Health Care


I apologize in advance if this post is long. I have covered many areas of contention, so please read to the end.

During the election season Ive seen many of my friends make posts that make them seem like, for lack of a better word, jackholes.

You see, I have liberal friends, and I have conservative friends. At times, both sides make generalizations and assumptions that flabbergast me. Sometimes these posts make my brain want to explode.

But right now…..its pretty much the conservative side that has done the generalizations and assumptions.

Depending on your ‘lean’ you might be one of the friends Im going to talk about.  I wont be calling you out by name though, since there are so many of you stating the same generalizations and assumptions.

Most, if not all, center around the entitlements argument.

*Welfare – First some history

Welfare programs similar to AFDC and food stamps existed since the early days in the United States (http://www.welfareinfo.org/history/) In reading the history in the link I provided, programs have pretty-much always existed to help those in need. In the 1930s Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act and then it was amended to include the AFDC program that still exists today.

We can go further back to even state that programs to help the needy even existed in ‘biblical’ times. It is seen in Judaism and Islamic cultures as well as Christian cultures. (The New Testament even goes so far as to state that Jesus said to feel the hungry and take care of the sick)

Which brings me to the argument about President Obama and the ACA

* Heathcare

First of all, if you are religious, you SHOULD be wanting to take care of the sick, and conservatives…..just as an FYI, republicans were FOR an individualized health care mandate.

See video with Newt Gingrich and Hilary Clinton back in 2005

There is also a discussion regarding health care that makes me LIVID.

Yes, LIVID.

There is a belief that people who support the ACA are lazy and claiming they are entitled. Ill explain.

Those of us with multiple health issues or pre-existing conditions are not supposed to be turned down due to our health histories. While this is a partly true statement, insurance companies charge us out the wazoo for coverage that doesnt include the illnesses we will be treated for the most.

For instance: I have lupus and yet, health insurance would not pay for medications to treat the arthritis, steroids, anti-malarials etc that would be needed to treat that condition.

So, what would I get for my money? Apparently nothing……

Ive been told to apply for medicare. You need to be on disability to be approved for that program. In my case, to be approved for disability would mean that I can no longer work. (Funny how people suggest this considering their argument)

This is where the ACA benefits me directly. No longer will I have to pay the extraordinary cost to begin with because of my health issues, but that coverage would pay for the medications and treatments I would need.

And you know what? I could STILL work FULL TIME and receive these health benefits.

ADMISSION – Ive been on Medicaid because the cheapest insurance I could get was well over $2000 a month and wouldnt cover ANY of the medications I needed to take on a regular basis. Some of you have called me a mooch who is claiming ENTITLEMENT! ENTITLEMENT! because yes, I HAVE worked since I was 16 and I SHOULD be able to afford to keep myself alive.

* Abuses

I will not act like there arent people on social programs who arent abusing the system, because we all know thats not the facts. But we dont know those people or how they got into the situation that led them into the social service office.

We all hear those stories about the lady in the grocery store with 4 kids and food stamps getting into a nice car…..but whos to say she wasnt just recently dumped by her significant other and left penny-less? Whos to say that her husband wasnt recently killed? We dont know how long shes been using food stamps and we dont know how long shes had that nice car. Stop judging people you dont know!

* The luxury of having internet service

For the last two days, I have heard this phrase more than I can even count. Even this morning this phrase was posted in a discussion on my facebook wall.

FACT – We live in a time in which our schools expect our kids to have a computer and access to the internet.

It is a fact that high schools do not have the necessary accommodations or time to allow students to do their work on site. (Remembering how my daughter used to be up til midnight to work on school work)

It is also a fact that even the nicest public libraries do not have enough computers on site to accommodate every student, nor do they allow access for long periods of time if there are other students waiting to use those computers.

Local colleges (including community colleges) usually do not allow high school students access to their computers because they arent students of the school. They also do not allow these kids to check out library books…..

