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Old 06-15-2008, 06:21 AM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,521,294 times
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If you have read Nickeled & Dimed in America which I recommend , you would see that sadly many of our fellow citizens are being mistreated in many ways. Health care is just one of the things to which they have no access.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,089,906 times
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Tesaje, I have to agree with a lot of what you express as real concerns with national healthcare for Americans.

I do have to take exception with emergency room treatment, in general. Many of America's poor or uninsured do use the hospital ERs as their primary care facility because most doctors will not even see them without the coveted insurance card. They may be totally reliable about paying their doctor's bill over time, but most doctor's won't even make an appointment for them.

They, now, ask when you call for an appointment for all of your insurance information before you are even scheduled. If you have no information to give, the doctor is taking no new patients.

I have one doctor that requires you to sign in for your appointment and pay your co-pay before you are called back to the exam room. What? Do people see the doctor and then run out a side door so they don't have to pay? Or, do the doctor's offices not want to hear "I will bring my $10 co-pay in on Wed. when I get paid."? Never mind that the patient has a 103 fever!!

Back to the emergency rooms. I have visited many throughout the US for an unusual medical condition that I won't go into. But, I have been to ERs in probably 10 states including Hawaii.

With the triage that most ERs use diligently and wisely, any patient that is in serious need of immediate care, in my experience, has been rushed right to the exam area before the poor 4 yr. old who has been waiting an hour with an earache. I am sorry for the youngster's earache, but a life is precious and I believe either through better medical practices, or perhaps fear of litigation, Ers are more discerning of late as to who is seen first.

Very true, however, that if you seem to have the flu or a sprained ankle, you may sit for 3 hours before being seen. Sad, but true.

Thirty + years ago, my two yr. old son cut off his pinky finger in a door. We rushed the crying baby and the finger (on ice in a baggie - another Zip-Loc to the rescue!) to the emergency room. We waited for the requisite 3 hours to see a surgeon to see if the finger could be sewed back on. A neighbor called the hospital that we were on the way and by the time we reached the hospital - within 15 minutes - my son had gone into mild shock. This was enough to stop the bleeding and pain, so I think that the staff thought there was no rush, although no one could bear looking at it without their eyes bugging out!!

Fortunately, the surgeon was able to save about 3/4 of the finger and my son now sports a goofy looking short pinky.

This delay in treatment, I don't believe, would happen in any US hospital today. Or Canadian or British, for that matter. I think that most hospitals take their responsibility and liability very seriously in most cases.

The difficulty arises because there are just so many folks requiring care and hospitals cutting staff because of high overhead. Add to this all of the qualified people leaving the healthcare profession because of overwork, liability insurance and poor & unsafe working conditions - it is hurting us all.

Sorry to get so long-winded. I hope some of this makes sense to others.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,757,545 times
Reputation: 10164
I retired from the Boilermakers at 55 on a union controlled pension and my insurance is from the Boilermaker's Health and Welfare fund and costs about $750 a month to cover my wife and me.

Now when my wife retired we could've gotten insurance from her employer cheaper but here's the rub---that company is in no way obligated to continue the coverage if they decide they don't want to, if management decides to hell with the retirees that's it. This kind of thing has been in the news lately and the company my wife worked for is known for it's cut-throat way of doing business. In other words we didn't trust the buggers.

So we stayed with the Boilermakers who are under a legal obligation to continue my coverage as well as a moral obligation that the Boilermakers union takes very seriously.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:41 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
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My brother in law had healthcare thru union whe he retore. It went out teh backdoor several years later when the union move as the comapany was bought out.Not a small comapny either or small union.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:15 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,277,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
I retired from the Boilermakers at 55 on a union controlled pension and my insurance is from the Boilermaker's Health and Welfare fund and costs about $750 a month to cover my wife and me.

