Biden: "People in unions don't want to give up their health insurance"

One case against that.

"Before we knew the outcome, I sat at his bedside, his tiny stitched-together body hooked to a million incessantly beeping machines, straining to recall what our deductibles were. I worried I wouldn't be able to keep working during what could be a long hospital stay.

I googled FMLA and learned I wouldn't qualify b/c I hadn't been at my job for a year. If I lost my job we would both be without insurance. Without my income, there was no way we could afford $1K/month COBRA.

Within a week of his death, before we had even received a bill, the hospital put a lien on our house to make sure we wouldn't skip out on the PICU bill.

My husband who was also injured in the crash, was refused treatment by his primary care doc b/c she didn't accept payment from auto insurance and his health insurer wouldn't pay til we exhausted our auto insurance.

Have you ever had to call around to find a doctor that can handle your specific insurance situation? Have you done it in the days after your toddler has died, when you haven't even figured out a way to talk about it, when your husband is injured and urgently needs a Rx refill?

We ended up with around $5K in out-of-pocket expenses and our health insurer paid $175K. Eventually, we'd receive a settlement from the at-fault driver. For a minute, we thought we might be OK financially.

Then our health ins. co. came after our pain and suffering settlement. They demanded reimbursement for the $175K they were out. Turns out they were legally entitled to do that. In an instant, our modest settlement - meant to compensate for the loss of our son - was reduced to $0
(Side Note: It took me 8 yrs but in 2019 I initiated and passed a bill making this practice illegal in OR. It remains legal in many states.)

Through all this, my husband and I both were suffering from PTSD. We had jobs, a mortgage. All of it hung in the balance. In a humane system, we could grieve without having to navigate an insurance juggernaut, without worrying about being thrust into debt and poverty.

Despite Obamacare and "good" union insurance, we were nearly bankrupted by a 27-hour hospital stay.

Every one of us lives in a body that is going to fail. Sometimes it happens suddenly, catastrophically. Do you want to fight with insurers when this happens? Do you want to sort through a mountain of bills when you lose someone you love, when your grief is raw?

There is no compromise on healthcare that doesn't leave millions of people unacceptably vulnerable to corporations trying to profit from sick and injured people.

I believe change is coming. I am ready to fight for other families, for #MedicareForAll, and to elect BernieSanders president. Sending solidarity and love to all who are suffering under this awful system."

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Granma's picture

Put a lien on their house a week after their son died. None of that should happen to anybody ever. But I live in Oregon, where this apparently happened and want to make sure I don't give any of my business to that hospital if at all possible.

I don't remember hearing about that new law, but thank goodness for it.

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27 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

And to have to deal with on top of losing your child. Or wondering if you will lose your house because you have to stay home with your kid. Other countries don't have to deal with what we do. The whole for profit health care system here is barbaric. How many here grew up with great insurance where you went to which ever doctor you wanted and had no huge copays. I did.

I broke my ankle a few years ago and I had no insurance so I only iced it for a few days until I could talk to the people where I broke it. Fortunately they gave me the info for their insurance but even then it didn't pay for everything and since I couldn't it went to collections. Of course congress has great insurance but even if they didn't they can still afford to see the best doctors and since they have so much time off they....oops. Another rant.

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24 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Granma passed from a serious illness. We had no idea the bill was out there, or that we owed it. We had paid hundreds of thousands out of pocket by then.

The kicker was that our house was at risk due to that small unknown bill. Memory grows vague, but I believe we appealed to Jeff Merkley and Mr. Blumenhaur who intervened for us. Much angst and fear.

We never did find out who initiated the bill or the collection agency at the root of all the delayed notice.

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26 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Dawn's Meta

How many people have outstanding bills that they don't even know about, but they out there collecting interest and when some company takes it before a judge they get permission to collect on it anyway possible?

