September 4, 2011

Did a 24-year-old Cincinnati man die of a toothache because he didn't have health insurance?

No. Let's be honest. It's sad that he died, but let's be clear about why he died and not demagogue it.

146 comments:

mesquito said...

I had an alcoholic friend die of a spider bite because the whiskey he was drinking neutralized the antibiotics he was taking.

No health insurance in the world would have saved him.

wv: mortinde

themightypuck said...

Dental pain can make you a bit crazy but yeah, antibiotics were pretty much non-negotiable. Still, he died of an infection and probably wouldn't have had he had health insurance or just money. Money is good. I'm sure lots of people die prematurely for lack of funds.

cubanbob said...

He died because he was stupid. Seriously wouldn't spend $80 for dentist? $27 for antibiotics? I'm sorry but i don't feel particularly upset. Couldn't find a friend or a relative to spot him a loan. It always the taxpayers fault they don't have this or that. All these people can never find money for routine medical care but somehow always find money for beer, smokes and drugs.

Shouting Thomas said...

File under One Millionth Repetition of Obama's Campaign Slogan:

You're a Racist if You Don't Vote for Obama!

Class factotum said...

Even if he had health insurance, he would have had a co-pay for the antibiotics. My co-pay is $20, I think, for drugs from the drugstore (instead of mail order), although for some drugs it's as high as $140 (for a 3-month supply).

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for the link, Ann!

The Crack Emcee said...

I heard about this through one of my black gay racist idiot friends on Facebook, who's always trying to prove what a retched place America is by running stories of gay's and the poor's suffering at the hands of the eeeevil white world:

This guy died because he was stupid - almost as stupid as the idea behind the phrase "die of a toothache."

Henry said...

People not taking theior medications is a huge problem in drug benefit management. Even people with gold-plated coverage don't take their medications. They may not like the side effects, or they're forgetful, or they run out and don't replenish. All the spinning of this anecdote does is trump understanding of the real health policy issue.

Fusion said...

Let's be honest: he died because he couldn't afford to buy antibiotics. If we had French-style universal health care in this country, he would have been able to get the antibiotics as well as the painkillers. Some people do not have the money for extraction or for antibiotics. They may be unemployed, or trying to support a large family on a minimum wage job. It is unconscionable that we let this happen. It reveals a truly calloused conscience.

AllenS said...

Oftentimes, 24-year-olds don't make wise decisions. So, there's that angle.

The Drill SGT said...

seems to me that we aren't talking about a lot of money in all the options.

He selected pain meds. If he didn't have a prescription those would have cost what? $50-100?

1. get an extraction. Maybe some gold plated health care is free (but that's why the cost is exploding). For the rest of us in the public we have this thing called co-pays, so his $80 extraction would have a $20-30 co=pay. plus some drugs. you get back to the $50-100 dollar out of pocket cost.

2. go to the ER, get a script for pain meds and anti-biotics. same deal, even with insurance the average joe is out $40-60 bucks in co-pays, and you have both the ER cost and the deferred extraction

3. (what he selected) don't do squat, go out of pocket for the pain meds after an ER visit, the pain meds are that same $50-100. and you haven't solved anything.

He.chose.poorly

I bet when he died, he had a cell phone, flat screen HDTV, and a choice of intoxicants at his flat. If this story weren't about his death, it would be about his inability to put food on the table for his child. some people make bad decisions. poor people more than most. In some small part, that's why some continue to be poor, generation after generation.

with healthcare, he'd still have co-pays and still have been stupid.

co-pays force the customer to consider the cost of unneeded care. without them, any hope of healthcare cost control is gone, gone.

The Drill SGT said...

ah, while I was writing, Cubanbob said it in fewer words :)

rick said...

@Fusion. You are an idiot. I suspect the ER physician(s) 'slpained to him the diagnosis and what the two scripts they prescribed would accomplish. You can't legislate against stupidity and you are clear evidence of that.

Shouting Thomas said...

It is unconscionable that we let this happen. It reveals a truly calloused conscience.

Bullshit.

We must assume some degree of risk in this life. Making life entirely risk free, i.e., preventing one idiot from acting stupid, will ultimately paralyze us.

We see the same bullshit among the environmentalists who keep insisting that we cannot accept any kind of environmental risk in the production of energy.

Bullshit.

Paco Wové said...

"Let's be honest:"

Always a pretty good indicator that someone is about to lie to you.

Ann Althouse said...

The extraordinary thing is that -- during all the debate about Obamacare -- we were deluged with thousands of stories like this. You don't transform the whole structure of the economy because an occasional thing like this happens. My question is: Why weren't there many many more supposedly heartrending storeis?

Mike said...

Let's be honest: he died because he couldn't afford to buy antibiotics.

did you even read the part about purchasing the pain meds instead of the antibiotices?

Let's be really honest--he died because he was an idiot. No healthcare system in the world--short of being back home and forced to take your medicine by your mother--could have saved this man. And certainly the callous, cheap, and ultimately unavailable "free" healthcare under a socialist plan would have failed to heal this moron.

Ann Althouse said...

Remember when Jim Henson died of an infection? And the actress Brittany Murphy?

You can die of an infection if you don't take it seriously early enough, even if you have insurance and plenty of money. It happens.

Henry said...

@Fusion -- You seem to be under the misapprehension that "universal" means "free". Even in France there are co-pays.

Ann Althouse said...

""Let's be honest:" Always a pretty good indicator that someone is about to lie to you."

This post is deliberately written in a way to invite you to entertain the possibility that it is Donald Douglas who is demagoguing.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Interesting, three of us made the same word selection, I assume while not seeing the other's post:

stupid.

co-pay and gold-plated are also popular

Shouting Thomas said...

Why weren't there many many more supposedly heartrending storeis?

The answer is, I think, self-evident.

My question: Given the extremely tough financial struggle of the past 3 to 4 years, why isn't the spoiled brat sense of entitlement breaking down?

You would think that the constant mantra that we're entitled to everything, and that no risk can be allowed, would be supplanted by a more common sense belief that compromises have to be made in the face of unpleasant reality.

Leland said...

This guy received healthcare. It is the only way he could have gotten the prescriptions (legally). He died by doing something AMA (Against Medical Advice). The doctor told him to get both medications, and he ignored the doctor's advice.

His Aunt asks, "do I eat or do I get my medicine?"

I ask, "why do I have to pay for your nephew's drugs when you have the financial capability to do so? Why did you let him die like that?"

Shouting Thomas said...

Crack is a guy who's gone through some extremely rough times, and he's still a believer in personal responsibility.

Good guy, if you ask me.

He's got his idiosyncrasies, just like we all do. But, he isn't blaming other people.

Good for him.

The Drill SGT said...

Sixty Grit said...
What fresh lies to you have for us today, Ass Crack?


please go kick your dog or something. I too think some posters here are idiots, but I refuse to get torqued about them and just don't respond generally. (e.g Freder :) It's better for your blood pressure.

next time, just pass on the comment and you'll bring a bit more civility to the conversation

Ann Althouse said...

If people are going to expect others to pay for all their prescriptions we are going to be screwed. It's bad enough that Bush caved on seniors' prescription drugs.

