Monday, September 10, 2012

medicare/medicaid Ladies especially pay attention if you have parents in nursing homes.

This is a very specific reason why Obamacare is important to me.

My sister is now 58, and will be 59 in December.
She had a major stroke 2 years ago while working a job at Subway. Prior to that job she held 2 other low paying jobs, but prior to that she was a nurse for 18 years. She burned out. When she was nursing all of her medical problems were covered by insurance available at her workplace. But when you are working a minimum wage job there is no coverage.

So, my sister, who had several pre-existing conditions and was at a level below poverty level, got free medical check ups and medication at a reduced rate as long as she had an income below a cetrain level.

She got a raise at Subway. Which disqualified her for free medical check ups and medicine. Her barely above minimum wage job did not allow her to afford to go to a private doctor, paying full price, and buyng her blood pressure medications. Her blood pressure was always a problem - uncontrolled even with many, many medication changes.

She went to work one day in April 2010 and fell over. She was unresponsive, they called 911 and she was taken to the closest hospital.

She had been renting a room and living with a friend from her church , in Orlando, and I live in Miami. Our parents are dead, I am her only sibling.

I was called by her church members to be told she'd been taken to a certain hospital, and would probably need brain surgery because there seemed to be a clot in her brain.

I had to give doctors verbal permission by phone before I presented them with power of attorney which she had signed years before, to operate and put a shunt in her brain to drain blood which was accumulating and causing her to have trouble staying conscience and breathing.

Then my daugher and I drove to Orlando and spent time speaking to her doctors, nurses and social workers in the ICU.

Remember, my sister is totally uninsured.

So the good people at the hospital asked me to sign a paper for permission to treat her. Fortunately I had a councelor (a lawyer from work) who told me not to sign anything. Under the pretext of signing for permission to treat came an obligation - a financial obligation to pay her medical expenses as her next of kin. I refused. That didn't mean they wouldnt care for her, they had already spent 4 days treating her before I got there. The "government" was already paying for her care.

Why didn't I sign the paper? Because at the time her bill was already was over $90,000. To collect it the hospital, had I signed the paper for treatment, would have put a lein on my house and assets since my sister had none of her own.

After she was better, she was moved to a rehabilitation center where they worked on her to bring back some of her functions back. She regained speech, but she did not regain all of her memories. She also has lost the use of her left arm and hand, she can only use her left leg with a brace and she can walk using a hemi walker. She is incapable of taking care of her own needs.

After 6 weeks of rehabilitation she was sent to a nursing home where she has been for the last 18 months. She insists she will walk out of there and be capable of living on her own, in an independemn\nt living apartemnt, but after 2 years if she has not regained mobility by now it's unlikely. The best that may be for her woudl be assisted living, which she is resisting.

How does she live? She is living on the generosity of Social Security Disability and Medicaid.

Now, if Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have their way my sister will probably not qualify for Medicaid and since they want to change Social Security and make it more difficult to collect disability, what will happen to my sister?

Will the new Republican government and the changes to the medical care she now has, throw her out of the home by removing her eligibility? Will she no longer get help from Social Security (which she paid into for many years before she had to apply for the help provided)? If she needs to insure herself how can she? She had a major stroke. What insurance company, with a voucher, will take her on? How will she afford her medicine and medical visits? Will pre-existing conditions be covered? What care will she receive? Will I be expected, as her only relative, to bring her to my house and be her sole caregiver and financial support?

I am already 64, nearly ready to retire myself. My husband is a Vietnam Vet, who is suffering from PTSD. He is 100% disabled himself. My 40 year old daughter lives with us, because she fell on hard financial times and is just now pulling herself out of a hole. We are at an ok point here now, not great, we make ends meet but there is no big savings account to fall back on, and there are no "extra funds" to help support another person. There are some bad days. My husband couldn't tolerate another person in our home, I couldn't either. I had already had to go to a psychologist to deal with the many stresses in my life, I cannot mentally or monitarily afford to keep her.

With Obama care my sister will be cared for for the rest of her life, either under SS disability and medicaid, or under her social security retirement when she reaches retirement age, and medicare can be replacing medicaid.

So what do Romeny and Ryan offer instead? Have they been specific enough in their rhetoric?

I don't think so.

And that's why I will enourage anyone I know to vote against Romney. Because Obama care will continue my sister's care, but I have no idea if Romney will or not, and he isn't being very forthcoming in what he has to offer. One day he's for it, one day he's totaly against it. There is no rhyme or reason to his speeches, and no consistancy.

Right now it looks like under a Republican administration my sister, and many of the people now living in the nursing home with her, will be left with no support.


So what happens now?

What happens is I not only vote for Mr. Obama. I work to make sure he is reelected.

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I am an european in Europe and Portugal, one of the poorest european countries and we have universal health care (*). Some years ago I watched Jay Leno on his show indignantly refering the "injustice" of someone who have not a health insurance to get free health care. He was saying it as it was clear to everyone that this shouldn`t happen. But ok, I`ve watched him also complainting to the amount of polution produced by China and it`s 1,343,239,923 inhabitants when "we" know that the second bigest producer are the USA and it`s 313,847,465. This gives an idea of Jay Leno intelectual honesty.

(*)There are private health insurances and hospitals too but ANYBODY have the rigth to health care. Offcourse private hospitals are nicer but if the national health service can`t provide an operation in reasonable time you will be operated at a private hospital at the expense of the national health service.
 
Now some information. Poor countries like Portugal can provide 1st class health services for much less than in USA. And not only Portugal, but the former countries of soviet influence and aswell in Cuba or Índia and some countries in the far east. Despite the development gap beetween this countries and USA these countries hospitals can guarantee you the best care possible: our elites do import the best technologies money can buy, don`t worry :) they invest in their own security.
 
Something more so people will have an idea of prices: next friday (tomorow) I will be operated to prosthate in a private hospital ( at the expense of national health service)and the price of that kind of operation is of five thousand euros.
Just to give an idea of what the prices are.
Was told that the same operation in Romania costs beetween 2 and 4 thousand, depending if done with or without laser.
P.S. maybe if more americans start trusting doctors abroad and use "health tourisme" medicine will be not so much of a multi billion dollars business in America.
My doctor was telling me: "if you live in America you end your life with the less organs possible because in USA they use cirurgy the most they can instead of terapeutical procedures so they make money"
 
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Everything you said here is true. I'm sorry for the the events that have befallen your sister. A nation should take care of its own. I don't have to tell you the sigh of relief I breathed in November. I'm sure yours was much the same.

Kris
 
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