Streeter had health insurance for decades, but beginning in 2008 his employer no longer offered it as an option. He says he tried to buyindividual health insurance but, as a lifelong smoker in his late 40s, couldn’t find anything affordable — so he took a terrible chance and did without. At the beginning of this year, Streeter began to notice blood in his bowel movements and discomfort in his rectum. Because he didn’t have health insurance, he put off going to the doctor and reassured himself it was just irritation from sitting too many hours. “I thought it was driving a truck and being on your keister all day,” he told me. Finally, the pain became excruciating, and he went to a cut-rate clinic where a doctor, without examining him, suggested it might be hemorrhoids. By September, Streeter couldn’t stand the pain any longer. He went to another doctor, who suggested a colonoscopy. The cheapest provider he could find was Dr. J. Scott Gibson, a softhearted gastroenterologist who told him that if he didn’t have insurance he would do it for $300 down and $300 more whenever he had the money. Streeter made the 100-mile drive to Dr. Gibson’s office in McMinnville, Ore. — and received devastating news. Dr. Gibson had found advanced colon cancer. “It was heartbreaking to see the pain on his face,” Dr. Gibson told me. “It got me very angry with people who insist that Obamacare is a train wreck, when the real train wreck is what people are experiencing every day because they can’t afford care.” Dr. Gibson says that Streeter is the second patient he has had this year who put off getting medical attention because of lack of health insurance and now has advanced colon cancer. It has been a year since my college roommate, Scott Androes, died of prostate cancer, in part because he didn’t have insurance and thus didn’t see a doctor promptly. Scott fully acknowledged that he had made a terrible mistake in economizing on insurance, but, in a civilized country, is this a mistake that people should die from? “Website problems are a nuisance,” Dr. Gibson said. “Life and death is when you need care and can’t afford to get it.” The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council this year ranked the United States health care system last or near last in several categories among 17 countries studied. The Commonwealth Fund put the United States dead last of seven industrialized countries in health care performance. And Bloomberg journalists ranked the United States health care system No. 46 in efficiency worldwide, behind Romania and Iran. The reason is simple: While some Americans get superb care, tens of millions without insurance get marginal care. That’s one reason life expectancy is relatively low in America, and child mortality is twice as high as in some European countries. Now that’s a scandal. Yet about half the states are refusing to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured people — because they don’t trust Obamacare and want it to fail. The result will be more catastrophes like Streeter’s. “I am tired of being the messenger of death,” said Dr. Gibson. “Sometimes it’s unavoidable. But when people come in who might have been saved if they could have afforded care early on, then to have to tell them that they have a potentially fatal illness — I’m very tired of that.” Streeter met with a radiologist on Thursday and is bracing for an arduous and impoverishing battle with the cancer. There’s just one bright spot: He signed up for health care insurance under Obamacare, to take effect on Jan. 1. For him, the tragedy isn’t that the Obamacare rollout has been full of glitches, but that it may have come too late to save his life.” Nicholas Kristoff
ACA Success Stories You’ll Never Hear On Fox News! http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/01/02/aca-obamacare-success-stories/
Thanks Charles. Too often all we hear are horror stories. The fact that too often they are bogus won't change the fact that's what we will remember. Shouldn't we, both pro and con, be honest. Or are those days over? Forever?
What happens with the ACA is going to be years in the making and the making is going to be struggle as most of what is incorporated in what is involved is complicated and difficult, and was always going to be complicated and difficult no matter who sponsored or who opposed what is being done. And truly this is going to be expensive and challenging to pay for and render care to a nation that has an attitude to health care that is unhealthy and counterproductive and like that way. Much of what has to be done to reduce cost and increase both level of services and quality of results begins with lifestyle, culture and society, if not the consumer economy. And yet, we believe in choice which comes at a cost, a cost everyone has to bear, and the ACA is but the tip of the iceberg of what has to be done if a healthy, productive American population is the goal of all of our treasure and efforts.
Anything new is going to take time to get it righ as has been the case in the past with Social Security and Medicare. Most of the "horror" stories you've read about are outright lies perpetrated by those who would oppose ANYTHING this President has tried to do. Let's say something positive about the ACA...he's the first President who actually didn't kick the can down the road which has been done since 1965. We can all pick apart specifics that doesn't meet our particular situation but there are broad strokes which are undeniable: no more lifetime caps...you can't be turned down for pre-existing conditions...your children can remain on your policy until,age 26 which is Of paramount importance since recent college graduates are one of the largest unemployment groups..you can choose your own deductible from the bronze, silver or gold plans...free annual checkups...and many other main points that weren't available previously. Now it needs to be fine-tuned, NOT gutted. Instead of complaining about what is now settled law, let's work with it.
And let's all remember that we are the ONLY industrialized country where health care is not considered a "right" but rather a privilege. The biggest argument against the ACA is that it's "socialized medicine". Well, call it what you will but it's now giving ALL Americans the opportunity to obtain health insurance instead of making your next door neighbor pay for someone who's uninsured and goes to the emergency room (by FAR the most expensive medical care) for a common cold. Everyone,regardless of social status, deserves to be treated equally when it comes to their health as it affects every aspect of our lives.
I, respectfully, disagree that the President misled Americans when he said you could keep your current health care plan. While on the face of it it's factually true...but why is the question. It's because the ACA sets minimum standards for your health care and some insurance companies were just not willing to meet those minimum standards. The vast majority DID modify their plans to keep their enrolled. The biggest stumbling block for insurance companies was the elimination of lifetime caps and free annual checkups. Instead of saying the President lied we should be thanking him for implementing these two features of the ACA which could be critical if one contracts MS or Parkinson's or cancer, etc. Again, let's all work together to work out the glitches and bring our health care standards up,with the rest of the world. We have the GREATEST doctors, hospitals and diagnosticians in the world...if you were wealthy enough to afford them prior to the ACA.
I am grateful that our President pushed and succeeded in implementing the ACA. I would probably be dead or close to it had I not had access to healthcare in this last year. This is the USA and healthcare access for all should be a given... and now it is.