uninsured

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#TenOne: National Day of Action for Medicare-for-All | Facebook
Join the student-run movement for single-payer health care.

The Affordable Care Act is not affordable. It will still leave 30 million Americans uninsured and tens of millions underinsured. Tens of thousands of people die every year in this country just because they don’t have health insurance. Medical problems are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. More absurdly, nearly 80% of those declaring bankruptcy due to medical debt already have insurance.

Our numbers at Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) grow every year. Now with almost 650 members in 41 chapters across the nation, we are calling on you to act!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare. Our mission is to institute truly affordable care by expanding Medicare to cover all Americans. We urge you and your chapter members to join us in a National Student Day of Action for Medicare-for-All on 10/01. SNaHP chapters at medical schools will hold teach-ins, rallies, and an evening candlelight vigil to bring national attention to our failing healthcare system. ‪#‎TenOne‬

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What happens when someone is undocumented and uninsured and they get sick?

This infographic shows what an estimated 1 million undocumented and uninsured Californians might face. Even as the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), brings health insurance to millions of Americans, many people, including undocumented youth, are left out of our changing health care system. Health care is a human right. Join the #health4all campaign.

Undocumented and Uninsured is the first study about and by immigrant youth on health care access. Researchers surveyed 550 immigrant youth throughout California–including undocumented youth and youth recently granted Deferred Action status.

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Tea Partiers cheer the deaths of the uninsured. This is after they cheered executions and booed Ron Paul for his claim that not all Muslims are responsible for 9/11.

If this doesn’t show the true character of the Tea Party, nothing will.

To move into thinking about annual exams, getting a physical, getting vaccines, going to a primary care doctor and maybe a specialist — that is really a middle-class conversation,” Redmond said. “For folks who have been chronically uninsured, for the working class and the low-income, that’s a different way of thinking about your life.
— 

SPARK Executive Director Malika Redmond’s thoughts on the launch of health care exchanges, Medicaid expansion in Georgia, and the Affordable Care Act’s impact on young folks from The 3 Questions That Every American Should Ask About Obamacare by Dani McClain via PolicyMic

 

Are You Worth It?

Two summers ago, I had a horrible pain in my side. At the time, I didn’t have insurance and as always, I had no extra money. I didn’t want to waste my time or owe money for a bill, that would be difficult for me to repay. Yet, my body was clearly hurting, and I reluctantly decided to prioritize myself. That pain ended up not being a big deal, but because I went and checked it out, the doctors’s had the opportunity to find and diagnose me with kidney cancer. I often think about that inner struggle I had over deciding if I was worth the time and the money to go to the hospital. I am deeply grateful that an unrelated pain enabled me to be diagnosed and, therefore saved my life. I hope you think of my story if you are on the fence, and trying to determine your own self worth. Take it from me, you and your life are worth it!
Blessed, content, and grateful. Xoxo

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Today is a perfect example of my desperate need for any kind of healthcare coverage… I was faced with a pretty much life-or-death decision, and it is costing me on many levels :(

I woke up to a message from the hospital lab: “definite kidney infection, sensitivity tests show it as a strong, drug-resistant variety”. The ER doctor proceeded to call in prescriptions, one of which was a powerful antibiotic (Suprax) which costs almost $200 without insurance.

I tried to negotiate and see if I really need them, or if I could do without, or get a different drug, but my primary care doctor isn’t messing around. She is already worried about my typical kidney-shutdown routine, and the ER doc said that they both agree that going without this antibiotic could be life-threatening. So, I forked over the cash.

We had just enough in the bank to cover rent, so I text our landlord and told her the situation, and asked her to hold our check for a bit until we earned some more money. 

Well, either she didn’t get my message, or didn’t care, because shortly after, she cashed the check.
The check bounced, draining my account, and costing me overdraft fees for the lab payment, prescriptions, and rent.

I have almost $250 in PayPal (which I’d saved for our car payment due on Monday…), but I’ll still be more than 200 in the hole after that transfer comes through.
I still need regular meds, we have very little food, other bills are coming due, and I have no idea how I’m going to climb out of this nightmare.


For once in my life, I took care of myself first, and now I’m literally paying for it.


I have a donate button on my blog, but even better for you- I’m offering a buy-one get-one free promo in the shop, and we’re lowering the purchase limit to just $20!! Check out this post for details:
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No pressure, feel free to ignore, I just thought I’d let you guys know what is going on, and lower the promo limit to provide extra incentive to go shopping.

Thanks in advance.

