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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:48 pm 
For all of you that struggle to pay for your Subox doc appointments, and more importantly are on the verge of becoming broke because you have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for your Suboxone, the House Democrat's version of the Senate's healthcare legislation should come to a vote tomorrow, Sunday morning. If you're like me, and many people young and old with a low income and no chance of obtaining health insurance, who have to choose every month between food and medicine, this bill will significantly benefit you. I know many people do not support this bill because of the many myths put out by the opposition (remember the "death panels"?), but the cost of doing nothing is much greater than the risk of the passage of a bill with some initial imperfections which can be legislatively addressed later.

For example, for Suboxone users who are age 26 and under, within six months of the passage of this bill you would be allowed to remain on your parent's insurance through the age of 26 (up from the current age of 22). Another law which will go into effect within one year will affect the insurance company monopoly in this country, and will ban their practice of denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, i.e. drug addicton. So no longer could a history of prescribed Suboxone be the basis to deny coverage to anyone as a drug addict (high risk).

Also, Medicaid is going to be greatly expanded as part of this bill, to include many people and families with income just slightly too high to qualify now, and in my state (VA) Medicaid pays for Suboxone and 100% of the Suboxone doc's appointments (if the treating physician accepts Medicaid for that service).

This post is NOT a political argument, just a list of some of the highlights of how the bill will help some of the less well-off people in this country, such as me and many of those on this forum struggling to pay for their Suboxone and other meds. PLEASE try not to turn this post into a big political fight. Thanks
J


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:17 pm 
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No political fight here, Ziggy. I'm in full agreement with you that this would help millions of people, many of whom are on Suboxone. Looks like I'll be watching C-SPAN tomorrow. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:20 am 
Amen. I'm praying and hoping and wishing for success with this. There are more than a few people in my extended family who have not visited a doctor or dentist for years, even decades, because they cannot afford insurance. They are only a heartbeat away from homelessness if a sufficiently large ER bill came up. I have a medical disability, and from 2003, when I turned 22 and lost my parent's insurance, and 2008 when I finally got SSDI, I had absolutely no medical insurance or coverage. When I had to go to the doctor, I had no choice but to go to the ER and try to beg for a discount for the indigent. During that time I racked up almost $20,000 in unpaid ER visits, and when I got SSDI my entire 2 year back payment check for almost $18,000 went to pay for medical bills. Those ER visits could have been much less costly visits to a doctor's office. Right now I live on $715 dollars a month, and my prescriptions cost $1500 a month. Medicare and Medicaid pays for most of it, but I run out of groceries usually about the twentieth of each month. At a $715 monthly income, $8580 a year, I am too rich to qualify for food stamps. You know, sometimes I have to laugh or I'd go crazy. It will be really depressing, though, if we can't this legislation passed.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:26 am 
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I have to admit I am a pretty extreme progressive and while some things in the bill fall short of some other important issues I feel need to be addressed it's at least a start. I'm not getting political but just using common sense, will it cost more for society to pay for a drug addicts medication and dr. appointments or is it less expensive to have addicts breaking into homes to steal money and drugs and getting caught and locked up in jail. Also there's the whole OD-ing thing..... Ask any doc from the ER how often they see an opiate OD it would blow normys minds....I'm looking at this bill as a potential live saver for many of our poor, and still suffering addict brothers and sisters and on top of that the cost of addicts on our society will be dramatically decreased. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they get the votes tommorow :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:36 am 
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"Also, Medicaid is going to be greatly expanded as part of this bill, to include many people and families with income just slightly too high to qualify now,..."

Wow, I'm not sure that this is a good topic to discuss here, but..., I did want to say this. If this bill does pass, while Medicaid care may be expanded to include more people, SOMEONE is going to have to pay for that. So many people seem to forget this. SOMEONE is having to pay, even if that SOMEONE is not you. The money to expand all of these benefits has to come from somewhere. It is not FREE. Those who might not have to pay don't seem to care as much about that or at least seem to forget about it. The important thing to them is to have more free benefits. I'm one of those who will have to pay. I will have to pay higher insurance rates to cover these expanded benefits. I will have to pay more in Federal income tax to cover these expanded benefits. The money to cover the billions and billions of dollars (or is that trillions and trillions) in benefits has to come from SOMEONE.

