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In United States
Registered Jul 08, 2010
pianist's most recent comments:
- On 30 Aug 2012
Remember a few decades ago? When Republicans were pro-choice?,
If the goal of the Christian Coalition (and company) is to ensure that their endorsees have a perfect “scorecard” and that their influence continues to broaden, then they have succeeded indeed. If their goal is to curb abortion, they have failed miserably. When one of our leaders promises something real (not a token nod to some social issue), for instance new business to the community of his constituents, then that leader must bring in that new factory, military base, etc., by horse trading with other legislators, making phone calls, and working hard to get the tangible result his voters want. Yet, nowadays, a “Pro-Life” candidate need only clock in his vote and call it a day. There is no motivation to “horse trade” (strike deals with other legislators for votes his way), because the outcome of the vote is politically irrelevant to him, so long as his “scorecard” is marked correctly. Thus there is no real relationship to the pro-life/choice stance of the candidate and the ultimate legality of abortion. The fate of our unborn brethren is further distanced from the voters by considering whether successful pro-life legislation would even make a difference. For instance, the abortion rate actually declined significantly during Clinton’s administration, despite his pro-choice activism. I could be wrong, but my theory for this is that the extra media attention and ensuing discussion got women thinking more about the life of the fetus, leading them to realize that abortion is in fact wrong after all. Information, it would seem, not legislation, is the best weapon against abortion. In this way Bill Clinton was actually an unwitting ally for the unborn. Other international stats have shown a negative correlation with abortion rights and number abortions.
My point is that the GOP has indeed been hijacked by the Pro-life camp, but it is not for anyone’s good, least of all our unborn.
- On 14 Apr 2012
Should I cancel my health insurance?,
one accident or serious illness and you're screwed. keep the insurance if you can afford it.
Actually, you may be screwed even if you have insurance, depending on the accident.
OK, sburke56, I am in your boat (healthy, self-employed, two kids, HDHP/HSA), except I pay about twice what you pay (and I'm 46 years old, probably older than you). We never receive claims reimbursements, and we are also considering changing policies, perhaps even playing "Russian Roulette" and dropping insurance altogether, like we did for most of the 10 years before we had kids. Our insurance has recently shot up, perhaps because we recently had a lot of health care expenses run past the eyes of the insurer: two births, a cystectomy, and PT for the little one (all of which were paid for with our money). The insurer claims to have dickered the price down from what the health care providers would have charged us uninsured. We have actually dickered down some expenses without the insurer being in the loop, and it is difficult to know how much more the insurer can dicker down, since both parties are somewhat secretive about that information.
Has anyone went to the hospital without insurance and negotiated what they would pay?
We did actually get a really good deal on our first birth by preregistering/prepaying with a hospital that was trying to court births away from another more popular birthing hospital: $2400 to the hospital (Ob/epidural not included).
Nevertheless, dicker power may still be an advantage for keeping a policy that doesn't pay outs. Another for us was peace of mind while fording through uncharted waters of labor/delivery health care. Of course, now I lose some peace of mind with each check we send to the insurer, knowing that part of that money is used to lobby against ever having a single payer...
- On 3 Nov 2011
How long would you live without health insurance?,
[The bill was around $60,000 to save my life, and since I save my money, I would have been able to pay it out of pocket. With my insurance it cost me about $5000.]
Those amounts are the negotiated amounts of the insurance company. If you had paid out of pocket, the cost would have been substantially greater unless they would be willing to negoitate with you. The system sucks.
You obviously have more expertise than I do with health care, by looking at your nursing home web page. However, I thought I would mention that my family has recently been negotiating directly with providers and getting great results, albeit not for the likes of a $60k tab. We actually prepaid one labor/delivery service and got a great deal, and pre-negotiated another. We had to shop around, and hospitals' finance departments are inconsistent with this sort of thing. We used to let our high-deductible insurer do the dickering before we settled up, and they were happy to take credit for "saving" us such and such money on procedures. However, it seems that most providers are happy to short-circuit the insurance when the patients have ready money.
I've mentioned before that for us to ever fulfill the dream of a single-payer system, we will need to not demonize the health care providers, but rather partner with then and focus on our common enemy, the insurance industry. My apologies to you if a single-payer system is not your dream.