Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1736, August 30th, 2011



In order to survive you must fight. And sometimes you need help in a fight. If you don’t get any help in a fight, the last thing you want is someone who will hinder your battle. I’d like you to meet Cindy someone fighting for her life every day. Her fight got more complicated, not because she ignored her doctors or didn’t take her medicine And she didn’t stop taking care of herself either. But her health insurance which was Adultbasic went south. Here’s how that impacted her very fight for survival:
I fight daily to be thankful for life. But now, I feel so defeated. I need your help.
My name is Cindy and I'm a 55 year old breast cancer survivor. I was one of the 42,000 people kicked off adultBasic. With this economy, I have to work three jobs to get by, but none of them offer health insurance.
Now I'm left with Special Care - a crappy plan that only gives me 4 doctors visits a year and cost 300-400% more than adultBasic. I need to see my oncologist at least twice a year; that leaves me with only two other visits for the entire year. Special Care was, unfortunately, the only plan I could get after my adultBasic ended.
Now, Highmark wants to raise rates on Special Care 9.9%. I wrote a letter to our Insurance Commissioner, Michael Consedine, explaining that we deserve a public hearing on these rate hikes. Insurance companies have no idea what their greed is doing to the lives of working people. Commissioner Consedine should investigate this. You can support me by signing this petition calling for a public hearing.
Highmark's surplus went up by 10% last year (none of my paychecks did..). They pay tens of millions of dollars a year on bonuses, fancy trips, advertising and lobbying. Why do they need more money from me to meet health care costs for a plan that covers almost nothing?
I'm a fighter, but I'm exhausted. I'm tired of being squeezed by all sides. I have to have coverage, but I don't know how to keep up with all the costs.
I believe a real, public hearing will show the truth. But there isn't much time. PHAN is going to help me by delivering my letter and these signatures to the Insurance Commissioner next week! Check out the PHAN website to see if Cindy gets help.
PHAN website: http://pahealthaccess.org/


Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.
"As an American it just bothers me that with all of our know-how, all of our wealth, that we are not assuring that people who need healthcare can get it," Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Previous reports by the nonprofit fund, which conducts research into healthcare performance and promotes changes in the U.S. system, have been heavily used by policymakers and politicians pressing for healthcare reform.
Davis said she hoped health reform legislation passed in March would lead to improvements.
The current report uses data from nationally representative patient and physician surveys in seven countries in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It is available here
In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.
Australians spent $3,357, Canadians $3,895, Germans $3,588, the Netherlands $3,837 and Britons spent $2,992 per capita on health in 2007. New Zealand spent the least at $2,454.
This is a big rise from the Fund's last similar survey, in 2007, which found Americans spent $6,697 per capita on healthcare in 2005, or 16 percent of gross domestic product.
"We rank last on safety and do poorly on several dimensions of quality," Schoen told reporters. "We do particularly poorly on going without care because of cost. And we also do surprisingly poorly on access to primary care and after-hours care."
The report looks at five measures of healthcare -- quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives.
Britain, whose nationalized healthcare system was widely derided by opponents of U.S. healthcare reform, ranks first in quality while the Netherlands ranked first overall on all scores, the Commonwealth team found.
U.S. patients with chronic conditions were the most likely to say they gotten the wrong drug or had to wait to learn of abnormal test results.
"The findings demonstrate the need to quickly implement provisions in the new health reform law," the report reads.
Critics of reports that show Europeans or Australians are healthier than Americans point to the U.S. lifestyle as a bigger factor than healthcare. Americans have higher rates of obesity than other developed countries, for instance.
"On the other hand, the other countries have higher rates of smoking," Davis countered. And Germany, for instance, has a much older population more prone to chronic disease.
Every other system covers all its citizens, the report noted and said the U.S. system, which leaves 46 million Americans or 15 percent of the population without health insurance, is the most unfair.
"The lower the performance score for equity, the lower the performance on other measures. This suggests that, when a country fails to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, it also fails to meet the needs of the average citizen," the report reads.
Rueters News Service


At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Students, one thing we fail to understand is that the element of high costs in health care is research. Doctors/scientists are each day studying the development of new vaccines which will ultimately cure ravaging diseases such as cancer.
We all sympathize with those who are hurting from illness and are undergoing problems with their health insurance.
We must understand however, class, that the insurance companies are a free enterprise entity. IN a capitalist society the stockholders are the prime concern of ANY industry. Now before you all begin shouting your liberal rantings, let me make one thing perfectly clear.
WIthout the stock holders dollars/investment there would be no prescription drugs/ medical equipment...period. Period.
There are many avenues that one can persue if one finds himself in dire straits healthwise.
The first: Try to live a wholesome life, in DIET, BEVERAGE CONSUMPTION, THE AVOIDANCE OF CIGARETTES, I need not go further.
If you persue this type of lifestyle your odds of avoiding cancer or heart disease will increase ten fold.
Secondly: if by chance you do find you have become ill and do not have insurance or enough insurance, or money then you should not hesitate to contact your local pastor.
3. Take out some leisure time for yourself. A good game of golf for instance, renews the vigor of the soul.
Through the years I have witnessed enormous amounts of charity benevolently offered to the downtrodden.
It seems we do not even consider the importance of churches nowadays; so much so that the subject does not even arise in these kinds of discussions.
In closing this lecture, I wish all who are ill the best. I am not an oger after all. I wish all mankind to be happy and persue happiness, but remember students: The persuit of happiness also requires responsibility to come along for the trip.
Something for you idealistic slackers should consider thinking about this morning.
There is more I would wish to address on this issue, however I must depart as I have a lecture to give at 1 p.m. and then a quick few rounds of Golf to cap off the afternoon.
Like I stated, students, clean living.
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professor Phoney, you are an absolute jerk but you are the source of laughter, you are a joke.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Perfesser reappears with another long paragraph from on high. Again Lulacers ask professor
of what from where? There will be no response from the pontificator
to theses simple questions. If you are indeed going to lecture, please state your qualifications.
I am inclined to agree with 8:51, but would add you are full of yourself and crap!

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want to move to and live in any of those other countries.


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