HE FELL ILL A DECADE AGO WITH CANCER AND ILLNESSES THAT DEVELOP AS A RESULT. AT FIRST HIS COMPANY INSURANCE COVERED EVERYTHING, BUT HE BECAME TOO ILL TO WORK AND LOST HIS JOB. THEN ALL HIS ASSETS WERE USED TO PAY THE BILLS AND LATELY HE HAD BEEN WORKING WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER AS AN UNINSURED PATIENT WITH WHAT WAS DISCOVERED TO BE A STAGE FOUR BRAIN TUMOR. HE SAID THAT UMMS HAD ALWAYS TREATED HIM JUST AS IF HE WAS FULLY INSURED, NEVER SKIMPING ON TREATMENT AND INDEED THIS NEW DISEASE CAME WITH A RIGOROUS PLAN OF TREATMENT AND APPOINTMENTS FOR XRAYS AND CHEMO. JUST DAYS BEFORE THE APPOINTMENTS HE RECEIVES A LETTER FROM UMMS THAT THEY WERE NO LONGER HANDLING HIS CASE...THAT HE WAS NOW WITH THE MARYLAND STATE HEALTH INSURANCE, HE WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO COME TO UMMS....HE IS REFERRED TO AN HMO THAT REFUSES TREATMENT. I READ THE LETTER HE RECEIVED FROM THE MARYLAND STATE HMO THAT SIMPLY SAID THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE PAYING FOR THE TREATMENT AS PLANNED BY UMMS. PERIOD. NOW THE GENTLEMAN WAS ON A BUS WITH STAGE FOUR CANCER HEADING FOR SOCIAL SERVICES TO BEG FOR HIS LIFE.
NOW, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THERE HAS BEEN WASTE IN THE MEDICAL SYSTEM TO THE BENEFIT OF PROFITS FOR THE HEALTH INDUSTRY. WE KNOW THAT WE PROBABLY DON'T NEED THE BATTERY OF XRAYS OR LAB TESTS WE GET AND THESE MEDICAL DEVICES LIKE ARTIFICIAL JOINT REPLACEMENT AND HEART STENTS HAVE PROVED TO BE A RACKET. WE NEED TO CUT DOWN ON WASTE! WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS A MOVEMENT.......NOT FROM WASTE AND FRAUD, BUT FROM ACCESS TO TREATMENT DRIVEN BY REVENUE SHORTFALLS CAUSED BY WASTE AND FRAUD. THERE IS A POINT WHERE STAGE FOUR CANCER MAY BECOME UNTREATABLE. THIS IS GOING TO BE A HARD POLICY TO IMPLEMENT. THIS MAY BE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS MAN; SOMEONE HAS DECIDED THE COSTS EXCEED THE BENEFITS. YOU WON'T SEE THESE DECISIONS MADE ON THE AFFLUENT AND POSSIBLY ON PEOPLE WITH PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE (ALTHOUGH I THINK IT IS COMING) BUT YOU WILL WITH MEDICAID AND MEDICARE PATIENTS. THIS MAN DID NOT RECEIVE A LETTER THAT SAID COME IN FOR COUNCILING OR COME IN FOR HOSPICE, HIS LETTER SIMPLY SAID 'WE ARE NOT GOING TO OFFER THESE TREATMENTS'.
THIS IS MARYLAND'S HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE UNINSURED. IT WILL SAVE PRIVATE HOSPITALS LIKE JOHNS HOPKINS AND MEDSTAR BILLIONS AND PROFITS WILL SOAR......WHICH IS ABOUT WHAT HEALTH CARE REFORM STRIVES.
REMEMBER, THE MONEY THAT SHOULD BE THERE TO PROVIDE FOR QUALITY CARE FOR MEDICAID AND MEDICARE WAS LOST IN FRAUD AND WASTE........ILL-GOTTEN GAINS BY THE HEALTH INDUSTRY AND NOW THEY ARE TELLING YOU TO JUST GO AHEAD AND DIE!
HEALTH CARE REFORM DOES NOT NEED TO LOOK LIKE THIS......HEALTHCARE FOR ALL WITH EVERYONE TREATED EQUALLY!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!
CARDIN-------SARBANES-------CUMMINGS ARE ALL UP FOR REELECTION----VOTE FOR A WRITE IN CANDIDATE INSTEAD! STAY TUNED AND WRITE YOUR THOUGHTS AS TO WHO THE BEST WRITE-IN CANDIDATE MIGHT BE!
