Health Care Discussion

Thursday, September 10, 2009
President Obama spoke to Congress last night about his hopes for a Health Care overhaul. Since I receive my healthcare from the government (US Navy), I have been remiss to discuss it. However, I have considered lately the fact that my daughter will someday be outside of my health insurance umbrella. Depending on when she leaves the house, she will lose our coverage (through TRICARE) by the age of 22.

This presents a sticky situation for Alicia and myself. CF is expensive. I have read many thoughts on health care from CFers and patients dealing with other diseases and find that not only is this true, but that it's a major stress for the familes. I am grateful for my health care, I promise!

I want to host a fairly simple, civil exchange of ideas on this blog today with the hopes that our readers, and their guests, will feel welcome to share ideas and thoughts. No one will be ridiculed (comments that do so will be deleted), so please share honestly your thoughts. Here are some things to consider:

What did you think of President Obama's speech last night? Was it up to snuff or did he leave something lacking?

What do you think about the overall health care delima?

Is a public option the way to go? If so, how would you define it?

Is the status quo acceptable?

Of course you are welcome to discuss something outside of this series of questions, but please remember that this is a discussion, not a debate. And please, above all, tell your friends!


Anonymous said...

You probably know already how I feel about health care reform but I'll post anyway. It seems to me that the profit driven health care insurance companys are getting bolder all the time about what they will and will not cover, mostly what they will not cover. I have had insurance all my adult life (which you already know) and I have spent a small fortune on health care for all you kids when you were home as I am still doing with your mothers treatment for her leg know. So much out of pocket expense even when I pay several hundred a month for coverage (Myself and my company). It just seems that there has to be a better way than this. Sometimes my working class feels that we are paying for everyone's health care (Yours, elderly, uninsured ect.) and the getting shortchanged in the process of our own. One question, what kind of care does Samatha get with govt care. I hear the horror stories of Canada but I have only talked to one canadain in my travels, and he was completely satisfied with his system. How is your govt. health care, because mine could be better. Your DAd. More later.

Ronnie "Sickboy" Sharpe said...

I was under the impression that your daughter could keep TRICARE for life as long as she remains unmarried. My dad was in the military and I had that option since I was determined to be disabled.

As far as a public option and "for-profit" insurance companies, I found these articles very interesting:

As for me, I'm way too cynical to give an opinion on this subject. I just want care accessible to CFers and it to be of the utmost quality. The problem is, that's not what we have now, and I don't think that's what we would have with the current proposal.


Dan said...

Dad: Yes, we've had many discussions on this fact. It does seem odd to think that a person can pay that much in each month and still have to copay or whatnot. I'll be interested to see what more of the CF patients and parents say as well.

Ronnie: I appreciate your honesty regarding cynical thoughts. I too get concerned that there will be no end to this discussion. I just hope there will be resolution.

As for Samantha, I have heard this before, but not yet found evidence of her ability to remain under my umbrella (even my TRICARE health insurance is a bit cryptic). Even so, I don't want to limit her life by telling her she can't get married because she'll lose health care if she does. It is worth a continual look and more research, but somehow, I doubt that she'll stay under our umbrella once she becomes an adult if her current personality has anything to suggest about it!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan, thought I would weigh in with what I do know about adult children to AD military members. Once Brynne turned 21, she was no longer eligible for TriCare coverage. The exception to that rule is that if she carries a full college/university load (12 credit hours) then we can extend that coverage but only semester by semester. It is not an automatic system. Each semester we have to get a validation letter of enrollment from her online university and submit it to pass and ID. Then they determine if she is eligible to get her ID. Once she has her ID, we have to petition TriCare to keep the coverage active. AND... we can only pull this off until she is 23... period. Once she turns 23, she is an adult and no longer eligible, college or not, for coverage.

I am going to claim utter ignorance on disable adult children as I have absolutely no experience in this area and the rules may be completely different. But, I thought that I would share with you what I did know.

Peace friend Dan :) Love you both,

Dan said...

