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Intro: "Under the influence of the painkiller Dilaudid, and dog-tired after another day of fighting for my life with my private health insurance company, I glimpsed Mitt Romney and his running-mate, Paul Ryan, entering my Los Angeles hospital room dressed in surgical gowns with scalpels in their hands ready to fatally operate on me."

Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare; Paul Ryan wants to replace Medicare with a voucher system. (photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare; Paul Ryan wants to replace Medicare with a voucher system. (photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

WHY Is Mitt Romney Trying to Kill Me?

By Clancy Sigal, Reader Supported News

15 October 12


I'm critical of Obama's presidency, but my medical emergency convinced me that for Obamacare alone we must re-elect him

nder the influence of the painkiller Dilaudid, and dog-tired after another day of fighting for my life with my private health insurance company, I glimpsed Mitt Romney and his running-mate, Paul Ryan, entering my Los Angeles hospital room dressed in surgical gowns with scalpels in their hands ready to fatally operate on me.

It was a drug-induced hallucination, of course. But the mirage made me sit bolt upright in bed and, fully awake, start to rethink my previous, bitterly dissenting view of Barack Obama.

For the past year, I've been in a death spiral without knowing it. The occasional fainting spell, sprawls on the street and a dramatic weight loss were shrugged off as merely a cost of doing a writer's business. Denial is a most powerful analgesic. Even when paramedics first rushed me to the hospital, I angrily argued with the doctors.

But when a lightning-bolt sciatica pain, triggered by a car accident, brought me down like a bull under the matador's sword, more or less paralyzing the left side of my body, the health gods decided it was time to shut down my hubris. Like something out of the TV's "House" or "General Hospital", suddenly there were midnight ambulances, emergency room traumas, drip feeds, oxygen tubes up my nose, renal failure, suspected meningitis, pneumonia and a minor heart attack.

Thankfully, working as a team at my local Cedars-Sinai hospital, whole platoons of neurosurgeons, cardiologists, nurses, infectious disease experts, radiologists, physical therapists, pulmonologists and hospitalists (whatever they are) dragged me back from the edge. Emergency surgery in a special spinal unit was successful, and today I'm back on my feet - I'm a product of American medicine at its best.

Ah, if only the doctors were free to do their jobs!

My private insurance company, a subsidiary of Wellpoint Inc - America's largest "managed healthcare", for-profit company - interfered at almost every stage of my treatment. They were aggressive and shameless. At my most vulnerable, with tubes sticking out of me, they phoned my hospital room - kicking my anxiety level sky-high - to let me know that Wellpoint's profit-seeking radar had targeted me. The anonymous voice warned, with a kind of smiling threat, that they were on my case: meaning, some bureaucrat - was he or she even medically competent, or just an IT geek - in a far-off, distant corporate office believed that my treatment was violating a mysterious insurance algorithm.

Here in California, Wellpoint and its member plans are notorious, as Reuters reported, for "using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted [women] and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer ... the insurer then [allegedly] canceled their policies based on either erroneous or flimsy information."

The practice is called rescission. To put it bluntly, the company collects your money when you're healthy, but cancels if you get sick. In the case of another insurance company, Health Net Inc, employees were actually paid bonuses based on how many cancellations were carried out; at other insurers, like Wellpoint, staff were praised in performance reviews. Wellpoint's California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, has raised premiums capriciously by as much as 39%. Politically, Wellpoint is, in effect, a rightwing "political action group" that lobbies hard against healthcare reform - even calling upon employees to do their share. In other words, it's the ogre in the medicine cabinet.

Perversely, none of the bad stuff would have come down if my primary insurance had been traditional, government-paid Medicare, the closest America has to a single payer. But a quirk in my union benefits put me in the sweaty hands of Wellpoint. I wasn't threatened with recission, but almost daily, and sometimes several times daily, my doctors were interrogated about practically every measure they took to keep me alive. Again and again, I saw caregivers, even the most skilled and courageous, retreat with an embarrassed, impotent shrug of resignation that said, "what can I do; it's 'the system'?"

So I - and my courageous tiger wife - fought, wangled, yelled, protested until I ultimately squeezed past the algorithm. The surgeon of my choice skillfully removed the whatsit that was pressing on an inflamed nerve that had been beating up my spine, and I even won a little rehab time before the insurance computer forced my early discharge. Along the way, anguish over near-daily arguments with the faceless insurance hanging judges almost gave me another heart attack.