The least of my people

Tonight I got guilted into working clinic.  My buddy was involved in a car accident last week and has been behind in studying ever since.  Doing the good-guy thing, I agreed to cover his shift despite my own looming test and scarcity of time to study.

The clinic we work at serves the uninsured.  In other words, we often get difficult cases that have a multitude of comorbidities that may be the cause or effect of the patient’s low socioeconomic status.  On top of that, their lack of insurance means that these conditions are often unmanaged.  As an example, my first patient had a history of heart attack, hypertension, diabetes and several other conditions.  Her glucose on admission?  450.  Yowza.  And that was with three diabetes meds…

My last patient was the highlight of my night though.  He was an older gentleman presenting with foot pain.  What started as a normal history quickly turned into a torrid story of drugs, underground fights and jail time. I liked John, and I felt he was being truthful.  There was no reason to lie, and I had no indication that he was pulling my leg.  I finished my exam and presented to the attending.  As I said the words I realized how they must sound to a third party who was not involved in the interview.

“Patient with foot pain…. history of narcotics…. abuse of morphine and prescription pills…past hospitalization for OD…. pain not radicular or easily reproducible …”  Before he could respond I knew he thought John was seeking drugs.  But somehow I knew differently, and I said so.

“I know this looks bad, but I think he is being honest,” I stated.

“This doesn’t sound much like physiologic pain…” he responded.

“Let’s go look at him.  I don’t even think he wants pills.”  We went into the room and the doctor quickly interviewed and examined the patient.  His years of experience showed; he was much more efficient than I had been only moment earlier when I fumbled through the same exam.

The conclusion?  John did indeed have a neuropathy that could be explained physiologically (I don’t plan to divulge details).  I was proud, and vindicated, when John asked about exercises and stretches to do since he didn’t want any more pills (and he didn’t take any, for those that might think that was a ploy).

John left feeling better, with a follow-up and some strategies to reduce his pain in the meantime.  I honestly left clinic smiling because I felt like we had really improved some lives.

As I walked out into the cool evening air I was struck by a bible verse.  I am not a christian, however I did grow up catholic and I believe Jesus, and the bible, had some good things to say.  

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me.”  

The patients we serve at the clinic are those who are down on their luck.  Some of them are criminals.  Some of them are liars.  And surely some of them are drug seekers.  But how can we know who is who?  And shouldn’t we treat the least of all people with the utmost dignity?

Was the attending wrong to have preassumptions?  I don’t know.  But I think it is easy to get jaded in medicine.  That is exactly what we have to fight against.  I have seen blogs posting about the annoying drug seekers and resource suckers.  But what happens when you misclassify someone who truly needs your help?

The best ER doctor I have ever met told me: “I would rather 10 junkies get their fix than 1 person who truly needs medicine to do without.”  

I think John would have gotten proper care had I been there or not.  But preconceptions are a dangerous thing in medicine.  No matter how many times you see a disease or symptom, never forget you are dealing with a unique individual.

I don’t know if there is a God who judges how you treat the least of His (or Her) people.  However I do know that if you fail to give each patient, the least or the best, the dignity and respect they deserve as humans you will never fulfill your potential as a doctor.  Perhaps whatsoever you do to the least of all people is the best you will ever be. 

Living Poor and Uninsured in a Red State

When Claudia, a mother of seven who lives in a Dallas suburb, feels sick, she doesn’t bother trying to make a doctor’s appointment. Without health insurance, even a simple consultation would cost more than a day’s pay.

“I just take something over the counter or wait till I can’t take it anymore,” she told me.

One such time occurred in 2002, when she had a complication after a gallbladder surgery.

“I was home for six days when I started to be in pain again,” she said. “I had just been in the hospital, so I was holding it off because I was worried that they’d send me another thousand-dollar bill.”

Read more. [Image: Eric Gay/AP]

Amid a struggling economic recovery comes more dampening news. More people in America fell below the poverty line last year, according to new data released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday.

Check out Jonathan Cohn’s exclusive take on the recently released numbers (complete with more charts) here.

According to the report, the number of Americans currently in poverty jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010, a 17 year high, reports the Washington Post. That’s 46.2 million people in poverty, or 1 in 6 Americans. According to the Post, the total number of people living in poverty — defined in 2010 as at or below an income of $22,314 for a family of four — is now at the highest level in the 52 years the statistic has been collected. An additional 2.6 million people fell below the poverty line last year, reports the New York Times.

