Just Wrong

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Health Care, Immigration

Immigration authorities separate nursing mother and baby.

Even more heartbreaking, today Bob Herbert writes about a mother battling her health insurance provider while her daughter battled cancer.

One night, after coming home from school, Brittney suddenly found that she couldn’t walk. The cancer had attacked her spinal cord. As the doctors geared up to treat this new disaster, Ms. Hightower received word that her insurance policy had maxed out. The company would not pay for any further treatment.

Ms. Hightower was aghast: “I said, ‘What do you mean? It was supposed to be a $3 million policy.’ ”

She hadn’t understood that there was an annual limit of $75,000 on benefits. “It was just devastating when they told me that,” she said. …

…Sandra Hightower became almost frantic with the combined tasks of caring for her daughter and trying to figure out how to pay for the increasingly expensive treatments.

“Her back surgery, with the reconstruction and all that, was over three hundred and some thousand dollars,” she said. “I had to start doing fund-raisers, bake sales. And the community kicked in, my community here in Nacogdoches. Definitely the high school. And people donated to a benefit fund at the bank.”

After several months, Brittney was declared eligible for federal disability benefits, which enabled her to qualify for Medicaid. “But we still owed for everything before that,” said Ms. Hightower.

Brittney fought like crazy to survive, her mother said. But in the end, she didn’t make it. She died, at age 16, on June 5.

“I see her everywhere,” said Ms. Hightower, who still owes thousands of dollars in medical bills. “When I go to the grocery store, I see her favorite food. I go shopping, and I see the perfect little outfit that she would love.

“I’m so lost right now. And I feel like I failed my baby because I couldn’t bring in all the help she needed.”

I’m sure the wingnuts can dismiss Ms. Hightower by saying she should have chosen a job with better benefits.

Update: Satire? Pathology? You be the judge. A blogger writes,

What would life in the United States be like under a President who is obsesssed with personal power, does not respect the rule of law and has no tolerance for criticism?

Who has to wonder? But here’s the punch line — the blogger was writing about Hillary Clinton. Sort of snarks itself, huh?

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18 Comments

15 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 17, 2007 @8:36 am

    Sweet Jesus (Moses, Allah, Buddha, and all of the rest), Maha, you made me cry this morning.
    But then, I’ve cried every morning since the Supreme Court gave the election to Lizard Brain and his smirking marionette.
    It’ll take time, but we’ll prevail. Hope trumps fear and loathing (God, I miss Hunter…)
    We the People will speak. And if we’re not heard, we’ll shout. And if we’re still not heard, we will hit the street’s. I used to hate the 2nd Amendment. Now, I’m thankful for it. I’d rather go down fighting than sit meekly in a corner waiting for the other jackboot to fall…
    This, from a lifelong peacenik. I’ve had enough!
    We need another Revolution. I want it to be a peaceful one, but you can bet I’ll be prepared if it isn’t.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    Make no mistake about it, Darth Vader and his sullen marionette are Tyrants! And if some of of the blood spilled is mine, so be it!

  2. Bithead  •  Nov 17, 2007 @9:19 am

    Oh, come. You’re not going to tell me that when government takes over a healthcare system there are no financial limits on individuals, are you, really?
    As I said to the Drooling idiot at The New Republic the other day…

    I find it alarming that the left allows the government to deal with such issues by simply deciding not to cover the patient for it, almost in an arbitrary fashion, but complains bitterly when private insurance does the same, in some cases. (Irony abounds: Such private insurance edicts are usually as a direct result of governmental controls on such plans.)

  3. maha  •  Nov 17, 2007 @9:48 am

    Oh, come. You’re not going to tell me that when government takes over a healthcare system there are no financial limits on individuals, are you, really?

    If you can find real-world examples of patients being cut off like Ms. Hightower was in France or Japan or Israel or Austrialia any other first-world republic with national health care, then do let me know. Please, go ahead and look. Look very hard. Take your time.

    I find it alarming that the left allows the government to deal with such issues by simply deciding not to cover the patient for it.

    Again, if you can find real-world examples of patients being denied life-saving medical treatment in France or Japan or Israel or Austrialia any other first-world republic with national health care, then do let me know. Please, go ahead and look. Look very hard. Take your time.

    (Irony abounds: Such private insurance edicts are usually as a direct result of governmental controls on such plans.)