As one of the many SOMEONE’s in America that will have to pay even more to support these changes, please understand why we may not be nearly as excited as someone that will have additional benefits provided to them for free. Please just keep that in mind. I totally agree that changes need to be made to our healthcare system. I totally agree that something has to be done. I’m just very much less sure that the plan currently before congress is the way to fix the problem. In fact, pretty much everything I have ever seen government attempt to fix has been made much worse. We see just how well they have done with the whole “war on drugs” thing. Just remember, the same government that has waged the war on drugs, created the 100 patient Suboxone limit and has greatly inhibited addiction recovery is the same government that we are trusting to solve healthcare. I am paying enough in insurance premiums and taxes. Please don’t make me pay anymore.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:02 am 
Actually, it's going to pay for itself in reduced costs and greatly increased efficiency. Google the CBO analysis. And it will only significantly raise taxes on people making $200,000+ if you're filing single and $250,000+ if you're married filing jointly. And trust me, between the combination of the many loopholes those people's accountants find for them and the low taxes they have enjoyed for years (and still enjoy) under the Bush tax cuts, I don't feel a bit sorry for them. Call me a socialist, I don't care. I think it should be a right for a three year-old child to go to the doctor if he/she is sick, whether her parent's happen to have a job with health insurance benefits or not.

Whether we agree on that point or not, that is not the actual problem. The actual problem is the distribution of money in the Federal Budget. The vast, vast majority of money is swallowed up by defense budget with pointless, unwinnable foreign wars and more and more useless weapon systems and nuclear warheads, when it is a known fact that we already have enough to destroy the entire earth thousands of times over. The real problem is GREED. The large corporations in this country and elsewhere own Congress, and Congress votes according to the wishes of their lobbyists. The defense contractors, like Haliburton, need wars to get the money in the defense appropriation contracts awarded to them. And now there is nothing to stop the whole election process being bought and paid for by the corporate world, because now their lobbyists are completely in control of the Supreme Court (i.e. the recent decision to abolish campaign finance limits).

If you research why the Social Security Act was made into law, it was because old people were literally starving in the streets because they had to work until they were to old, and then they were fired and let go with nothing (which is historically what happens when capitalism is allowed with minimal regulation. Another example of capitalism unregulated and unhinged is Wall Street just prior to October 2008). The very same arguments against this bill, that it amounts to a socialist takeover of the country, were made against the SS Act as well. The same thing with Medicare. And, right now, there are hundreds of thousands of elderly people in this country who have to choose between meds to keep them alive or groceries because of the Medicare Part D doughnut whole. And there are every day increasingly more families who were middle class yesterday and homeless today because of the soaring costs of health care. Something has to be done, and I admire Obama and the die-hard group of Dems who are trying to get it passed. They are sincere in their belief that this is the best thing for our country, and believe me, that is a politically l poisonous position right now. They know full well they are risking their asses in the next election cycle if it doesn't work out. BUT what they're betting on is that so many obviously great benefits of the bill will begin so soon that by the time the Novemeber elections come around, people will have come around to like the healthcare legislation afterall.

Oh yeah....I trust the Federal Government a LOT more than any private insurance company. The insurance company has a PROFIT MOTIVE to get rid of you. I'm very, very disappointed they had to water down the real bill, which was a single-payer system. This bill is just gives MORE customers to the existing insurance companies. I've had "premium" private insurance, and I've had Medicare, and I'll take Medicare any day. And so will many doctors. Medicare may pay less, but at least they pay at all. Some private insurance companies stall and fight for months trying to get out of paying their part of the bill.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:18 am 
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I wasn't going to touch this with a 10-foot pole....BUT.....I have 2 things to say.

1. It is true it will only cost more for those making $250,000 + per year.

2. Do NOT assume those people have been enjoying low or lower taxes for years. I was self employed for a long time and I paid outrageous amounts in taxes. You pay taxes on all of the money you pay to employees. Then they pay taxes on it. Then you pay into insurances and whatever. It gets so outrageous. An employee paycheck of $2500 actually costs you $3500 or more. Then, you have to pay your OWN taxes INCLUDING the money you paid out to employees and you CANNOT write off the entire $2500 you paid the employee. You are only allowed to write off a certain amount. That mean you ARE paying taxes on money that NEVER landed in your pocket.

One might say...hmmm...couldn't one end up being upside down on that deal? YES Doesn't sound true? Didn't to me either at first and you should have seen the fit I pitched.

Just don't assume if you have made mover $250,000 that you had it EASY. Some people are still getting screwed with this bill.

3. I still agree with the new health care system. And if the only people who disagreed with it were the ones ACTUALLY and DIRECTLY getting screwed it would pass in a heartbeat.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:09 am 
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Ziggy - on a side note, have you applied for SSI - supplemental income? It's on top of your SSDI. I'm on disability, too, but since I'm married, my husband makes too much for me to qualify for SSI.
If you haven't applied for it yet, you can do so right on the social security website.
Good luck with that.