Insurance companies are rigging the game against us by finding new ways to up people's medical bills. The way they are doing this is by coding. ICD-10 are for diagnosing the procedures doctors do to patients. You didn't have that done during your visit? Well good luck proving it.

BTW the house just passed legislation to keep drug prices down, but only after fighting Pelosi to get make it better. Even knowing that it will never be passed by the senate Nancy still stood in its way.

She is also supporting a blue dawg democrat that is funded by the Kochs and other terrible people who has voted for Trumps agendas 70% over a progressive woman. So much for there's a special place in hell for women who don't support women. This cow needs to be beat by the guy running against her or by whatever other ways possible. Next should be Schumer, Steyer and every other republican that is in the DP. People are dying and they don't care.

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28 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Granma's picture

@Dawn's Meta and years later makes it very hard to fight.

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15 users have voted.

by the time his health insurance company was done taking their pound of flesh out of the other guy's inadequate insurance, my friend received NADA towards the various material costs, nevermind pain and suffering, that he incurred that weren't covered by his health insurer.

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20 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

she had received for a man who had lived with her for a few weeks. He was injured, he reported he lived at her address, but all her property is hers.
I did some checking, seems the Texas Hospital Lien is for insurance claims and lawsuit claims, and real property is exempt.
Seems my personal injury lawyer pals are doing all they can to get pain and suffering comp, but most of all settlements and judgments are claimed by hospitals.

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22 users have voted.

my husband's cancer, treatment that went on for 6 of those years without being properly diagnosed as fucking cancer. I basically threatened the last hospital with that last $275,000 bill, that if they pursued it, I would sue them for what they did to him. They killed him. They wrote it off to charity.
I never get to retire.
I have lost all interest in "retirement" accounts.
I spend $10,000 a year seeing the world.
I could stay home, sock that into some investment account and watch it disappear in an hour, or put it in and bank and draw virtually no interest at all. $10,000 a year, in a few years, won't pay for much, with rising prices on every damn thing we all need to just exist.

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29 users have voted.

As tough as they are. I consider myself lucky that I've "only" had about $10k in unplanned expenses and no death. Ugh.
There's a real divide and conquer attempt going on with the healthcare discussion. There's a lot of "you got yours, be careful because this guy is coming for it". It's so disgusting and cynical and the Dems should be ashamed of themselves (yeah, right.) It's good that the people aren't buying it and are realizing what they got, ain't much and will only get better with M4A.

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9 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter
Is the capitalized health care system.
From choosing employment based on insurance
to worrying about losing everything
due to medical debt.

It's legalized extortion.
Be it house, health, auto
or even professional liability -
the insurance has lobbied requirements
into local, state and federal legislation.

Making out like bandits.

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9 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

@QMS I had to bail on my original career path as health insurance was a rare exception there. If there's anything I can do so no one else in this country has to make that choice, count me in.

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9 users have voted.

Actor’s Equity, a very strong union with a supposedly GREAT plan. My husband’s insulin (Humalog and Lantus) is now $790 every three months. Yay for our union negotiated plan?

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@TB mare

Your union fought hard to get the health care they did and you guys had to give up increased wages for it. On top of that you still see your health care needs rising above what you can pay for them because you didn't get the wages that are supposed to keep up with the rising costs of living. How can people against MFA not see that? Not the ones with the power to do something about it, but the centrists that think we should just futz with the ACA which only gave health insurance to 20 odd million in the first place. And if democrats had any intention of making the ACA better then why the hell have they not been doing that?

Pelosi says she is not focusing on Trump's crimes anymore because she is switching to health care and yet she worked hard behind the scenes on the bill that would make medications more affordable. Even though it won't get a vote in the senate she still worked hard to make it less that what it is now. And it is still not what we need.

This lady's hell is just one of many, many stories of people having to deal with a system that does not work because it is designed not to work.