Need it be this way?

Obamacare - also known as the Affordable Health Care Act - isn't medical heaven, or single payer, or anything like the "socialized" NHS that kept me well for the 30 years I lived in the UK. The new law, an obvious compromise with the corporate sickness industry, still keeps us in the hands of private insurance companies. But when the law fully kicks in for the first time, all Americans - regardless of income and "preexisting medical conditions" - must have health coverage. Individuals up to the age of 26 are covered by their parents' plan. Low-income Americans will get subsidies to help them buy insurance, and doctors and hospitals will be paid for outcomes not "procedures". Starting in 2014, insurers are forbidden to deny coverage to anyone who has no workplace - the jobless and freelancers will be able to get a government-mandated, insurance plan; indeed, they must or pay a "fine". And under the new law, "federal parity" means mental healthcare will be more accessible to more people.

Granted, that all depends on this upcoming election day. If Romney and Ryan win - the latest polls tell us this is a real possibility - they, a vengeful Republican Congress and their insurance lobby allies have sworn to sabotage healthcare-for-all. As for repeal and replace, Mitt's prescription for uninsured folks is that emergency room care is a good enough substitute:

"We do provide care for people who don't have insurance ... If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care."

Here and elsewhere, I have written bitterly attacking Obama's serial betrayals. He's no street-scrapper, our Barack. Prior to falling sick, I pined for a third-party candidate, and seriously thought about not voting. But a drug-induced vision of a Romney/Ryan medical hell changed my mind. On 6 November, I'm pulling the lever for Obama: my arrogant, self-sabotaging, drone-happy, compromise-addicted war president.

I never want to see Dr Romney in my hospital room again. Damn it, I want to live.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+121 # LeeBlack 2012-10-15 09:40
Medicare and Education are two areas where the 'free market' doesn't work. The competition that works when selling cars or screwdrivers doesn't work in these areas.

"For profit" insurance companies make money for their share holders by not delivering the services they contracted to deliver.
+29 # mdhome 2012-10-15 19:27
Add in police and fire protection Lee.
+21 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-10-15 22:53
And the army.
+13 # MarieLavoe 2012-10-16 10:21
And how do the republicans not see this. Blind hardheaded WHAT ????????? It is pretty easy to see.
+9 # MarieLavoe 2012-10-16 10:35
My Dr. is an example of trying to abolish medicare. When I turned 65 big sign on his door "NOT ACCEPTING MEDICARE PATIENTS" He kept me as I had been a patient with insurance for a long time. Well guess what? He hardly has ANY PATIENTS NOW. Last time I went I was the only Paient, this morning there was only one. Medicare is the only insurance out there for him. Why does no one see that but me also so many doctors and dentist now being investigated for medicare and medicaid fraud. I blame the money grubing doctors but they like to think of themselves as gods. Not all but there are some and I have seen them.
+73 # Tje_Chiwara 2012-10-15 09:44
Ah, the whining comments of an irresponsible hand-out seeker! Or so Dr. Romney would declare (at least if he was sure no recorders were recording . . . which is the only time he apparently means what he says . . .) in his defense of the healthy wealthy and "wise" (in the NJ connected sense . . .). Politics is supposed to be the practice of the possible, and Obama has been amazingly successful in much of his efforts, and, I think know, he will work very hard to move the country into the direction of responsibility, deemphasis on the military. I am sure that he agonizes everyday over the deaths that are caused in the overseas conflicts, as well as the failures of our internal health, job and infrastructural systems, which equally kill people, just not so directly. I just don't get the sense of that same agony from the "hero-creators" on the other side, who seem to see the glory of conflict in their approach to any issue.
-117 # Martintfre 2012-10-15 10:07
wow -- the best you can come up with is an article spawned by a drug induced hallucination.

I appreciate the unusual honesty
+34 # David Starr 2012-10-15 12:36
@Martinfre: Your hallucinations are not drug-induced. They're natural.
-107 # Martintfre 2012-10-15 10:15
I find the hypocrisy amusing Damming the republicans as being the insurance companies puppets when it was single handedly the Democrat house,senate and president that passed the fascist legislation dictating that every one be forced to purchase a corporate product.
+65 # vt143 2012-10-15 11:19
Quoting Martintfre:
I find the hypocrisy amusing Damming the republicans as being the insurance companies puppets when it was single handedly the Democrat house,senate and president that passed the fascist legislation dictating that every one be forced to purchase a corporate product.

