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How's Obama care working out for you?

Posted by marti8a (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 18:50

On a thread last year (I think), there was a discussion about health insurance and several people said they were finally able to get insurance.

Looks like we are going to have to buy our own insurance in a few months, and I wondered what you thought about it.

Can you choose your own doctor?

Does it pay quickly?

Any complaints?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

First you have to wait until the enrollment period for the ACA opens again. (Maybe Oct.?).

You will get your choice of plans, different plans have different coverage and costs. Some states have more options then others.

Our son enrolled for this year, his coverage is by BlueCross/Blue Shield. He has had no problems.

ML


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Our Blue Cross is still okay but my daughter's insurance has a very high deducible. $2,800.00 She will never reach this amount. Basically, she is paying for hospital coverage. And then we can hope she can choose a doctor and what hospital.

Sorry, but Obama care has recreated a mess.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

>And then we can hope she can choose a doctor and what hospital.

Don't understand that. I was able to see which hospitals and which doctors were in network before I signed up.

Me, I have no complaints. I live in FL where our idiot legislature, in their attempt to make Obamacare fail, took all the restrictions off price increases for the next two years. I had my own plan that I was happy with, but when they raised the premium $345 a month I had no choice but to go to Obamacare. (Thank you, FL legislature, for making sure we had the highest sign up rate in the country after CA.)

Yes, I pay more for prescriptions now, but when it comes to $17 more a month for a prescription vs $475 dollars a month to save that, I'm good.

All my doctors are willing participants--they don't say so to most of their patients, but there isn't a one of them who doesn't believe in a single payer system and they're glad to support this as a first step. And unfortunately, I have a lot of doctors, so it's a goodish sample size.

There are many different plan options and it is very hard to figure out which ones are the most worthwhile. It took me weeks to decide. I think in my county there were something like 68 plans.

ellendi, I certainly hope your daughter never reaches the deductible, but it doesn't take much these days. One trip to the ER will do that and then some.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I had to help an older relative navigate selecting a plan.

It is going to vary state by state. In my state, only one insurance company opted to provide any plans. They did not contract with all the hospitals in the state, which was a huge issue for many people, as they would be able to use their local hospital in an emergency, but would have to travel quite a distance for all other hospital services.

Things like which doctors you can choose from and how quickly payments will come really depends on which company you choose to buy your insurance from. You'd have to look up reviews on-line for the insurance company and your state to see what's what.

The very cheapest plans, the ones very low-income people can get basically for free, have huge deductibles. They are, quite frankly, emergency coverage only. You have to pay something like $3,000-5,000 out of pocket before the insurance kicks in.

But the very next tier offers pretty good, but not great, benefits for as little as $25/month, if you are low-income.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

First you have to wait until the enrollment period for the ACA opens again. (Maybe Oct.?).

There's a special enrollment period if you meet certain criteria such as losing health coverage in the last 60 days. We still have insurance through dh's work, but if he changes jobs, we'll lose it.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Ellendi - if your daughter never hits the deductible be thankful. I had cancer when I was 25. My husband had a ruptured appendix and a colon resection when he was 19. You never know what can happen even when you're young and healthy. If your daughter has no need to reach the deductible she will be truly blessed.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Right, have her keep her money in a Health Savings Account to cover the $2,800 deductible in case she needs to utilize it. If I were a young, healthy person I would've enrolled in this because I never needed to go to the doctor, mostly only yearly GYN exam, which many of these plans cover.

BTW, one of my plans through work is high-deductible and it is $5K per person, $10K per family. My current PPO the premiums went up only a few dollars, but the out of pocket has gone up quite a bit. My prescription copays doubled--seriously, $50 a month for Synthroid?, our deductible went up, and our out-of-network coinsurance went up from 70/30 to 60/40. It is a "grandfathered" plan, so it does not have to cover a lot of the preventive care, but it must cover young adults to age 26, remove lifetime caps, and something else they cannot opt out.

DH's work offers high-deductible only, so it's a matter of choosing the lesser evil on plans.

When DH went to the doctor this week, they grilled him on our coverage because they said they do not participate in some of the exchange network insurance plans to make sure we were not on an exchange plan.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

$2800 is a high deductible? My friend who has insurance through his work has a $10,000 deductible. Not through Obama. He is single/no dependents.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My wife has a Blue Cross PPO. Her rates just went up 76% with no change in plan. I don't know if that was due to Obama or not. I have Medicare - I wish we all did.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

It's been great for my daughter. She aged off of our insurance last year and was able to sign up for an exchange for only $88/month. It has a $5K deductible but allows for three doctor visits a year that cost less than $50 each. The next step up would have cost $40 more per month and the deductible was $2800 (I think).

It's been a godsend for my son. He had cancer at 21 and lost his job (and insurance) a year later. Since then, he hasn't been able to find a job that offered insurance. He will need follow up care for the rest of his life and, before Obamacare, he couldn't find private insurance that would cover anything remotely related to cancer. Even without that, it was hard to find anyone that would cover him ... period ... and what was available was incredibly expensive.

With Obamacare insurers can no longer deny him coverage.