The figure is reported to be up from 43.6 million, or 14.3 percent of the population in 2009. This is the highest poverty level experienced in the United States since 1993. The ranks of the uninsured grew significantly in the past year as well.

The number of uninsured Americans grew steadily to 49.9 million, also a new all-time high after recent revisions to 2009 figures. The majority of losses in insurance coverage this year were due to working-age Americans who lost employer-provided insurance coverage.

All of this news, while not unexpected, is hot on the heels of a report recently released by the International Diabetes Federation showing that 368 million people worldwide currently suffer from Diabetes, a number so grim that it is drawing worldwide attention.

The disease kills every seven seconds, according to Bloomberg, a figure surely devastating to the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of uninsured afflicted by the disease.

Courtesy of CNNMoney

washingtonpost.com
50 hospitals charge uninsured more than 10 times cost of care, study finds
Researchers said the hospitals with the highest markups are not in pricey neighborhoods or big cities.
By https://www.facebook.com/lena.sun.79

Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published Monday.

All but one of the facilities are owned by for-profit entities and the largest number of hospitals — 20 — are in Florida. For the most part, researchers said, the hospitals with the highest markups are not in pricey neighborhoods or big cities, where the market might explain the higher prices.

Topping the list is North Okaloosa Medical Center, a 110-bed facility in the Florida Panhandle about an hour outside of Pensacola. Uninsured patients are charged 12.6 times the actual cost of patient care.

Community Health Systems operates 25 of the hospitals on the list. Hospital Corporation of America operates 14 others.

“They are price-gouging because they can,” said Gerard Anderson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-author of the study in Health Affairs. “They are marking up the prices because no one is telling them they can’t.”

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What is scarier than Halloween?
Not having health insurance.

The next open enrollment period starts November 15th!

Learn more by visiting www.healthcare.gov or calling 211 to request info on enrollment assistance.

They can help you figure out if you qualify this year, or update your existing ACA exchange plan. It’s important to get a plan “check-up” if you’re already enrolled, because the exchange has grown and changed a lot in the past year, and you may be able to save money or get better coverage!

(thanks to the Obamacare facebook page for the image)

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PLEASE take seven minutes of your time to watch this clip:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=myJWYGi9cJo

The legislators opposed to healthcare reform are beginning to feel threatened and intimidated by the thousands of views shared among the various versions of the “Entitled To Life” documentary.

We are presenting this short version to the legislative Healthcare Reform Taskforce on Thursday, in a VERY important meeting which could determine the health and financial futures of over 100,000 people like me.

I know it sounds silly, but the more views we have the more seriously they take us. So please, watch. Play it on a loop in the background for all I care.

This is a small thing you can do to help influence very REAL change in my life. Thank you in advance.

Realism.

Uninsured Americans is a massive problem. Add disinformation, Republican governors, a learning curve, and you get a realistic roll-out. The big story is: Obamacare is more than a website and the changes made by The Affordable Care Act are here to stay.

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50 hospitals charge uninsured more than 10 times cost of care, study finds

Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published Monday.

Topping the list of the most expensive hospitals is North Okaloosa Medical Center, a 110-bed facility in the Florida Panhandle about an hour outside of Pensacola. Uninsured patients are charged 12.6 times the actual cost of patient care.

The researchers said other consumers who could face those high charges are patients whose hospitals are not in their insurance company’s preferred network of providers, patients using workers’ compensation and those covered by automobile insurance policies.

The Unaffordable Care Act and the Need for Single-Payer Reform

As a medical student, I’ve learned firsthand that a patient’s health insurance status can alleviate or exacerbate their health problems. I was first introduced to this when a patient named Dominic was diagnosed with end-stage colon cancer two weeks after his 65th birthday. He first noticed blood in his stool and a large, mysterious abdominal mass one year earlier, but he wanted to wait to see a physician until he qualified for Medicare when he turned 65 years old. He explained to me that he used to have health insurance, but that the bills from his partner’s breast cancer treatment had sent them into bankruptcy. By the time he qualified for Medicare and saw a physician, it was too late: he died two months later.

Keep reading

needymeds.org
Free/Low-Cost/Sliding-Scale Clinics in USA

If you are uninsured or under-insured, check out this huge list of free/sliding-scale clinics in the US. 

If you take medicine, you may be able to find a discount, coupon, or other financial assistance for your drug. You may even be able to find a $4 generic equivalent from a participating retailer, such as Target. 

Please visit this link for more information on medicine: Additional Help with the Cost of Medicine

Please pass this information along to those who may need it! FYF Jacquie