I will be doing some more research on this topic because frankly, I would like to know. However, as I mentioned earlier, I don't want to curtail Samantha's life because she gets free healthcare from the Navy. Neither Alicia or myself would be happy keeping her from marriage and having her own family because of health care, which is why I honestly hope that a solid overhaul takes place. It's just how I feel.

A friend emailed me a few days ago and asked me to describe what reform would do for Samantha, and the simple answer is that I don't know.

Overhaul that includes a public option would be, on the surface, beneficial to Samantha. I know it would raise taxes. I get that. And, honestly, I'm willing to raise taxes. And I'm willing to give the government some authority here. IF IT HELPS MY DAUGHTER there will be very little that I will not do.

But I simply don't know if a public option would really work. An option doesn't mean that she'll be covered. And in America, I'm not sure we'll ever get real reform. It's sad that I think that way, but I do.

Katey said...

I didn't have a chance to post my opinion on this.sorry about that!....but i really wanted to real quick. I am NOT for a public option. But it also has somewhat to do with being a transplant patient. I don't believe a public option will be beneficial for us, or really even for chronically illed people, such as CF patients. I can see the government covering basic stuff, such as maybe prescriptions and hospitlizations. However, I don't see them covering certain tests or procedures, surgeries (such as port placements,g-tube placements, etc.). With being transplanted, there are certain things I can see the government not covering, such as chronic rejection treatment. In reality, I'm just not sure how it will turn out. It may be a great thing, especially for those CF families that can't afford anything. But in that situation, they should already be on Medicare or Medicaid or some other governmental insurance. A lot of people just don't take advantage of the available current options today.

I believe that for those individuals that work hard for their insurance, it shouldn't be taken away from them. I've been blessed with awesome insurance through my parents work. I know once I get a job, that I will have to find insurance through work, and that may be tougher than I think. I'm praying not!

I hear so many stories about universal healthcare coverage impacting chronically ill people, especially those with cancer, or people needing CT scans or MRI's to diagnose treatment, and then they die, because they couldn't get those tests done in time. It's hard to not think about those comments from people that have experienced this before.

If we have a public option, I think it should be an option, and not a mandatory thing. I know Obama says it will not be mandatory, but in reality I think it will be, based on the other things the plan lays out. But again, that is just my opinion. I'm scared of what will happen. I have to have the best care possible to stay alive, being a CF patient, but more being post-transplanted. And I just don't know what will happen, and its hard to say what will, until something is actually put into place.

Nate Smith said...

Sorry it took so long for me to get to this! My work has been crazy. But anyway...about health care. Here are the facts.

1. Private health care insurers, hospitals, pharmacies, etc., are PROFIT-DRIVEN companies. That means their primary goal is to make money, and as much as possible. In a capitalist system such as we have, these companies, though they claim they are working for our health, could really care less. As long as they make money. This is why more often they are cutting out the coverages they offer.

2. Health care overall is too expensive. My insurance through the school district is great, but even that is expensive. The HMO plan is no longer completely covered by the district, so I have to pay out of pocket. Not only that, but to cover dependents it's an additional $300/month, and that will go up no doubt next year. Why does health care have to be that expensive? Are true medical costs really that high?

3. A public option does not mean government control of health care. A public option could be a coop type deal, and you, being a farmer, know the benefits of associations like the COOP. Too many people are skeptical of what they call "socialism" when what they're really referring to is absolute government control, or "communism." A public option means the PEOPLE have the power. Why can't I hire my doctor? Why can't I decide what will be covered and what will not be covered? Why can't I set the medical prices? If we want a health care program that benefits the end-users (the PEOPLE), then why should that be controlled by someone other than the PEOPLE?

Now, to rant a bit. My family is also impacted by health care issues. Christen has a high risk of diabetes, I have asthma (and the potential for my epilepsy to return), and Corinne has anemia. In fact, I tried to get Corinne covered through independent insurance and they REJECTED her. So be happy that you have the government system (which is great by the way, even though people are complaining about how bad the government option would be for the public). Maybe it's time to extend the military's health care provisions to the general public.

Even if the public option fails, I agree with Dad. There has to be a better way than the for-profit companies controlling my health.