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Tuesday, Stuck on the Internet again

Well, it’s here. It’ll supposedly be the worst storm since either 1993 or 1962. We’ll see. For now, everything’s shutting down in Kansas City. So I’m stuck on the Internet with you.


At The Lipstick Chronicles, where several women mystery authors blog, today’s post breaks my heart:

The Least Among Us

Over the weekend, we Tarts learned the shocking news that one of our most loyal backbloggers and friends, Melissa Mia Hall, aka MMH, had died suddenly and somewhat mysteriously.

Sad stories quickly spread. A writer, artist and longtime reviewer for such esteemed publications as Publishers Weekly, Melissa had been depressed over finances and over the death of her twin sister the year before. Most recently, her beloved dog, Daisy, had been sick and she had strained herself lifting her. It had been a bleak winter of worries and frustrations and fear.

And then we learned the truth which turned out to be far worse, far more humbling, than our conjecture. Melissa died because she couldn’t afford to see a doctor.

This, on a day when yesterday’s judges decision is being discussed like it’s simply the next move in a gigantic basketball game.

Federal Judge Rules That Health Law Violates Constitution

A second federal judge ruled on Monday that it was unconstitutional for Congress to enact a health care law that required Americans to obtain commercial insurance, evening the score at 2 to 2 in the lower courts as conflicting opinions begin their path to the Supreme Court.

Who are these people who think this is a game?  It’s not.  It’s life and death.  And while this particular health care bill sucks in many, many ways.  The truth is those subsidies (assuming they stick) WILL make health care affordable for people like Melissa.

At least the ones that can hang on for another 3 years.


In the days following the Tucson Shooting/Massacre, some of us wondered if there would be renewed discussion of gun control. …. I guess not:

Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun

Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

Who comes up with ideas like this?

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.

Oh, NOW I get it. It’s an asshole’s idea of a metaphor.


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29 Responses

  1. It’s terrible to die because you can’t afford to see a doctor. That’s basically how my brother died.
    But this pos HCR bill wouldn’t have helped Melissa even if she could have hung on for 3 years. Its full of gotcha’s that let the insurers price you out anyway.

    • I thought that there is an out-of-pocket cap of some % (7-8?) for people making less than 400% of poverty?

      • The cap where subsidies will kick in is on the PREMIUMS only.

        And those subsidies are for a plan with a 70% actuarial value. Consumer reports assumes ta plan with a 70% actuarial value would have a $1500 deductible, and a 20% copay. That is for an individual. For a family, you should double or triple that deductible. And insurance plans are discussing increasing deductibles so that every child will have a deductible. There would be no family deductible cap.

        Subsidies would not increase if you decrease plan deductibles, so buying better insurance won’t help.

        The health INSURANCE mandate bill still does not make health CARE affordable for those who can’t afford it.

        • Also, the 7-8% of AGI on premiums cap for people making 400% of the poverty line isn’t accurate either.

          Here’s a subsidy calculator. An individual at age 30, making 400% of the poverty line would have to pay 9.5% of their AGI toward premiums. That means they would pay $3440/yr for an insurance plan with a $1500 deductible and 20% copay after that.

          http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx

          • As horrible as that seems, I’m paying way more than that now. For a similar plan. I wonder why the difference?

            But, I’ll check the calculator.

          • that’s criminal–seriously. I would love to see everybody in this country toss their health ins. and show up at the ER at the same time. It’s gonna take an Egypt moment.

          • And finally, Melissa’s needed EKG is not considered preventative care….

          • I know, it’s bad. (sigh) And it’s gonna stay bad.

          • Teresa, wow, you’re really well-informed on the details. I knew it was bad but it’s really painful to see how bad.

          • Teresa, I used to be involved with Medicare supplements, retirement planning etc… So I understand the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare supplements compared to Medicare replacement insurance. But after two years together it still took all the arguing I could stomach to keep my semi significant other from switching from a supplement to an advantage plan.
            He has had mutiple operations and illnesses. He fell in to the donut hole for the first time in december of 2010. I kept doing the math for him and showed him over and over how much he would have paid out of pocket, as compared to his premiums for the supplement. He would have paid out of pocket more than three times what his supplement cost. He has a great plan that pays for everything 100 percent. But if he drops it, because he has now had all these medical problems, they would not take him back.

            Thank you for the information you have shared. We should all be as informed as you are. Then we have to keep talking to everyone we know even if they get pissed at us for trying to pop their Obama love bubble.

  2. The real tragedy of the healthcare reform debacle is as you stated, KB. As the libertarian/GOP are doing high-fives on this ruling [and don’t get me wrong, I think the bill is a crap sandwich], the sick will get sicker, children with debilitating diseases will bankrupt their crazy-with-worry parents or simply not get proper treatment, and the insurance companies will continue to rack up obscene profits with premium hikes and huge deductibles.

    The whole reform movement was a lost opportunity for the country. And I lay the responsibility at the feet of Obama for not fighting for what was right and decent and the GOP for protecting corporate interests, again.

    Before the election of 2008, 70% of Americans supported healthcare reform. Support came in all political stripes. Now, two+ years later, we end up with nothing.

    A pox on both their houses!

    Promoting the general welfare is “not” a Marxist/socialist proclamation. The phrase is included in the Preamble to our Constitution.