Drug companies that raise prices on must need medications should be stripped of every working in the industry again. Insulin cannot be rationed. Nor can epinephrine which is a life saving drug. This is genocide by the pharmaceutical industry plain and simple. We should hold them accountable for every person that has died because they couldn't afford their meds or they had to ration it for the same reason. Yeah I know it's a pipe dream, but maybe on day it won't be!

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8 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

No one should have that kind of power over others. The beautiful thing about M4A (and about certain limited "socialistic" programs) is that we ALL own it, we all put our tax money into it, and then we are ALL entitled to use it, regardless of our employment or lack thereof. It works beautifully in advanced countries all over the world. There is no reason why we cannot have it. Fuck capitalistic greed and the suffering it causes. The overall well-being of society is more important than the lopsided wealth and luxury of individual greedheads.

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14 users have voted.

Lurking in the wings is Hillary, like some terrifying bat hanging by her feet in a cavern below the DNC. A bat with theropod instincts. -- Fred Reed https://tinyurl.com/vgvuhcl

Then our health ins. co. came after our pain and suffering settlement. They demanded reimbursement for the $175K they were out. Turns out they were legally entitled to do that. In an instant, our modest settlement - meant to compensate for the loss of our son - was reduced to $0

And here comes Pete, Joe, Liz, Amy & Mike like a pack of forced-grin fascists to white knight for the predatory system that makes that horrifying shit possible.

I am in awe of the woman who had to endure this for doing something so constructive with her pain.

For those following along at home, I've just completed my one year post-op visits for cancer surgery & oncology treatment and there's still some sketchy test results so I'll remain on a 6-month followup schedule for at least one more go around. Don't have to do any new procedures or chemo right now, though, for which I'm very grateful, and I get about five months off before I have to run another testing gauntlet, which is slightly less terrifying because I can be reasonably assured that Medicare will cover most of the associated costs.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

I am also glad that you have Medicare instead of some junk insurance so you can focus on getting well instead of wondering how you will pay for it.

I saw a tweet that said the best way to sell MFA is to just erase 3 words.

65 and over

The country made SS and Medicare work once albeit with lots of people excluded so the template is in place.

Stay Healthy, Jane!

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8 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

@snoopydawg

Appreciate the good wishes, along with your many top quality posts and comments.

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3 users have voted.
Hawkfish's picture

Where they have a national health plan. At one point we were on a ferry in Auckland talking to a retired couple who were National (center right) voters. We were talking about the health system and they mentioned that they had supplemental insurance so they could have nicer hospital rooms and we started talking about costs. I told them how much our American insurance cost for a family of four and their jaws dropped. Remember - these are conservatives.

I had similar reaction last summer in Germany at an academic conference. One of the attendees had a nasty fall when walking around the grounds and got sent to the local hospital. As we sat around drinking beer and waiting to hear how she was doing, we talked about medical systems, and I could not convince this group of liberal Frenchmen what our system was like. They stared open mouthed in horror - just like the kiwi conservatives.

M4A. Anything else is insane.

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12 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

snoopydawg's picture

@Hawkfish

There was a video of a person interviewing people in France and asking how much they thought it would cost to have a baby in America. They all low balled the figure and when they found out the cost they were shocked and wondered how many people could afford to pay it? It is something that people who grew up with great health care can not wrap their brains around. It should be a right not an option. Just seeing how much insurance has changed since I first started working is staggering.

I remember when the doctor I was working for came back mad as hell about the changes HMO would bring to the practice. I thought he had misunderstood what he was told because it was so out there. He didn't. And good lord it has gotten much worse since 1992 when that started. Just unreal. But then there is always plenty of money to kill brown people over the pond isn't there? And to bail out the bank CEOs after they intentionally crashed the world's economy. And plenty more right now cuz they didn't stop doing that.

Ugh...

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8 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

@Hawkfish @Hawkfish Sanders is a centrist. It’s a testament to how far the Turd Way has moved politics that he’s considered a radical lefty here.

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7 users have voted.