He got back on our plan until he turned 26, then he qualified for temporary insurance from the government for a while and it was a good, affordable plan. Once the deadlines kicked in though, he had to try to get insurance on his own again.

Although he is low income, through a glitch in the law and Indiana's spiteful politicians, he was ineligible for subsidies. He pays $313/month now which is a LOT for him ... but at least he's covered. His specialist is in-network too. Whew.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

It helped me a little. I was able to get basically the same PPO plan as I already had, but the premiums are about 30% cheaper per month. My co-pays for doctor visits increased from $30 to $45, but that's no big deal as I haven't been to a doctor for a while (knock on wood). In California, I was only offered one PPO plan, one hybrid plan and two HMO plans, so I would say the choice was limited.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Thank the good Lord my husband's company is still providing coverage. Many are not and have no choice but Obamacare. No idea of the coverage or pay out but the initial costs are much much higher than under private Insurance. The Government NEVER does anything more economically. My daughters really lost out thanks to the Obamacare mandates. They worked fast food hoping to save for college but were only allowed to work 21 hours a week or the small restaurant would be forced to provide their workers coverage. It is INSANE to think teens working for pocket money need Insurance but when you get the government involved all thought process go out the window. I am LOVING hearing the campaigns running on platforms that promise to sink this boon-doggle. From what I read the "poor" who had no insurance still are not signing up. They are making choices/gambling they won't have ANY medical cost so not going to waste the premiums when they could by ________ with that money. Much that sounds good in a chalk board on reality doesn't work. This is filed under that category. IMHO


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I know several people working two or more part-time jobs or temping to make ends meet who are thrilled to get free coverage under Obamacare, or get coverage for under $50 a month.

The "free" coverage is by using a tax credit. You get the most basic plans for that. Paying as little as $25/month gets you much better coverage.

The teens working fast food could get a second part-time job if they need more money. Employers have been keeping employees at part-time for decades to avoid giving them benefits--this is nothing new.

Yes, they fall into the category of part-time so their employers don't have to pay benefits--but that was the case before Obamacare as well.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I have Medicare - I wish we all did.

The Government NEVER does anything more economically.

Hmm


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

We are self employed and our policy renews around August 1. In August 2013 we stayed with the same $10,000 deductible plan we had for a long time as we were told it met ACA guidelines. At that time the premium for my husband and I and our son (ages 57, 56 and 23) was $7629.24 annually or $635.77 per month.

Our policy now renews August 2014 and the company told us our existing plan was being discontinued and we needed to go into a different plan. The plan they assigned us is a $5000 deductible and the annual premium for us (now ages 58,57 and 24) is $17,776 or $1481 per month. I don't have the per person breakdown in front of me. Our son is getting married in August, which is a "life changing" event which allows a new policy to generate, so they'll get their own policy.

My husband and I can't change companies until the enrollment period later this fall. We can change within our existing company because they are discontinuing our current plan. The way I understand it, they have one other plan option that's less expensive (by $50/month) and anything else didn't meet ACA guidelines and thus would incur a tax penalty. I'm not sure I fully understand it.

My husband and I are healthy, normal weight (preferred category). Not diabetic and no high blood pressure. No history of anything major. But I guess that doesn't make any difference any more.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Got a price quote for insurance for my husband and I... both self employed, don't qualify for subsidies.

We were paying $92/month for a high deductible health plan w/ an $8K family deductible pre-Obamacare.

If we bought the cheapest possible Obamacare "approved" plan covering a bunch of stuff we don't need, we'd be paying $572/month for a plan with a $12,000 family deductible.

What a great improvement.

Needless to say, we said NO thanks. We kept our old plan even though it is not Obamacare compliant for this year... Technically, we would have to pay the tax since we don't have government approved insurance, but there were so many exemptions carved out that I think we can avoid it this year (exemption #14 - "You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance." My hardship was I don't want to pay almost $500 a month extra for worse coverage. (http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/hardship-exemption.pdf)

Next year, we may join a Christian health sharing ministry to avoid this boondoggle.

Lots of stories in the news about doctors who won't take the plans. Just recent stories out of Miami and Cali about people having a hard time finding doctors. The reimbursement rates are VERY low and there is uncertainty about whether docs will get stuck w/ bills if people don't pay their premiums b/c Obamacare requires insurers to wait much longer before canceling coverage.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My health insurance is part of my benefits package from my employer-I pay 5% or $40/mo. This year, for better benefits, the total premium is going DOWN almost 6%-this after years of constant increases. I don't know if that's a result of ACA, but I can't complain!

My son has enrolled in the ACA but because of Oregon's huge failure in implementing it, has not yet gotten any coverage. His employer doesn't offer coverage. However the few people I have talked to who've managed to get thru the process seem to be having no problems.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

When dh leaves his current job, he will be working only on commission in a new field for him. I thought about getting a job at Home Depot or Lowes (I've just about got every aisle memorized since we've been doing this remodel) and happened to chat with a man in the paint department yesterday while my paint was shaking. I asked how he liked working there and he said it was great until about 6 months ago when they cut the hours of every salaried employee because of insurance. No one works over 25 hours a week.