Well, if the Repugs weren't so against ANY healthcare reform, we could have done a lot better and not been forced to purchase a "corporate product." Talk to your friends there, Martinfre, and see what they can do on the next go around. (God forbid you or a family member be seriously injured or fall ill with some horrible malady that will bankrupt you and your family and have you seeking “entitlements.” )
+37 # Bob P 2012-10-15 12:45
Maybe he is a billionaire so has no idea what we are talking about. "fascist legislation" is properly called privatization.
+53 # BlueReview 2012-10-15 11:34
And also eliminating the chance of being denied coverage for "pre-existing conditions." I find it amusing that the Obama-bashers tend to "forget" that little bit of good news. Also, making it illegal for these same insurance companies to charge me more just because I'm a woman. "Fascist legislation" indeed!
-48 # DLT888 2012-10-15 12:51
Good points, Martintfre. Forcing people to BUY anything is Fascism. It shouldn't be sugarcoated to mean anything close to compassionate healthcare.
+33 # Anarchist 23 2012-10-15 14:01
Quoting DLT888:
Good points, Martintfre: Forcing people to BUY anything is Fascism. It shouldn't be sugarcoated to mean anything close to compassionate healthcare.

In that case you will surely support the fight to label GMO food-after all not knowing what the food is is a subtle form of coercion and most people have to eat to stay alive so....or is the Free Market your real God? Anything to make a buck, even things that kill and cannot be avoided?
+20 # LeeBlack 2012-10-15 16:10
So, rules that children attend school from ages 6 to 16; income taxes, wearing a seat belt, etc. are Fascism? You are forced to buy car insurance only if you want to have a car - and of course, there is that public transportation that allows you to go to your job without a car.

It must be difficult living under Fascism
+17 # LeeBlack 2012-10-15 16:12
The Health Care Act that was enacted was originally an idea of the American Enterprise Institute - hardly a Democratic strong hold,
-23 # MidwestTom 2012-10-15 19:53
OBamacare also gave the government the right to demand that all citizens must surrender any and all silver and gold that they might own. I wonder what this has to do healthcare?
+16 # BlueReview 2012-10-15 22:10
Where exactly is this provision? I'd like to see it for myself, but running a search on "gold and silver" isn't turning up any matches.
+13 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-10-15 22:55
Google up "wikipedia fascism" and you might discover that the big corporation in this case is the health insurance dictating what can and cannot be done to cure someone.
+4 # David Heizer 2012-10-17 18:59
Quoting Martintfre:
I find the hypocrisy amusing Damming the republicans as being the insurance companies puppets when it was single handedly the Democrat house,senate and president that passed the fascist legislation dictating that every one be forced to purchase a corporate product.

I find the hypocrisy infuriating, that a truly sane single-payer system was off the table because the Republicans insist on having the 37th-best health care in the world and pretending it's the best, and Obama was forced to settle for the Republican Individual Mandate, which lets Republicans now scream about how "fascist" it is that the Heritage Foundation wanted everyone to have to buy insurance and Obama said, "okay."
+74 # peterjkraus 2012-10-15 10:17
Clancy speaks for many of us: Obama´s Presidency is not all we thought it was cracked up to be. But let´s be realistic: we live in a proto-fascist society that lets big business run wild. A President, especially one of the black persuasion, is not going to win against the profiteers. So compromise is the only way to get ahead. And getting ahead, for this impoverished nation, means providing the basics. And one of them is health care. That alone is the best reason to vote for Obama again.
And, no, I am neither out of a job nor lacking a home nor without insurance. I´m doing fine, thanks. But too many of my neighbors are not. It´s them I am worried about.
-103 # Doc E 2012-10-15 10:22
You are completely misguided. How about the aspect that law suit abuse adds a huge "tort Tax" to the costs of many things which is why one pays so much for a lot of medical services. If you think ObamaCare gives a shit about sick people, smoke some more weed, dude!
Tort reform works in Texas and and would do the same on a national basis.
+48 # BlueReview 2012-10-15 11:43
And yet—your “tort reform” has had little impact on healthcare costs. They’re still skyrocketing. All you’ve done is limit peoples’ legal rights.
+37 # MJnevetS 2012-10-15 12:41
Wow, so much ignorance from a 'Doc'. The CBO found that "tort reform would only save 0.5 percent of all health care costs." Bernard Black, Charles Silver, David A. Hyman, and William M. Sage, Stability, Not Crisis: Medical Malpractice Claim Outcomes in Texas, 1988-2002, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2005.