Maryland state health insurance exchange
Maryland presses aggressively forward with consumer-friendly exchange. Maryland lawmakers approved legislation on April 5 establishing guidelines and expectations for Maryland’s Health Benefits Exchange, allowing the exchange to move forward toward providing coverage for up to 700,000 uninsured Marylanders starting in 2014.
The legislation sets parameters for what type of insurance providers can offer plans in the exchange based upon a company’s total aggregate annual earned premium. The bill also:
- outlines the exchange’s navigator program for both the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) and for individuals.
- Requires navigators to be licensed with the state’s insurance department.
- Allows the exchange to offer dental insurance, something the Affordable Care Act (ACA) left up to the states to decide.
- Creates two exchanges, one for the small group market and one for individual plans. In Maryland, rate-setting for the two markets is so different that merging the two would cause problems, including skyrocketing premiums.
- Requires any insurance company offering catastrophic coverage outside the exchange to also offer it within the exchange.
- Authorizes the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, created by the governor’s office, to establish an essential health benefits package.
Earlier that year, the state legislature passed a bill last year creating the exchange and directing the board to develop a loose framework for the exchange.
Maryland is considered to be one of a handful of states at the forefront of aggressively creating an exchange. The state has received $34 million in federal funding to fund implementation. And the legislature has not shied away from creating regulations to ensure that the state’s exchange is successful. For example, the 2011 legislation requires insurance companies to offer health plans at the same rate, regardless of whether they are sold within or outside of the exchange.
It is expected that the exchange will save the state as much as $1 billion dollars in a decade. THEY LOSE BILLIONS EACH YEAR IN FRAUD AND YET THEY ARE NOT MOVING AGGRESSIVELY FORWARD ON THAT MAJOR ISSUE! HEALTH CARE REFORM DOES NOT NEED TO LOOK LIKE THIS......HEALTHCARE FOR ALL WITH EVERYONE TREATED EQUALLY!
U.S. PIRG has already given the state’s exchange planning efforts an “A” for its consumer-friendly design in “Making the Grade: A Scorecard for State Health Insurance Exchanges.”
THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO MD-PIRG WHICH LIKE MD CONSUMER RIGHT COALITION MISS THE MAJOR ISSUES:
I'm attaching this blog with your organization at the very end giving a thumbs up to the private health system being developed in Maryland. You and I know that people are going to die because private systems are based on profit while public systems are based on quality of life for all. We need PUBLIC interest groups to shout loudly about these differences. Medicare and Medicaid patients will become victims in this system. If your answer is that this system benefits those having health insurance then I ask....why aren't you fighting against the trillions lost to the health system in fraud...the leading factor in creating these high insurance rates? FRAUD AND WASTE IS THE PRIORITY IN HEALTH REFORM AND YOU SEE AND HEAR NOTHING MENTIONED IN THIS REGARD WITH REFORM------THAT IS YOUR PUBLIC INTEREST CONCERN!
DO YOU HEAR PIRG-MD STANDING UP FOR YOUR INTERESTS IN HEALTH CARE? LET THEM KNOW!_______________________________
IN MARYLAND ALL OF OUR POLITICIANS ACTED AS THOUGH THEY WERE ALL FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE......IT WAS THOSE DARNED REPUBLICANS HOLDING US BACK. THEN MARYLAND'S POLITICIANS GOT BUSY BUILDING A PRIVATE HEALTH SYSTEM THAT WILL BRING MASSIVE PROFITS TO PRIVATE MEDICAL INDUSTRIES BY CUTTING CARE FOR A WIDE SECTOR OF SOCIETY.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!
Health care activists lament single-payer snub Health care reform
Victoria Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2012 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer Published 04:00 a.m., Saturday, May 30, 2009 1 of 4
Frustrated by the exclusion of government-financed medical care from the debate to revamp the nation's troubled health system, advocates of a "single-payer" plan are increasingly turning to demonstrations and civil disobedience as a way to get their message across.
During Senate Finance Committee hearings May 5 and 12 on health reform, 13 doctors, nurses, lawyers and activists stood up to complain that no single-payer proponent had been invited to take part and were arrested for disrupting the proceedings.
On Friday in San Francisco, about 200 single-payer proponents held a rally in front of the Federal Building and headed in small groups to Rep. Nancy Pelosi's office to urge the speaker of the House, who was in China, to back single-payer legislation and give its supporters a seat at the table of the health reform debate. The public appeals were part of a series of demonstrations being held in more than 50 U.S. cities over the next few days to encourage lawmakers to enact a single-payer plan.
