Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

“The greatest power is not money power, but political power.”
Walter Annenberg

Personally I do not agree this statement to be true. The power today is in who has the most money, and who is paying our politicians. It is the money infiltrating our elected officials which fuels the machine we call democracy. I wrote a piece months back asking the question if we are Plutocracy. I believe we are. I think when Annenberg first took over his fathers publishing business in 1942 this may have been a true statement. In today’s world money supersedes political power. I would guess most if not all of our politicians are in the pockets of corporations and special interest groups. This my friends is a sad state of affairs. I feel sick to my stomach knowing decisions are being made not in the people’s best interests, but in the best interests of those who possess the most money. I feel appalled that the people of this country have just sat back and allowed this monstrosity to occur. 

I have no idea when this trend changed. I know the change occurred prior to my birth in 1979. If I were to make a guess I would say things started to change and the rich started to seize our country during Nixon’s presidency. I have no concrete proof of this it is just a hunch. If you look at Annenberg’s bio you will see in 1966 he used his media business to sabotage a political campaign. If it were not for his media outlets reporting untrue negative things about Milton Shapp he most likely would have won the election. The reasons Annenberg started this early example of a smear campaign was because Shapp was opposing the merger between Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. His reasons were not known until after his death when it was revealed that Annenberg was the biggest individual stockholder in Pennsylvania Railroad.

I think this example shows how powerful media outlets are, and who owns our media outlets? Corporations do. During election time we are bombarded with positive and negative things about the candidates many of which are not true on either side. I remember during the healthcare deal. The media (probably paid by insurance companies) aired many commercials against Obama’s healthcare reform bill. These smear commercials greatly affected how the people felt about this bill. I think the meer mention of socialism really killed the momentum Obama built during his campaign. Then you look at those who cast the votes and you can be guaranteed they are making decisions based off of who is paying them the most money; sadly it isn’t the people. The heartbreaking part is people do not take the time to try to find the truth they just believe what they are told by their televisions. We missed out on something that would have help millions upon millions of struggling Americans get affordable healthcare. Now it looks like the current bill may actually cause problems, instead of correcting them, unfortunately these problems favor the insurance companies not the American people. Isn’t it amazing what money can do?   

Walter Hubert Annenberg (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. He owned several publications such as TV Guide, Seventeen, The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1966, Annenberg used the pages of The Inquirer to cast doubt on the candidacy of Democrat Milton Shapp, for governor of Pennsylvania. Shapp was highly critical of the proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central and was pushing the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission to stop it. Walter Annenberg, who according to his New York Times obituary, was the biggest individual stockholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad, wanted to see the merger go through and was frustrated with Shapp’s opposition. During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital. Having never been in one, Shapp simply said “no”. The next day, a five-column front page Inquirer headline read, “Shapp Denies Mental Institution Stay.” Shapp and others have attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg’s newspaper.

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My wife had to have surgery on her mouth to fix two impacted wisdom teeth. Her teeth were not going straight up they were growing sideways pushing at her molars. The dentist told her she had to get this surgery done otherwise she would have severe problems down the line. We have duel dental insurance and at that time health insurance. Between these three the procedure was extremely cheap. The place she had the procedure royally botched the operation and caused a whole new set of problems. She was sent to another dentist, when he saw how badly his colleague screwed up he offered to have all visits with him for free. It was because of this shitty dentistry my wife had to go have a serious surgery because the infection was eating away at her jawbone. After the surgery she had to take hardcore antibiotics through an in-home IV. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, but we did not realize there were other issues to come about. This time it was not her mouth it was the insurance companies screwing up.

When my wife received the first bill she noticed the insurance company did not cover everything they were supposed to. When she called the insurance company she had to jump through all these hoops, talk to many different representatives, and really press the issue until she found out the insurance company miscoded many of the services to the tune of over one thousand dollars. The representative she spoke to said she would make notes in her account and said she would fix it. We also received bills from the dentist’s office after he said all services would be covered. My wife continued to fight this as well. We had to go to some out of network providers specifically for the in home IV antibiotics. We received a referral and before my wife accepted she contacted the insurance company to ensure it would be covered and they gave the okay. Sure enough it was coded as no approval out of network.

She has been dealing with this for months. Every time she calls she has to jump through the same hoops as the time before; only to hear “oh yea we miscoded. We will fix right away.” My wife has been in pain for over two years and she still has nerve damage in her mouth. On top of this she still has to deal with the insurance company which has now sent us to a heavy duty collection company. This has gotten so frustrating for her it will bring her to tears. I wish I had better knowledge of how this all works so I can call and help.