Melissa

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:10 pm 
Jackcrack,

You've opened my eyes. Yes, it's easy to point to a big number and say " they can afford to pay." So, I agree that the increase in taxes will be unfair to many. The truth is, I don't know what is right and wrong, really, about the bill. I just think something needs to be done. I do think the Dems should have truly started over and worked with the GOP to craft a real bill they could have agreed on together.
j


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:00 pm 
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In your initial post you stated:

"This post is NOT a political argument, just a list of some of the highlights of how the bill will help some of the less well-off people in this country,..."

Reading your latest post, it certainly sounds like it's turned into a political argument to me. It also sounds like you have drunk the political cool-aid. I'm going to abide by my first thought: This is not the place to be debating this piece of legislation. Let's get back to Suboxone and opiate addiction.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:24 pm 
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I can certainly understand differences in opinion on such an important piece of legislation, (perhaps the most significant of our lifetimes) however I just felt as though I needed to say something to all of those who think that we should have just started all over from scratch on a new bill. What we have now is the result of the democratic process. If the majority votes for something it's not democratic to just say let's just scrap it and start all over again because some people are upset or confused. Now I'm in no way criticizing the political beliefs of others here as that is something to which we are alll entitled here thank goodness :) but many of the key elements contained within the last Senate healthcare bill that passed either directly come from or at the very least inspired by policies that have already been adopted in literally the rest of the entire modern world, so, we are not flying blindly here we at least know what direction we're attempting to head. I'm also not completely satisfied with the legislation though, as there's rarely any new laws that work EXACTLY as they are intended. There will be some getting used to and change. There will be some confusion. There will be some uncertainty, but if anyone would care to take the time to pursue an independant study of other international healthcare systems, things will begin making a fair amount more sense and you won't have to listen to those that attempt to spread lies and fear to prevent positive soical progress in excange for personal profit. I've spent a very sizable portion of time over the previous years examining the more "successfull" healthcare programs of the world, in terms of treatment outcome, cost, wait time for procedures, doctor fees, TORT reforms, etc. and even though I'm not ignorant enough to think that every problem we currently experience will be fixed by this bill I know many other modern democratic states that have had success in providing universal coverage to their citizens, providing regulation and institutions to keep expanding costs in check.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:25 pm 
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We had a section on the forum for 'political discussion' and removed it a month or two ago, as it had nothing in it. Probably should have left it for another month!

Isn't it funny how people can debate the meaning of life or even religion all day long, but introduce politics and the anger really flares up! I wonder why that is?

For what it is worth... I see value in trying to do something that helps those who help themselves-- i.e. someone who works as hard as the next guy, who tries pay his/her 'fair share' of the risk premium either himself or through his employer, should not be poverty-stricken because of illness.

On the other hand there are many things tossed around for political points that are not true. Insurers are not the 'bad guys' here (believe me, I have no love for insurance companies!). Collectively their profit margins are around 3%; EVERY business will have a couple of 'Charlie Rangles' hanging around who deserve scorn for their lack of ethics. But there is not a lot of money to get by sticking it to insurers. They are an easy target, but Medicare denies far more claims than do private insurers-- and as a doctor, the limits on care, denials of medication, etc are much heavier when dealing with government. At least I can always get someone from an insurer on the phone eventually, whereas when I calll for a medicare problem the best will be a person who has no idea of how to help with the issue, but can tell me only who I can write to.

If we force insurers to accept and pay for those who are ill at the time they seek coverage, rates must go up. That is so obvious that I don't understand why it is not seen as a 'fatal flaw' of the plan-- unless the whole point is to put insurers out of business by squeezing them at both ends. And maybe that is the point?

The only thing that might help is if EVERYONE is required to 'pay in' when they are healthy; that is what insurance is all about. But with 35 states already lined up to sue over the constitutionality of that part of the bill, I worry that we will get only the worst parts of the bill, and the benefit will be struck by the courts.

Finally, one MUST recognize the fancy accounting in coming up with the CBO costs-- that the numbers from the first ten years take 10 years of taxes, and only 5 years of benefits. That is how they make it look cheap-- and there is no debating this issue, as it is admitted by the dems. It bugs me that people let that go un-noticed; it would be like me saying I have a good business by showing my income for ten years, against my expenses for only 5 years.

Lets keep the ire only in this thread, and be friends when we leave.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:09 pm 
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I worked in the insurance industry for 20+ yrs and they cannot offer unlimited coverage to people with pre-existing conditions without raising the rates for everyone. You don't need to be an actuary to understand that. This bill also allows the govt to take over the student loan business. The next step will be for congress to pass a law to take over the health insurance business. It will be an easy sell to the voters when rates start to skyrocket.

