A note on health care

By
Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate

MY situation: I’m among the millions and millions of uninsured Americans. I’m 27 years old, and extremely healthy. I hardly ever get sick. I eat healthy. I exercise. I’m not overweight (at all!). I don’t use any prescriptions. I am a non-tobacco user. I’m completely, 100% LOW RISK with one exception. 5 years ago, I had a spot of melanoma on my back. I go to the dermatologist to get checked twice a year. If I have any more melanoma, It will likely be caught very early, and will be a very minor thing (a small surgery to remove the spot and a 2” section around it) as it was the last time.

ANY past history of melanoma = AUTOMATIC DECLINE for ALL insurance companies. And even in “high risk pools”, such as Utah’s “HIPUtah plan”, my melanoma is excluded for a minimum 12-month period. This means, even if I sign up for this RIDICULOUS policy that covers very little, and is very expensive (OVER $400/month for even reasonable coverage!!), if within 12 months of coverage, I get another spot of melanoma, no costs associated with it will be covered. Any costs associated with even getting CHECKED for melanoma within that 12-month period will not be covered. Do the insurance companies want me to NOT get preventative care, and to potentially let what would otherwise be a very minor thing turn into something that could be a lot more serious, just so they don’t have to cover it? The simple answer is YES! They don’t really give a shit about me. They only give a shit about their bottom line.

I’m self-employed. I’m a real estate broker, and an “independent contractor”. I don’t have an employer-based option for health care. Even if I did, my ‘pre-existing condition’ would still be excluded for a certain period of time. I was browsing online today, and came across an article that had the headline: “REALTORS Covered by NAR With New Limited Health Insurance Program”. Sounds pretty good – right? Well, turns out that by “limited”, it actually means “COVERS NOTHING”. They are basically taking money for almost nothing. The list of “Plan Limitations and Exclusions Applicable to All Benefits” is so long it took me almost an hour to read and digest. One of the “exclusions” reads as follows: Treatment or removal of warts, moles, boils, skin blemishes or birthmarks, bunions, acne, corns, calluses, the cutting and trimming of toenails, care for flat feet, fallen arches or chronic foot strain; I called an agent with the company who administers this plan, and told him my situation. He rudely told me “NOPE, won’t be covered”. Not only WON’T they cover me, they won’t let ANYONE on their plan get checked or treated for melanoma. Checking for melanoma involves the removal and testing of abnormal-looking moles. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but is almost 100% curable if caught early. These people would prefer if I DON’T EVEN GET CHECKED!!! Wow… I guess that’s the “free market” on health insurance. Pad the bottom line. Screw the patient!!!

Under Obama’s plan, there would be NO DISCRIMINATION against people with pre-existing conditions (ie. ME!). INSURANCE COMPANIES could not drop coverage on people when they get sick. It would create a new insurance marketplace, “The Exchange”, which would create a real competitive market. It would offer a PUBLIC OPTION (Hallelujah!) for people like me!! It would IMMEDIATELY offer low cost coverage to people with preexisting conditions (ie. ME). It all MAKES SENSE!!! This isn’t just about me. There are millions and millions of Americans in similar situations. Yet some ass holes in congress are fighting tooth and nail to block this plan. They are so deep in the insurance lobby’s pockets it’s sickening. They are spreading treacherous lies, and propaganda, and using the same old BS “Scare Tactics” to try to block real reform from happening. ONE OF THEM even had the audacity to actually YELL FROM THE HOUSE FLOOR “You Lie!” to Barrack Obama as he spoke. This is definitely a new low in American politics, and is SO disrespectful it’s beyond words.

So here’s my plea, to all who read this: Please, Please, PLEASE, call your congressmen. Tell them to SUPPORT Obama’s plan, and make a real change. This can’t wait ANY longer.

Click here to see details on the plan and send a letter to your congressmen.

Click here to contribute to Rob Miller’s campaign. Help him defeat that dick head Joe Wilson, who had the audacity to heckle president Obama from the house floor.

Participate in events and vigils to help pass real healthcare reform. And, if your congressmen don’t listen, VOTE AGAINST THEM IN THE NEXT ELECTION! ORGANIZE for their opponents. Donate to their opponents’ campaigns. That’s one thing that WILL get their attention.

Please pardon my language in this post, as you can certainly tell if you’ve read this far, this is something I’m extremely emotional about.  As always, please feel free to comment.

