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Thread: Health care: A value, not a right

  1. #31
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    You make some very good points which I actually agree with. This is such a complex issue and I just wish something could be done. But as long as we have judgmental types (not you) in society that vote with their bullshit bias against struggling folks, nothing will get done.

    I was raised very comfortably middle class by a psychotherapist and a clerical worker. I had student loans, and I worked in the corporate world for 25+ years. So when my life hit the skids due to divorce, recession, dot com bust, changing to a very unviable career (VERY hard lesson), and my life tanked, I could not fucking get food stamps. I was actually told: you are attractive, you are white, you are skilled. Get a fucking job. Well duh. If I could get one, why would I be there? I explained myself very articulately to the good-looking black guy who told me this, and he just looked at me, while the rest of the people in the room sat in their nice clothes, their kids played with nice toys and sat in strollers and gaped.) I was told to sleep in my truck, and when I protested that it's against the law in California, I was told to sell it. What.the.fuck. Then how would I get to work in the worst damn public transit "system" in the fucking country?? (suburban Southern California). There are many other personal stories that I won't bore you with. So I've been there and done that in my life and it's made me a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person than I already was.

    We in society are actually powerless to change this shit, that's what pisses me off so much. That's not doomsday speak or disempowerment, or negative thinking. It's just plain realistic. How many times do many of us sit and ask ourselves, why should I dig deep when filthy rich celebrities and politicians and old money play their fucking charity games and their fucking tax shelters, Capitol Hill maneuvers, etc.? Yes, it's a good idea that we ALL give something, I think most people agree with that. But the situation has gotten completely out of control and I don't see a fix. I really don't. I think our society will continue exactly as it is because of greed and power plays and the bottom line: profit. That's an overly-simplistic rant but I think people catch the drift.
    Last edited by Mira; February 22nd, 2007 at 12:29 PM.

  2. #32
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    What's so frustrating to me, and I've mentioned this is a couple of these "healthcare" threads, is that every person without healthcare is not necessarily a deadbeat with ten kids on welfare. I have a couple of friends that don't fit that bill. Both are college educated. One is a self-employed, 40 year old man that's diabetic. Since he's self employed, he can't get medical coverage. There is not one plan out there that will cover him unless he lies to obtain coverage. Exclusions vary from plan to plan, but they will always drop him, which makes it harder for him to get another health plan. Doctors out here for the most part do not accept cash patients, for fear of not being paid somewhere down the road for future testing. I have another friend that was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26. Again, college educated. He's in remission now, but try getting insurance with that diagnosis. He was layed off from his job in the tech industry and COBRA only lasts for 18 months. A lot of tech jobs are temp jobs and don't offer benefits right away...cancer was a 5 year exclusion. He could get other medical coverage, but nothing was covered because of the cancer. If he had a mole that had to be removed, he was put through the wringer. If he had to have a lung xray because of a cough, it took a year for the insurance company to agree to pay!! Healthcare, if your work doesn't pay for it, is out of reach for most Americans.

  3. #33
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    I can name TEN former professors - ALL with Ph.D.'s - who can only get contract work. One class per term at a university. They have NO healthcare coverage. That is so depraved and illogical and a crime that it makes me want to scream.

  4. #34
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    My boyfriend, who is one of the smartest people I know, has to pay for his own healtcare out of pocket. Fortunately for him, he's a software engineer, he's healthy, young and able to afford to pay for it. He pays over $150 per month. But, he's a lucky one.

    Also, think about it. Next time you get your hair done, ask your stylist if they have healthcare...chances are they don't unless they're married and their spouse has it. Or ask a realtor. A lot of realtors are going without because the real estate agencies are franchises of the big names you see. They are owned by one or two small business owners who can't afford to offer their employees healthcare.

  5. #35
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    A lot of companies CAN afford it, but don't provide it anyway.

  6. #36
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    Yep. If I had to buy my own rock-bottom coverage healthcare, it would cost $400. Needless to say, I'm very grateful at the moment. I went without health ins. for over 10 years, and a lot of things piled up that have now been taken care of.

