There's Something Very Wrong Going On In The Usa

We are not unique, we're everyday, hard working US Citizens.  My husband and I looked forward to raising our family of three children and enjoying our life together.  When his second generation business started to fail, we found ourselves in the same position as many others when it came to health insurance.

Mortgages on our home, food for the family came first when money was tight and there never was enough at the end of the month to pay the exorbitant health insurance fees.  Eventually, we had to cancel our insurance.  Because my husband owned his own business and there was no way to be part of a group to pay lesser fees.  There were no State sponsored programs to bring groups of individuals together. We had to do without health insurance.  We live in New Jersey and became a recipient of Mercy Insurance for our children which was then offered by the State.

Not one Doctor in the entire over-populated County we lived in was willing to sign up for this program.  I had to travel large distances to find a Doctor who was willing to accept payment by the State to see my children.  My daughter was only 8 years old at the time and I sat with her in a dirty doctor's office and took a number, sometimes 50 people ahead of us, to see the physician.  After doing this for a year and a half, we knew we couldn't survive any longer.  A trip to an orthopedist for a baseball injury for sons would cost thousands of dollars.   The Internist that referred us to the orthopedist for a hand injury for my son wanted to charge us $500 for just looking at his hand and sending us on.   When I protested, he stated, "Why don't you have insurance"?  I stated, "Not because, we don't want to have insurance"!  There seemed to be the misconception, and arrogance, that we brought this on ourselves.

My husband was 56 years old and got a second job at night with UPS for the insurance.  He worked from 7am to 11:00pm every night arriving home around 11:45, and back up the next day to do the same thing.  We lived like this for 8 years.  I watched my husband grow old trying to give everything he had for his family. 

Recently, he was able to rent his building and business and only works for USP at night.

Something is very wrong with the US.  Other countries have had health insurance for their citizens for years and we cannot get our politicians to agree on a decent reform for health insurance?  This is INTOLERABLE!  Working no longer assures you that you'll receive benefits.  My husband spent a lifetime career in the Navy as a pilot, defending his country.  We MUST do better for our citizens.



Theshepherdess Theshepherdess
56-60, F
22 Responses Feb 11, 2010

Thank you Berangere for your response. I agree with everything you're saying. A Country should take care of its citizens first. This is something the USA has moved away from after all the efforts through the years to improve the quality of life here; now, it seems we are going backwards. The greedy Corporations and wealthy seem to be having their time creating a world that will support them and only them. I will continue to fight along with many to bring our senses back to reality.

<p>What you are saying is quite distressing,trillions of dollars are spent by America on wars,the war in irak has cost trillions! And yet they do not establish a decent health support for its citizens,President Obama is trying to remediate the situation but he is facing great opposition from insurance companies and is being thwarted by some politicians,who say that having decent and accessible health insurence in America would turn that country into a welfare state,WHAT A LOAD OF NONSENSE! We have Medicare here in Australia,free public hospitals and affordable doctor's fees ( they even bulk bill people on a pension,which means we do not have to pay the fee, the government supplements it)) and we are NOT a welfare state!!.Sorry but it all comes down to greed,I saw a programme about it on the current affairs on TV and could not believe that doctors in America refused to see sick people because they could not afford to pay!.Yes something is terribly wrong!</P>

Thanks IWTGMo,<br />
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I always wondered how that worked.

Thanks AW and Lampwick,<br />
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I'm not prepared to give up. There are too many people feeling the same way. I still believe reform will come and most likely not with the Dems or Repubs. Let's see where our future goes from here. I'm more concerned for the world we are leaving for our children. As this younger generation tries to find their place and life in the country, we will start to see a realization like never before. There will be no remembering the good years for them. I think both parties will have a lot to answer for and so will a lot of parents who supported these parties. Less and less will be able to accomplish what their parents did so keeping the same political views will become a thing of the past. We just have to be patient, keep the faith for the best possible alternative for our children and their children. That's where our eyes should be focused now. Many people are going to be very disappointed when they realize what we've allowed to happen in this country and their children will never have the opportunity they have had no matter how much money they might have now.