This morning, a friend of mine said that schools should provide computers. It was then that I did actually laugh out loud. Tax payer dollars pay for those supplies. Her response was that this was different. Education money is different than individual money…..

* Free Cell Phones / Obama phones

One has to scratch their head when people start talking about Obama phones. This program can be traced as far back as 1934 with The Telecommunications Act. There were specific provisions to ensure that everyone had access to phone services.

The Lifeline plan was started in 1984 (Ronald Reagan was President at that time) It was further expanded in 1996 (Bill Clinton was President at that time) to ensure that low income and rural citizens had access to these services (http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/) In 1997, they added cellular services. And, furthermore, the Safelink program that everyone likes to associate with President Obama was started under President Bush.

It should be also noted that taxpayer dollars do NOT pay for these phones. The program is fully funded through the telecommunications industry.(http://www.fcc.gov/guides/universal-service-support-mechanisms)

* Lack of empathy

Without going specifically into the Presidential election and differences between the candidates, I can only gather to guess that those who voted against the principles outlines above have a lack of empathy.

And before you start in on the attack for that statement, let me explain…

I paid attention to the election. I listened when one of the candidates actually gave statements like (and Im paraphrasing) making $250000 a year is middle class, ask your parents for a loan, take the money from your savings…..

Those statements are why those of us who live paycheck to paycheck without savings or having rich parents voted for the other candidate.

A facebook friend of mine shared the following ‘fan’ page with a short post about how her child was almost ‘lost’ due to similar circumstances – https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForLucie

Yes, this story is heartbreaking. I couldnt even imagine losing a child, let alone in this manner.

However, there are some things I need people to be aware of if your child is in need of emergency care and is being ignored.

If my child goes to the ER, its usually a true emergency.

My daughter Amanda had alot of asthma related issues growing up. We spent so much time in the pediatric emergency room that the hospital staff knew us by name.

Instead of allowing physician or hospital staff ignore my child, and instead of allowing nurses or other staff chatter amongst themselves about unprofessional topics, go out there and DEMAND that they take care of your child. ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE HAVING BREATHING ISSUES!

Do not take any of their crap. Dont let them attempt to tell you that some specialist is ‘on their way’. Make sure that someone is taking care of your child. NOW. No, not when they are done with their conversation….NOW.

You see Im what you call a loudmouth. Im not going to allow some ‘stranger’ to tell me some ridiculous nonsense when it comes to the health of my child.

Your child is your child. They cant be replaced. Your child is your priority. The medical issue that had you bring them into the emergency room, needs attending to.

Make sure the doctors and staff take care of your child as if she/he is their priority. And as much money that its gonna cost you for this emergency room visit, get your moneys worth and make them take care of your child!

Wow, its been over a month since Ive blogged. Ive been really busy, but I will save THAT post for another time…..Today I want to talk about something else…..The SCOTUS and the ACA and how it was upheld this morning.

I am not going to act like this entire bill is wonderful….because there are parts I dont like. It IS a start.

I think I have to say that when the word got out that the Supreme Court upheld the ACA I felt like Erin did: http://queenofspainblog.com/2012/06/28/tears-and-thanks-to-the-supreme-court-for-the-affordable-care-act-ruling/

Erin is like me in many ways. We both have LUPUS. It is a chronic debilitating disease that can attack any organ in your body. Without treatment, many of us would certainly be worse off that what we are.

Today, I have seen posts online that have truly REPULSED me. On days like this, when posts claim that people who are happy about this are lazy, wont work, want things handed to them…..etc etc I get seriously sick to my stomach.

Ive  worked since I was 15. I have paid my share into whatever system should cover people when we need extra help.

If you are truly against paying for other peoples healthcare, maybe you should stop paying taxes. Maybe you should stop paying insurance premiums. And, perhaps maybe you should stop going to hospitals. Because you are paying for other people who dont pay into the system when you pay taxes, pay your insurance premiums and pay your hospital bills.

You wanna know why your tylenol costs more than 5 cents? Well, its because most poor people dont pay their medical bills. They pass the costs of that along to those who DO pay their bills.