  7. #37
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I know what it is like to lose a "secure," long-term job without warning. It happened to me 12 years ago at the height of the recession. Even now, I haven't regained my financial footing, the income level I was used to, or my self-esteem. If I start thinking about the money I would have earned over the past 12 years, I get suicidal, so I don't allow myself to go there any more.

  8. #38
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    ^Yep. Understood. I'm sure there are a lot of us here who've had that happen to us. It's something you never forget and never quite recover from, but you can move forward. It takes a while though, in my experience.

  9. #39
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    I know what it is like to lose a "secure," long-term job without warning. It happened to me 12 years ago at the height of the recession. Even now, I haven't regained my financial footing, the income level I was used to, or my self-esteem. If I start thinking about the money I would have earned over the past 12 years, I get suicidal, so I don't allow myself to go there any more.
    People don't realize what how much devastion something like this can cause. One person can lose a job and you can lose your health insurance, your savings, your peace of mind, everything.

    I don;t think people realize how hard it is to re-establish yourself. I've been there too.

    Don't let yourself go there...sounds like you did the best you could.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    People don't realize what how much devastation something like this can cause. One person can lose a job and you can lose your health insurance, your savings, your peace of mind, everything.
    ..the respect of family and friends...former co-workers... Many people don't want to hang out with you because of fear, like you're a jinx, and they don't want to even think about it happening to them, or God forbid you ask in some way for their help.

  11. #41
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I sure found out who my friends were in a hurry. One day after I was laid off, my phone stopped ringing. People I'd talked to every day, travelled with, had been guests in my home, suddenly didn't know me. That was the cruellest blow of all.

    My family was good, but they didn't really understand what I was going through. I've learned since to separate my personal identity from what I do for a living, although it is extemely difficult in this society where you are what you do.

  12. #42
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    I'm so sorry you went through that. My exit from the corporate world was voluntary to go to another profession, which didn't work out. So I had a lot of people blaming me when they weren't avoiding and gossiping behind my back and (a couple of them, both women) squashing me under their shoe when I was down. But it's mostly water under the bridge and I don't dwell on it anymore.

    I just want to see people get adequate health care. The powers that be are pretty entrenched, though, and I don't think it will happen. Hilary Clinton talked about that a couple weeks ago, that's one of her goals. She'll never make President and if she does they'll stick it to her on that issue just like they did to hubby on that issue.

  13. #43
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    I work for a health insurance company. I believe we do need a better public health care system for the uninsured. It's too easy to be 'dropped' by a plan when you present with a major chronic illness. But uninsured people who aren't also unemployed will not qualify for any reduced rates because they look too wealthy 'on paper'. It is my honest opinion that much of our healthcare is waaaay jacked up in price. My best friend is an RN and works in a flexi position at a hospital which pays more but gives no benefits. She pays for a personal policy that now costs about $250 per month but was once $159/mo. It goes up about $45 every year though she hardly uses her benefits. I'm also afraid that if the regs tightened up on ins companies (our CEO makes around $42 million in bonus every year) they'd become so expensive that employers wouldn't pay anymore.

  14. #44
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Trust me, living in Orange County, you are only as good as what you drive and your zip code...which is why we don't socialize a lot with people unless we get really close to them. I've also learned to be very careful about discussing any sort of financial information with people. We've gone out to dinner parties and people will ask how much money you make, how much you paid for your house, your car, etc. I find that to be strange, if not down right rude.

    But your right, it is hard to separate you personal identity from your professional, since so many of us meet friends through work these days.

  15. #45
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    The career I had was especially bad for that. I lived, breathed, ate journalism. I travelled the world with a lot of those people as part of my job -- I didn't have much of a life outside work, which was more of a lifestyle than a job anyway. When you're working 80-100 hours a week and spending every weekend on planes and in hotels, it's pretty tough to build a life outside of that.

    I always kept a few long-term friends who were outside the biz, but most of them lived far away. For a long time after I was laid off, it was like being dead, only I was still alive. I still have dreams about it, and flashes of bitterness and anger and sadness, but I don't let it consume me any more.

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