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Rainer
56,106
Heather Adkinson
Windermere K-2 Realty LLC www.propertiesinmoseslake.com - Moses Lake, WA
Real Estate Agent - Moses Lake

I'm right there with ya Jonelle health care is a luxury that I can't afford and insurance companies need to be put in check, I'm hoping we find a way to do it.

Sep 12, 2009 04:28 AM #1
Rainmaker
250,072
Jon Zolsky
FunCoast Realty 386-405-4408 - Ponce Inlet, FL
your Daytona Condo Agent

Jonelle,

As you I am uninsured. As you I have a pre-existing condition. I had major cancer surgery. The type of cancer considered relatively rare here in the US. The type of cancer considered not rare in the country where I came from 18 years ago. The country, where there is a free health care. The country where this free health care system was hailed as exemplary by American researchers.

The survival rate with this type of care there is 2%. My surgeon gave me 50%. The reason I survived here was because of a very highly trained surgeon and a very highly technological procedure, which is simply not available in that other country.

There might be time when you need more than check-ups for melanoma (G-d forbid). These expensive options may be not on the table, because they are all money. They are not government promises that there will be money, they are money.

The worst thing is that you would not even know that there w=is something that can help you. You would not know about it. What is offered is what you can get.

Do you really believe that the government can really run a business? So far they never proved it. They fail with everything they run, including their own budget that they can never sustain. Now you are placing your life in their hands.

Activism is not what can save your life one day. Think about it.

Sep 12, 2009 05:08 AM #2
Rainer
69,826
Jonelle Simons
Windermere Real Estate - Park City, UT

If the insurance companies have their way - AS IT STANDS NOW - I can't get the check-ups I need to help insure it WONT turn into something more serious.  THEY won't pay for it.  DECLINED!!  I'd rather have a reasonable option that can't turn me away or discriminate against me for my pre-existing condition. 

A comment on my main blog from a canadian reads: "Nicely said my friend. Canada's system -while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - provides basic health care to all. I never think about going to go see my Dr - EVER !! I just go and get treated. Thank you for making me remember just how fortunate I am to be Canadian. I really hope you all get the health care Obama is proposing - now that is Democracy!"

The current system is completely broken.  AS it stands now, I can't get the care I need.  Anything would be an improvement.

Sep 12, 2009 05:20 AM #3
Ambassador
1,335,704
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jonelle, I am with you on this one.  The government is the only one that can really do this job in my opinion and is not a job that can be done "perfectly" by any outfit---but I would go with an option that doesn't have a profit motive over one that does every time----when it comes to health-care.  There are lots of businesses where the profit motive is great and does a good job of doing what it sets out to do but it is proving to be a disaster when it comes to health-care.

Sep 12, 2009 08:35 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,080,029
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jonelle, the current situation with healthcare has been escalating for years. I hear your frustration with the current system. Have you asked yourself why Congress and the President won't have the same healthcare they are proposing to the American citizens? If it's good enough for the public, why isn't it good enough for them? I am not convinced that you or I will be happier with what they are proposing in the long run.

Look at the way the post office is run vs. Federal Express and UPS. The government just isn't good at business. That is not what they are supposed to be good at. They are supposed to protect us and provide infrastructure. What I am thinking is that our country is not run by the people anymore but by special interest groups, lobbyists, and big corporations - in both political parties. The Republicans have their favorites and the Democrats have theirs. What about tort reform? What about allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines so that groups like NAR could have a nationwide group like huge corporations do? What about the myriad of alternative health treatments/products that are much less expensive and very effective in treating/preventing illnesses? Why are these not being discussed?

Yes the Canadians can go to the doctor anytime, but did they tell you they have to wait 6 months for surgery? If you had a melanoma and had to wait 6 months for surgery, you could have a serious problem. Why do Canadian citizens with serious health problems come to America for medical care?

There is no easy solution here, but swinging the pendulum to the other side is not the answer either. My husband has had cancer, so I know what it's like to have a pre-existing condition and also to be without insurance with that pre-existing condition. You can take the profit motive out of it, but then what do you have? What incentive does the government have to be more efficient? None. Again, look at how 'efficient' anything having to do with the government is. At least when there is a financial reward there is an incentive to be efficient if only for profit's sake. I am not condoning what the insurance company policies are - I think we need insurance reform along with tort reform. And we need some judges with common sense. Awarding in favor of a woman who tripped over her own child in a store and broke her ankle and sued the store is wrong.

Sharon

 

Sep 12, 2009 02:18 PM #5
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Jonelle Simons

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