First, Thank you shepardess, I agree one hundred percent, many things are wrong and health insurance is at the top. But everything in our country that is wrong from my point of view is due to wealthy, greedy men and women that have too much power through large businesses and their status. The country isn't ran by Washington, it's run by greed, power, the rich and big business.<br />
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A nation born out of good ideals and through the blood, sweat and tears of the lower class. But the rich controlled the puppet strings from it's very inception. If you didn't have standing in a high proper place in society you were and still aren’t never going to accomplish much. I am not saying there aren’t some who found a way but for the majority of the people it’s not an uphill battle, it’s like trying to climb a sheer cliff on the side of a mountain, without rope.<br />
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Our laws were written for the rich by the rich. Tell me that the common man can read them and really understand anything written. Why choose Latin and write laws that can be twisted… Because they can twist them with money and power to fit whatever need they want. And to me the same goes for any large business, anything that is big money like insurance. Well, they make the rules they buy the power and step on each and every one of us, little people...<br />
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Sorry for the rant shepardess, I guess I just have my moments and what you wrote touches something I have seen for a long time in our country. I love my country, it is just not a country for the people anymore and I don't think it really ever was . I definitely don't think it was a country by the people, that was a lie told to the American public from the very beginning, just to keep us in check…..We really need, a new beginning…<br />
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Again, sorry, I wish the best for you and yours, and I truly hope things get better for you soon, some how, some way. Thank you for sharing with all of us…

The Dems have a Senate majority, but no longer enough for cloture(?). So, now our Republican friends can filibuster any legislation they want to kill. <br />
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Sigh.<br />
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Of course the Dems deserve to be critcised too, for not uniting and getting more done when they had the chance.

I understand your frustration, Lampwick. I was feeling the same last night.<br />
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Now we will see what happens. The Dems still have control of the Senate so we shall see how this works.<br />
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Let's keep the faith and hope for the best.

Well, a big (sarcastic) "Thanks" to all of my countrymen who voted Republican yesterday. <br />
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The party of "no". The party of Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Banks, and Big Pharmaceuticals. The party that seems to prefer gridlock to leadership.<br />
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Thanks voters, from all of us that would like health care security. That would like an affordable education for our children. That put Families and individuals ahead of big corporations.

Thanks Tzech and Elfinsng for your comments. I'm waiting with baited breath too! I've decided to work outside to keep myself occupied. What will be will be!

Today is hopefully the vote. I think Pelosi made a mistake when she brought up the "Deem and Pass" option. <br />
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But even if it passes, there are state Atty. Gens. waiting in the wings to challenge and oppose it. Governors waiting with baited breath to "opt out".<br />
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We will have to see. Maybe take a deep breath ourselves and continue to shoulder on.

Republicans have sold their souls to corporate monies over what is good and right for the citizens

The biggest reason why we don't have a unified health care system is quite simple. <br />
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Conservatives say it all the time: "We can't tell a company how much money they can make."<br />
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Corportations began buying hospitals, and Dr.s formed group practices, some of these in turn investing in or outright buying or running hosptials (this is another way to secure their finacial pool). Insurance companies invested in pharmacuetical companies, and hospital corps. When insurance companies say they are responsible to their investors they are usually speaking about corporations within the health care system. Same as hospitals, and pharmacuetical companies. <br />
They then hire lobbyists, as well as donating to pacs, and individual campaigns. <br />
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This secures their money sources. It keeps Dr.s in line...if they perscribe meds, and run a conveyor system of exams and sometimes surgeries then they stay in the insurance networks. <br />
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When you follow the money you find why the hysteria about reform began, and where. <br />
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When you then filter the information and desiminate it , targeting people, who for the most part don't trust anyone except themselves, and by choice limit their basic reasoning skills, you get what we have.<br />
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A system run by greed. Where fewer and fewer are able to afford the insurance, and/or any treatment regardless of the insurance they may have. <br />
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But that's ok... the strong shall survive, the weak can croak quietly in the corner somewhere. After all, not having enough money means you are a failure and generally a bad, most likely lazy person. Just ask anyone opposed to health care reform...they'll tell you all about how it's all fine and dandy if you aren't sitting on your butt waiting for the 'guvmint' to take care of you.<br />
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(Now excuse me while I go choke on bile after that explaination)

in canada we have clinics that are free as well as hospitals.and the governments getting all the medical records together so theyll be electronically available for other doctors as well. .