Further, no longer being able to identify and force improvement (via legal redress, which works to cause hospitals to train or fire bad doctors) Texas health care was ranked worst in the nation this past July.
Not only that, but studies have shown that "defensive medicine" which is the alleged overuse of diagnostic testing (X-Rays, MRIs) to prevent lawsuit, actually increased when the doctors owned the equipment (i.e. it was PROFIT motive not defensive medicine which resulted in overuse) Finally, "Preventable medical mistakes and infections are responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation." It is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. What we need is doctor reform and accountability! Otherwise, ALL people injured by Drs. have to be taken care of by TAX dollars!
+26 # robniel 2012-10-15 12:41
Quoting Doc E:
You are completely misguided.
Tort reform works in Texas and and would do the same on a national basis.

The language alone always spots a right-wing whiner.
+4 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-15 15:58
whining again?
+13 # maverita 2012-10-16 07:36
Oh yeah, tort reform is just working great in Texas. The only people who can sue anyone in tx are the poor, if they can find a lawyer, and the wealthy. In a reasonable lawsuit, if you do not win or lose, you can be sued for the court costs. One of the first uses of this new law was KB&R going after that young woman, who was raped while their employee overseas, to pay close to a $100,000 in court costs, when their company had been in control of covering up or not even collecting evidence.
In a deregulated world, tort reform removes the last tool available to hold greedy corporations accountable for bad decisions, I.e. leaving cars on the road that have fatal design flaws, drugs that are tainted, criminal cover ups, releasing ten times the pollutants allowed, etc.
+10 # sharonsj 2012-10-16 11:38
Tort reform did not work in Texas; it had little or no effect on health insurance premiums but it screwed a lot of victims of malpractice out of just compensation. A little bit of research on your part--instead of pulling crap out of your butt--might help.
+79 # wwway 2012-10-15 10:31
Many Americans who vote Republican live on the denial drug. They have no clue what they are giving up by allowing themselves to be distracted with culture war issues and fear brought on by the rumors Republicans and their preachers spread...fear immigrants, fear Muslims, fear government, fear regultion, fear this, fear that. Good, thinking people will be foreced down the rat hole with these folks if they don't go out and vote every Repulblican and tea out of government.
+34 # alan17b0 2012-10-15 10:43
What a disgusting/reve aling picture at
the head of this article. The Dems
should put this still everywhere.


Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD
+35 # Barbara K 2012-10-15 11:07
alan1b0: I agree, they look like the sneaky evil freaks they are. They will do wrong by us and are laughing at all they can fool. It is disgusting and shameful that they or anyone else don't want us to have health care. That says more about them than about the ones who need the health care.

OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 Go Dem all the way
as we have states that need cleaning out too.

The alternative is disastrous.
+43 # Vardoz 2012-10-15 11:08
We have 51+ million with no health care.Just imagine the cost in lives and expense if they have to go to the emergency room. I live in MA and all of the people I know like Romneycare. More people are getting care and those who pay are paying less. No one can be turned down for a preexisting condition. My husband, who is on Medicare just had an operation with the head of the dept at MGH- So this scare tactic that those on Medicare will not be served is bull and people who have expensive illness will have coverage no matter what as well as our kids being covered to 26- 51+ million with no health care is an outrage in a nation as rich as ours. Ones health is ones life and probably the most important service that one can have access to. OF COURSE WE ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA!
+35 # DreamWalker 2012-10-15 11:15
First, a word about "managed care". It protects the bottom line at all costs. It is the most restrictive insurance option there is, and has GOT to be the one the doctors hate the most. I find it hard to believe that all medical professionals are up in arms at the thought of socialized medicine, when what we have with the managed care option is SO much worse! Personally, I am in a fight for my life to have surgery to my spine that could quite literally preserve my ability to breathe without mechanical assistance, and right now, "managed care" says no. I could also lose the ability to walk, but that's minor in comparison with the idea of sudden cessation of breathing.