I wonder how many people have to deal with “miscoding?” I wonder how many people just pay their bill unaware they are getting screwed. In the film “Sicko” by Michael Moore it addresses how insurance company employees are trained to miscode varies procedures which would normally be covered. It is no secret insurance companies are crooked. They try to find anyway to get out of covering our healthcare needs. This is no secret yet nothing really gets done to hold these bastards accountable for their crimes against the people. We all pay high premiums month in and month out. For many of us we also have such high deductibles to pay before coverage even sets in.

During the healthcare debate there were a lot of lies, rhetoric and fear mongering going on to try and turn the people against Obama. Some of these same people were the ones who voted for him because of his healthcare reform. I remember seeing rallies were people were freaking out and shouting at people for this reform. I remember people spitting on a sick man holding a sign saying he was dying and has no coverage. I am sure these protesters were either well to do and had cheap coverage, or they were ignorant and had no idea what Obama was actually trying to do. Either way the healthcare bill as it stands sounds like it will do very little to stop insurance companies from bending us over and giving us the high hard one. I am amazed with how crooked people know they are and how much these insurance companies are screwing us; we have yet to rally together and demand change. This is further proof how we are indoctrinated into a frame of mind allowing us to be taken advantage of and just accept it and go about our days. I think we not only owe it to ourselves, but also our children the chance to live in a just and fair society. Don’t you?

I am by far an intelligent person. I accept there are many things I know very little about. I do know this much though; I never take anything at face value. There are so many things to consider when reflecting on the world around us. Very few people take the time to say “hey wait a minute this just doesn’t seem right.” It is because of this lack of mindset many things are allowed to continue to flow as the status quo. The one area I sit and think hard about is politics. I try not to follow 24 hour news stations because I don’t want my opinion to be corrupted. I am amazed how things continue to go in a shitty direction without more outcries from the American people demanding change. Our elected officials would actually work for the people if they knew we could throw their asses out of office. They would be forced to make decisions focused on the progression of our great nation not on the progression of their bank accounts.

I understand and I am fully aware we have the power to elect our politicians. I also understand we have the choice to not vote for them the next time around if they turn out to be complete douches. What bothers me is the time in-between. It is no secret politicians lie during their campaigns. They say what they know the people want to hear. They will tap into our media outlets and use fear mongering techniques to try and sway public opinion. Once they are in office their promises seem to go out the door, because they know their jobs are safe another two or four years. There are politicians who really want reform, but are not honest enough on their probability of following through because of stonewalling.  

I would like to use healthcare as an example of this problem. When Obama was running for presidency the healthcare reform bill he was presenting was in my opinion a perfect fit for our nation. It is a sad state of affairs that we allow the American people to be screwed. Everyone should have affordable and reliable health coverage. This reform bill is a huge reason Obama and other democrats were elected into office. During and after the campaign there were smear campaigns trying to paint this bill in a horrible light. Many paid for by insurance companies and backed by Republicans. Because of these lies and the resistant’s of Congress and the Senate the bill was transformed into a watered down attempt at reform. It is great that reform was passed, but this is a far cry from what was originally proposed.  

These lies and smear campaigns rapidly changed public opinion. The officials who voted against and backed these campaigns should immediately be exposed and removed from office. The only thing which should allow them to stay in office is if their constituents really did not want reform without the swaying of lies. I am hard pressed to believe entire states would be against such a positive advancement of society. If this is truly the case then I have little faith in our future as a nation. These politicians should be exposed not only for the way they vote, but also for their roll in the defecation of this bill and many others our President is trying to pass.

I would also like to use the example of the bank bailout. Many of the same people who were against healthcare reform were the same people for the bank bailout. The American people as a whole were not behind this. They knew we were mortgaging our future generation’s financial progress by such a thing, yet our politicians allowed this to happen. Why? Because they were able to cash in today, and the dept does not directly affect them. Everyone involved in this should be removed from their positions of power immediately; including our president (I think he voted for.) These bastards got rich off this fiasco, and as demonstrated the banks used these funds to pay out huge bonuses and pay for retreats. Our politicians if they worked for us should stand in and demand repayment to the American people.

If our elected officials knew they would be held accountable for their actions and promises we would see greater progress. The American people should have the power to evict our leaders who are making selfish decisions. This should not have to wait two or four years so things can deteriorate further, these things should be done immediately to keep America moving forward.

Why do we toss aside our elderly? Have we forgotten they have sacrificed their lives for our wellbeing? It seems once they stop paying taxes and start collecting Social Security and using Medicaid the government turns their backs on them. The government does this by budget cuts which heavily impact the nursing homes our loved ones are in. We as sons and daughters turn our backs on the very people who sacrificed their lives to raise us by sending them to said facilities suffering from these same budget cuts. Is this a product of a lapse in our ethics, or a product of the society we have created? Why do we value our elderly the least of all demographics? I think the answer is a bit of both.

