Friday, August 14, 2009

Government Health Care

Here you go from our local newspaper:
Social Security deal brings relief to Durant woman
Class-action lawsuit fought denial of benefits
Published: August 13, 2009
I'm just going to retell the story though rather than print the whole thing but feel free to click the link.

Seems as though Ms. Roberta Hobbs, 75, Durant, Oklahoma had an outstanding warrant from California stemming from a 2001 car accident prior to her relocation. In 2006 our government passed a law to deny social security benefits to fugitive criminals.

The SSA in their enlightened ignorance used that law as reason to suspend Ms. Hobbs' benefits along with another 200,000 benefit recipients.

Now Ms. Hobbs at the time had an electric wheel chair, a terminal lung condition that keeps her on oxygen 24/7, and $46 per month from Oklahoma Old Age Assistance.

After she lost her social security benefits she exhausted her savings, lived with no heat in her home which had been vandalized, and with no wheelchair which someone stole.

She survived thanks to a local church, her daughter, and a few other non-governmental organizations.

She asked every government agency she could find for help but was turned down by all.

That no help was forthcoming from the government does not exactly surprise anyone who has ever had to deal with the government.

Eventually though the National Senior Citizens Law Center represented Ms. Hobbs and 5 others in a class action suit against the SSA in 2008. At this point it appears that Ms. Hobbs and her fellow plaintiffs have won that case on behalf of some 200,000 people of whom 80,000 will get their benefits returned.

The other plaintiffs: a woman whose warrant was intended for someone else; a mentally disabled man whose warrant was issued when he was 12 and ran away from his home; a stolen vehicle charge that was dismissed but not recorded properly; someone who bounced a check to a grocery store in Texas; and, another California traffic accident.

The price to the SSA is $500,000,000 plus.

Why do we want to turn more of our health system over to the same government?

And by the way there are end of life provisions in the health care bills now being discussed.

Here's a link to the text of HR 3200. The section dealing with end of life consultation is Section 1233.

No, those provisions don't explicitly state that sick people should be killed in the interest of saving money. Likewise I am certain no one that voted for the provision to deny benefits to fugitives intended to nearly kill Ms. Hobbs. But that's what happened.

In my own experience as just one example there is the case where my mother was in the hospital with a broken leg. At 3 days I was told she was due to be discharged but they had managed to secure us 3 more days. After that we had to leave. Her doctors did not want to discharge her. Her nurses didn't either. Nor did the hospital officials. It was Medicare rules that forced us out. Just a few days later my mother died. Would she have lived longer if she had been given more time? I suspect so.

So there was no explicit conspiracy on the part of the government to kill my mother. But there was certainly a lack of regard for her personal condition in light of their sacred rules.

I do not consider myself an alarmist or an extremist but I can certainly appreciate the concern that people have about this issue.

And that is from someone who had to try and talk to my own father about end of life directives after he was diagnosed with Alzheimers.


~Betsy said...

Our loved ones would have been left for dead because of their dementia diagnosis. No question.

rilera said...

There are just as many stories about private insurance Flinty. People who have to fight to get coverage for lifesaving treatments, people who are denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. My father needed to have an implantable cardiac defibrillator because he would have episodes of ventricular tachycardia and needed to be rushed to the hospital to have normal heart rhythm restored. Private insurance kept denying payment of this lifesaving device saying it was 'experimental' and unnecessary. Not only was my father dealing with his illness but he had to FIGHT his private health insurance company in order to get them to pay for this. They were deciding whether he deserved to live or die. You might say this is private insurance's 'Death Panel'. For every story about Medicare and Medicaid there are just as many stories about private insurance deciding whether patients should have lifesaving procedures. Our current system is not perfect by a longshot. We need to fix it.

flintysooner said...

I guess this does highlight the difference between the two major parties in the debate.

The only confidence I have in the government is that they will manage to make health care worse at a higher cost.

The other side prefers government.

Pretty simple really.

Those favoring the government solution should win as they have the votes to impose whatever solution they choose.

Also pretty simple.