I think for profit insurance companies have had free reign long enough. Look where it's gotten us. We are more in debt even for our cost share of medical expenses. How has this saved us anything? How has this served us? I think these are important questions, and important to keep in mind as the election nears.
+18 # X Dane 2012-10-15 15:26

Reading about your terrible predicament I worry for you and the many in similar situations. There are several of the people commenting here who have mentioned THEIR severe health issues. We can NOT continue with the "sick" system we have now. I hope very much that you will be helped.
+16 # mdhome 2012-10-15 19:21
Less expensive health care, better outcomes in many "socialized" countries such as the UK, France, Canada, Australia...... ..
+13 # X Dane 2012-10-15 20:29
And Denmark..... My parents and I had TB 60 years ago. Had we been born here We would probably be dead. For then the treatment was LONG time bed rest at a sanatorium. We were all cured. And I have been well since.
+39 # giraffee2012 2012-10-15 11:18
Written as a story, the man traveled through medical hell + insurance hell. Fact is: If you can afford to pay for your medical and hate Obama - then vote for R/R - (and same for education, food, etc)

But if you're part of the 47% or even the 99% - think twice before pulling the lever for R/R because R/R will take what you have (in taxes, goods, health, education) and give it (in tax breaks, subsidies, etc) to the top 1%.

Romoney takes great pains each year to pay as little taxes as possible (yes, even moving $$ to the Cayman Islands) and if you think he won't do the same for those who feed his SUPER PACKS - he will and he'll get the money to do so from the People.

Remember, Romeny states "Corporations are people" - as if they are the only "people" who create jobs. The little businesses create more jobs than the Corporations and that is a fact said by both sides.

VOTE straight DEM - Obama/Biden - and get everyone you know OUT to VOTE (including yourself)

Ask for paper ballot if your polling place has DIEBOLD machines.
+20 # DaveM 2012-10-15 11:26
I had no idea that Dilaudid could expand political consciousness. Then again,a drug-induce hallucination interpreted as a "spiritual experience" was one of the major influences in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. So....I guess anything is possible.

I, too, would like to see doctors allowed to practice medicine without restraint, to order tests and prescribe when needed as they see fit. Instead, they provide "what your insurance will pay for", for some decades. In addition, the policy of virtually all clinics and hospitals is dictated by lawyers fearful of malpractice suits, not doctors.

Most of this has not been caused by nor can it be solved by, government. An end to frivolous lawsuits filed merely because an insurance company will "settle" would be a partial solution. That is a matter of individual behavior change. Legitimate malpractice claims deserve to be heard--but those could be minimized if the medical profession would police itself and attend to incompetent practitioners.

The cost of prescription drugs is set, to some extent, by "what insurance will pay". Pharmaceutical companies set the bar high and as long as it was not questions, left it there. Here the insurance industry (including Medicare) could use an overhaul. A company which routinely charges more than its customers can or will pay is a company that is soon without customers. The consumer and the middlemen(insur ance providers) can do this.
+24 # Citizen Mike 2012-10-15 11:29
The unspoken Republican agenda is GENOCIDE AGAINST THE POOR! You were supposed to die to protect their profits, that is your job as a member of the expendable, exploitable 47 percent!
-26 # 2012-10-15 11:37
Wellpoint is a government-prot ected oligopolistic firm. They do not represent any sort of "free market" -- no one would buy their policies if they had a choice given the publicity around their business practices.

State Insurance Commissions however give people few choices. The proper policy answer to this problem is to abolish the state insurance commissions and to allow other insurers into the market so that competition would allow consumers to make more constructive choices.

In addition, the practice of rescission is illegal everywhere in the United States. If this were actually going on, the company would be put our of business.

In fact, what is going on is the insurers find that customers-patie nts have often lied on their applications and hidden expensive medical conditions in order to qualify for lower premiums. It would be inappropriate to allow customer-patien ts to cheat their insurers in this way.

Finally, Medicare, which I have been forced to buy, is a major crock. Bills sometimes take years to pay and every bit of health care is questioned and rejected, sometimes several times, before all the red tape is cleared.