In our society the value we place on money rules supreme, once you can no longer contribute to the machine you are forgotten. Fewer and fewer companies offer pensions, which most of our elderly counted on along with social security to survive. We have shifted to retirement funds to provide this cushion, but not everyone is able to maintain such a retirement fund. The money involved in caring for an elderly parent is crippling to a son or daughter. Their only financial option is sending them to a nursing home.

The other thing we place a high value on is time; because we work more than we relax our time is like gold. To care for a parent who can no longer care for themselves is not only expensive, but it is also time consuming. For many people to properly care for them it would require them to make a choice between their career and their responsibility to their parents. Many people cannot sacrifice their career, so the best option is to throw them into a nursing home. This time commitment begins to reflect in the number of visits residents receive. I would imagine at first the visits would be aplenty, but as time passes the visits become less and less. There are residents here who never receive visits from their loved ones.

My out look and concern over this problem has changed, since I started to work here. What I see here is heartbreaking, and I fear my parents may be sent to such a place. Prior to being employed here I gave very little thought into what kind of quality of life our elderly have. I was unaware of the promised money to facilities by our government only to be the first victim of budget cuts. I had very little concept of the level of care they were receiving. I gave very little thought into how our culture views our elderly, or what happened when they could no longer care for themselves. I never thought what my decision would be if my wife or parents could no longer care for themselves. I do know that the option to send them to a nursing home would be the last one explored.

This is why “The Bucket List Foundation” is so important. We are able to provide residents with the necessary level of human interaction by providing volunteers who are willing to visit at least once a week to truly give them basic human needs. We also would be able to provide the means for them to make a life long wish come true. In fulfilling their “bucket lists” they may be able to pass on with less regrets. Finally we will ensure no one dies alone. I would imagine the dying process is a trying time in our lives, sometimes the hardest thing we can endure. Nobody no matter how many bridges they have burned deserves to go through this process lying in an empty room. Perhaps if there was an elderly daycare center perhaps this would allow us to still work and care for our loved ones. There may already be such a program; if not perhaps the foundation will look into such an option.

I am not saying this issue is as cut and dry. I am sure there are facilities that provide the best care they can within their means. I am sure there are people out there who choose their parents over their own personal wants and needs. I imagine these examples are not the norm.

I do know this is a passion of mine. I think people need to take the time to contemplate the various things in our society. If this was done with this and many other issues perhaps these social maladies could be cured. We are often to busy and to self-absorbed to look at the issues perpetrated on our fellow man. I hope in my lifetime I am able to see a shift in this mode of thinking.

It is of my opinion that we should have universal healthcare in this country.  I do not believe in the concept, nor do I trust insurance companies to do the right thing. I feel healthcare insurance companies should be heavily regulated or abolished all together. My personal experience in dealing with insurance companies; is they are crooked and train their employees to miss code insurance claims to try and collect extra money from the ignorant and uneducated. Insurance companies will also not cover pre-existing conditions, or will find loopholes to not cover certain things to save a buck. We were once the greatest country in the world; fixing this issue will leap us one step forward to regaining that title.

We finally made some progress when Obama was able to pass a healthcare reform bill, although it fell short of becoming real progress. Obama’s initial idea for reform, which he preached about during his campaign, was a better vision then what the end result was. I hope with this step, it will continue to get tweaked until it becomes true reform. This is one of many examples of why a two party system is broken. It was the filibusting, and the billions of dollars lobbyist used to line the pockets of our elected officials, which resulted into the bill we have today. I am disappointed with the outcome, because like everything else the reform we were promised was not delivered.

I have a solution to this problem, which will deliver real reform and real universal healthcare. 

  1. The corporations should contribute 20% of their profits a year towards healthcare reform. I have no idea how much money each company makes in this country, but I would imagine combining them all together would generate a great deal of money. If we allowed insurance companies to continue to operate they would be responsible for paying 30% of their profits. If you want to operate in America you should be obligated to help the people, and make this country better. I understand companies employ and pay taxes, but it is greedy to choose your wallet over the benefit of your fellow countrymen. I am sure companies would try to find a loophole; such as moving their companies overseas. If this were to happen we would ban their products being sold to Americans. This is radical, and I am sure I will draw some heat from this idea, but if you really think about it, wouldn’t it be better for the greater good?
  2. The current U.S. population is 410,000,000, this number is based off the most recent census. If every one of these Americans paid $40.00 a month it would generate $7,440,000,000. I am not sure the exact dollar amount to have universal healthcare in this country, but seven in a half billion dollars sounds like a ton of money.