I was hoping to be able to make enough to pay our basic expenses and get insurance, but at 25 hours, I'd barely make enough to pay the utilities I think.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Our DD is going to school and working p/t. She did have very affordable catastrophic insurance which was perfect for her but no longer permitted under the ACA. New insurance is more expensive and not at all what she wants but I guess it is her only option.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

A family member has always had what I thought of as a high deductible ($10,000) and high co-pays.
She has just tried not to ever go to the doctor.
Her deductible is now $12,000 a year and higher co-pays.

The cost for my family's insurance (through my DH's employer) increased a little more than it usually does each year, and the participating doctors and hospitals decreased by about one-third.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I'm just going to pay the punishment fines-so much cheaper.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Deeby you probably don't even really have to pay their stupid fees.

Check out Exemption #14
"You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance." I'm sure you had some kind of "hardship" you could claim!

Plus, there's pretty much no way for them to collect unless you have a tax refund so just adjust your withholding or estimates if you're self employed so you don't have a refund and simply don't pay it.

See e.g.
"Typically, the IRS does have a number of steps by which to recoup unpaid taxes. It can garnish your wages, for example, or, in rare cases, seize property. But with the health mandate, the law's drafters specifically barred the agency from any of those more aggressive tactics."
"The IRS remains very clearly limited in its ability to collect the penalty," Livingston says, "And the accumulation over time does not change those legal limitations."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/13/readers-ask-we-answer-what-happens-if-you-dont-pay-obamacares-tax-penalty/


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

It's virtually impossible to form opinions or draw conclusions about any issue based on anecdotal information that lacks context.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

This is a nifty site that allows you to check options: http://www.valuepenguin.com/ppaca/exchanges

Here is a link that might be useful: Value Penguin


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

"Just recent stories out of Miami and Cali about people having a hard time finding doctors. The reimbursement rates are VERY low and there is uncertainty about whether docs will get stuck w/ bills if people don't pay their premiums b/c Obamacare requires insurers to wait much longer before canceling coverage."

I don't have any insight into CA, but I live in Miami and read the story in the Miami Herald that is referenced above. To be clear, the major issues cited in the article leading to doctors refusing to see ACA patients are 1) physicians' offices are not being cooperative based on non-factual beliefs related to their responsibility in accepting the plans and 2) there is concern that people enrolled in high-deductible plans will not pay their co pay or deductibles.

Thus, the truth of the story is that this is a newly implemented system, doctors and their staff are not yet familiar with how it will operate and whether or not some people will pay what is owed to the provider. So patients are experiencing inconvenience based on that, NOT on what the plans actually cover or do not, reimbursement levels etc.

Always good to stay with facts rather than inflammatory rhetoric, IMO.

Ann


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My employer provided health insurance is still pretty much the same other than the usual annual price increase. It's not cheap but it is in comparison to the cost of healthcare if you have much of anything wrong. Hopefully it will stay pretty much the same over time as I can continue with the plan when I retire which I hope to do in about five years.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Actually, the reimbursement levels ARE much lower for doctors in many insurance plans and many doctors are refusing to take those plans as a result of the lower reimbursement rates. See e.g. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2013/november/19/doctor-rates-marketplace-insurance-plans.aspx

There also is concern regarding whether doctors will be hit with costs because Obamacare lengthens the time that an insurer must wait before canceling plans for nonpayment. See e.g. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/march/19/doctors-say-obamacare-rule-will-stick-them-with-unpaid-bills.aspx


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Thank you, Ann.

With respect to the article above, I find it humorous that Kaiser Permanente, with the WORST reimbursement and most restricted care for its subscribers, is taking potshots at the Affordable Care Act plans.

Physicians are uncomfortable discussing their rates because of antitrust laws, and insurers say the information is proprietary. But information cobbled together from interviews suggests .....

Read the above as: "what follows is complete conjecture."


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I would also note that the first article predates the implementation of Obamacare entirely, and the second is dated in March, way before most people who are now in the plan joined up.

You know, one of my neighbors used to go on and on about how all her doctors said they would NEVER take any of the Obamacare plans, but when I signed up I took a minute to check, mostly because this isn't a big city and one doesn't have a lot of choices for specialists, so I wanted to know to for future reference for myself. Every single one of them was in.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

What's sad about all of this is that Obama's name is attached to it, when the end result of the plan wasn't even his original vision. He gets the blame for changes that weren't what he wanted.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

It's been great for us. I'm also self-employed, and before the ACA, we were stuck with policies that had exclusions out the wazoo and reimbursed almost nothing. It was 'keep them or go without coverage' since Hubby and DS couldn't qualify for coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

When we bought new insurance under the ACA, I splurged for a Platinum level plan, with 90% coverage after a $5,000 family deductible.

Yes, it's kind of expensive. But $200 per month LESS than we were paying before for crappy coverage.

The loophole where employers cut everyone's hours so they don't have to provide benefits is a PITA though. I hope that one gets closed soon -- but know it won't. Honestly, I think single-payer is the way to go, and that health insurance should have nothing to do with our jobs.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

"Honestly, I think single-payer is the way to go, and that health insurance should have nothing to do with our jobs."

