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No More Pre-Existing Conditions! December 24, 2013

Posted by Admin in Diary, Healthonymous.
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January 1, 2014 is a day I’ve been looking forward to for more than 28 years. No more pre-existing conditions for me. The moral of my story is  – “It could happen to you”.

Dear YoungInvincibles @YI_Care : I was once one of you. Healthy, able to get life and health insurance ‘on demand’.  I ran 10k races in college, skied in the winter and hiked in the summer. Then age 26 came along and my medical care changed forever. I found a lump in my breast. 

Off I went to the doctor, who assured me that I was “too young” to worry about this hard, fixed in place, not painful lump. I had to manage up and advocate for myself to get a mammogram. So I finally got a mammogram (not always effective in young women with dense, perky breasts) and what do you know, the lump I had found was real-and could be cancerous. But they were skeptical, due to my age.

About this time, my doctor asked for my health history and I realized I had no idea if anyone in my family had ever had cancer. “Mom, what did your mother die from at age 45 during WW2?” -Oh- lung and breast cancer……gee thanks. Gulp. And why didn’t I know this before?

That didn’t matter, because now we had to biopsy my big lump.  There was no Breast Cancer Fund, no Internet, there was no Susan Love Research Foundation. There were three books on breast cancer available. One was on plastic surgery-scratch that. I was a busy financial advisor and barely had time for this surgery, let alone another one! Yes, I was a Yuppie. Then there was this one- First, You Cry by NBC correspondent Betty Rollins. I read it, but took small comfort from the story. The third one was apparently not memorable, but we bought it.

Here’s my point, YoungInvincibles; you might not get cancer in your 20’s, but anything else can happen. I didn’t ask to get cancer in my 20’s. And although I had some increased family risk, this wasn’t even the worst thing that could have taken me to the hospital. A skiing accident might have made me a quadriplegic; a car wreck could have placed me in rehab, or e.coli could have killed me!

If I hadn’t had health insurance, me or my family might have had to cover the cost of my 2 surgeries (first one didn’t get all the cancer cells), 8 weeks of radiation treatment and follow-ups ourselves. I might have entered my 30’s with unpaid medical debt. Did you know medical bankruptcy is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.?

#GetCovered for your wallet. #GetCovered for fewer surprises.

#GetCovered for your health and the Ten Essential Health Benefits.

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Got Pre-Existing Conditions? Romney or Obama Health Plan? October 4, 2012

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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As seen on Slate.com this morning-about pre-existing conditions and Obamacare.

Here’s an admission from Governor Romney’s advisor, Eric Ferhnstrom:

Pressed by TPM’s [Talking Points Memo] Evan McMorris-Santoro, Fehrnstrom said those who currently lack coverage because they have pre-existing conditions would need their states to implement their own laws — like Romney’s own Massachusetts health care law — that ban insurance company from discriminating against sick people.

“We’d like to see states do what Massachusetts did,” Fehrnstrom said. “In Massachusetts we have a ban on pre-existing conditions.”

[emphasis added by me]

If you have a pre-existing condition, the President’s plan (already the law), provides for no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions (think chronic conditions, cancer, diabetes etc.). But if Governor Romney is allowed to repeal Obamacare, then each state would have to push through their own versions of protections instead.

No guarantees there.

The Republicans are big on freedom. Before PPACA was passed, you could be trapped in your job with employer-provided health coverage, if you had a child with epilepsy or diabetes and they had been born AFTER you began work at your current company. Why? Because they would have been uninsurable with an individual plan or for a period under a new employer plan.

I knew two people who could never change jobs before PPACA was voted into law.

No freedom for them.

There is now.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pre-Existing Conditions and PPACA January 19, 2011

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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Full Coverage is written by a cancer survivor. It is 25 years since my first diagnosis and 12.5 years since my second diagnosis. I have lived a long time since the first diagnosis and have had a pre-existing condition for many years. As I listen to various members of the House discuss how bad this legislation is, my mouth is constantly dropping open while listening to Republicans discuss my “reduced” choices because of PPACA. (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)

My choices have increased due to this legislation.

  • I now do not have to stay in a job only in order to keep my health insurance
  • My chances of being discriminated against in the insurance world are greatly diminished
  • My opportunities for affordable coverage without a small lifetime cap on treatment are increased, not decreased.

I can perhaps even reveal my “chronic condition” to a potential employer without fear of being “too expensive to hire” or jeopardizing their insurance plan that has few workers.

This part of the Patient Care and Affordable Coverage Act is a good step forward for the more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors that were alive in 2007 and today.

(On January 1, 2007, in the United States there were approximately 2,591,855 women alive who had a history of cancer of the breast. This includes any person alive on January 1, 2007 who had been diagnosed with cancer of the breast at any point prior to January 1, 2007 and includes persons with active disease and those who are cured of their disease)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi March 21, 2010

Posted by Admin in Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous.
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“We will honor the vows of our founders…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We thank President Obama for his unwavering support for health care for all Americans. If I have one word for this legislation, it will be “opportunity“.

Speaker Pelosi went on to indicate that this legislation will take people from “joblocked to unleashed entrepreneurial spirit”; the best action we can take to create jobs, ignite innovation, strengthen Medicare, eliminate discrimination, create 4 million jobs during the life of the bill, being a woman will no longer be a “pre-existing medical condition”.

She acknowledged the work of the late Senator Edward Kennedy; and referenced the letter he wrote to President Obama to be read after his death that contained the phrase “access to health care is the great unfinished business of our society”, until tonight…

She urged an Aye vote.

Affordable Health Care for America No Longer “Optional” November 8, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, Money.
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Yesterday, HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, passed the House of Representatives with a slim 5 vote margin to make history in America. The sweeping bill includes a public option-so the public option government health care plan is no longer “optional”. If you would like to hear the bill read out loud, visit this website HearTheBill.org .

Yours truly was glued to C-SPAN for most of the day. It was fascinating to look at cspan.org last night, and check out the member speeches the choose to post on their site.  I stood amazed (well, sat on my couch actually)

  • at the breadth of stories (both true and false) told on the floor,
  • the mind numbing use of repetitive phrases,
  • the patience of Rep. Dingell and each subsequent presiding member as they politely requested that members “heed the gavel” and that visitors in the galleries ” were guests of the House” and had to adhere to House rules,
  • the utter lack of interest in Rep. Wally Herger’s floor speech (D-CA District 2) from his colleagues seated nearby-presumably from his own party
  • Speaker Pelosi’s floor speech where she reminded her colleagues that HR 3962 would not treat being female as a reason to deny coverage for a “pre-existing condition”.
  • Speeches by Rep. Waxman, Rep. McDermott (WA) , Rep. Miller (CA), Rep. Velasquez, Rep. Slaughter, Rep. Meek
  • The lifelong commitment of Rep. Dingell and his family before him to providing health care for all Americans,
  • The surprising inclusion of the Stupak amendment, the most restrictive amendment since the Hyde Amendment on abortion rights
  • The misused, recurring call of “parliamentary inquiry” to the chair
  • The various descriptions of the weight of the bill and the number of pages (Jon Stewart summarizes it well)

No matter if you approve or disapprove, this day has been a long time coming-since the time of President Roosevelt or even President Truman-no bill has gotten this far. The next few weeks will still be crucial, especially with the “poison pill” of the Stupak amendment now contained within the bill, sort of like an odd political pregnancy.

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