    No, such private insurance edicts are usually as a direct reslt of the private insurance company wanting to make as big a profit as they can. Where there are no “government controls” the problems for patients are actually worse, because the insurance companies can dump clients any time they want.

  4. Bithead  •  Nov 17, 2007 @12:02 pm

    If you can find real-world examples of patients being cut off like Ms. Hightower was in France or Japan or Israel or Austrialia any other first-world republic with national health care, then do let me know. Please, go ahead and look. Look very hard. Take your time.

    Examples abound.
    How many horror stories need we hear from the Canada and the UK..(Ex, people pulling their own teeth) before the point sinks in?

    Government controls are the problem, not the solution.

  5. maha  •  Nov 17, 2007 @12:57 pm

    Examples abound.

    Bzzzzzt. Wrong. I asked you to find one example of someone who was cut off from major medical treatment because they had hit some arbitrary government-imposed maximum. You did not. I win.

    How many horror stories need we hear from the Canada and the UK..(Ex, people pulling their own teeth) before the point sinks in?

    And for every such example you can find in Canada and the UK (and notice, folks, it is ALWAYS Canada and the UK the wingnuts want to talk about) you can find exactly the same thing happening here, only here is many times more common.

  6. Bonnie  •  Nov 17, 2007 @1:31 pm

    In reference to your update and the blogger who said, “. . . has no tolerance for criticism” and it was about Hillary. I think of all the public people I have ever seen in my 60 years of life, Hillary has probably withstood more unending criticism (extremely harsh and hateful) better than any one. And, as regular readers of this blog know she isn’t the person I want for the Dem candidate. But, I will stand up for her against all the terrorizing negative comments about her. She is at least a human being which more than can be siad for that robot in the White House now.

    As to Bithead’s (probably stands for little itty bitty head because of little itty bitty brain) ridiculous comments, I would like to remind him that a young boy in Maryland recently died because he needed dental care. He had an infection in his tooth; but, his family could not afford any dental care. The dental care system in the United States is even worse than health care system. Someone who wants to hold the U.S. up as a shining example really should not bring up dental care.

  7. Deb  •  Nov 17, 2007 @2:05 pm

    Sometimes I just can’t read the whole story, my BP goes up and a red film covers my eyes. Then I sigh deeply and mist up because I can’t believe these types of things happen in this day and age.

    How small does your brain have to be to separate a baby that’s being breast fed? That shouldn’t even have required a second thought.

  8. Buck Turgisson  •  Nov 17, 2007 @2:25 pm

    “Bithead” should entitle himself “Bitbrain” instead. My friends in Canada, England, France, Spain, and Japan all, every single one of them, get better health care for less work. Ours is a system to benefit businessmen only. My wife and I pay $800 a month for our health insurance which she gets through her public school teaching job. What would happen if one of us couldn’t work because of illness and couldn’t contribute to the monthly budget would be the meltdown of our finances, and yet that is a distinct possibility. All the cons and neocons and religious cons are able to say is “T’is your fault, shouldda worked harder, shouldda got an inheritance, shouldda had a better job, shouldda got more education, etc. etc. blah blah blah.”

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 17, 2007 @3:26 pm

    Bithead ,
    We know you want to be really be known as “Bytehead.” If you were smart, you’d have taken that as your AKA, And your present moniker (no, stupid, not Lewinsky), tells me that you’re about an average Republican thinker. About 1/8 as smart as the rest of humanity.

    Bit’s vs. bytes?
    http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/basicnetworking/f/bitsandbytes.htm

    Ask not for whom the bell troll’s, it troll’s for Thee,,,
    Troll on home, brother. Troll on home… And say “Hi” to your friends at LGF on your way.
    To quote the immortal Bugs: “What a dope! What a maroon!”

    I hope, Boobalah, no sickness should fall upon you or your family…
    Bithead – What a PUTZ!!!

  10. DavidL  •  Nov 17, 2007 @4:31 pm

    Socialism produces poverty. It produced poverty in the former Soviet Union, Cuba and now Venezuela. Both Hugo Chavez and Mrs. Clinton loath the idea of ciziizens making a profit. There natural instinct is to confiscate profit. Chavez has, and as a result Venezuela has shortage of essential commodities. Chavez is dong what Mrs. Clinton would like to do. Hence Chavez’ Venezuela serves as window into Mrs. Clinton’s America.