Another point to consider regarding cost is the estimates are based on the theory the govt can trim $500 Billion from medicare waste and fraud. How can they do that now when they couldn't before.... or wouldn't. This bill is going to eventually cost every person who pays taxes more money and will expand govt even further into our lives. The bottom line is... anytime you get something more than what you had before... someone must pay. Is it fair to have somone else pay for something I benefit from??

Is it right for the govt to force me to buy something I don't want or can't afford. This is unprecidented... the us govt requiring citizens to purchase a product or service. If passed... I don't believe this law will stand as it is currently written.

If we're going to have socialism in the us... then lets go ahead and have it... and have it out in the open. This disgusting step by step expansion in that direction is tiresome and not fooling anyone who has studied world history and politics.


Last edited by suboxfreedom on Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: One more thing
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:37 pm 
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This bill states the following over 2000 times:

"The Secretary shall [decide and/or determine]....

Parenthesis added. The point being the final say on most all challenges and/or disagreements regarding costs, coverage, treatment...etc shall be decided by this new and powerful political appointment. Do we really want to give politicians more power and control over our lives??


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:16 pm 
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Honestly...I steered away from politics a long time ago for the most part because it makes my blood pressure rise. What I think is that we have to do SOMETHING and I haven't heard of any better ideas out of anyone. I am going to have to trust in our democratic process (since I don't want to get involved in it directly) that they are figuring this out and something ridiculous won't pass. Leaving it like it is ISN'T working in my opinion. The government DOES SUCK at pretty much everything they try to run. I do not believe for a moment this will turn us all into a bunch of socialists. I agree with Dr. Junig that the insurance companies are NOT the evil ones because the owner of the company I work for sits on the board of an insurance company and they struggle too. I have KILLER insurance and rarely pay a dime due to my primary insurance and my husband's Tri-Care through military retirement.

However, I have to think of my brother in law who is disabled and cannot work. He is on SSDI and receives and extremely low rate of pay. He works under the table in order to make ends meet but those ends still rarely meet. He has been unable to get multiple medical procedures due to the lack of health coverage and he has been unable to afford many medications. His teeth were bad from his diabetes and I paid over $8000 a few years back out of pocket to fix his teeth. I figured since bad teeth statistically takes years off your life that I owed that to my nephews. At lesat he can smile and get an under the table job. Do you know how hard it is to find work when you have no teeth or rotting teeth? (This was before he qualified for SSDI).

I don't want all of the "rich" people to support the health care system either but we do have a very broken system right now. Anyone have better ideas to throw out there? I tend to be pretty liberal but am willing to cross lines if I hear something good. I have't heard ANYTHING from the other side that would help resolve the problem. What I hear is that this is socialist, that no one should ever have to pay for anyone else, and how bad the current bill is. Give me something else to look at here because to me, leaving it as is is NOT an option either.


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 Post subject: sorry i brought it up
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:49 pm 
I knew it would be a mistake. The only thing I would ask would be this: why would an insurance company, such as Anthem Blue Cross, if it had increased it's profits by billions over the last few quarters, insist that rates in California must be hiked as much as 40%? I'm sorry, but If anyone, including the Suboxdoc, thinks that insurance companies only have a profit margin of 3%, then they are a fool. THAT is what i call drinking the cool-aid. And Suboxdoc is a specialist (psychiatry), so of course he gets more Medicare claims being denied. Anyway, whatever, this is my last post on this forum, ban me, it won't matter, i'm not coming back.
And one thing: I've noticed that this dude Donh, even though I've never had a personal problem with him before, likes to pick little fights all over this forum. Just an observation.


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 Post subject: Close my account
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:51 pm 
Moderators: please close my account.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:49 pm 
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"And one thing: I've noticed that this dude Donh, even though I've never had a personal problem with him before, likes to pick little fights all over this forum. Just an observation."

LOL. What the heck did I do? I'm not the one that started this thread. I just said I didn't want to be the one who had to help pay for all of this new healthcare that some people seem to want for free. I guess I should have asked not to be the one that has to pay for simply stating my views as well. But, picking little fights? That is certainly not my intention.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Just wanted to pass on a couple of links about what the health care bill (supposedly?) means.

Here's a fact sheet: http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/0 ... care-bill/

How it will affect women: http://www.now.org/press/03-10/03-21b.html



(PS - Ziggy I hope you come back.)

Melissa

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:40 am 
Well, good or bad the bill has officially been passed.


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