YES!! I truly believe that we have the most bizarre and immoral system in place here in the US. To link getting health care to either having a job, being married to someone who has a job or living long enough to get into the entitlement program known as Medicare is simply insane.

While the ACA certainly has flaws, issues and problems I for one hope it is the first small step to moving toward a nation in which people know they can get help when they are sick or injured regardless of whether they have a job or not.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

"Honestly, I think single-payer is the way to go, and that health insurance should have nothing to do with our jobs."

Strongly agree.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Well, I know it has been a problem for little sisters of the poor.

http://www.becketfund.org/littlesisters/


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

If The Little Sisters of the Poor want government insurance money they can comply with government mandates. Or, they can run a truly charitable hospital if they like--- just not with my tax money.


***edited out confusing pronouns

This post was edited by kswl on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 12:18


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

just not with my tax money.

The little sisters of the poor get all of their money through donations. They help the poor elderly sick people throughout the world. OUR govt. was going to fine them per employee for not adhering to a mandate that went against basic religious beliefs.

Are you telling me that you are ok with that?


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

What you don't mention is that they take Medicare and medicaid patients, receiving payments from our government in exchange for medical care. They operate multimillion dollar businesses in various locations across the USA with many secular employees. Why should they be exempt from the laws governing other businesses?

Yes, I'm fine with it. :-)


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I agree , kswl. Anyone or any group or any corporation that accepts government dollars either as tax breaks or as part of a subsidy program or in any other way, should be required to follow the mandates set by the government. If those are objectionable, then don't accept the money. Very simple.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

This argument will perpetuate.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a workaround (and it's been offered, too, to the Little Sisters), and likely will apply to Hobby Lobby employees, who are impacted by the recent Supreme Court decision to exempt HL from the ACA contraception mandate. Here's an article that suggests this may actually better all-around for everyone. Allows those who oppose ACA mandates due to religious and moral beliefs a way to exercise that, while still protecting women's legal reproductive rights.

At the end of the day, though, it has nothing to do with morals and ethics, and everything to do with politics. So I hope the author is right... let everyone think they've won.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hobby Lobby decision


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I've been on Romneycare since its inception, and the only difference I can see is that now we HAVE to buy something that remains wholly unaffordable or we are penalized. At least the ACA also changed some bad practices, like the whole pre-existing condition thing.

The nonsense about "you can keep your doctor" is just that, nonsense. That too is no different than it was before. If your doctor is on the plan you choose, then you keep your doctor. It was the same before: if your doctor was in your HMO, then you kept your doctor.

However, my premiums have gone up the same percentage every year since I got on Romneycare, same as it always was, and they actually skyrocketed this year due to Obamacare.

I think that, the problem with both of these plans is that they tackle the number of people covered, which wasn't the problem. People didn't have health insurance because it was too darn expensive and insurance companies are so scuzzy. I don't see the costs of health care/insurance changing any time soon. We cannot seem to get ahold of corporate green in this country, and until we do, we're just going to keep putting band-aids on things that don't work.

But…good luck!

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 14:45


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My previous comments were not directed toward the ACA as a whole. This thread has been largely anecdotal, as was the nature of the original question. Personally, I would be in favor of a single-payer system if there were strict and clearly defined limitations regarding how genetic testing would be used to determine rates and coverage.

My previous comments in my prior post were in reference to the more recent posts about charitable organizations, government funding, and mandates in the ACA that compromise the convictions of certain (primarily religious) organizations.

This post was edited by peony4 on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 15:06


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My previous comments were not directed toward the ACA as a whole. This thread has been largely anecdotal, as was the nature of the original question.

If you are talking about my original question, it was not anecdotal. I simply wanted to know if the ACA insurance had proven to be good, or a waste of money.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Actually, the answers and information available have been largely anecdotal as the system is so new there aren't good published data from which to draw conclusions. I too assumed you were looking for anecdotal responses since none of us would be in a position to know more than our personal experience for the reason already stated.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Marti8a, yes, I meant anecdotal in terms of your inquiry about personal experiences with Obamacare. The term "anecdotal" isn't negative, but rather, by definition, refers personal accounts, which is what your original post seems to have sought and which this entire thread has solicited. I apologize if my comments were misunderstood.

I don't have personal experience with ACA. My comments in my first post above referred to debates regarding ACA mandates and religious convictions that have arisen recently, most notably by the Hobby Lobby lawsuit referenced in the link I included above.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I'm on medicare plus an insurance plan. What is offered for me on OC is far more than I pay monthly and there is no deductible or requirements for seeing another doctor. 100% coverage for anything. Few realize though that SS takes 100 or more a month (depending upon income) for medicare and you are on your own for the requirement of a separate health insurance.

I beg silently for another way, but there is none. When I look at the options for families, guess I should be thankful, but insurance is taking 1/3 of my income. A family on OC options may not be far off. Also, medicare doctors are dropping like flies.

One question to those with pre-existing conditions. Even though they are accepted, is the insurance higher?