Save me from government and insurance company red tape and give me an opportunity to purchase a membership in a free market health care co-op and I would be forever grateful.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+16 # robniel 2012-10-15 12:46
My ten years on Medicare has provided no problems whatsoever. Wonder what's wrong with you that your "major crock" apparently rejects some of your claims? Fraudulent? Physician duplication? Physician not coding properly?
+4 # bingers 2012-10-17 01:42
Quoting robniel:
My ten years on Medicare has provided no problems whatsoever. Wonder what's wrong with you that your "major crock" apparently rejects some of your claims? Fraudulent? Physician duplication? Physician not coding properly?

My experience is the same as yours. A few years back, as "Obamacare" was being debated, a large majority of AMA doctors were in favor of it because it allowed a couple extra hours a day to see patients and got them paid far faster than with the insurance companies.
+18 # MJnevetS 2012-10-15 12:51
Yes Lee, it's all those pesky governmental regulations which are PREVENTING insurance companies from spending all of your premiums to give you the best health care. It's not the profit motive that causes them to retain medical reviewers to DENY coverage if any plausible argument can be found.
+15 # David Starr 2012-10-15 12:53
Quoting "Save me from government and insurance company red tape and give me an opportunity to purchase a membership in a free market health care co-op and I would be forever grateful."

A "free" market can many times mean slavery if there's a dependency on the uequal relationship of capital over labor, private monopolies not really having to be accounted for (there's been a lot of deregulation for quite a few years), a sometimes dependency on people in quiet desparation seeking, or holding onto, a job, and where there's a "reserve army" (unemployed) of labor to tap into when needed, knowing the necessecity of getting work.

But there's also the almost routine "layoffs" if it suits the priority of profits. Then, workers are back out on street, looking for work. Capital's profits rise; in turn, labor's rights fall.

That's a summation of the "free," capitalist market.
+10 # mdhome 2012-10-15 19:10
Just who is FORCING you to go with medicare?? I have never heard of anyone not being allowed to buy insurance policy unless they had a "prior" condition.
+34 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-15 12:06
I can never understand this debate regarding health care. Republicans always say we need to repeal health care but when I ask what they propose they have no answer except to say go to the ER for care. When I say that over 40,000 people die due to not having health care their response is oh well or it does not happen. When I say I have a nephew who has exhaused his savings and cannot work and has had two heart attacks and three strokes and I ask what he should do, I get no answers. The only thing I heard was at a Republican rally where they shouted "let him die." But I do not think that "right to life" should take that position but they do.
+16 # cordleycoit 2012-10-15 12:09
Being in a simar circumstance I revised my utter disdain for the Chicago Democratic machine vrs dying at the hands of Mittens Romney These are pleasant things to think about when one is on meds. Being on Medicaid I am looking at becoming the property of some insurance giant that will wish to kill me. That is if Obama wins; if he loses I get to die in the streets another victim of a nonexistent 'free' market. Living is an adventure, not for the squeamish.
+11 # Buddha 2012-10-15 12:29
I seriously can't wait to get out of this country. It is going to kill us all, but not before draining us of all our money.
+12 # Glen 2012-10-15 13:44
I am interested in knowing where you are going to move. Many folks have left and I would have a long time ago except for responsibilitie s. There are numerous countries that are very desirable, including Ecuador, where a friend of a friend, who is 80, moved, and loves the health care, easy cost of living and easy living.
+11 # Anarchist 23 2012-10-15 14:05
Quoting Buddha:
I seriously can't wait to get out of this country. It is going to kill us all, but not before draining us of all our money.

Buddha: I know the feeling. I have already picked out another country and set up my living there-but until the last possible moment I will stay here and fight for the rest of my fellows, even if I lose my escape in the end.
-4 # David Starr 2012-10-15 12:34
Quoting Sigal: "My private insurance company, a subsidiary of Wellpoint Inc - America's largest "managed healthcare", for-profit company - interfered at almost every stage of my treatment. They were aggressive and shameless."

For-profit = the wealth of money, not the health of somebody.

