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12:48 AM on 06/02/2009
How do you go bankrupt over medical bills, even with good insurance? When you have a medical problem that's "too expensive" for the insurance company. In other words, the co. will find some BS reason to deny the treatment and you're forced to pay for it yourself or become debilitated/die. Example: my best friend is a heart transplant nurse, she's seen insurance companies deny transplants or deny the aftercare, or deny the home nursing, etc. At which point, you're way too stressed or ill to fight back.
You stop paying all other bills in hopes of scraping up enough money for your treatment, taking out a second loan on your home, etc. Bankruptcy becomes the only way of dealing with these massive debts.
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liberalbug
do you want fries with that?
01:39 AM on 06/02/2009
This should never, ever, happen here, but it does. There is no such thing as "good insurance" that you speak of. It is, at best, good "co pay insurance" that costs our families more every year. We are a country that has come to value money above all else. Consequently, friends like yours sadly get to see honest, needing people screwed in favor of the bottom line all the time.
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byla
09:35 AM on 06/02/2009
I worked as a nurse several years ago. We had one patient who had Hepatitis C. His parents wanted him to have a liver transplant and the doctor flat out told them they neither had the money nor would the insurance cover it. Then the doctor left instructions for us to convince the parents to make him a no code.

The insurance companies sets time frames for each illness. If you have this illness, then you can only stay so many days in the hospital. While that might work for a younger, healthier person, it rarely worked for elderly patients (which is what the floor generally had) What the doctors would end up doing was "find" another problem with the same patient, call in a specialist to look at the problem (and treat them for it) and the hospital stay could then be extended by a few more days. I witnessed patients have as many as four specialists called in just to extend their stay for the original illness.

It's time for health care professionals to stand up and say what's what. The insurance companies have been running our health for years.
12:38 AM on 06/02/2009
Baucus and Kennedy seem set to compel the nation to purchase Private Insurance (like the dismally failed Massachusetts plan). For those below a certain income, everyone's taxes will buy private insurers FOR them. Those who are well-off enough to buy this questionable service will be paying insurers twice---once directly, and again via income taxes. Who voted for that?
Too few realize that this also compels people to supply revenues to for-profit insurers to invest in just about every business on Wall Street.
Investments galore go to some of the worst health-damaging industries--- from cigarette manufacturing and tobacco pesticides, to chlorine, pesticides in general, nukes, GE "foods", military contractors, plastics, on to Big Oil and the rest.
Plenty of other insurer investments go off to mountaintop removal mining, top propagandistiic media conglomerates, sweat shop industries, union-busting firms, and businesses that may compete with ones own business or with ones own investment holdings.
Info about insurer investments is all there at the public documents at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Not easy to look up...but there.

This is not to mention the insurance money (for- and non-profit) for advertising, campaign contributions (to whom?), lobbying, conventions, corporate jets, CEO bonuses, and headquarter's lawn care and brass polish.
There are zero Public Interest connections there to justify a public mandate. Zero.
Besides the injustices indicated, how that can be valid under the Constitution's prohibitions of Compulsory Speech (to private insurers, et al) is a question.
12:31 AM on 06/02/2009
Well well, its long been known in the progressive movement, before the "savior" Obama came along, that Democrats were just as corporate as Republicans, its just a matter of flipping a coin. Our so called "democracy" works backwards: You see we elect officials to represent corporations against the onslaught of our infinite desires, Sen. Baucus is just protecting corporations from the "mob", or what some recite as "we the people". If our interests were taken literally, our problems would be rather few. But they are not, because we as a people are scared, fearful, and fundamentally weak. We accept defeat regularly, whether its GM cutting jobs, or Enron stealing pensions, we sure act like we live in a totalitarian state. In France, the birthplace of democracy, the government or business tries to take away penions or cut jobs and half the country goes on strike, protesting in solidarity. No philosopher or intellectual seems bright enough to point out that in America we sacrifice solidarity for individualism, which has been a perfect formula for corporations destroying unions and a fair wage over the last century. America used to be the place where we stole great ideas and made them ours, but now we would rather destroy the best ideas so that a few can profit in a meaningless monetary universe that ends in simple death. Pathetic.
01:07 AM on 06/02/2009
I like the way U think. Keep talking.......
12:23 AM on 06/02/2009
I applaud the people at those meetings from Montana. Senator Baucus has stated that his constituency was very conservative and wouldn't accept a single payer program. It would seem he has been proven wrong in regards to this issue. I just hope the people of Montana get another candidate in the democratic primary if Senator Baucus continues down the road for insurance industries.
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LemonMeringue
Happy Birthday, Steve Jobs - Feb. 24th
12:15 AM on 06/02/2009
Montana is a wonderful state. Although the Idaho-Wyoming-Montana area is conservative, there is something wild and free about Montana that lets the spirit grow. It does not surprise me they did this.

Thanks Montana. The sky really is bigger there.
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Alethea
Have the courage to use reason.
12:15 AM on 06/02/2009
Yay Montana! Give that boy he//!
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
LemonMeringue
Happy Birthday, Steve Jobs - Feb. 24th
12:14 AM on 06/02/2009
Single payer universal health insurance would go a long way to solve so many of America's problems.

Education
Unemployment
Unplanned pregnancy
Abortion

Anything but single payer is just an expensive band-aid on a system that does not work and cannot be fixed.

Bulldoze the system and give Americans what all other industrialized nations have. We deserve it too. Only the insurance companies are standing in the way. Dissolve them.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
punk
There is no 'beyond left & right'
11:59 PM on 06/01/2009
Max Baucus: The Purist Corporate Liberal
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donaldw6
Man's extremity is God's opportunity
11:58 PM on 06/01/2009
Way to go, Montana! America is in your debt!!!
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alice09
11:56 PM on 06/01/2009
Let's hear it for the people of Montana who stood up for all of us. Baucus deserves every bit of it and I hope he loses his seat if he continues his pro-corporation anti-people stance.
He has a lot of power and our lives literally might depend on what he does.
Write to him, call his office, follow the example of the people of Montana.
11:52 PM on 06/01/2009
only 50 votes are needed
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11:44 PM on 06/01/2009
Nice work, Montana. Thanks on behalf of all of us.
11:30 PM on 06/01/2009
I am so glad to read this, especially given the state he represents which is hardly a bastion of democrats.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
LemonMeringue
Happy Birthday, Steve Jobs - Feb. 24th
12:16 AM on 06/02/2009
I think this proves that all Americans need, deserve and want universal health care.

This is not a partisan issue. Politicians fight it at their own peril.
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vandegrasse
Don't Panic
11:29 PM on 06/01/2009
Baucus is an idiot and the Congress is filled with idiots. Why don't they vote for right for the people and how the corporations tell them to vote. We voted for change and we got nothing. I am so dissppointed in Mr.Obama I could just cry!
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Rosewren
The power of kindness is infinite
11:23 PM on 06/01/2009
NHGranite below has said it the best way for all of us to talk about health insurance, we all should take what he said up for our slogan to get the change we want:

"Socialized medicine? NO - CIVILIZED MEDICINE." Yes!
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11:27 PM on 06/01/2009
Rosewren,
Good one!

http:www.pnhp.or/change/