I always wondered how that worked. Don't you have doctor's with private practice you could see rather than having to go to the hospital? Your own private practice doctor that gets to know you and your history?

thank god I live in Australia and we have medicare. A portion of the tax we pay covers it. We can get free public hospital care. We do have extras medical cover for things like glasses and dentist etc which costs us around $60 a month to cover the family. After medicare cover it costs about $10 to go to the doctor. Mind you the wait in the public hospital system it really bad but you only go there for emergency treatment.

Did you know that Cuba -which is a very poor country, has the best health care for it's citizens of any country in the world? Also the best educational opportunities. In some of the poorest countries in the world--they have better health care than we do here... Have you noticed how unhealthy the people that you see every day--when you go shopping or to any public place--are? Doctors in many countries make a modest living...they do not ordinarily expect to get rich....Your story shepherdess, about the horrors that ordinary working people suffer every day, in this heartless medical system is so common--I could write a book about it.....The very wealthy are now going to INDIA for health care!!<br />
Our healthcare system has deteriorated to the point that if you can afford good healthcare, you are more likely to receive it in INDIA!!!!

Elfinsong,<br />
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I do not support the TEA PARTY either. I think there is real danger in these "radical groups" to significantly change the way the U.S. governs and makes laws. That is why I ask, "Are we really ready for this"? I don't think people see the danger that lies ahead for us. More reason than ever for our representatives to wake up and start hearing what middle class America is saying they need!

I am keeping an eye on my congress members and senate as well.<br />
I am rather disgusted in my representatives acting as if they are republican when the label clearly states they are democrat.<br />
Shep, I don't support the TEA party because of the members are seemingly just out to destroy our President and wreck any chance of harmony in America.<br />
With the likes of Palin they hold no appeal for me.<br />
My question to all commenting here is:<br />
Are you contacting your representatives?<br />
If not why?<br />
Do you know how to contact them?<br />
My wife and I don't have insurance either.<br />
My employer no longer offers it due to costs because of 3 heavy hitters in our company the coverage is way too no one in our company has insurance now

Thank you all for the above comments. What I find most telling are the remarks from those that DO NOT live in the U.S. There is a grass root movement called "The tea Party" which I've been watching.<br />
They are putting a lot of pressure on both the Dems and Repubs. I find it disturbing that all the work laid out by our forefathers is in jeopardy now because of greed and special interests. We can't look the other way and not realize what's going to happen to us, if we the people, don't speak up to our representatives. Our nation was made a Republic by our forefathers in hopes that the right legislation could only come about by those that understood what was best for its citizen. We are now at the point where the opposite seems true. Are we really ready for this? Shouldn't we all take notice of what's going on and let our representatives know they MUST get back to representing the people that elected them!

Dont live in US, but how awful for you all. What I love about your story is the strength and unity of your family, despite the cost in trying to overcome adversity. I wish you well.

Ah, and that's assuming that his health insurance is actually decent. For example, I recently had an MRI ordered by an eye doctor to try and "figure out" why my optic nerve was "pale" (Apparently, that's bad.). Little did I know, my stepfather's health insurance, in spite of costing around $450 a month, is apparently useless; the copay for this MRI was some $500 (Had I known that, I would've elected not to do the MRI, which was largely a shot in the dark.). That doesn't even get into the miserable coverage for, say, mental health that most plans have.<br />
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The more fundamental issue, and one that seems largely ignored in the current debate over "healthcare reform" (in spite of the fact that the only "reform" being proposed is over insurance companies, and would benefit them at the further cost of their customers), is that of cost. Who decided that it was worth $500 to have someone look at your son's arm (Interestingly, the consumer price is usually heavily inflated; the insurance companies, though they still pay quite a bit, pay less due to their better negotiators.)? If that issue isn't fixed, then all the discussion over health care "reform" is semantics . There is no difference between getting screwed at the hands of the government, versus being screwed at the hands of an insurance company.

The insurance companies bought the hospitals from the religious. Health care is now a business, and is no longer a charitable activity. There are enough insured individuals to fill the beds, and the uninsured are left behind. My Son in Law pays $600/month of his $2500/month salary to insure 5 people. Very much a rip off, if you ask me...