Some advocates of a nationalized health plan are calling for activists to become even more militant.
"It's the only way - direct confrontation with the people who are blocking what the majority of the American people want," said Russell Mokhiber, the founder of the newly formed Single Payer Action.
"It's about getting in people's faces and being serious about the fact that 60 Americans are dying every day because of lack of health insurance," said Mokhiber, who was arrested at the May 5 hearing and arraigned earlier this week in Washington.
Single payer unlikely Reforming health care has become a focus of the Obama administration, with the president urging Congress to get legislation to his desk by the end of the year that would cover most of the nation's 47 million uninsured. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but whatever Congress passes is not likely to come in the form of a single-payer plan.
In a single-payer system, as envisioned by most advocates, the federal government would pay for basic medical care delivered by public and private health professionals. The money would come from taxes, and medical bills would go directly to a government insurance plan, similar to Medicare.
President Obama and lawmakers have proposed a form of "single-payer lite" - a government-administered plan people could buy into as an alternative to purchasing an individual policy offered by insurers. But single-payer supporters say this option doesn't go far enough. They want private insurers completely out of the business of covering basic care, which they say could save nearly 30 percent in administrative costs.
That's clearly not something the health insurance industry supports. Many of the nation's largest insurers prefer a form of "universal" health care that would cover all Americans, while keeping them in business. They tend to avoid discussing the single-payer option largely because it hasn't been included in the national debate.
Some statistics show the single-payer concept has grown in popularity as problems in the nation's health care system have worsened. A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted in January found 59 percent of the 1,112 people surveyed said they supported government-provided national health insurance.
Physician support Several groups, including the California Nurses Association and Physicians for a National Health Program, call for a single-payer option. While not supported by the American Medical Association, a nationalized health system got the backing of 59 percent of physicians in a poll published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine
THE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL THAT MADE IT THROUGH CONGRESS ADOPTED ALL THE ISSUES THAT MADE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY PROFITABLE TO COMPANIES AND NONE OF THE ISSUES THAT BROUGHT HEALTH CARE COSTS DOWN GIVING MORE PEOPLE ACCESS TO QUALITY CARE. DEMOCRATIC STATES THAT WERE SHOUTING FOR PUBLIC OPTIONS AND UNIVERSAL CARE QUICKLY WENT TO PRIVATE HEALTH SYSTEMS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR PROFITS. WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED HAS EXPLODED WITH THE MASSIVE FRAUD AND FAILURE TO ADDRESS THE FRAUDULENT LOSSES.
Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance
By Susan Heavey REUTERS
WASHINGTON | Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:11pm EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
The findings come amid a fierce debate over Democrats' efforts to reform the nation's $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry by expanding coverage and reducing healthcare costs.
President Barack Obama's has made the overhaul a top domestic policy priority, but his plan has been besieged by critics and slowed by intense political battles in Congress, with the insurance and healthcare industries fighting some parts of the plan.
The Harvard study, funded by a federal research grant, was published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It was released by Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors government-backed or "single-payer" health insurance.
An similar study in 1993 found those without insurance had a 25 percent greater risk of death, according to the Harvard group. The Institute of Medicine later used that data in its 2002 estimate showing about 18,000 people a year died because they lacked coverage.
Part of the increased risk now is due to the growing ranks of the uninsured, Himmelstein said. Roughly 46.3 million people in the United States lacked coverage in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week, up from 45.7 million in 2007.
Another factor is that there are fewer places for the uninsured to get good care. Public hospitals and clinics are shuttering or scaling back across the country in cities like New Orleans, Detroit and others, he said.
Study co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler said the findings show that without proper care, uninsured people are more likely to die from complications associated with preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Some critics called the study flawed.
The National Center for Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank that backs a free-market approach to health care, said researchers overstated the death risk and did not track how long subjects were uninsured.
Woolhandler said that while Physicians for a National Health Program supports government-backed coverage, the Harvard study's six researchers closely followed the methodology used in the 1993 study conducted by researchers in the federal government as well as the University of Rochester in New York.
The Harvard researchers analyzed data on about 9,000 patients tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics through the year 2000. They excluded older Americans because those aged 65 or older are covered by the U.S. Medicare insurance program.
"For any doctor ... it's completely a no-brainer that people who can't get health care are going to die more from the kinds of things that health care is supposed to prevent," said Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard and a primary care physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts