Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 11:00pm

Health care control makes her sick

I receive health care insurance under an employer-based plan and I am grateful for the coverage it provides. I have an existing medical condition that has been in remission for 15 years. Although I am no longer receiving medical care for the condition, my insurance rates are astronomical as an individual and the only affordable option for me is an employer-based plan.

I believe that health care reform is essential and that providing all Americans with health care coverage is important.

However, I am concerned that government control of the entire health insurance industry may unfavorably impact individuals with preexisting medical conditions.

I look forward to reading more educational articles and analyses of this important topic since the information reported thus far appears to be primarily from the perspectives of interest groups involved in the debate.

Holly McCathren, 37205

Submit letters to editor@nashvillecitypaper.com

109 Comments on this post:

By: dooley on 6/24/09 at 2:53

Holly it is ignorance like this will cause you to to hurt yourself as far as your own health care is concerned . You people are going to have to stop listening to the righties preach gloom and doom while laughing all the way to the bank .

By: daKine7 on 6/24/09 at 6:14

Sadly, anyone over 40 has a "pre-existing medical condition".

By: Kosh III on 6/24/09 at 7:02

One of the benefits of universal care would be that situations such as this will not happen, neither will astronomical premiums.

btw, once again an article, the May Town one, is not available to NCP readers.

By: HenryB on 6/24/09 at 7:13

Holly is lucky she has employer-based insurance, which could disappear at any time, particularly in this economy. Folks like her usually have a change of heart when their own fortunes change. This "let them eat cake" attitude is one reason so many Americans die each year because they don't have coverage, and one reason why healthcare costs are eating up more and more of government budgets at all levels. The current system is simply not sustainable.

By: Loner on 6/24/09 at 7:35

Good morning, Nashville!

Holly's LTE is well-written, timely, brief and to the point.

I don't know if her fears are well-founded or the natural reaction to GOP fear-mongering. What happens when folks like Holly lose their jobs?

It seems to me that linking health insurance with employment is a flawed concept to begin with, as only a fraction of any given population is employed at any given time.

Burdening US employers with the duty of providing expensive, private, health-care benefits to workers and their families puts us at a competitive disadvantage. In most other developed nations, govenrment, not industry, provides health-care coverage to its citizens. Their system is working, ours is failing.

By: idgaf on 6/24/09 at 7:48

Government healthcare is rationed care. Do some research what happens in Canada and the UK.

It is not the fantasy in your mind.

Remember TnCare and where it was headed. (to consume the entire State budget)

Bureaucrats will make decisions for you not doctors. If they can run it so well why is Medicaid (and SS) going bankrupt and the boomers didn't even hit the system yet?

How are they going to pay for it and how are the hospitals going to survive with government reimburstment rates. Next they will go bankrupt and the government will "have" to take them over too.

Take two asprins and call in a month or so.

Government health care is giving up your freedom and 1/6 of the national economy to people like Barney Frank, Maxine Waters and Chris Dodd the same ones that sunk Fannie and Freddie. That work out well didn't it?

By: pandabear on 6/24/09 at 7:57

Yeah, do some research, only try Japan, Germany and Thailand.

They have the best system in the world and it works.
Everyone gets taken care of and no one can bankrupt them for
any medical problems.

Almost 50% of forclosures in this country are caused by medical bills.

Oh, and by the way, my Mom was in the UK once and needed to go
to the hospital. When she got out, she asked for the bill and they
told her there wasn't one.

Wake up and smell the coffee. They've been lying to us so long
with so many people falling for it, that now they depend on the fact
that too many people in this country can be led like sheep into
believeing whatever lie suits their purpose.

Wake up !

By: Captain Nemo on 6/24/09 at 8:00

Good morning.

I used to have medical coverage through my wifes insurance. During that time I had two heart attackes that were paid for by her insurance. That all went away when she died and I have not been able to get any insureance because of my preexisting medical condition.

Two years ago I had another heart attack and have been paying ever since. I still manage to have a good quility of live. Tight budgeting has enabled me to take vacations and help my chidren and grandchildren. My youngest daughter collage education was taken care of years ago, so that is not a worry.

Things are looking good for me at this time, but another medical crisis could cost me everyting.