Who will be able to afford insurance if all that is covered?

But maybe it will be better with government panels ordering people about. The govt would have required him to get the tooth yanked out, and that would be the end of it. He'd survive and he'd be missing a tooth, and there will be lots and lots of missing teeth in the future, as in the past.

Or maybe the govt will force us to stop eating candy and sticky sweet things and we won't get rotten teeth at all.

Carol_Herman said...

People died of infections all the time.

And, it wasn't so long ago (in terms of time), that the barber also pulled teeth.

And, so did Aunt Polly. In Huckleberry Finn.

Then, if you compare what it costs for insurance. And, what it would cost to go see a dentist ONCE ... you'd see you could be your own insurer.

If this is to support the idea that insurance is a "right" ... that's wrong.

Medicine would cost a whole lot less if we threw out the fears doctors have about being sued.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

It's not like this guy was a 24 year old truck. No blank check (or $27) for him.

Shouting Thomas said...

Who will be able to afford insurance if all that is covered?

Ah! The forbidden truth!

Insurance, which is a subsidy, drives up the cost of medical care and drugs.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Ann - The term "lets be honest" doesn't necessarily mean that a lie is likely to follow.

What it usually means is that the speaker is probably going to say something that is not popular or something that the listener may not agree with or want to hear.

Lets be honest, the manipulation of the written word is a popular pastime of both sides of a particular debate.

Carol_Herman said...

Sometimes people also die by drowning. Jumping into ... or falling into water. And, they don't wear life preservers.

You can't force people to take care of themselves. Or do things that forestalls injuries.

As sometimes the risks are apparent when it's much too late. And, sometimes its the people with money who get into this kind of trouble.

Ann Althouse said...

"And, so did Aunt Polly. In Huckleberry Finn."

In old TV/movie comedy, some guy with a toothache was always tying one end of a string around the tooth, and the other end to a doorknob and then slamming the door.

Kind of like the way this guy decapitated himself (intentionally).

Maximum Twine said...

Another Darwin Award winner. Of course he is black. Good riddance. One less welfare case creating more welfare babies.

ndspinelli said...

They can have my Milk Duds, that I eat @ the movie theatre, when they pry them from my cold, dead, hands[and teeth].

On the subject of movies, I ate Milk Duds watching the movie, The Guard, last night. It is superb!!

Carol_Herman said...

"From my point of view." Donald Trump, who did not read Dick Cheney's book, said that anyone who says to him "from my point of view," is lying about what happened.

I don't think Donald Trump's book review (which he didn't read), goes to the facts about the book.

Customs gets us saying things without thinking. Like "The Right Honorable Gentlemen." Precedes everything British. Believe it or not.

Maguro said...

Nice mobying, "Maximum Twine". Hurry up and log in under your other account so that you can denounce yourself in the strongest possible terms. Moral rectitude feels good, doesn't it

Ann Althouse said...

"In old TV/movie comedy, some guy with a toothache was always tying one end of a string around the tooth, and the other end to a doorknob and then slamming the door."

Try looking for video of one of those old comedy routines. You can't get past all the YouTube videos of children getting a loose tooth removed. I did not watch any of those videos. Yikes! I don't want to see a kid getting hurt!

Hagar said...

A small point.
My last extraction cost me $175.5 - and the oral surgeon kept the gold crown.

ic said...

"Do not fear, Obamacare!"

Brought to you by Obama, the ambulance chaser.

rhhardin said...

Suppose coffee is $20 a pound.

Then the poor stop drinking coffee.

Suppose you want to help out, so the government hands poor people entering the store $20.

Do they spend it on coffee? No. They have better uses for $20 than $20 coffee.

But they have the money!

"Can't afford" means not that you don't have the money but that you make another choice for the money.

Carol_Herman said...

Guy was probably afraid of the dentist!

Not afraid of getting his hair cut.

So, he'd have money for that.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"Yikes! I don't want to see a kid getting hurt!"

What do we think happens to them w/o healthcare or living parents?

Or is it enough to to not "see" them being hurt? Out of sight, out of mind.

Cruel neutrality.

rick said...

If he took the painkiller and not the antibiotic, he presumably died without pain.

Maybe he read Jack Kevorkian's book and this was his plan.

Canuck said...

"No health insurance in the world would have saved him."

Under my employer plan I pay $0 for medicine. No co-pays.

Mary Beth said...

Walmart sells many common prescriptions for $4 (pdf). There are several antibiotics on the list.

Meijer gives antibiotics away for free.

I think that people just don't take infections that seriously now because it is so rare for someone who is young, and otherwise healthy, to die of one.

Hagar said...

"Health insurance" today is pre-paid medical care, not insurance.

And the pre-pay is for everybody in your group plus overhead costs, regardless if you need any medical services or not.

And your "employer paid plan" is part of your salary. Your salary is the total cost of keeping you employed; your paycheck is just what you get to keep of it.

Shanna said...

Walmart sells many common prescriptions for $4 (pdf). There are several antibiotics on the list.

Exactly. And a bunch of other place followed suit. If you tell your doctor money is an issue, I'm sure they'll make sure you get something that is on the cheap side if possible. They may even give you samples, or at least they used to do that.

But pain killers over antibiotics when you have an infection? Really?

Big Mike said...

You're asking Democrats not to demagogue?

Why not ask the sun to come up in the west?

Canuck said...

He died of his brain swelling.

It's quite possible his decision-making process was compromised by the infection. This infection was clearly moving fast.

bagoh20 said...

If we had government provided food and liquor, he would have had the money for the antibiotics. This is an outrage.

I always keep a supply of antibiotics and painkillers. Life sucked without those things back in the day.

Writ Small said...

I noticed Matthew Yglesias was one of those demagoguing the man's death. Matt should have come clean when he had the chance.

Maguro said...

The whole thing is a bit of a red herring since even most countries with socialized mediine have copays for prescription drugs. No way can we make the assumption that government healthcare would have saved this guy.

Sorin said...

Oh well, another fool bites the dust. Yesterday he could have died from a tree branch hitting his head while biking without a helmet. Today he could have died falling into the water without a life jacket. It just goes to show you that we all come with a round trip ticket, no return reservation.

bagoh20 said...

Liberals like to talk about "root cause". In this case it was that the government didn't brush his teeth for him...after enforcing a strict sugar free diet. Just a little more government could have saved him, just a little more.

Dr Weevil said...

Even in my small town, there's a free dental clinic. I don't know whether prescriptions are free there, but the dental work certainly is. A friend (who sometimes comments here - maybe she'll have something to say when she wakes up) got $26,000 worth of fillings and caps there last year.

Here's how it went: Her teeth were in terrible shape after years of unemployment. She went to a regular dentist for an urgently-needed filling to take care of a toothache. They charged her $200+ for the filling and came up with a plan to fix all her other teeth. That's where she got the $26,000 price tag. Since that's more than twice her annual income, she went to the free clinic as soon as she found out it existed, filled out the paperwork, proved with her tax records that she couldn't afford to pay, and got all her teeth fixed in a matter of months absolutely free. I was a little envious, since I spend a lot on co-pays and over-limit expenses at my dentist, the same one she went to first. Then again, I have full-time job, so I still have more money left at the end of the month, so I can't really complain.