  11. Bonnie  •  Nov 17, 2007 @5:42 pm

    Making a profit is fine. But, no one should make a profit on the bad health of another human being.

  12. Doug Hughes  •  Nov 17, 2007 @6:40 pm

    ‘Just Wrong’ sums it up pretty well. No mother should be separated from her infant child for anything less than a suspected felony, or reasonable cause to suspect she is a danger to her child.

    But I brought up several issues – rational and without emotion – 2 days ago that need to be addressed in implementing a policy twoards illegal aliens in tis country. Security, Fairness to those who would enter legally and will be delayed by preferential treatment to those who crossed illegally, and the economic impact – depressed wages – that business has used to guarantee that the latest economic boom does not result in higher wages for Americans – despite the gains in productivity.

    Barbara, you are one of the smartest people I never met, but you have hit this topic twice this week, once mocking those opposed to amnesty (or licenses) for illegal aliens, and the seond time with a true, but over-the-top emotional argument. Real issues remain unaddressed by Democratic candidates for President (which I expect; this is a thorny issue) but you , Barbara, have yet to address the issues evenhandedly. Can we get past rhetoric and hysteria and discuss both sides of this?

  13. erinyes  •  Nov 17, 2007 @7:29 pm

    “socialism produces poverty” This is no doubt why Sweden and Norway are chock full of ghettos. This is why Israel, who has socialized medicine and dental care, cradle to fucking grave, thanks to big brother U.S.A. is doing so badly.
    OK, let’s use our brains for just a moment and figure out what will cause the total financial collapse of the U.S.
    Nope, not making sure we have an educated and healthy population.
    Perhaps a bloated military industrial complex that bleeds our coffers beyond belief, or a foreign policy that dumps billions of dollars down the black holes of Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, etc ad nauseam? Could it be because our dear leader decider has decided to provide socialism for the big corporations and CEOs while allowing Joe and Jane middle class to suck ass and die?
    I am amazed how many middle class Americans have been conned into throwing away their rights because some radio blow hard brainwashes them daily about how they need to work harder, suck more ass, follow bad leaders blindly.
    When Gas hits $5 a gallon and milk hits$6 per gallon and a trip to the ER sets us back two grand, we’ll revisit the issue…….

  14. maha  •  Nov 17, 2007 @8:35 pm

    Doug — Dude, I am busy. I am swamped. I took on a project unrelated to this blog, and I’ve barely got time to eat right now. It’s been a struggle to find time to post anything at all the past couple of days. So I’m sorry I don’t have time to do requests.

    If you want to read my opinion on immigrants, try these old posts:

    http://www.mahablog.com/2006/06/19/gop-the-cheap-labor-party/

    http://www.mahablog.com/2006/04/10/the-new-iron-curtain/

    http://www.mahablog.com/2006/05/02/coming-to-america/

    Awhile back I remember writing a post in which I opined that keeping out illegals and dealing with illegals already here were two separate issues, and we aren’t going to be able to talk to each other until we understand they are two separate issues. A person can be in favor of taking strong measures to prevent illegal aliens from coming here and taking jobs, AND AT THE SAME TIME be in favor of leniency toward illegals who have been here a long time and have ties to their communities.

    When we sink to the level of ripping nursing babies away from their mothers and weaning them to bottles against their mothers’ will, we have gone too far. Some things transcend nationality.

  15. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 17, 2007 @8:54 pm

    DavidL,
    You’re comparing Hillary Clinton to ‘Chavez (btw – it should read “Their,” not, ‘There’ natural instinct is to confiscate profit.)?

    DavidL,
    Only Chavez? Why not compare her to Hitler? Or, Stalin? Or Walter O’Malley?
    Not brave enough, little man? Don’t want to cross some theoretical moral divide?

    My parent’s came from the TOTALITARIAN (not Socialist) state of the Soviet Union. They managed to somehow make it to the American Zone after WWII.

    What you know about Socialism, Clinton, and/or Chavez would fit neatly with a trillion angel’s on the head of a pin…

    How many thought’s can fit in the head of DavidL? One. Hillary = EVIL!

    Do, when you you have an original thought, write here again. Actually, write even when you don’t – I need the laugh’s 🙂

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