The thing with Obamacare is that it was infuentially crafted by private insurance industry execs, meaning mere tinkering with the the main problem intact: Profits over peoples. With Obamacare being mandatory, this puts struggling people between a rock and a hard place; Increasing, for-profit healthcare costs and forking out more money to buy insurance; either that or still fork out money to pay a penalty. The mandatory "option" should be removed.
+1 # bingers 2012-10-17 01:46
Every less than ideal thing about "Obamacare" is the result of 95 Republican amendments designed to destroy it. Try to know facts, not talking points.
+12 # karlarove 2012-10-15 13:27
Anthem /Well point needs your money to buy back their stock. They do this to manipulate the price, make earnings look better, and put more money in the executive management’s piggy banks. They can’t do that and pay for medical claims. Even though our premiums we pay for our health coverage, their commitment is to their shareholders.
In 2/2011 WLP 2012 expanded its prior stock buy back plan by $1.6 billion and against a market cap of close to $25 billion. In April, 2012 WellPoint announced their plan to repurchase $2.5 billion worth of their own shares this year, which amounts to nearly 11% of the shares outstanding at the current price,@ $69.25 a share
They are expected to earn $7.70 in the current year and $8.50 next year. Health Insurance is a VERY lucrative business, that’s why we do not have a single payer option.
+20 # margpark 2012-10-15 13:31
I'm for 'single payer'all the way and would prefer to send for profit insurance companies straight to hell if it was possible. So far no president has been able to get single payer past the Republicans so we are stuck with Obamacare which is a lot better than nothing.
+6 # brux 2012-10-15 16:04
I think a Presidential Decree could extend Medicare down to more people, that might be the answer. Insurance companies don't really do anything for all the money we pay them.
+9 # Malcolm 2012-10-15 17:53
Do you think Obama really tried to get us single payer? I can tell you one thing; it's not just the Rethugs. I was at a town hall meeting with my Demo Senator Ron Wyden, and when i told him that (his version of) Obamacare was "insurance companies' wet dream", he told me, "Malcolm, you know as well as I do that the Federal government couldn't organize a two car parade; there's no way we can organize single payer health care." He allowed me to respond: "Senator, sounds to me like you should be working on better organizing skills. Start with your two car parade, then tackle single payer". Got quite an ovation from the attendees; it was clear that the vast majority of attendees were not thrilled with Wyden's cow towing to the insurance giants.
+7 # X Dane 2012-10-15 20:16
I certainly also wanted to see a single payer system; but that would NOT have been possible. I am sure there will be improvements on the new law.

It will be amended and in time more people will agree with your position and before too long I think we will get a single payer system.That is precisely what all the ones against the law are convinced about. Let's hope they are correct.
0 # Malcolm 2012-10-17 20:17
Hi, X Dane,

thanks for the response. Why? Why not possible? Please excuse my ignorance of political procedure, issues, and/or impossibilities :)

And do you really think that Congress, the Prez, and the Supremes, are willing to forego "contributions" from all the supporters of insurance based Obamacare in the future? I sure hope you're correct.
+19 # Robyn 2012-10-15 14:13
Reading articles like make me thank god that I luve in a country that has good government healthcare. When I had a stroke, I was instantly admitted to hospital and cared for by wonderful staff and doctors. I never heard from Medicare and all costs were covered. I can walk into a doctor's office and never have to pull my wallet out.
Thank you Australia.
I just hope that the people of America can one day do the same.
+2 # Malcolm 2012-10-18 12:13
Robin, thanks for sharing this. We here in US of A have the same coverage, if we want to pay a small amount extra for Medigap, as long as we're over 65. I'm recovering from a ruptured appendix. Cost for hospital, doctors, and meds was just over $30,000. My cost? Zip. Nada. not one thin dime.

We should really have "medicare for all"!
+7 # WolfTotem 2012-10-15 14:46
I wonder that Clancy didn't get his wife to call the police when the insurers were plotting to murder him!

They must kill off plenty of people that way - you don't need even an ounce of extra stress when you're fighting for your life.

I also wonder how medicine manages to survive in America, with medics caught in the crossfire between insurance companies, ambulance-chasi ng shysters and Big Pharma.

It's simply BARBARIC.
+1 # brux 2012-10-15 16:02
Good article.

However, when the deadline comes for all people to be signed up for health insurance the country is going to get another rude awakening too. What are they going to do with all the many people who cannot or do not have health insurance?

Fine them money they do not have and cannot afford.