    There are more things under the sun than the 2nd Amendment. I say that as a gun owner.

  3. something has to give. What in the hell is wrong with our countrymen??

  4. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
    RIP Melissa

  5. Excellent post, Katiebird. Melissa’s story (and Daisy’s as it appears she has been put to sleep!) is heartbreaking. Medicare for All is the only way.

    It is shameful the way we treat people, particularly with respect to health care. In a similar story, did you see the obit of Ms. Josephine Harris, saved on the WTC stairway by Ladder Co. 6 911?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/nyregion/17harris.html?ref=obituaries

    “Ms. Johnson said that her sister had briefly returned to work for the Port Authority but found it difficult because of an injury sustained on Sept. 11. She stopped working after her job was moved to Newark, Ms. Johnson added. … Without a job, Ms. Harris, a widow, eked out a living on disability assistance and became withdrawn, from neighbors and even relatives. Some neighbors in her building, where she had lived for decades, did not even know her apartment was occupied. …Along with medical documents, Ms. Johnson found unpaid utility bills and paperwork that showed Ms. Harris had filed for bankruptcy.”

    Shame on all of us as a nation.

    djmm

    • So unique was the story of Ms. Harris and the six men — Firefighters Matt Komorowski, Mike Meldrum and Sal D’Agostino as well as Firefighters Butler and Falco and Captain Jonas — that Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said last week: “On a day that will always be recalled for its inconceivable devastation and unimaginable loss, the story of Josephine and the firefighters of Ladder 6 was nothing short of miraculous. One hundred floors of a high-rise building came down on them, and, huddled together, they managed to survive.”

      “She was happy when she was around us,” Chief Jonas said. “She would talk to the wives. She was very interested in what the kids were doing. She was a very reserved — really a study in dignity — type of woman.”

      She last appeared with the firefighters in a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network last week

      I think too many of those stories — and the impact of the attack on survivors was lost to the infernal drumbeat of the march to war.

      I remember being shocked that night that the news was all The March to War … and nothing about the survivors.

      It’s unbelievable that she was just on Oprah’s show. OMG.

      I do think that Daisy survived … at least it’s implied:

      Daisy, whom Melissa would have fed before she fed herself, would have been killed if it hadn’t been for Laurie’s chance encounter with an animal control officer. Now, Daisy is waiting to be treated for mange, but is considered adoptable. So her life will be saved.

      I hate hearing these stories but, it’s VERY important that these victims don’t die without acknowledgment.

      • I heard that a bill to help the 9/11 responders with their resulting health problems finally got passed in the lame duck session of Congress. What’s actually in the bill is another question….

  6. As a longtime lurker, I am so happy that you are carrying on, carrying on. Must admit that I didn’t come here for a long time, but am glad that I decided to visit again.
    WRT to Josephine and Daisy, I heard this again on a radio show today, and I think it’s meaningful.

    “…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ” ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

    “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

    So true!

  7. thank you for this post which depresses me and yet helps me remember why I believe that single payer is the only way. Can it be possible that Gore was saying this in 2002 (or there abouts) and we still can’t have a real conversation on the idea?
    Al Gore and Hillary Clinton the best presidents we were cheated out of. Both concerned with what is best for all of us, not just the rich. Both falsely accused by leftist idiots and the sippy kup kidz of being corporate and corrupt liars.
    I no longer believe that anything good can happen in this country. I think we are played out. Even the left is incredibly sheep like and gullible.

  8. OT re Egypt, interesting and knowledgeable perspectives here:

    http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/i-beg-to-differ/


    …in many ways, the armed forces rule Egypt, says analyst Daniel Brumberg at the U.S. Institute for Peace. Mubarak, himself a former Air Force commander, has deftly used American taxpayers’ dollars to underpin not just the military but his entire government. Egyptian generals are a privileged elite, enjoying weekends and retirements in breezy villas by the sea. They make clear that they expect a say in who rules the Arab world’s most populous country once Mubarak leaves the scene. Keeping the U.S. military aid flowing dominates Mubarak’s foreign policy, defined first and foremost in the region by its cold peace with Israel. After all, the annual influx of U.S. military aid ranks up there with tourism and Suez Canal tolls as Egypt’s main sources of revenue.

  9. What happened to this blog? Its like a gost town and there are very few posts these days. Can someone tell me what happened?

  10. If you support Obamacare, you support the provision in it called the individual mandate. The individual mandate uses the power of government to make you engage in an activity that you would not engage in previously, such as buying healthcare.

    This bill says that if Obamacare is legal, than so can any other bill that requires you to buy anything at all- in this case, a gun. That’s kind of the big point about opposing Obamacare- if the government can force you to buy something, they can force you to buy anything. It is surprising that the logic of all of this is beyond your ability to grasp without explanation.

    I’m on record as opposing this sort of thing. Most of you are on record as supporting this sort of thing. Better get ready to go buy a gun!

    • Did you read this post?

      • Did you read this post?

        Heh! Yes, you would expect a self professed Teacher, conservative even (or maybe just Conservative?), to have the ability to … ahem, read. ;)

    • Most of us are on record as supporting this kind of thing? Can you prove that? Show us some examples?

      By the way, how do you like your government, tax payer financed health care?

  11. Who comes up with ideas like this?

    The City Council of Kennesaw, Georgia back in 1982. ;-)

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