Now when my wife retired we could've gotten insurance from her employer cheaper but here's the rub---that company is in no way obligated to continue the coverage if they decide they don't want to, if management decides to hell with the retirees that's it. This kind of thing has been in the news lately and the company my wife worked for is known for it's cut-throat way of doing business. In other words we didn't trust the buggers.

So we stayed with the Boilermakers who are under a legal obligation to continue my coverage as well as a moral obligation that the Boilermakers union takes very seriously.
You've got a strong union. And this is one of my major reasons for supporting the idea of unions...company's are forced to keep their word to the workers.

I understand not all is good with unions, but I've noticed a ramping up of PR campaigns in many different states to disparage/discredit unions.

Thankfully, you were in a union that takes the workers' "after-work life" seriously. IMO, that's what unions are for, to support you through your working life, and then make sure you can survive financially afterwards.

You and your wife are fortunate in that sense, I believe.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:56 PM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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When I read "Nickle and Dimed," I was concerned about the revelations that the writer (well-known liberal sociology-type person) uncovered. Not the content of them, but the fact. I waitressed for many years. My mother waitressed when she wasn't mentally ill. My father drove a taxi or ice cream truck.
Yes, where I grew up there were teachers and small business owners, but there were plenty of first-generation Americans moving out of the city and into modest jobs and lives.
It concerns me if all the talking heads only know other talking heads, with coastal/educated/high-powered work. I am sorry that Barbara Ehrenreich had to go undercover to realize certain things about the working lives of so many citizens.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:02 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeBee View Post
You've got a strong union. And this is one of my major reasons for supporting the idea of unions...company's are forced to keep their word to the workers.

I understand not all is good with unions, but I've noticed a ramping up of PR campaigns in many different states to disparage/discredit unions.

Thankfully, you were in a union that takes the workers' "after-work life" seriously. IMO, that's what unions are for, to support you through your working life, and then make sure you can survive financially afterwards.

You and your wife are fortunate in that sense, I believe.
He is talking about the union having their own insurance. When the company goes under all bets are off as has been seen before.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:15 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,277,164 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
He is talking about the union having their own insurance. When the company goes under all bets are off as has been seen before.
Hmm, OK. I understood that unions do not themselves have their own insurance, but offer discounted rates through contracts with companies such as Blue Cross, Providence, whatever else. Am I wrong with that?

True, I am making the assumption, perhaps incorrectly, that Irishtom's union has allocated monies set aside for retirees and invested that money. Some unions do this with a guaranteed rate of return, or used to.

I thought that that would at least guarantee a pension from union funds that were legally and correctly invested, whether or not the company went under.

Is that too broad a statement, as in the case of your brother-in-law? Am I on the wrong track here?
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,089,906 times
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I know that unions have the ability to change their union affiliation, also. I believe it is the union who takes this action, and not the company.

What happens if one union is voted out and another voted in? What happens to the benefits that the already-retireds had with the voted out union? Do they continue under that agreed upon healthcare or are they now on their own?

This doesn't affect us, but I do know that my extended family members could fall under this criteria.

There is really very little security any longer for retirees when it comes to healthcare or financial security, in general. We all live from one executive decision to the next.
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:37 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,277,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemkeeper View Post
I know that unions have the ability to change their union affiliation, also. I believe it is the union who takes this action, and not the company.

What happens if one union is voted out and another voted in? What happens to the benefits that the already-retireds had with the voted out union? Do they continue under that agreed upon healthcare or are they now on their own?

This doesn't affect us, but I do know that my extended family members could fall under this criteria.

There is really very little security any longer for retirees when it comes to healthcare or financial security, in general. We all live from one executive decision to the next.
I don't know the answers to your questions, or what the circumstances would be. Your last paragraph is so true.

Since I retired, the new hirees have no guaranteed retirement at all. I sometimes think, as you said about security there, that when crooks like Capital Investments and others raided a bunch of "strong" union pension funds, that it can happen to anyone, at anytime. The fact that those responsible are in prison doesn't much help a 78 year old retiree.

I like that, "We all live from one executive decision to the next." That's our world these days....
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