So, does a huge city like Cincinnati have any free dental clinics where the actual extraction would have been free? I suspect they have more than one. Even if the drugs would not be covered (I don't know) the money saved by not having to pay for the extraction would have easily covered both drugs.

By the way, foreigners who pretend that 20% of Americans don't have health care (and "die in the streets") because they don't have health insurance, are simply wrong. There's plenty of health care for the uninsured, and quite a bit of it is free.

edutcher said...

Considering that the NHS in Blighty is picking and choosing who gets care and who doesn't, this is a lousy argument for socialized medicine.

Zeke Emanuel and Donald Berwick would have let this guy die because his life wasn't useful enough to the state.

Ann Althouse said...

"Let's be honest:" Always a pretty good indicator that someone is about to lie to you.

You're making an assumption based on the use of a cliche.

And you, a law professor.

Carol_Herman said...

People died of infections all the time.

And, it wasn't so long ago (in terms of time), that the barber also pulled teeth.


Actually, it as, but hat's where Ward Bond went in "Hondo" when the Duke loosened one of his.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

The odds are that both those prescriptions could have been filled for $4.00 each at the wal-mart. When I had recent dental work...an infection...that's what it cost me and was cheaper there, not giving them my insurance, then at my regular pharmacy with co-pay. We use the regular pharmacy for more exotic prescriptions, but there is a list of several hundred commonly prescribed drugs for $4.00.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Darwin award candidate.

He is just a dumbshit that would rather get high than get well. Good riddance.

Martin said...

Responding to Ann--I'm sure that during the Obamacare fight we did hear about every horror story there was, plus a lot that were exaggertated or purposefully misconstrued, like this one.

iirc, a few months ago I read where the Obamacare program for people with chronic conditioons that made them uninsurable, had hardly any takers--like 1-2% of what was budgeted, despite initial fears/hopes that it would be swamped. The reports said that Sibelius was going to issue new guidelines making many, many more people eligible, because we can't hallow a program to have no demonstrated need, can we?

Rick said...

Unless I missed it I did not see facts about him being married, living at home, having a job, and raising a family. He was a father of a young girl. There is no suggestion that he was supporting her. Yet we are supposed to believe that society will pay a high price for his no longer being alive? Seems to me he won't sire any more kids out of wedlock.

Paco Wové said...

"You're making an assumption based on the use of a cliche."

Actually, that was me, not Law Professor Althouse.

And yes, I am making an assumption. And I stand by the assumtion, because I think it falls into the 'Sun will rise in the East tomorrow' category.

Keystone said...

“Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

ThomasD said...

I once saw a co-worker almost lose the same hand twice. The first time when he did something amazingly stupid with a heavy, sharp kitchen device. The second time when he didn't take the antibiotics he was prescribed after getting it stiched up - antibiotics that worker's comp would have covered 100%.

He end up back in the ER, they had to call in a surgeon to debride the whole mess, with the Worker's comp fund paying big bucks to cover his stupidity AGAIN.

Lack of insurance wasn't this latest dude's problem, but even it might not have saved him. Some people are just too stupid to survive.

Pamela said...

I live under socialized medicine, under it antibiotics are covered at a 42% rate and painkillers are not covered at all. The prices are highly taxed. an emergency trip to the dentist is about 40€, or you can pay a private dentist.

ErikZ said...

Jim Henson was having trouble breathing and began coughing up blood. He suggested to his wife that he might be dying, but did not want to bother going to the hospital.

Poor Jim Henson. He probably didn't have health insurance either.

Conor said...

Sometimes people die regardless of treatment. Happens a lot. And in my experience, the news reporting on the health care escapades is very poor.

There are often major discrepancies and left out details that you never hear. For example, how much did the patient pay for his iPhone every month? Or for cable television?

I know about this. I am a surgeon and witness this stuff first hand.

Very rarely do I see someone who has a bad health outcome due to problems with access to health care.

Most of these delayed diagnoses are psychological. The naive would be shocked to see the neglected diseases that come in door in educated people with good insurance: teachers, business owners, and more.

SOmetimes people will use money as an excuse because they are embarrassed that they come in with something obviously neglected.

Don't expect this to go away with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Carl said...

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/208344

Toronto man has a toothache and ends up blind because he couldn't afford a root canal.

But we have full government supplied health care in Canada.

However, the story in The Toronto Pravda aka The Toronto Star advocated government dental care.

For progressives/leftists/socialists, every self induced calamity means only one thing, more government.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanna said...

The first time when he did something amazingly stupid with a heavy, sharp kitchen device.

I had a coworker who held his bagel in his hand and slice inward and ended up cutting a tendon and being in a brace thing for a month or so. There was a lot of laughing at this particular accident.

It's sad that the guy died, but I don't accept the premise that it is because of cost. If you need something badly enough, you do what you can to get it. Antibiotics are not the prohibitvely expensive category.

Tim said...

"You don't transform the whole structure of the economy because an occasional thing like this happens."

Hmmm. You really haven't been paying attention, have you?

I mean, yeah, you read, hear and see these things, but you haven't really understood it, have you?

The anecdote, regardless of how rare a circumstance, is the driving force in persuading the uninformed toward a favored policy position. The health care debate is probably the single best example of this - all that pain, suffering and abuse...despite the fact that 85% of us are covered, and the majority of those with coverage are/were happy, ergo, Baracka Flacka Flames' promise "that if you like your coverage now, you'll be able to keep it."

Or did you think your President and his Democrats in Congress were better than that?

Why would you ever think that, if you were paying attention?

EDH said...

On a later post, I just linked Warren Zevon on "enjoying every sandwich."

From the same interview.

ZEVON: It was one of those phobias that really didn't pay off, the only person I ever go to is Dr. Stan, you know Dr. Stan, the dentist.

LETTERMAN: So you go to a dentist on a regular basis?

ZEVON: Yeah, and I always said if he can't fix it, I'm screwed, and I told Dr. Stan that I was having shortness of breath, which, well, I had it for months, and I did a shore tour, I went to Canada, and I would only hire people who would tell me it was stress, you know, like, flunked out medical students who became musicians, and I said I'm short of breath, “oh”, all the time. They said don't you ever watch the sopranos? I said no, I don't know. But when Dr. Stan the dentist heard about it, he said it sounds like congestive heart failure or something, so he made me go to a doctor the next morning.

LETTERMAN: And it turned out not to be congestive heart failure.

ZEVON: No.

LETTERMAN: What was the diagnosis?

ZEVON: It's lung cancer that's spread.

LETTERMAN: That's tough.

ZEVON: It means you better get your dry cleaning done on special.

Tim said...

The thing about anecdotes is, they show, wonderfully, the endless need for a government program.

And since the Democrats are all about expanding public programs for any and all sundry reasons, the anecdote of someone's misfortune, pain, loss or simple bad luck becomes a lever to expand government.

The only antidote to this madness is not ever vote for the Democrats.

For when they're in power, we're only another anecdote away from another new federal program, a tax increase or massive borrowing.

But if your freedom is held cheap in balance with the ever powerful anecdote of someone else's misfortune, vote Democrat.

Just don't complain about the outcome, please. You should have seen this coming.