So…..shut the hell up about what you pay for and what you dont want to pay for.

I hate to delete half my facebook friends because they post ridiculousness all over the place about how everyone is so entitled….blah blah blah.

You ALL look like selfish jerks.

Yes. ALL of you.

Deal with going to work EVERY DAY when just getting out of bed and getting a shower feels like death.

Deal with doing EVERYTHING right and then BAM being diagnosed with a debilitating disease and going absolutely broke because of that illness AND your then husband walking out on you and your kids. But you still go to work.

Deal with losing EVERYTHING because you paid all your medical bills off and then you get SLAMMED with another flare of said illness.

Try getting insurance when you have an illness like lupus. And IF you can get a policy, see how much that costs.

Try applying for SSI/Disability and waiting for a decision and then being turned down more than once. See how much paperwork is involved in that process.

 

For those people who claim some of us dont need the specialists we do…..yall can just delete yourselves.

Try this. Go to google. Look up how much some of the treatments I HAVE to get cost.

  • * Albumin infusions
  • * Remicade infusions
  • * Benlysta infusions.

And in some cases, they arent even covered at all. It is only thru the tremendous work of social workers at the “Big Pharma” companies that I get these treatments at no cost to me. Guess what? Someone is paying for them. And no, I dont feel ONE BIT bad that someone somewhere IS.

In one case, one infusion treatment costs a MINIMUM of $3700.

That doesnt even include the medications Ive been put on…..or the medications I could be put on.

Im not asking for a pity party. I dont want your sympathy.

I dont even want your money….that obviously is way more important that helping a single mother stay healthy so she can remain a PRODUCTIVE member of society.

Im guessing from some of your posts, you would rather us unhealthy people be placed on some island somewhere to die or something….I dunno.

But heres the rub: If we are not healthy, we cannot work. If we cant work, we lose our homes, our vehicles, our children. Maybe some of us will have no choice but to go on welfare…..which Im guessing is worse than having some of your precious money help us out medically.

I guess losing everything due to an illness is all my fault tho. Cuz ya know…..screw us.

And for all the politicians out there boohooing and getting your panties in a bunch about this……guess what? I wont be voting for you. Especially when your posting about how youre gonna repeal this if elected. I WILL be working for your opposition.

 

Consider me one of those people who have to learn things the VERY hard way. Its official. I am a doofus. Yea, that might sound a little harsh….but its the truth. I spent the majority of my life thinking I could do what I wanted, not listening to the doctors, and be completely fine.

Sure, it didnt start out like that….When I was first diagnosed with lupus in 95, I listened to what they told me to do. I changed my diet, changed my lifestyle, etc. But as I got better and went into remission, I fell back on those old habits.

Since the initial remission, Ive had several additional flares and subsequent remissions. And, while I would like to say that I changed what I had to each time, that would not be the truth.

I actually went a full homeopathic route until this last flare. I am VERY VERY VERY lucky to not have killed myself not getting the correct treatment. And to be honest, I could have actually lost my kidney.

I am still kicking myself for that stupidity.

Ive been in this most recent flare since November. Yes, November.

My current treatment has been at a standstill due to other health issues that have arisen….which, I could just kick myself for, since that is also connected with my unwillingness to do what Im supposed to be doing.

Since my last post, Ive been on rescue inhalers, inhaled steroids, nasal steroids, oral steroids, and antibiotics.

I am not getting better.

I still do not have my voice.

I still have issues catching my breath doing the most trivial of tasks

With one exception, this entire experience is MY FAULT.

And now, Im faced with the fact that my voice will never recover. I may get some vocal range back with intense speech/vocal therapy, but I will never have MY voice again.

My lungs may never recover. With some of the changes Im making NOW, I might get SOME of my lung function back…..SOME.

I am extremely mad at myself because I could have prevented these issues by making REAL lifestyle changes.