It's the system in America that makes people sick, they part herd sickness into a segment of society and say bye-bye to them and not give it a second thought, because that is the way we have encouraged people to be and designed the system to be.
-3 # Malcolm 2012-10-15 17:46
Nobody's perfect, including presidents. I hate the requirement under Obamacare that everyone be forced to buy insurance from for profit companies (yep-profit, not people matter at the end of their day). However, i could still vote for Oboma, and probably would, if it weren't for two major issues. I just could not live with myself if i voted for someone who A. attacked the Bill of Rights (NDAA 2012, which I hope y'all know all about) and B. kills people without ever seeing them, never giving them a chance to defend themselves-eith er in a court of law or in their own houses when they are blown to bits. How many people will have to die at the hands of Obama and his henchmen before America wakes up and says "enough"?

It's really odd. President Obama seems like such an affable young man. Nice smile. Beautiful family. Great speaker. But what's going on? Is it a multiple personality? Blackmail by the "defense industry"? (what an oxymoron THAT is). Or is he just a silver tongued devil?

I really don't know the answer. I did write his office; i'll let y'all know how he explains these issues. (But don't, like, hold your collective breaths. Do you think he'll respond to some old man?
-5 # Malcolm 2012-10-15 17:49
I also searched his website for the words "drone", ndaa, etc. nothing comes up. Finally i searched for "extrajudicial" . FINALLY. Not. He brags that he fought to leave the words "Prevented the removal of sexual orientation from a UN resolution condemning extrajudicial killings ..."

Groovy. I'm happy he's standing up for the gays. But how about some kind of explanation for what he, himself, is doing what with all this extrajudicial killing?

And what a sterile sounding phrase. I prefer "bloody murder" myself.

Thanks, but i'm going to vote for either Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson. I've voted for the lesser of two evils too many times. Remember the definition of insanity.
+1 # Malcolm 2012-10-17 20:22
I LOVE IT when people give me thumbs down, without comment. I believe it indicates that they have nothing to say on the subject, but just want to support status quo. Do you thumbers really think that Obama didn't sign NDAA? Do you think NDAA does not exist? Do you think indefinite detention won't affect you PERSONALLY, so it's ok?

Same questions, to each of you, in regards to extrajudicial murders. Are you ok with that?

Or will you just give me the old thumbs down again, eh? I wonder why the word CHICKENHAWK keeps entering my consciousness? Or maybe it's "chicken$$$$
+14 # mdhome 2012-10-15 19:07
The DEATH panels are in the INSURANCE companies!!
+4 # spercepolnes 2012-10-15 19:13
Thank god I live in a country that takes health seriously, as a basic fundamental of decent society - not as a money making scam! One of the first calls of the tax dollar, should be universal health care for all - but - a lot of you know that! What are you going to do about it? Voting in tweedledum or tweedledee won't make any difference..... ..
+7 # kalpal 2012-10-16 04:06
Think about it for a minute or two. What is more important, your miserable pain wracked life or the CEO's massive annual bonus?

You know the management at Wellpoint depends on all that money they save by not paying to keep you alive. If you die a miserable painful death some executive may be able to buy a nice vacation home and some underling will get a nice $100 check for making sure your benefits were not wasted on a future corpse.

Do remember to keep up the payments on your burial insurance. Your family may need that money sooner than you imagined.
+3 # 2012-10-16 12:58
Clancy, I like the Hyperbole! Mitt and their right wing Republicans have no problem supporting health care corporations who tell anyone with breast cancer they are removed from their subscriber list. By the way, I am VERY left wing and I want all liberals to read Robert Duncan, PhD (NO 2 surnames) who writes about very sophisticated electronics. Or just Google St. Clair Akwei's lawsuit against N.S.A, which is mind-boggling. Please believe us. This is happening.
+3 # moby doug 2012-10-16 13:45
Mr Sigal had to get caught in a personal medical crisis before he could see the light about for-profit medical insurance and the difference between Robme and Obama? He's mighty slow on the uptake.
+4 # lizrich 2012-10-18 09:08
Clancy, I am so glad you are alive. I tried to call you when you were silent for tooooo longs and the number I have doesn't work any more. And my emails to you went unanswered. Vote for Obama. It's the Supreme Court, Stupid. Nothing is more important.

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