By: willtw on 6/24/09 at 8:05

Be leery of anyone starting their discourse as " you people..." You know it's coming. The facts are universal health coverage provided by government will bankrupt this nation sure as rain falls. The numbers of uninsured are wacky to start with...quoting anywhere from 37 to 47 million uninsured, including 9-11 million illegals, 4 million or more who could pay but do not in favor of that big screen TV or some other folly. Who is going to pay for this enhanced coverage????? I haven't heard anyone say who will ultimately pay for the coverage. Two facts: we ALL need and use insurance, we all get sick and we all die. Instead of moaning about lack of coverage, seeking more federal bailout, Mr. Obama why not step down on lawyers who load the courts with lawsuits against physicians, a lot of which is frivolous! Insurance for health professionals because of lawsuits is space bound! I do not want this government rationing my healthcare to me when I have adequate coverage that I buy now! And I sure as hell do not want to buy yours!

By: Captain Nemo on 6/24/09 at 8:11

By: Loner on 6/24/09 at 7:35

It seems to me that linking health insurance with employment is a flawed concept to begin with, as only a fraction of any given population is employed at any given time.

_________________________________________________________________

Good point Loner. I do not have health insurance where I work now. More and more employers are hireing people as part time workers and working them as full time workers. No benefit this way.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/24/09 at 8:15

I am always leery of people that make statements like "9-11 million illegals, 4 million or more who could pay but do not in favor of that big screen TV or some other folly."

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 8:16

For those of you who are preaching that this will not happen, I refer you to the following information. Do with it as you will.

Straight from the newspapers
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/sergeman/issues/healthcare/socialized.html

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 8:24

Nemo,

"Good point Loner. I do not have health insurance where I work now. More and more employers are hireing people as part time workers and working them as full time workers. No benefit this way."

Sounds like you need to find a better job, if they are going to work you like a full time employee but not treat you like one.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 8:25

Nemo,

BTW, are you not eligible for Medicaid? Or maybe TNCare? I don't know your circumstances but have you looked into these as well?

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 9:29

Now this is funny!

AFL-CIO Hard Hats

http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0609/AFLCIO_Hard_Hats.html?showall

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 9:50

Obama's kidding here, right? I mean if you own a competing business AND can generate the rules which all competing businesses as well as yours have to follow, then giving your business an edge over the competition is simple...and desirable if you're looking to get the corner on the market and increase your profits and power.

If nothing that is IMMINENTLY logical. What would be ILLOGICAL would be to assume the federal government, once in competition with private enterprise would not want to corner the market. If there is one thing government likes to do, it's expand it's perimeters.

Obama Says It's 'Not Logical' to Fear Government-Run Health Care

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=49983

FTA: "At a White House press conference on Tuesday, Obama said: “Why would it drive private insurance out of business? If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care; if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical.”"

By: Dragon on 6/24/09 at 9:53

Why does Obama believe the government can run a health insurance company better than the private sector? Let's see how well they run a car company first.

By: MamaG on 6/24/09 at 9:59

Bless your little heart, Neme. I'm sorry to hear you've been through all that. I can relate, Buddy!

By: MamaG on 6/24/09 at 10:00

Let's hear what Obama has to say about healthcare in the Town Hall meeting tonight.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 10:12

MamaG,

While I have no problem listening to what Obama has to say, I find it a bit disconcerting that no opposite voices, other than regular folk, can actually ask opposing questions.

Still, we'll see what he has to say.

By: dangremillion on 6/24/09 at 10:24

before anyone makes a decision here about any degree of government sponsored health care, lets all do a little homework. talk to people who have tn care or medicaid in other states. talk to people who receive all their care from the u.s. dept of veterans affairs(the v.a.), i.e., the federal government. go sit in the nashville v.a. hospital lobby and/or business office and speak to a few of the workers at their desks. view the level of service you recieve at the post office. talk to europeans or canadians who have had to come to america to receive medical/surgical tests/treatment. research this on www. call bcbs and ask what a monthly premium costs for private care for someone 20, 30, 40 yrs old and surprise yourself. in short, get some data and suspend commenting on issues for which you have done no research and have no facts. certainly there are some citizens who could use some assistance in getting insurance coverage but do we really need the gov. to control the whole ball of wax in order to accomplish this. do your homework. dg

By: Captain Nemo on 6/24/09 at 10:31

Don't feel sorry for me MamaG. After dieing twice and coming close a third time, I'm not so afraid of life as the right-wing-fringe nutzoids are.