And, in case you were wondering just what it is Im going thru…..the diagnoses is two fold. My lupus has attacked my pulmonary system and due to the other factors mentioned above, I now am also diagnosed with emphysema and COPD.

This effectively means that I have NO choice now but to make lifestyle changes.

This is not the way it should have went down. If you are reading this and not watching what you eat and are a smoker (even an occasional smoker), MAKE THE CHANGES NOW!  Do NOT wait til you get THIS sick.

In case youve been living under a rock the past couple weeks, youve no doubt heard about Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke.

In case you havent, heres the jist….Sandra Fluke testified that women need contraceptives (and not just for birth control purposes either). Rush Limbaugh went on a 3 day tirade of calling her a slut and prostitute……as well as being extremely mis-educated about who in fact IS paying for these services/medications AND being mis-educated about how birth controls pills actually work.

After a social media boycott several companies pulled their ads from his program and two stations pulled his show entirely.

There is no doubt that people do not understand the debate regarding womens health and the inclusion of reproductive services and medications. If women controlled this conversation rather than men, most of the mis-information would not occur so often. Anytime this conversation occurs on social media, its videos and articles written from a male perspective.

Why are we allowing the men to control this conversation?

I commend Sandra Fluke for speaking out on behalf of women, as well as specifically mentioning the medical reasons for the necessity of these medications.

And, as much as it surprises me that anyone would call this woman these names, I am not surprised.

Let me tell you about many conversations Ive had regarding the utilization of birth control pills to regulate cycles or the use of birth control pills to prevents cysts or endometriosis (both of which were reasons I used them) with hard-line Catholics.

During the time that the Obama administration announced the mandate on reproductive services, many discussions followed (both on my on page, as well as on others pages). The Catholics I spoke to usually said, ‘if there is a true medical reason for using these medications, you can speak to a priest and get -permission-‘

Yea, thats all fine and dandy. Let me talk to a priest (a male) with ZERO medical training about my female issues. But even if you were to seriously talk to a priest and get his -permission- what about the cost? If you work at a Catholic church, this insurance plan still wouldnt cover this medication.

Sure, you could tell that person to look for a job elsewhere…..but why should that woman suffer with the pain that occurs from this medical condition when her insurance should provide this medication?

The taxpayer doesnt pay for this womans insurance policy. All of those who have the same insurance company pay.

The lame outrage about taxpayers being stuck with the bill just doesnt ring true in this argument. Educate yourself about how insurance works.

Also……if you are a taxpayer claiming outrage in this argument, where are you in your outrage about where else your taxpayer money goes? Hey religious people-do you realize you pay for wars with that money? Isnt that way higher on your moral scale than women and their health rights?

I am literally sick over this stupidity.

Using birth control doesnt make you a slut. Using birth control doesnt make you a prostitute. Im sure those in a monogamous long term relationship or married couples using birth control can attest to that.

And ya know whats crazy? It isnt just Rush Limbaugh spewing this nonsense.

Besides that yahoo Rick Santorum, who quite honestly looks more idiotic the more he speaks, I heard from two of my (again) hard-line Catholic friends on facebook. Both of whom claim that women who use birth control are ‘loose’. Even after attempting to set them straight, they still maintain this line of thinking.

If I thought birth control pills made one loose, I would have never drove my then 16 year old daughter to a clinic to get em.

I am personally FOR the use of birth control. For any of the reasons given. Preventing unplanned pregnancies included.

That does not make me

  • a slut.
  • Or a prostitute.
  • Or even loose.

That equally does not make me

  • a liberal.
  • A feminazi.
  • Or a baby killer.

Considering just how many women use birth control in our country, I wonder why these men even feel comfortable using these words.

This is my third post regarding the birth control mandate – See https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/womens-health-care-gets-a-win-and-so-does-the-white-house/ & https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/get-off-your-sanctimonious-high-horse-obama-birth-control-and-catholics-its-on/

Yesterday President Obama announced his compromise regarding the birth control mandate and the Catholic Bishops apparent tizzy fit.