10 years ago I had a friend tell me that we are never going to dye of old age, dying will be due to health insurance. I let this slide and didn't respond, but now am beginning to see he may be right. Our care certainly isn't what it once was.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Insurance offered through an employer is a way to save money by averages. DH and I have usually had group insurance, and so far, been the ones making the averages work...we USE the insurance little to none, vs. someone who has a chronic illness.

If we ALL go single payer, there is no cushion for the more healthy, and we ALL pay more. That is what "insurance" is. The company charges you based on their risk. Mitigate the risk a bit with a pool, or group, and the risk, so the price, goes down. No pool, price goes up. But even if a LOT of "healthy, young people" sign up for INDIVIDUAL policies, there is still no "pool", and everyone is a risk to the insurance company individually, and must be priced as such.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Technicolor, my DH and I and one student are on a commercial United Health insurance plan. Last year our premiums were $17,000 per year for the three of us, with a $3500 family deductible and a 20% responsibility until the $6500 out of pocket limit is reached.

We buy the same coverage for our employees, who contribute $140 monthly, or $1680 of their roughly $7,000 cost. We are under no legal obligation to provide health insurance, but looking at how expensive it is, we feel we cannot do otherwise.

There is no reason health insurance should be attached or dependent upon one's job. That may have made sense when there was a shortage of workers and incentives were needed for hiring purposes (specifically after the Second World War), and when people stayed at a single company for their entire career. What we need in today's economy is portability of benefits, and/ or the insurance safety net that will enable people to leave a company and start their own businesses.

People do not choose whether to pay for the services of their fire department or police. Those services are part of a recognized civil contract, and an acknowledgement that when one person is in trouble or at risk individually, the community is too. Health insurance is no different, and everyone should have it. Period. The Swiss have a system that combines a mandated, basic insurance and "free market" add ons, and that is just one of the many ways others around the globe have financed universal health care--- and whose citizens are healthier than ours. People who think we have the best health care in the world are sadly mistaken. We have some of the finest teaching hospitals in the world, yes, but that does not translate into better care or health for our populace.....far from it.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Technicolor, because your supplement insurance pays 100% with no deductable you are paying more then most retirees.

If you really need this type of coverage keep it. If you are still pretty healthy you may want a policy where there is a deductable to meet.

My husband started getting Medicare 2 years ago (150.00/a bargain). The company he retired from has an exchange company (Extend Health, now Tower Watkin's OneExchange) that helps find supplemental insurance. Turns out that AARP, United Health, was a good fit for him. Yes, there are co-pays and a deductable but because he is healthy it still is hundreds less then we would be paying if we hadn't been helped make the decision by the exchange.

The one thing we did before his retirement was ask his doctors which policies worked for them.

I can not wait til I can be covered by Medicare. If I choose the same AARP policy that he has, we will be saving over $600.00 a month.

Look into using an exchange, our experience was positive.

Edited to add link.

ML

Here is a link that might be useful: OneExchange info

This post was edited by maddielee on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 11:47


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

We have far better survial rates for most deadly cancers than anywhere in the world, Switzerland, for what is worth, is at the bottom in all its stats! Our life expectancy numbers are skewed by non health related deaths, ie guns, cars and ods. Single payer isfairer yes but will not improve the care we have here in the us and if true stats are used it could be argued it may indeed decrease our average life expectancy.

Here is a link that might be useful: would prefer to be treated and screened in the us rather than any other country in the world


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Ah yes, government-run health care is fantastic. The VA is a shining example of how wonderful our government-run healthcare can be when you put unaccountable bureaucrats in charge. Not to mention Medicaid, which upwards of half of doctors in many areas won't accept because the repayment rates are so low. Or maybe the NHS is a great example, where patients are 45 percent more likely to die in hospitals than in the U.S.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Ditto to roarah and beagles.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

BEagles is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is also wrong. The ACA is NOT government-run healthcare. The problem isn't government versus private. Does Beagle really think the private health care system is good???? It isn't. People lose their homes and life savings to one illness.

Government and private industry have one thing in common: they're both comprised of people. Insurance companies aren't fraught with red tape and maddening rules and other nonsense? Of course they are.

this is a very complicated issue which involves a LOT of factors. Anyone think Beagles is going to refuse Medicare when the time comes?


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

People will ALWAYS lose their life savings to illness. SOMEBODY has to pay for this care......


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Roarah, if you review the chart you shared, as well as the Lancet article from which is was obtained, Switzerland is at the bottom simply because data on 3 of the 4 cancers were not reported by the country (that's what the N/A refers to on the chart).


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Thank you peony, you saved me the trouble of pointing that out.

With respect to the article in the Guardian, the professor's statistics have not been published beyond some highlights designed to grab headlines . The methodology has not been peer reviewed; the statistics from each country are not gathered or reported in the same way, making the comparisons a bit like apples to elephants. In the US we do not even use the same diagnosis code system that the rest of the world uses--- and the raw data on patient conditions is diagnosis codes. Suffice it to say that his assertions are far from being proven on their own merits without even raising the question. Of frequency of hospitalizations. Added to the fact that the other countries in his comparison are not even named....