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edmund said...

IMHO, the lack of socialized health care didn't kill him. The lack of socialized health care police did. They would have marched him from the ER to a government-approved pharmacy and forced him to fill the prescriptions.

Then, since he had bad teeth, he obviously doesn't eat right or take care of his teeth, so they would have audited his pantry and fridge for Michelle-approved food. They would have put a web cam in his bathroom so he can show the dental squad that he brushes in the AM & PM. (The company health compliance office will check that he brushed at noon.)

AllenS said...

He had a choice, blue pill or red pill? Where have I heard that before?

Chip S. said...

Same story, a few years from now:

Did a 24-year-old Cincinnati man die of a toothache because of the 3-month wait to see a dentist?

Jack Gotcher said...

This was a much more serious medical condition than a "toothache". Likely a head/neck multiple space abscess, brain abscess, or necrotizing fasciitis. These conditions may progress rapidly, carry a high morbidity/mortality, even with the best inhospital critical care.

TWM said...

When someone says "let's be honest" in a conversation like this, he or she means "you guys are being dishonest and I'm the only honest person here." Just another way of trying to shut down debate.

In this case the guy was irresponsible and didn't get the antibiotics he needed.

Jim T said...

I was diagnosed with an ear infection last week, for which I was prescribed Amoxicillin. I got it from Publix for free. They have a list of other common antibiotics that they offer for free as well.

errhead said...

of course, a bigger problem is that you can't just go to 7-11 and get some antibiotics when you need them, you have to jump through the medical/pharmacological industry hoops and pay through the nose, which is tough when you are young and poor.

when i was that age, i kept a bottle of tetracycline for emergencies i scored from a girl with acne who had been prescribed it for her skin and it hadn't helped. that could bring down the swelling and pain until i could make it to a cheap dentist or clinic

sad that what cows get in their feed is such a pain for humans to manage to obtain

Dr. Kranky said...

could someone point to more details on this matter? the ABC News item is very thin indeed.

I love Fusion's assertion that this would not have happened under the French socialized medicine system. Well, perhaps-provided you didn't have this bad tooth during the month of August when all the doctors and nurses are at the beach. doesn't Fusion remember the heat wave a few summers ago (back when the French believed in Global Warming?) when about 10,000 French people died due to lack of medical care?

jr565 said...

Drill sgt wrote:
I bet when he died, he had a cell phone, flat screen HDTV, and a choice of intoxicants at his flat. If this story weren't about his death, it would be about his inability to put food on the table for his child. some people make bad decisions. poor people more than most. In some small part, that's why some continue to be poor, generation after generation.


that assumes that he had a choice of buying a flat screen or extract his tooth. When we all know that many of those poor choices were ones he made over the course of his life, (I.e. He bought his computer a year ago, he bought his tv a few years ago) and now got sick. And who's to say that he didn't get his tooth extracted because he instead paid his bills and pit food on his kids table?

I happen to be going through something very similar right now. I over the course of my life have bought a flatscreen and a computer, but at the moment have to spend money on various medications. And I don't currently have insurance. Not for lack of trying either.my position was terminated back in january, and I have been working as a consultant, but am currently in between assignments. So, no job, no insurance, and medical bills to pay. Luckily, I have family to help out, and it's only a temporary situation. But if you get deathly I'll during one of these temporary situations?

And have you heard that we have a 9% unemployment rate? It's not that easy to find jobs for a lot of people at the moment.

So, though I have a problem with govt spending too much, not all problems are due to people making poor choices.
And sometimes people who have it made make the logical fallacy that simply because they have it made that all people should be able to succeed simply because they did.

Dusty said...

I got a chuckle out of this at the end of the Cinncinati.com story:

"The Collinses have set up a fund to cover the expenses of Willis’ funeral and raising his daughter. Donations to the Kyle Willis Memorial Fund may be made ...."

I'd have granted the possibility that the Collinses might not have known about their nephew's situation until it was too late, but it seems to me it wouldn't matter much if they did, considering they now want to shame friends into helping and expect total strangers to reimburse them for their own responsibility in burying him and raising their grandniece.

Dr. Kranky said...

Yeah. It was SUCH a hassle to go to the pharmacy and get those antibiotics.. I guess he must have scored the Percocets at 7-11.

Chip S. said...

@jr565--You can buy health insurance directly from an insurance company, and you probably should.

wv caromp A rare wv fail. This belongs in the "rocks" thread.

The Drill SGT said...

Not for lack of trying either.my position was terminated back in january, and I have been working as a consultant, but am currently in between assignments. So, no job, no insurance, and medical bills to pay. Luckily, I have family to help out, and it's only a temporary situation.

I assume you know about COBRA and various state add-ons

The Opinionator said...

If he was that destitute he could have used Ohio Medicaid which has both dental and prescription medical coverage. It is hard to see how his lack of insurance was the issue.

Chip S. said...

It is hard to see how his lack of insurance was the issue.

He didn't have bad-decision insurance. We need a nanny state for that.

Palladian said...

"when i was that age, i kept a bottle of tetracycline for emergencies i scored from a girl with acne who had been prescribed it for her skin and it hadn't helped. that could bring down the swelling and pain until i could make it to a cheap dentist or clinic"

This is one of the reasons that so many of our antibiotics no longer work.

jr565 said...

Chip S wrote that you could buy insurance through the insurance company.

As I found out, yeas and no. First off, I had insurance through Cobra. BUT, cobra never sends you bills, and if you miss one payment they cut you off and you then have to through various hearings to try to get it reinstated. Which happened to me. I thought I had paid the bill, but because of some snafu they said I hadn't and wouldn't let me pay what was owed.
I then bought a Minimedical plan through the consulting agency. Which was the lousiest insurance you could ever buy, paid nothing, maxed out after two months. But it was all that was offered through the temp agency. I left the temp agency and was offered to continue that insurance through cobra, but since it was such lousy insurance I decided against it, and because I had already dealt with cobra I didn't want to go through th hassle again.
So I decided to look for my own insurance. You would think that it would be easy. Most/many insurance companies do not in fact offer individual plans. Or you have to own your own business to be eligible. Or only offer plans that cover basic medical, but not prescription drugs. NY state doesn't offer temporary insurance. Or the insurance is ridiculously expensive.

I then was able to locate a freelance union that offered good insurance consultants. But I wasn't eligible because I had to either work 6 months as consultant or earn a certain amount in 6 months. Due to my sporadic work this year, and because I hadn't worked for two months before finding the temp union iwasnt eligible. (though if I had applied two months earlier I would have been).

I was Finally able to locate a health plan offered through the state, which I've applied for. I was supposed to have started at the beginning of the month, but of course there is an additional snafu on the Insurance's end so I'm still waiting.

In the meantime though, I've still had to pay for doctors visits and drugs out of pocket, which ends up being very expensive absent that Insurance.

And that's not even dealing with dental insurance. I just had a cleaning that was 250 bucks (not 80 as some suggested) and was told I need to get an apico, which will probably cost a grand or more.
So now I have to jump through ever more hoops to find the I surname, then if I find a plan that isn't exhorbitantly expensive and which I would even qualify for, then have to wait for them to process my application, so realistically won't be able to get that insurance for another month.

