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Old 01-05-2010, 12:32 PM
10,191 posts, read 10,567,261 times
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Worth a read as it gives a perspective from an American's POV of visiting an ER in a poor town in Fresno county.

VDH's Private Papers: How Bad Is It In America?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:11 AM
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,158,675 times
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Ha! Very cute, the author clearly knows nothing about how difficult it is for the poor and uninsured to get healthcare. He mentions many are at the hospital for minor complaints - probably because they can't afford to go see a doctor in an office. Hospitals do not turn people away, and the cost for that hospital care is much more expensive than what treatment would be at the doctor's office.
Without money or insurance, how are the poor and uninsured supposed to get the medication that the ER doctor prescribes?
If they are diagnosed with a serious medical condition, how likely is it that they will have the opportunity to follow up with a specialist?
I recently read that a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer and does not have insurance is significantly more likely to die (I think it was 40% more likely). I am confident that this would translate to many other diseases.
When my ex had a stroke and we went to the local hospital, we thought he did not have insurance (he had just lost his job, and I didn't think my HR had enrolled him onto mine yet). They ran a handful of tests, confirmed he had actually had 2 strokes. He was told to take an aspirin every day and to get on the very long waiting list for a neurologist that visits the hospital clinic every few months. Afterwards I spoke with HR and he had been enrolled onto my insurance plan. The insurance changed everything. We were able to get an appointment within a week to see a renouned specialist in Philadelphia, who kept my husband overnight, ran tests, and recommended surgery, as well as prescribed a prescription level blood thinner. We were then able to go to Johns Hopkins for a second opinion, where we saw an outstanding specialist based on his unique condition. He was treated there within weeks.
If he had not been enrolled onto my plan, we would have still been waiting for the follow up visit with the visiting neurologist.
Anyone who thinks this issue isn't a big deal hasn't been through it. I have been through it. Also, because of my work, I have spent my fair share of time trying to get help for people who don't have insurance for their medication or health needs. There are programs out there, but they are hard to find, waiting lists are long, and it's not adequate.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:02 AM
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Based on my observations, I cannot validate what he saw. Wehad an uninsured acquaitance sent home after a hemorragic stroke even though she needed serious help to get into the car after she went to the hospital. It took a few days of her getting worse at home and a call to another hospital to get care for her and they confirmed she had already HAD the stroke. My mother, having had a stroke in 2007, has excellent insurance and they want to run every test out there if she so much as sneezes.

I have seen some level of triage in an ER and the same observation that, yes, a lot of folks go to the ER because they cannot afford the doctor, but they may wait for much longer than someone truly sick. When my husband had chest pain, he was right in the room with electrodes slapped on [but he does have insurance].

Insurance IS terribly expensive - we have two folks who help care for my mother and even getting minimal coverage for one person is VERY expensive.

That said, one of the two wants a handout for everything. I know she can save almost every cent I pay her because she has no expenses other than a phone. I get frustrated, because at meals she puts more food on her plate than she eats because she is used to grabbing her stuff and throwing away what she does not due to a long history on food stamps. She had food stamps when she came to work for us and was always buying name brand foods and letting a lot of it go bad. Now I buy the food directly [as opposed to by paying taxes] and am putting my foot down. It would be no hardship for THIS person to pay for health insurance yet she does not. Because she has no bills, her disposable income is higher than my own, yet she is always trying to be one the dole. The second one has bills from years of having to provide for herself and owns a vehicle. She is willing to pay for insurance but does not have the money. I am trying to work something out but there IS a different mentality between the chronically poor and those used to working who have lost their jobs. And I think we have done it by so many handouts without requiring people to work for them.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:15 PM
10,191 posts, read 10,567,261 times
Reputation: 3020
It would be no hardship for THIS person to pay for health insurance yet she does not.
That is about to change.........DRAMATICALLY.....when Obamacare goes through.
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