This compromise is wonderful for the many women who use birth control, whether it be for the use of family planning, or for the use of treating many medical conditions.

Even, Sister Carol Keehan from the Catholic Health Association is pleased with this compromise stating – ‘The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions. The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed.’

Read the full statement here:  (http://www.chausa.org/Pages/Newsroom/Releases/2012/Catholic_Health_Association_is_Very_Pleased_with_Todays_White_House_Resolution_that_Protects_Religious_Liberty_and_Conscience_Rights/)

However, the Catholic Bishops are still throwing rocks, going as far as denouncing this compromise. (http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/11/politics/contraception-controversy/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn)

The above linked article goes on to say that Rep Jim Jordan insists that this compromise still violates the First Amendment – Quote:

“This ObamaCare rule still tramples on Americans’ First Amendment right to freedom of religion,” Jordan said in a written statement. “It’s a fig leaf, not a compromise. Whether they are affiliated with a church or not, employers will still be forced to pay an insurance company for coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs.”

NEWSFLASH: I have to say that MOST insurance companies provide contraception services. So, unless theres some company out there specializing in health care that agrees with the Catholic faith, you pay an insurance company that covers these services.

I read an article on Mother Jones, which some of you may believe is a liberal website, but what is in this article seems to really be true: (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/catholic-bishops-want-entire-birth-control-rule-repealed-not-just-religious-exemption)

Let me reiterate that it is discrimination to suggest that Catholic churches only have Catholic employees. However, even Catholic women use birth control. (I mentioned those statistics in an earlier blog thats linked above.) The Catholic church has been attempting to control what their female members do with their bodies since, well…..Theyve been losing this battle since the 60s when birth control became available. And they are STILL losing this fight within their own houses of worship.

Southern Beale says it best within this blog post: Warning: graphic language (http://southernbeale.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/there-is-no-catholic-controversy/)

Catholic institutions like hospitals employ people of all faiths. These employers need to abide by the same rules as everyone else. No one is forcing Catholic employees to use the contraceptive benefit in their insurance plans. What the Catholic bishops are trying to do is get the federal government to enforce the church’s anti-contraception doctrine because they have failed to do so on their own. This isn’t an “assault on religious liberty,” it’s the exact opposite: it’s getting the government to enforce a church rule that no one has followed in decades.’

 

I have to admit that the past week has been eye opening. I say this because I never realized that the GOP was so anti birth control.

I admit that the GOP has had an anti-abortion stance. But against birth control?

First, you would think that the party of the no entitlements would be pro birth control. Its way less expensive to provide birth control to the less fortunate, than to actually pay for their maternity costs plus the costs of raising a child.

However, most republicans dont see it this way at all.

Some politicians have came right out and said they were against birth control. See Rick Santorum is coming for your birth control: (http://www.salon.com/2012/01/04/rick_santorum_is_coming_for_your_birth_control/)

Others have relied on the personhood argument to maintain this anti birth control stance.

The personhood argument is explained in many ways. The anti birth control argument regarding personhood is as follows (and can be found on wikipedia here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhood)

Quote: A political movement in the United States seeks to define the beginning of human personhood as starting from the moment of fertilization, with the consequence that abortion, as well as forms of birth control that prevent implantation of the embryo, could become illegal.[19][20] Supporters of the movement also state that it would have effects on the practice of in-vitro fertilization.

Here are some examples of our GOP Presidential candidates in action regarding this personhood/anti birth control stance:

Newt Gingrich: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/15/gingrich-post-conception-birth-control-should-be-illegal/

Mitt Romney: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/iowa-woman-schools-romney-anti-abortion-amen

Rick Santorum: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/rick-santorum-birth-control-sodomy_n_1181291.html

Ron Paul: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/rep-ron-paul-signs-personhood-pledge-reservations

So there you have it. All four GOP Presidential candidates want to take birth control away. Make it illegal.

So if you are prone to voting republican, and a woman…..make sure you know what you are in for.

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