Believe me, I wish it were easier to simply buy insurance as an individuall or to simply buy insurance through the insurance company. The fact that you suggest that as an option suggests that you haven't had to go through the trouble of doing what you suggest. Meaning, it's not as easy as you might think.

Now, my case is unique. I had insurance, but got screwed over by cobra. Then had crappy insurance that maxed out and wasn't worth continuing. And I live in a state that doesn't in fact offer temporary insurance.
Yet to just buy insurance as an individual has been a really difficult process.believe me, I've tried. I FINALLY got i surname after having to wait for two months.it was a big waste of my time, and an extremely aggravating process.
I can't imagine that others haven't gone through similar horror stories.
And this is coming from someone who WANTED to buy insurance as an individual.

Fred said...

I wonder how many of these cases come about due to the usual suspects' demagoguery? As in these people have believed a little too much of the propaganda and are thus totally unaware about Medicaid eligibility, free clinics etc?

How alone must an uninsured person feel if they have been conditioned to believe that there are no help mechanisms?

Synova said...

I prefer the word ignorant to stupid, though people take it as just as insulting.

There are a whole lot of people who have no idea at all that you could die of a tooth ache. Nothing says this guy was dumb just because he didn't know what other people don't know.

And no, French style universal health care would not solve that problem.

Jay Retread said...

Ann Althouse (and Meade, her dependent), who barely works by engaging in tenure abuse, gets paid $160,000.00 plus a gold plated health and dental plan from the taxpayers of Wisconsin, tells others to "eat cake". Rich.

The Opinionator said...

He could also have used a Free Clinic. To lay this man's death at the feet of Republicans, which I am seeing all over the place is despicable.

http://freeclinicdirectory.org/ohio_care/hamilton_oh_county.html

Rob said...

Here was my comment, on one of the lib websites:
__________

Here is a suggestion.

If you want to be sure uninsured or underinsured individuals can get the pharmaceuticals they need, go to a clinic in your area and volunteer to pay.

When the receptionist at the clinic motions you over and tells you, "This is X. He needs a ride to the pharmacy and somebody to pay for his prescription," do it.

There is nothing stopping you.

Or are you happier just to flap your gums about how doing it is somebody else's job?

We'll see. Be sure to post the presriptions you paid for, and the cash register receipts showing you paid, on this site. After all, you wouldn't want us to think you are a "prescription chickenhawk."

Don said...

Its not even really true that the poor man was "uninsured." The federal government spends billions (http://www.hrsa.gov/about/budget/summarybudgetjust2012.pdf) on safety net programs (http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/ )for people like this poor man. There are dozens of such clinics offering sliding scale services based on ability to pay in Hamilton County (Cincinnati): http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx?byCounty=1
That Yglesias would choose to exploit this poor man's death in a lame effort to justify Obama's lunatic non-health reform scheme, rather than ask the obvious question as to why the existing government programs failed, really tells you all that you need to know about the "progressive" mindset.

Chip S. said...

The fact that you suggest that as an option suggests that you haven't had to go through the trouble of doing what you suggest.

Actually, I'm quite familiar with this market. Before the APPCA it was pretty easy to find inexpensive catastrophic coverage (50 bucks a month a couple of years ago). Since that passed, premiums on the basic plan I'm familiar with have doubled.

Most/many insurance companies do not in fact offer individual plans.

During the Obamacare debate I checked the availability and prices of individual health insurance plans in a variety of states. BC/BS and Anthem, among others, were selling everywhere at that time. If that's changed, it's probably b/c of the new requirements loaded on them by the APPCA.

I've still had to pay for doctors visits and drugs out of pocket, which ends up being very expensive absent that Insurance.

It sounds like what you have been shopping for is something more like a pre-paid care plan than true insurance. But why should routine care be covered by any "insurance" plan? That's like buying auto insurance that covers oil changes. Out-of-pocket costs to the insured are an essential feature of a sound insurance policy. Just imagine what happens to health-care costs when people pay a zero price.

Now, my case is unique.

I respect you for granting this point, and I don't relish seeming unsympathetic to your situation. But as people mentioned earlier in this thread, extraordinary situations aren't usually sound bases for designing public policy.

If the time and effort that was spent designing the 2,000-page monstrosity that is the APPCA had been devoted to finding minimally disruptive ways to fill the cracks in the previous system, we'd all be much better off today.

None of this would have helped that guy in Cinci, of course.

TMLutas said...

This man died in Cincinnati. In that city, there are 4 Meijer supermarkets, all of whom have a list of free drugs they give with prescription. Basic antibiotics like the amoxicillin the guy was probably prescribed are on the list. Meijer does this because it's a pretty good bet that they'll make more in extra paid Rx income than they lose in free medicine they hand out. In fact, had the guy walked into Meijer and asked how much it would cost, he'd have walked out with both medicines and not paid a penny more.

Had he not been in Cincinnati and had no other regional chain where he was made the same decision, he could have gotten the antibiotics for $4 from Walmart most anywhere in the USA as they've got a similar program for the same reasons.

Charlie said...

Seems everyone is missing the obvious lesson: It's not about providing health care; it's about people's behavior.

Years back, I was privy to a Kaiser study of their membership/profitability. They ended up with six segments, three profitable, three non-profitable. My cohort, people who don't think much of doctors and see them as rarely as possible, was the most profitable (though they didn't like us for some reason--failure to worship the mystique, probably).

Then there were the Good Do-Bees, who schedule regular appointments, take their meds, and do whatever the doctor says.

The Over Do-Bees liked everything about doctors and hospitals too much and had to be curbed now and then to keep them profitable.

On the unprofitable side, they placed the Hypochondriacs (Over Do-Bees who'd feign whatever it took to get that procedure or med), Chronics (lifestyle diseases--obesity, smoking, glue-sniffing) and the Acutes (primarily immigrants afraid of the system who show up only when at death's door).

There you have it... four of the six segments were not medical problems but behavior problems (the segments weren't much different in size, btw). Government plans become an exercise then in asking someone like me to pay to subsidize the bad behavior of someone I don't know so that he or she can be seen by a doctor I wouldn't go see even though my insurance would cover it.

It all boils down to the progressive fantasy that if we'd just get money out of the picture, we'd all become Good Do-Bees. In reality, most of us are born cantankerous... or stupid.

Chip S. said...

@Jay Retread--But I thought Wisconsin's state employees paid for their own benefits by accepting lower salaries?

Tough to keep track of all those contradictory talking points, isn't it?

Amy Ridenour said...

SixtyGrit, the lady who wore her dead sister's dentures (allegedly, according to Rep. Louise Slaughter D-NY), did so in a state in which Medicaid covers dentures. Rep. Slaughter did not mention this inconvienent truth when using the story as propaganda to get ObamaCare passed.

http://www.conservativeblog.org/amyridenour/2010/3/17/louise-slaughters-denture-sob-story-raises-question.html

Rambling Rants said...

I was laid off from my job and had an abscessed tooth. I went to the emergency care facility (I had no insurance) for $90. They gave me a prescription for vicodin and penicillin. The doctor there told me to go to Wal-mart because it is cheap. I paid $11.53 for both prescriptions. No insurance. That is cheaper than what I would have paid with my $15/each co-pay.