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Thank you, peony and kswl.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

For me Obamacare was the straw that broke the camel's back. I (and several hundred of my co-workers) have been laid off. During my last year (I was there 14 years) our hours were cut by one-third so the employer could avoid providing us coverage. The guy who owns this business (it is privately held) is either going to sell it or simply cease operations and retire to Florida with his BILLIONS and leave his former employees twisting in the wind. Obamacare is the perfect excuse he needed to avoid blame while he abandons us. The employees who still have a job there now know the ship is sinking and are preparing to leave.

I was hoping this job would last long enough to get me to my retirement in 6 years. Now I have nothing. Maybe nothing means I can now qualify for free health insurance, but I would've rather kept my job.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

The ACA is NOT government-run healthcare

I did not say the ACA was government run health care (although the gov has certainly managed to screw up the health care even more w/ the ACA). I was speaking to the problems of single payer systems.

When the time comes for me in 30 years, Medicare may already be bankrupt or may have bankrupted the government. I don't think anyone can deny that there are some significant financial problems w/ Medicare.

Personally, I would strongly prefer for Medicare and Social Security to be privatized so I wasn't forced to pay into or participate in either of these programs. That's not the system we have so I have no choice but to live in the world we live in. If the trends in this country continue in the direction we seem to be going, I very much doubt we will still be in the United States when we retire anyway...

The private insurance system has been messed up for a LONG time because of over-regulation. We need fundamental changes and I personally believe people need to bear more of the costs of their own routine care while insurance should cover catastrophic situations and emergencies only (pretty much the opposite direction of where we've gone). I like Ben Carson's proposals the best of any I have heard for reforming the healthcare system.

I don't love insurance companies but I like the government involvement even less. The government has not ever done anything better or more cheaply than the private market. Nothing. Just look at the VA! And people in countries with socialized medicine who have the money buy private insurance supplements anyway. I would take an insurance company over health care run by government bureaucrats any day.

Not to mention, while people "in general" did not like private healthcare before the ACA, there was a different response when people were asked about their own health care situation. A full 80 percent of people responded to that question that they were happy with what they had. So insurance companies couldn't have been that terrible.

There are plenty of other statistics on problems with the NHS, I just grabbed the very first file I googled. A quick google search will turn up much more information on negative patient outcomes and financial troubles.

The reality is that healthcare is very expensive. It would be lovely to provide top quality healthcare to everyone and make sure everyone has the treatment they need for everything. It is also not realistic to do this.

Government-run insurance is just about the worst possible approach to this problem because government is not accountable to the people in any real sense, esp. since government entitlement programs are pretty much never rolled back no matter how ineffective they are.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Why didn' t Switzerland summit its data peony and kswl? Probally because they are not great results and they are last out of all the countries reported in their Breast cancer stats. The Forbes article linked below has many more links that are helpful in honestly understanding why we received low longevity stats and how the results are not indicitive to our true health care system.

Here is a link that might be useful: myth about life sxpectancy, with great study links


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

"Probally because they are not great results and they are last out of all the countries reported in their Breast cancer stats."

Unfortunately this statement is an example of how many people draw conclusions.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Kswl, what have you used to conclude that other nations provide better health care? For all you have those posted is all speculative.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Just wanted to point out the link provided by roarah casting shade on Switzerland is 6yrs old.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Roarah, please look carefully at the chart that you are linking. Switzerland is situated at the bottom of the list, yes. But its reported figure for breast cancer survivor rates is not the lowest. According to the figures on the chart, the lowest rate for breast cancer survival was reported by Ireland (69.6%).

Why didn't Switzerland submit full results like the rest of the country? I don't know. I only reviewed the chart you provided and the Lancet article from which it was retrieved. I'm not making statements comparing U.S. healthcare vs that in other countries. I have anecdotal experience with healthcare when I lived in Europe and traveled to Asia, but not enough to form an opinion. I'd need to conduct much more research to be able to adequately discuss this.

Moreover, I have not read enough research or had enough personal experience with the ACA to have an informed opinion about its merits and pitfalls, either. But I do recognize that our nation's healthcare system is so complex--and we're not even taking into account the roots of many of our healthcare problems. We tend to look at personal and public health in very fragmented ways. And grabbing the first link we find in a google search makes our perspective even more misaligned.

This discussion has been helpful to me to learn about anecdotal experiences of others. However, I find that when people begin discussing any such complex issue, those with the strongest opinions are often the least informed.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Here is another chart from Cancer.org. The available data years do not match up exactly among countries but the U.S. is significantly higher in overall survival than every other country based on the data that is available.

From 1996- 2006, cancer survival in the U.S. was 65.9 percent overall. By comparison, survival rates were 46.2 percent from 1995-1999 in England and 55 percent from 1995-1999 in Switzerland. Other than stomach cancer, there was not a single type of cancer in which Switzerland had a better survival rate than the U.S.