I am learning to see and live life as it comes. I have been learning how to that all my life. I can see that even the bad things that took place in my pass somehow turn out for the better later.

With the exception of losing my wife or other through death. My life has been good. I am at a point now, that I can have fun with the things life deals with me.

So please don't feel sorry for me. At the moment I am haveing fun, mostly.

If I am at home to night and stay awake long enough to watch. I will see what Obama has to say.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 10:36

dangremillion,

I have talked with some citizens of Canada, Germany, and England. The generic stuff there is ok...it's the specialists when life threatening care is needed that are the biggest problem. Seems there's a shortage of specialist - mainly due to the costs of BECOMING a specialist and only being paid almost the equivalent of what a general practitioner makes...no percentage in bettering one's self if there's no reward for doing so.

In this state, at least, TNCare started as a serious Charlie Foxtrot...and then got worse. At one point almost 50% of the state's budget went to TNCare and had 1 in every 4 Tennesseans on it and it had no provisions for using generic pharmaceutical.

As for the VA, they are continuously underfunded and many times, the doctors have to fake one minor operation to sneak in a major life saving one. Supplies are always having to be scrounged and doctors are seriously overworked.

This is what I've been able to obtain over the years.

By: Kosh III on 6/24/09 at 10:40

id said:
"Bureaucrats will make decisions for you not doctors. "

They already do. A while back I had a pinched nerve in my foot. Ouch!
The doctor said a $400 set of custom orthotic inserts would fix the problem.
Aetna, my employer insurance, declined to approve it. But they would approve of surgery to excise the nerve.
$400 for an insert or $4000+ for surgery AND I would be out of work for at least a month.

Despite appeals and letters from my doctor, they insisted that I have the expensive surgery. Instead I bought the orthotics out of pocket. The doctor let me make 4 payments.
Result: NO pain, no problem, no expensive surgery.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plus, we already have rationing. Senator Lame-ar and Dorker have a cadillac sized ration, millions have a zero ration.

By: pandabear on 6/24/09 at 10:47

Specialist ?
Just the word is misleading.
Being a "general pratitioner" is a "specialist" position.
Linking increased income to money alone is one of the serious flaws
in our system. Japan pays a flat rate to doctors and pays for patients
NOT getting sick.

If someone's in it to get rich, they should not be encouraged to become a doctor.

Most of them have lost their humanity over this as it is.

By: MamaG on 6/24/09 at 10:56

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 10:12
MamaG,

While I have no problem listening to what Obama has to say, I find it a bit disconcerting that no opposite voices, other than regular folk, can actually ask opposing questions.

Still, we'll see what he has to say.

Chief--Isn't that what we want: regular folks asking the questions? i want to know what people like me have to say to him and ask him about it.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 10:57

GP's only delegate what specialists you need, nothing more.

By: MamaG on 6/24/09 at 11:02

Neme, I didn't mean to make you think I FEEL sorry for you, just sharing my empathy for all you've been through. I can relate in many ways. Sounds like you have the right attitude about life though!!! Many people spend an entire lifetime and never learn about life: what's important and what's not. Prime example is my son's father. I don't believe he will ever grow up or change his lifestyle but now, his children are almost grown and he has terrible (read: no) relationships with both of them. It's so sad for all of them but he's the only one who can change himself. I tried to "fix" him for years and finally realized it wasn't my fault or up to me to fix anyone. (MY lesson learned.) Now we've been apart for over 2 years and I've learned how to get back to being happy and having a good life--not taking my loved ones and my life in general, for granted. Makes for lots of smiles and laughter!!!

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:05

That's the gripe by the right, mama. They want equal time to say what we already know they are going to say...(in best Phil Hartman's Frankenstein impression) "healthcare reform bad"...

I probably won't watch Obama. I'd rather watch old episodes of Star Trek...do you think the Federation ran health care?

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:05

MamaG,

"Chief--Isn't that what we want: regular folks asking the questions? i want to know what people like me have to say to him and ask him about it."

Of course, but wouldn't you like to hear the opposition speak as well? The average citizen may or may not know what questions need to be asked, depending on the knowledge of the audience in attendence.

I just don't see how it wouldn hurt to have both sides presented by their advocates.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:07

Gdia,

"They want equal time to say what we already know they are going to say...(in best Phil Hartman's Frankenstein impression) "healthcare reform bad"..."

