 09-16-2009, 03:32 PM   #9
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Yes, I guess these are the smart Drs.

Of course you do would find it laughable, but you fail do acknowlege the AMA who is on Obama's side and touted often represents less than 20% of the nations's doctors.
I work with Doctors on a daily basis. Most do not even see their own mail. Overwhelming majority have said we're long overdo for reform. Most hate that Pharma and insurance run the industry. Many think it's too much to do at once. But only two have mentioned quitting.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:01 PM   #10
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Sorry to burst your bubble guys:




you win again.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #11
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some days i get weary.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:35 PM   #12
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some days i get weary.


from being so right?

or from being so hot?

or ... both?
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:51 PM   #13
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Exactly-but I guess it's just easier for some people to think it is. For whatever reasons.
Everyone gets screwed sooner or later, no one or their entire family/friends is perfectly healthy their whole lives...
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:12 AM   #14
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Can I ask why this thread is called "MANDATORY health insurance"? I mean, maybe it used to be about mandatory health insurance, but at this point isn't it just health care reform debate?
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #15
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Anyone else think those loudmouthed fatsos and old farts screaming at the town meetings are paid off by the ins. companies? I mean who else would get so violent but the ones whose livelihood is threatened? No way could they just speak up, everyone would just say they are greedy and trying to sabotage the plan. So they try real sabotage by paying off a few average to below average looking yokels to shout down and fist shake the congressmen at these meetings in hopes others will join in? I believe it started that way and others jumped on the bandwagon. How's that for a reverse conspiracy theory?
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