I really doubt things have changed that much in recent years that Switzerland would now somehow be better than the U.S.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

For those who wish to toss out health statistics, one of the best sources is the World Health Organization. You can investigate by country, region, etc. Glancing quickly, life expectancies in France, Switzerland, and Canada are higher than ours here in the US whether you look at expectancy from birth, from age 60, or healthy life expectancy. The differences, however, are only 2-3 years. We are better for high blood pressure, but the others far surpass us for low blood glucose and obesity levels (us=30.2 % for males and 33.2% for females. France=16.8% for males and 14.6% for females. Switzerland was comparable to France and Canada was in the 20% range). Per capita Expenditures for health care are several thousands lower in France and Canada and higher in Switzerland.

I am another taxpayer for universal health care.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I am actually hopeful that ACA will work, everyone should have equal access to health care, I only object to the idea that single payer systems work. They also have numerous flaws. No system is perfect nor is ours all bad.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

With respect to statistics:

According to the CIA World Factbook, published every year, the United States is 55th among all nations in infant survival during the first year of life. Joining virtually all Western European countries (including Switzerland) ahead of us are countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Belarus, Israel, Taiwan, Cuba, French Polynesia and Guam.

This measure is a generally accepted indicator of a population's level of healthcare. According to the CIA.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Roarah, what is your definition of "work" in your statement that you object to the idea that single payer systems work? Just curious since it appears that, in many countries, they work just fine and often less expensively. I probably won't be back since this thread was sort of hijacked and it is unlikely that anyone will change anyone else's mind, but there does appear to be strong evidence against that statement. I do agree no system is perfect, but I would prefer to err on the side of taking care of our poorest and weakest citizens as well as our working poor by providing them with health care. In the long run, we all benefit. JMHO.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Cyn, I said I am hopeful that the ACA will work for I too wish for all to have health coverage but even though I wish to take care of the poorer and weaker citizens I still believe in a free market system with many choices and different options. In most single payer systems there is much less screening and early detection for numerous diseases in addition to very lengthy wait times. My husband is English and I have had the misfortune of experiencing and paying, via very high taxes, for a single payer system. Let' s just say the Uk presently prides itself by saying that their average wait time for an approved procedure is 4.5 to 8months. Again, I am not againt the ACA. It can hopefully maintain the best of what is right with our present care while fixing what was wrong, too many going without coverage. I am particularly happy that more were added to medicaid. Our definition of what qualifies for poverty is absurd and I am so grateful that the cut offs were broadened.

This post was edited by roarah on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 22:11


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Roarah, interesting about your experience with the British system. I have a British (now US citizen) friend, married to a physician (trained in the UK and US, now a US citizen). Their anecdotal accounts and comparisons of the two systems are always an eye opener. They send their family medications (easily obtainable and common meds for us here in the U.S.) which their doctors either will not or cannot prescribe. Having lived in two European counties, we also had the opportunity of seeing the system up close, not one we envied.

I'm not optimistic about the future of health care in our country. We will become single payer, it is just a matter of time, and with that will come higher costs, longer waits for appts and surgical procedure, and inferior care. I believe we'll see these things once the ACA is fully implemented and it will only deteriorate with single payer.

I wish our representatives had worked harder to find a way of covering pre-existing illnesses and those unable to afford health care, without sacrificing the many advantages a free market system provides.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

There are no "free market advantages" unless you are invested in insurance company stock, lol.

With respect to long waits, there is no reason a person cannot wait several months for a screening colonoscopy that occur since every several years. Having expensive CT and MRI scanners on every corner, as ubiquitous as quickie marts, allows us to have that test today but drives UP the cost per person. Why? Since there aren't enough patients to use each machine enough to pay for it over a longer time, each patient (or insurance) is charged more per use. And as the manufacturers crank out new and improved CT and MRI and PET scanners, each hospital or stand alone center has to keep up with their own new machine to compete for those same patients....the scanners are never paid for. They have a long life and are sold to other countries that cannot afford the "best." Which was our best the year before. Fewer machines servicing more people is more cost efficient. But heaven forbid someone has to wait a couple of weeks for a non urgent test.

Okay, off the soapbox, whoever said that minds are not changed by these discussions is absolutely correct. However, I will say what I have always said to my children: everyone is entitled to his own opinion. No one is entitled to his own facts.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Oops double post

This post was edited by roarah on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 22:23


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

My mil waited one year for a mastectomy, not a screening Kswl. My fil waited 9 months for cataract surgery, not for non urgent tests...They have never had colonoscopies for they are only covered after70 if your smear is positive for blood, which is why their mortality rates for colon cancer are so high.

This post was edited by roarah on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 22:22


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Personally, I believe there will never be universal healthcare in the US because collectively, we don't want everyone to have access to quality healthcare.

We want those who have money to have health. We want those who live in poverty to continue to live as they do. Why? Because it means less competition and more people who will do the jobs others aren't willing to do. Those in the middle are teetering, and could go in either direction, especially when there is a health crisis.

My mother marches at a weekly rally, against whatever war is going on. During one of her marches, she met a woman (undocumented worker) who is blind due to cataracts. My mother's peace and justice group found a surgeon to do the operation pro bono, but no hospital was willing to foot the bill. So, the woman continues on in life, blind, because of lack of papers-- the money kind and those granting her rights in the US.