If you are not able to generate enough money based off example number two I am certain if you combine one and two we should create enough revenue to get this done. Universal healthcare and regulating insurance companies is needed in this country. . As Americans it is our responsibility to watch out for each other. It is not only ethical, but it is our civic duty.

What do you think?

Many of us walk through our daily lives; accepting things as they are. We shuffle out of our beds, our jobs, the store, to our homes, watch television, and then back to bed. We wake up and relive the same thing the next day. We accept and become complacent with our lives, our government, and the world around us. We accept things the way they are; even if we do not agree with it. Living by motto’s such as “what can I do,” “its not my problem,” “I just don’t want to get involved.” It is this burnt out acceptance our country thrives off of. The powers that be; do not want us to look at our lives under a microscope, or have the energy to fight for change.

There are people in this country who are unemployed and cannot support their families. There are those individuals who are losing their homes. Many of our major metropolitan areas and suburbs are swarming with the hungry and homelessness. We accept our schools turning to shit especially in low economic communities, , we accept our government selling the people out to big business, we accept no true universal healthcare, we accept getting screwed by insurance companies, we accept war, we accept the deterioration of morals and ethics within our country, we accept these things and so much more.

We feel these things are so large and daunting they will never change. It is this acceptance and compliancy which keeps us from truly changing the world and bettering the lives of ourselves, as well as those in our country that need it. How can we expect these things to improve if we do nothing? It is possible to change our society if people actually acted when they notice social evils and misfortune. If everyone stood up to the things which hold us down it will gradually change until the problem is solved

There numerous levels of human suffering we can never truly know, nor do we take the time to recognize or acknowledge them. It is a form of societal denial or sweeping things under the proverbial rug. There are worlds within worlds where violence and suffering are the norm. Hunger and homelessness, we wish it was not there, and we may feel bad about it, yet we turn our back on those who are suffering and experiencing hardships. We think of ourselves first, and our neighbors last. We live by the motto’s “it is not my problem,” “what can I do about it?” “I just don’t want to get involved.”

It’s sad; we accept we are where we are and choose to do nothing about it. This thinking only contributes to destruction of our society, as well as keeps our political process from offering any real change to the people.

The facts are we can do something about it. We can if we make ourselves aware of the human suffering going on in our country, and the social and economical shackles we as a people are in and all we need to do is open our eyes and try. If you started today the pay it forward concept, and those who you helped paid it forward our country would change. If the Tea Baggers can unit together for the greater evil, then why can’t we band together for the greater good?

What do you think?

Check out my website to read more on what you can do. www.thephilosophyofme.com under the “American Republic Movement” tab

I would like to start with an apology, I started an 8 part series on the seven deadly sins, and as I was sitting here prepping to write part 6. I decided I was not going to do it. Why you ask? Well because I told myself I had to do it, so I was compelled to do the opposite.

I would like to vent a frustration on how pissed off I am about being rapped and robbed by insurance companies, without even the courtesy of a reach around. I am married and have three kids, for those of you who failed math class that is a family of five.

We were lucky last year because the coverage was better, and we reached our max out of pocket so for the last half of the year everything was free. Enter 2010 at my wife’s work the insurance amount raised as did the deductible. If she were to carry insurance on the family it would be over $600.00 a month with $5k deductible. At $600.00 a month that is $7,200.00 a year, plus we need to reach the $5k deductible before the fucking insurance will even kick in. Damn my ass hurts now!

We decided that the cost vs. the reward was not worth carrying insurance. In order to carry insurance for the entire family at my employer is over $1,314.00 a month. That is 70% of my pay each paycheck, plus I have a high deductible on top of it. Ouch it hurts even more.

This is totally out of hand; it would be nice to be on Minnesota Care, or some other health care plan. There is only one problem with that we are not welfare trash, so apparently the tax payers would rather pay for people who are completely useless compared to people who are actually trying. I am not saying everyone on welfare is trash. I am talking about the countless number of people who abuse the system.

 I find this system very disturbing. Apparently it is more important to pay for the birth of a single mother who just had her fifth kid, all with different fathers mind you, instead of honest hardworking people who simply can’t afford their employers healthcare plans. The ones who really need it are turned away in favor of people who abuse it. God you really have to love America.

                  I sincerely hope this new healthcare reform bill rectifies these current injustices against blue-collar Americans. As it stands now I have to just pray that none of my kids need to go to the emergency room. The result of said action will spiral us further into debt. Insurance in general is an “in case shit happens” business, that makes billions of dollars a year because most of the time they find loop holes to where they won’t cover you, or simply the “shit” just doesn’t happen. The whole system is fucked, and I want insurance in general to stay away from my ass and my wallet