As opposed to Obama's "healthcare reform good"...?

"I'd rather watch old episodes of Star Trek...do you think the Federation ran health care?"

No because everything was free in Star Trek...as long as you were a productive member of society.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:12

Wrong again Chief, he'll make his pitch tonight. It will be a little more than that. But we all know that the GOP's position is similar to the Democrats during Bush...their position is that they oppose the President. Yawn...

So healthcare was provided for free to everyone...sounds to me like a state (Federation) ran thing.

By: slacker on 6/24/09 at 11:12

gdiafante, absolutely.. put 'Bones'' in charge.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:13

Oh, by the way, North Korea just threatened to wipe the U.S. off the map. We are so loved...just makes me all warm and fuzzy...

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:13

Panda,

"Linking increased income to money alone is one of the serious flaws in our system. Japan pays a flat rate to doctors and pays for patients NOT getting sick. If someone's in it to get rich, they should not be encouraged to become a doctor."

Look Panda, people better themselves to get ahead. That is a natural human trait. If you've worked hard to get the skills, you expect to get paid for them, simple as that.

If you really think that being paid a flat rate works, then why not do the same for EVERY profession? Just let the government determine what is fair compensation for everyone who work in a particular profession.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)" Karl Marx 1875.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:13

Damn it slacker, I'm a doctor not a politician!!!

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:15

Gdia,

"Oh, by the way, North Korea just threatened to wipe the U.S. off the map. We are so loved...just makes me all warm and fuzzy..."

Yeah, I'm all terrified by a country which is probably as big as one of our states. Granted they could HURT us...but we really COULD wipe them off the map.

Still, not a good idea to encourage this as we could lose some significant property and a lot of people.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/24/09 at 11:15

MammaG, I knew what you were saying. I just did not want some on this board to think...what they will think you intended.

My ex kept my two oldest from me for twenty years. I did not take her to court over it, because I came from a broken home. My parents did everything they could to turn me and my brothers against the other.

My first marriage was ended bitterly and I did not want my children to go through what I did. That was a mistake that I regretted all of thoes years.

Today, I now have a good relation with them and my grandchildren. They don't with their mother.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:16

Gdia,

You're a doctor? I have this pain I'd like to tell you about...!

By: slacker on 6/24/09 at 11:17

lol gdiafante

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:21

Hemorrhoids...try some Preparation H...and don't call me in the morning.

By: slacker on 6/24/09 at 11:21

Time for Obama to send our secret weapon, Madeleine Albright, over to calm the rotund, ''Great Leader'' down.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:22

Slacker, have you seen the new Star Trek movie? The guy playing Bones was spot on. It was eerie...

By: slacker on 6/24/09 at 11:22

Damn it Jim.. I'll do what I can, but he might not make it.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:23

Gdia,

"Wrong again Chief, he'll make his pitch tonight. It will be a little more than that. But we all know that the GOP's position is similar to the Democrats during Bush...their position is that they oppose the President. Yawn..."

Yawn for sure...as Obama's already been making his pitch...he's just going to try to make it in a "town meeting", which worked fairly well for the Clintons. Of course given the last question he got from Huffington Post, I'm now not so sure it'll just be all a setup.

"So healthcare was provided for free to everyone...sounds to me like a state (Federation) ran thing."

Probably. One does wonder what they used to gamble with in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Maybe they DID have money and medical expenses were deducted from their accounts.

Then again, as they were in a military unit of some sort, perhaps their medical benefits were paid for by the Federation.

By: slacker on 6/24/09 at 11:26

Not yet gdiafante, looking forward to it, I understand its very good.

By: chiefpayne568 on 6/24/09 at 11:27

Gdia,

"Hemorrhoids...try some Preparation H...and don't call me in the morning."

Right location, wrong prescription.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:28

It is very good. It takes a leap of faith in certain things...especially if you have a more than casual knowledge of the original series.

By: brrrrk on 6/24/09 at 11:29

Here's a question... what is the value add of insurance companies? What positive contributions are made by these business entities that suck as much as 20% of all dollars out of the health care system. Especially when you consider that Medicare operates at a 3% overhead. We could improve Medicare by 200% and still only lose half of what we lose to the insurance industries.

By: gdiafante on 6/24/09 at 11:29

Chief, who's the doctor? Now, you owe me a copay of $50...