But who cares, right? Who cares. Too bad for her, but that's life. Life is about survival, and getting ahead. No one promised that life would be fair, after all.

On a slightly different note, one of my biggest complaints about insurance is that we are paying for a service that inherently does not want to provide for us. There is a conflict of interest from the outset. It makes no sense.

Insurance, a for-profit business, let's not forget, is expensive. So is medical care. Everyone likes to talk about government waste, but what about waste in the medical arena? What about the high cost of everything? Again, the costs come from one motivation: MONEY. Just take a look at the pharm industry . . .this is all about corporations and the never-ending drive for hoarding money. It's really disgusting, when you think about it. The hoarding of money.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Anele, your mother represents a reverence for humanity that does not exist in our healthcare system.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Bowel cancers are the second most common cause of cancer deaths in both the United a States and the U.K. both historically and as late as last year.
American Cancer Society and Cancer Research UK.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Yes kswl, that is why early dection is so important. We have five year survival rates of about 60% the Uk is under 45%.

Here is a link that might be useful: Britain trails in cancer survial rates, June 2014


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

We want those who have money to have health. We want those who live in poverty to continue to live as they do.

Yes, that's really the heart of it, isn't it?


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Oh well, it looks like all you "I've got mine--get away from me" folks can be happy now, given the court decision today.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

It is true that mileage varies! I am from England and my family and DH's family are still there. They all receive excellent medical care and no-one that we know has ever had to wait unduly for that care. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer over 5 years ago and had a mastectomy and radiation very soon after diagnosis. Not only was her treatment excellent but a car or ambulance was sent to her home to take her to all her many appointments and she received in-home nursing care. She has never personally paid a penny in to the system! Paying for her treatment never crossed her mind and in my opinion nor should it.
I have never been able to find a single Brit who would trade our US health system for theirs! Of course the British system is not perfect but there is much to admire in it. I believe the Danes may have the most successful system but I have little faith that we will learn from the best practices of other nations when we are so busy resisting change and looking longingly backwards.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

I am happy for your family's positive outcomes Sis3. For what it is worth my mil was under the approved age for mammograms when she found her lump, so the year was from finding the lump to the surgery with a few steps used inbetween and she now has private insurance and travels to the US for care. When looking at every developed country's approval ratings for health care we all seem to have those who love their systems and those who do not. That, and all systems are expensive all though costs vary and moneies are collected by different means (high taxes or high fees) is the only universality I think there truly is in all our systems.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

On wait times in the US, and yes, this is (a long and frustrated rant, as well as) more anecdotal evidence:

My BFF had a fall in April. Although x-rays pointed up something that was clearly not normal she was unable to get an MRI scheduled until the beginning of June.

She has an unstable spine, with fractures dangerously encroaching on her spinal cord, making her very susceptible to an injury that would cause paralysis from the waist down. She has had two opinions, with differing ideas as to cause and treatment plan. One thing everyone agrees on is that she needs surgery.

The large teaching hospital that has the most success with these kinds of surgeries will not schedule the procedure until she has seen a bone and mineral specialist. The soonest appointment is in October.

In the meantime, additional tests show that she may have cancer of an undiscovered primary organ. It is possible that it has already metastasized to at least one other area, possibly two.

The oncologist feels she needs to have an open tissue biopsy of her spine at the point where the original (in April) x-rays showed an abnormality ... but no one will do this until she has the spinal surgery.

So there she is, off work, wearing a back brace, unable to lift more than 5 lbs or drive, worrying whether one wrong move will cause her to be paralyzed, or whether cancer is eating away at her.

Her private insurance company will not approve a third opinion that would allow her to try another teaching hospital that might do the biopsy and surgery sooner.

Her only options are: 1. Have the procedures done at the local podunk hospital, where they have never attempted this procedure before. 2. Wait for the large teaching hospital to fit her into their specialist schedule, then fit her into the surgery schedule. 3. Take on the gargantuan expense of self pay at a third hospital.

THIS is the best health care in the world? You gotta be kidding me.


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Endeevee, the NPAF was of great assistance to a friend of mine who was jumping hoops to get on a trail drug. Not sure if they can help your friend but I hope they can. Below is their website with a number to call with questions. I hope your friend finds relief and treatment soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: patient advocacy organization, NPAF


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Thank you so much, Roarah! I've sent the link to my friend and will talk to her about it tonight!


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RE: How's Obama care working out for you?

Sis, very interesting about England.

My American friend moved to Canada w/her European husband. She said if she ever had a serious medical issue, she'd come back to the US. Sadly, she had a very aggressive form of breast cancer (one of the hardest types to treat). She got treated in Canada, and had a fantastic (well, given that it was cancer) experience. Better, she said, than her care she'd ever had in the US. Thankfully, she is doing very well now.

Just found out my mom's friend has a "shadow" that doctors are concerned may be cancer. Her insurance is making her wait 6 months to find out what it is. She's a former nurse, too, so she knows how to navigate the system (and is attempting to fight it). So crazy.


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