I paid $170/month in insurance premiums and never used it but maybe once a year. So in 2009 when I was employed, I spent $2000 for medical insurance. Last year, I spent 1001.53 total in medical expenses. I still want a major medical plan in case a disaster happens, but for routine stuff it is cheaper to pay out of pocket.

I eventually had to go to the dentist and get a root canal (still no insurance) because the infection came back. But the dentist has agreed to let me pay out my $900 bill.

Not having insurance sucks but it is manageable and affordable if you just put some effort into finding the right places.

For anyone unemployed and finding that you need a prescription, go to Wal-mart or Sam's Club. It is significantly cheaper.

jr565 said...

Chip s wrote:
I respect you for granting this point, and I don't relish seeming unsympathetic to your situation. But as people mentioned earlier in this thread, extraordinary situations aren't usually sound bases for designing public policy.

If the time and effort that was spent designing the 2,000-page monstrosity that is the APPCA had been devoted to finding minimally disruptive ways to fill the cracks in the previous system, we'd all be much better off today.

me saying I had trouble finding I surname is not an endorsement of Obama care. Yet, we as republicans often come across like assholes in assuming that people are I the situation they are in because of simply making bad choices and because they bought the flat screen rather than the antibiotics.
As became readily apparent to me, even when I was trying to find Insurance that I would pay for it became a futile pulling teeth affair that was needlessly complicated and aggravating.now, here we are as conservatives talking about govt efficiency, yet how efficient is it to buy your own insurance? I literally called various groups up (like blue cross blue. Shield)and was told they don't even offer individual plans. And going to buy individual insurance I was faced with buying an insurance that would offer only emergency room coverage (doesn't help me much if I need to get doctors checkups that don't involve emergency room acess or operations),or would offer doctors coverage but not prescription drugs coverage (which doesn't help if you need to buy expensive drugs), or vice versa. Then you got into the expensive coverage, which I was prepared to buy, only I had to own a business to qualify for it.
Seriously, why should I have to jump through so many hoops and restrictions when all I want to do is buy coverage? Why do I have waste more than a month of my time just to get coverage, or have to join a freelancers union since they are offering decent coverage, but restrictions apply of course? I just want to buy insurance. I just want to buy insurance.
And you suggest you were able to do various things in the past. Perhaps the rules were changed, yet that doesn't help me much if it impedes my ability to simply buy insurance.
And as I found out, what happens in one state doesn't happen in another state, so you may have good luck with insurance simply by living in a different state. I was totally enthused by the idea of temporary coverage, only they don't offer it in my state at all.
But why should it be hard to find I surname that covers doctors visits and also covers prescription drugs? My I surname from work offered that as a given, I can't imagine it would be impossible to offer the same coverage to individuals who want to buy a plan?
It's simply a hassle getting the insurance I need as a customer.and for all the talk about the evil of govt (and lets face it cobra is a govt program, and they let me down too) I don't have a lot of faith in the insurance companies either, since this has been an extreme hardship. Maybe republicans need to stop being assholes telling people they deserve it if they die because they don't take their medicine because of bad choices, and I stead recognize that though govt is a problem, the alternative is also a problem.and perhaps it's govt restriction that makes it hard for insurance companies to sell to individuals (or harder than necessary), but then republicans should be stressing how they will make it easier and cheaper to buy insurance as individuals if the solution is not in govt.

sydney said...

Two things:
1) Health insurance does not cover dental care. Dental insurance does.
2) Too many people fail to realize how serious a dental infection is. I see this all the time- big, swollen dental abscesses that have gone untreated because it was " just a toothache." Even then, for some reason, they are reluctant to call the dentist. Fear of extraction?

jr565 said...

It sounds like what you have been shopping for is something more like a pre-paid care plan than true insurance. But why should routine care be covered by any "insurance" plan? That's like buying auto insurance that covers oil changes. Out-of-pocket costs to the insured are an essential feature of a sound insurance policy. Just imagine what happens to health-care costs when people pay a zero price

not at all. I want an insurance that has some coverage for doctors visits and some coverage for prescription drugs. When I had insurance through my job (before I was a consultant) I had both. I might pay a copay for doctors visits, or pay upfront, then get reimbursed a bit, or pay a discount for drugs. So when shopping for an individual ,an I wanted one that provided the same. Should that be so hard to ask for?

AllenS said...

No matter how many drugs are brought into the marketplace, there will never be a smart pill.

Chip S. said...

republicans should be stressing how they will make it easier and cheaper to buy insurance as individuals if the solution is not in govt.

McCain did that in 2008.

People with no regard for facts, like Bob Herbert, slimed him with grotesque misrepresentations of that plan.

The triumph of lies and stupidity in 2008 is why you ended up facing a lousy set of options later on. Remember that in 2012, and stop blaming your fellow Republicans.

Crimso said...

"My cohort, people who don't think much of doctors and see them as rarely as possible, was the most profitable (though they didn't like us for some reason--failure to worship the mystique, probably)."

I'd bet that they don't like your cohort because they have a higher chance of suddenly and without warning becoming part of the sixth ("Acute").

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

ha ha.

Jr says the insurance that worked was through an employer.

Chip says that the solution is to eliminate employer provided insurance so everybody can be in jr's current predicament, w/ there very own voucher.

Duh.

BJM said...

@jr565

BUT, cobra never sends you bills

What? We received a standard monthly paper billing/statement and payment envelope for the two years we were on COBRA. We signed up for online access and setup auto-pay. Initially, I called the 800 number several times and they were very helpful.

btw-COBRA isn't an insurer, they are a federally regulated go-between, they collect premiums for your previous insurers and issue certificates of coverage at the end of the two year term.

That is why they cannot reinstate your coverage if you fail to pay. It very clearly states in your initial setup documents and declaration of coverage that they cannot and will not adjudicate coverage terms or reinstate policies for failure to pay.

Once you let the 60 day coverage grace period lapse or stop paying and lose COBRA you're looking at waiting periods no matter the carrier/plan.

Even a new employer plan may have a coverage waiting period, especially for dental and often you can only enroll during their annual open enrollment period without a premium penalty or reduced coverage until the next enrollment period. Even Medicare assesses a 10% monthly premium penalty if you enroll outside your annual enrollment window.

Does NY allow hospital or physician-owned medical centers or clinics to offer membership access?

I know some states do not allow medical group or hospital centers to offer subscription health care access through their clinics. But if that is an option I'd check it out.

Chip S. said...

pbj, I really do think that you're bright enough to understand why the market for insurance would function much differently if most people didn't buy it through their employers.

I think you could easily be led to understand why the tax exemption for "health insurance" provided by employers makes it sensible for employers to provide plans that are in fact pre-paid-care plans rather than true insurance. jr's frustration arose partly b/c he expected to be able to buy on the individual market a plan like the one he got through his employer. Since it makes no economic sense to provide plans like that without a tax exemption, those plans aren't common in that market.

Got it now?

EDH said...

His aunt is married to Bootsy Collins.

Patti Collins, wife of famed local musician Bootsy Collins, said she couldn't believe what happened to her nephew, Kyle Willis, who left behind a 6-year-old daughter.

Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/29044524/detail.html#ixzz1X0plPNFg

didntwanttosignupforthis said...

@jr565 - Or you can do what my husband has done for the last three years (having been unable to find a job in his field for the last six) - drive a school bus for the local school system. He works 20 hours a week and gets full bennies. The other 20 hours he spends working on his start-up (gave up trying to find work a couple of years ago).

You could also try Starbucks, which gives full bennies at 20 hours after six months (you could already have had benefits). You spend the rest of your time job searching and drinking the free coffee they give you.

David said...

He died of poor education and lack of personal responsibility.

jr565 said...

Chip s wrote:
The triumph of lies and stupidity in 2008 is why you ended up facing a lousy set of options later on. Remember that in 2012, and stop blaming your fellow Republicans.

well how about the people on this board who are arguing the exact same thing who are republicans? Can I "blame" those people? And simply as a matter of policy, some republican candidate should make the argument McCain made again, that yes Obamacare is a travesty, but that doesn't take away from the fact that for many people who aren't working (again due to poor decisions from Obama) there is a problem in buying insurance because of restrictions or prohibitive cost, or simply lack of information so we as republicans will streamline the process so that the market works to get affordable heatlh care into the hands of people that need it.
Because, I'll tell ya, my experience simply trying to buy health care, as someone who routinely stands for free market principles, have soured completely on the health care providers and the free market to be able to provide for my health care needs. It hasn't worked too well for me, as someone who was trying to be a consumer and was trying to buy a product. Again,this is also the fault of govt, which has placed restrictions on said companies, and limits their abilities to sell products, so one could argue that there really isn't a free market when it comes to health insurance. But that doesn't help me now, does it?
Again, I think I was FINALLY able to get my hands on insurance that is affordable, though it has yet to be officially approved. But I applied for this Insurance more than a month and a half ago. Why did it take so long? And why did it take so long to even find this plan? And why did I hVe to go looking for needles in a haystack to simply find a plan that was affordable. That doesn't really say much for the free market or the health insurance companies or the idea that we should be self reliant and not have govt solve all our issues. My experience in simply trying to buy insurance as an individual reminds me of my experience in the DMV, only this one lasted far longer and I STILL don't officially have insurance (though as I said, I will probably have it shortly).

BJM said...

@jr565

I literally called various groups up (like blue cross blue. Shield)and was told they don't even offer individual plans.

That is a NY regulatory issue, I bought a reasonably priced Anthem(Blue Cross) individual PPO policy in CA. I chose a higher deductible over a lower premium because I can cover my basic care costs.

I found that it was cheaper to put dental expenses on a low interest credit card than pay for dental coverage. In the last five years I would have paid several thousand dollars more in insurance premiums compared to what I've paid for semi-annual screenings, cleaning and such. Dental insurance isn't always the smartest option.

btw-Why didn't the dead guy go to one of Cincy's dental school's free clinics? Or contact a local outreach program for help?

Most dentists take pro bono patients and perform community service at free local clinics.

wv=chictim A newly coined term for female victims of fashion.

Chip S. said...

Why did it take so long? And why did it take so long to even find this plan? And why did I hVe to go looking for needles in a haystack to simply find a plan that was affordable.

Is that you, Barry Schwartz?

jr565 said...

And by the way, befor anyone thinks that iagree with libs jumping on this case and saying he died because of a lack of insurance, I will say poppycock. If all he needed was antibiotics, even without I surname it's not that expensive. There is some medication I've taken which is much more expensive, but even without insurance, antibiotics were at most 40 bucks for a months supply.
But I do haves e sympathy for the guy, considering my own experience trying to buy insurance. If he didn't have Insurance at the time of his illness, and was out of work, I can imagine him running into similar problems even trying to buy insurance. Because that was my experience.

jr565 said...

And by the way, befor anyone thinks that iagree with libs jumping on this case and saying he died because of a lack of insurance, I will say poppycock. If all he needed was antibiotics, even without I surname it's not that expensive. There is some medication I've taken which is much more expensive, but even without insurance, antibiotics were pretty cheap.
But I do haves e sympathy for the guy, considering my own experience trying to buy insurance. If he didn't have Insurance at the time of his illness, and was out of work, I can imagine him running into similar problems even trying to buy insurance. Because that was my experience.

Michael said...

I blame Obama. Here we have this Obamacare and this guy is as dead as a doornail.

Joe said...

My insurance didn't cover the last few anti-biotic prescriptions for me and my family for the simple reason that Smith's/Kroger pharmacy charged less for them than my $10 co-pay (for generics--it goes up to $35 per for name brand.)

As for pain killers. For my last (and only) tooth infection, Tylenol 3 (codeine) worked fine. I think that was an $8 prescription too.

jr565 said...

BJM wrote:
@jr565

BUT, cobra never sends you bills

What? We received a standard monthly paper billing/statement and payment envelope for the two years we were on COBRA. We signed up for online access and setup auto-pay. Initially, I called the 800 number several times and they were very helpful.

btw-COBRA isn't an insurer, they are a federally regulated go-between, they collect premiums for your previous insurers and issue certificates of coverage at the end of the two year term.

That is why they cannot reinstate your coverage if you fail to pay. It very clearly states in your initial setup documents and declaration of coverage that they cannot and will not adjudicate coverage terms or reinstate policies for failure to pay.

Once you let the 60 day coverage grace period lapse or stop paying and lose COBRA you're looking at waiting periods no matter the carrier/plan


that wasn't my experience with cora at all. I never received a single invoice from cobra when the bill was due. And I didn't even realize that I had missed a payment. I got a letter from them that I didn't read right away, which basically said my account was unrecognized (which didn't make a lot of sense considering I had paid three months already without issues). And then when I went to
Pay The following. Month they said I couldn't because I had missed the last month. I then offered to pay both months at once, and they said no.
I then appealed the decision, and they came back and said that because I had missed the one month they were right to terminate the coverage.
The only thing I can think of happening was that
Because they were taking money out automatically that at one point there wasn't money in the account the day they tried to take it out, but there was a day or later. It happens sometimes, totally inadvertently. But I didn't even realize there was a problem till I went to pay my bill the following month and was told that I couldn't pay the money that was owed, nor the current month and that there was nothing I could do about it. No invoices sent to you, and no way for you to make it right.
My doctor ultimately said that while I was going through the appeals I could continue paying the bills and that eventually they might reinstate my insurance (though he didn't mention this until four months after I was already on my new insurance). Only that would mean that for those months I would actually be paying for two insurances. I had just started working through a temp agency, and they had an insurance plan in place. So I went with that insurance instead. Which turned out to be an even bigger mistake, since it was the worst insurance I ever had. One doctor basically said I was paying for the privilege of saying I had insurance. It covered practically nothing, and maxed out after a few months.
neither of these are the bones that im picking. I think cobra are complete jerks in how they handle their billing, but if I didn't pay one month, and those are the rules, then those are the rules. I would have hoped that if I did miss a payment they would allow me to make it right especially considering Im not 100% sure why I missed the payment, but since they didn't it was my hope that I could still, as a consultant, get affordable insurance, even without Cobra through my temp agency. It was affordable, only it was useless as insurance.

Which THEN made me go out and buy insurance as an individual and not through the company where I worked. And THAT'S where the real problems began. What I expected to be a simple process turned out to be anything but.

jr565 said...

Chip S wrote:
Is that you barry shwartz?


I was thinking the same thing, actually and chuckling about the similarity. In this case heprobably has a point. Only in one regard, it's actually the opposite problem. Namely, the lack of choice.
Just offer me a plan that is semi affordable, that gives me what I need, and doesn't require me to check out 100different websites, call multiple insurance companies to find out that they don't offer individual coverage or temporary insurance in my state. I just want to be able to go to a site or a company, and be able to buy what I want and then apply for said insurance. Done. Instead, I'm wasting my time doing all this work for something that shouldn't Bethesda least bit difficult to purchase. Since, for most of my life I've worked for companies, who I purchased insurance through, I never had to deal with doing it myself. But it's an extremely annoying process. And it shouldn't be, for an individual. If govt isn't going to provide insurance a la Obamacare, and if people who aren't working full time, or working as consultants and have to get their own insurance, then why should it be an almost futile horribly annoying process.

jr565 said...

Didntwanttosignupforthiswrote:
@jr565 - Or you can do what my husband has done for the last three years (having been unable to find a job in his field for the last six) - drive a school bus for the local school system. He works 20 hours a week and gets full bennies. The other 20 hours he spends working on his start-up (gave up trying to find work a couple of years ago).


Until this year I was working full time with bennies, but had to leave due to medical problems, but also due to a family member who got sick. Luckily it's a lot better for both of us now, but I ended up spending a ton of money on medical bills including going through my retirement savings. And to get rehired at my previous company I had to come back as a consultant, with a 33% pay cut and with no benefits (benefits I had to pay for out of pocket as opposed to being provided by my company).
My work with my former company ended up being temporary, and since then I've been working on temp/temp to perm assignments, with me being out of work in between assignments. And I'm realizing that there aren't the number of assignments availble, due to the market that therewere a few years ago. Yet in the meantime, I still need to buy insurance. Why should it be so hard for me, as individual in my current situation to do so?

Christy said...

Isn't this Obama's fault, what with unemployment for young black men going up now to 18%?

The Drill SGT said...

Christy said...
Isn't this Obama's fault, what with unemployment for young black men going up now to 18%?



but, but, all those unemployed would earning higher minimum wage that Congress mandated, if only Businesses were willing to pay that rate....

Jim said...

These stories are not unique to non-universal health care systems. A free prenatal system was set up and they could not get expectant mothers to show up. The best method for administering TB drugs, even if they are free, is to have a nurse or health care worker watch someone swallow their pills. Otherwise people stop taking them after a while.
The US is one of the few countries in history where the poor are obese. And flash mob riots in Britain (of people who are out to get the rich) are organized on cell phone social networking. The irony is staggering. Our perspective is warped. And the solution to all problems, such as this man's dental infection, is that universally effective "government action?"

AprilApple said...

There is no such thing as "free" health care. And if you think health care is expensive now - wait until we have the French system.

HT said...

Chip S. said...

@jr565--You can buy health insurance directly from an insurance company, and you probably should.

____

Chip the last time I was without health insurance, about 5 years ago, I called around for rates. I tried to cut to the chase as soon as possible by asking about existing conditions and by asking when they could raise their rates. I was told they could pretty much raise their rates whenever. It seemed more hassle than it was worth, especially if I had to get on the phone after every dr's appt and fight with them. I just didn't hear what I wanted to hear. I didn't want to spend more than 1 hour a week on the phone with an insurance company. So I didn't get insurance. I probably would now - I'll do COBRA for sure. But I was pretty disappointed in hearing that.

HT said...

jr565,

If you feel ok about it, tell me what insurance you went with (not your employer's insurance). I'm guessing by a typo that I think you made that we live in the same region.

The Crack Emcee said...

AprilApple,

There is no such thing as "free" health care. And if you think health care is expensive now - wait until we have the French system.

Oh, but the French system also features homeopathy, so it's GOT to be better.

BTW - speaking of homeopathy, I've got a new Glenn Reynolds-based post up.

The man's brilliant, as are we all,...

jr565 said...

The insurance I found is called healthyNY which is a program offered by a lot of different insurance companies. It's an HMO, which sucks, but it seems relatively affordable.
But I think it's relatively new as I didn't locate it earlier in my search and it wouldn't be my first choice. Once I start my next assignment and work a few months I'm going to switch to the insurance offered by the freelancers union as it seems better.

JAL said...

I found that it was cheaper to put dental expenses on a low interest credit card than pay for dental coverage.

Care Credit

Interest free for 6 month or for larger bills 12 months. Jumps up if you miss a payment or go further than the no interest limit -- but it can buy time.

I paid for a crown using it.

Peter Hoh said...

Yes, it is wrong to demagogue this case. Just like it was wrong to demagogue on "death panels."

Or is it only wrong when liberals do it?

jamboree said...

Costco fills dental Rxs for $4-8. You don't even have to be a member.

jamboree said...

And where do they get the $80 figure? Fred's teeth and bail bonds? What reputable dentist charges $80? Granted my guy is pricey and doesn't accept hardly any insurance, but then my insurance doesn't cover dental anyway.

DaveW said...

The last anti-biotic prescription I had cost $165. I can't remember what it was called. Not every anti-biotic is cheap.

Still it seems pretty clear this guy made a choice to get high rather than buy his anti-biotic as prescribed. There's not a lot anyone can do about that sort of thing.

Jason said...

And as I found out, what happens in one state doesn't happen in another state, so you may have good luck with insurance simply by living in a different state.

No. Citizens in some states make wise choices and don't elect idiot libtards to positions where they can drive insurers out of the market or lard up remaining policies with so many mandatory coverages so as to render individual policies unaffordable.

Luck, dipshit, has nothing to do with it.

WV:nessess. It IS nessess!!! You don't tell ME what's nessess!!! I tell YOU what's nessess!!!

Quasimodo said...

In Cincinnati, all he had to do was walk into University Hospital ER, and he would have gotten first rate medical care with or without insurance ... The oral surgery clinic is in the Holmes Hospital "annex" right next door and it serves the indigent for free or for what they can afford. In other words he was, in effect, fully insured without bankrupting the country.

Peter Hoh said...

Quaisimodo, who pays for this "free" coverage of which you speak?

TomB said...

And where do they get the $80 figure? Fred's teeth and bail bonds? What reputable dentist charges $80?

I charge $75.

What does what you charge have to do with being "reputable"?

Maybe you need to look for a better dentist.

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UltraMeal RICE Natural Vanilla

Peg said...

I just went to the endodontist for an infected tooth. He prescribed 30 capsules (10 days) worth of antibiotics.

Cost? $5.20.

Someone please tell me that anyone in America could not afford this....

lscottpalmer said...

I live here in Cincinnati, the so called free Clinics are usually only for homeless only. A center to help working poor with health care and a other things has opened, and the repubs here fought tooth and nail to stop it.
We do have some health dept clinics and for 20 dollars or less he could have perhaps got the tooth pulled and his meds prorated in that 20 bucks.