Wednesday, December 16, 2009

As an RN :The HCR Battle at this Moment,and Where I stand.

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." ~Senator Teddy Kennedy #hcr
{{ Please do scroll down :HCR updates and Videos, including Dean's Video 12.15}}
Over the past few days I have gotten many emails and messages from Twitterland and Blogland asking What do I see the Fate of this HCR Bill and Healthcare Reform at this point. First I am a Nurse of 20+ years and I am UnInsured, which means that I have a perspective that is not always Politically Driven or Calculated. I have always blogged how the Events and Politics impacts our lives. I also have a son, so I look at this Reform measure as an important issue for his future and the next generations, to provide for their physical health but also their economic health. All that being said, I do recognize that we are at Critical Juncture and that many Wise Entities are Abandoning the HCR in all forms, and that there is much tension as to how to proceed and WHO and WHAT to Support.Please read Entire Post to Understand and Hear my position and it may help you in your Thought Process.

After reading ALL the Bills that have now led to the Formation of the Current Senate Bill that is now being Backroom Brokered, I do have some concerns, and hope over next few days to have more Information to better evaluate the Following:
Current Concerns & Facts as an RN re :Current Senate Bill

(1) WHO and HOW MANY will indeed be offered access to Health Care and Health Insurance. We currently have over 50 Million UnInsured, (47 Million based on 2007 Census Numbers,and 6.6 Newly UnEmployed this past year during Economic Plunge). We have atleast 30 Million UnInsured due to Preexisting Conditions. 17,000 Are losing Health Insurance and Care a Day. 112 Are dying per day without care. According to Harvard 45-47,000 are dying per year without proper or adequate Health Care. The Numbers justify a Crisis and Timely Action. But as this Current Senate Bill has been Whittling and Chopping away the Medicare Buy In and the Public Option, we need to know what is going to Available and Affordable and truly accessible. And that Question has not been answered.
(2) The High Risk Pools to be Created offer more questions. WHO will be in the Pools and how will their care be cost ratioed ? Supposedly according to the Current 2000 page bill the Pools will be available to People who have been refused and denied care due to pre-existing conditions. BUT it also categorizes AGE as a High Risk Factor and allows people to be basically fined higher fees for their age- it is treated as a "RISK". I worry that some of this language about risk means that People are being Insured as if they are Clunkers. And the one thing that could have been placed there is Rate Control for UnEmployed and Low Income, Poverty and Economic Distress are not acknowledged in this Senate Bill. The Economic Factor should have been embraced and Sliding Scales set up to Lesson Hardship and Improve Access. While for months UnInsured have been Reminded Daily that they are Costing TOO much, there has been Nothing addresses Cost Controls for Coverage to Working Poor, Middle Class or Lower Middle Class Working Families.
(3)Big Pharma is still controlling Costs and this means that many people will still be choosing between Meds and Meals. Please See Gotta Laff Post Below, scroll down. It is a valuable post to read, especially as this Current Senate Bill does Nothing to Protect Patients as they try to pay for meds every month.
(4) About the Outlawing of Pre-Existing Conditions, to provide care to those with such disease statuses, it remains unclear and very muddied in ALL the Legislation about WHO will Monitor and ENFORCE and Protect the People who have suffered Discrimination and inability to access Affordable Care. WHICH agency ? Because as it is now there is NO agency to protect Patients as they attempt to get care. DHHS seems to be struggling to handle current workload with even the H1N1 epidemic. And Secretary Sebelius has been less than effective speaking or engaging in HCR in a Leadership role.

(I also think that at some point that Decrimination against People that are ill AND denying care is Criminal, but it is is also a Civil Rights Issue, but that is an issue that this HCR will never fully address, but this bill atleast opens the issue up for scrutiny,as well as issues concerning Rescinded care.)

(5) The Concern that is most worrisome and that has gotten the least MSM coverage is the that the Proposed Bill when it went to the Backrooms Suddenly Inserted a NEW Clause regarding CAPS on Care per year and Lifetime that will post HUGE risks and Calamity for Families coping with and caring for those with Chronic Longterm devastating Illnesses. There is NO protection for them and indeed they may face Hardship and Failure of Care, and that this was done in such a Dark Secretive Fashion is deplorable.
(6) Dr.Dean in the video below raises many valid concerns when says to Kill the Bill, and I really do share many of them. I also know that Dean has Given Up on things Sometimes Pre-maturely. And yes, I am talking about 2004, for many of us that worked on his campaign and believed in him, there was concern he left the Presidential Race too early.( Please know I am saying that as someone who truly believes and trusts his wisdom). I also know that as a Nurse, well, let's just put it this way, he would not be the First Doctor that I did not support ALL 100% of the time. I am glad he spoke up, but as a Nurse and as a Liberal I don't think it is Time to "Kill the Bill".
(7) Another issue that has barely been mentioned is that the Original Baucus Bill, and this bill to a lesser degree would have fines imposed for the people that remain UnInsured or don't have care.But if it is indeed due to income or poverty issues there should be no Fines, or punitive action of fines and penalties.
Those are my most pressing Concerns and Worries as an RN. Now that Many Progressives and Progressive Leaders bravely Spoke out yesterday stating to "Kill the Bill", it would be easy, even comforting to join them in stepping away from Bad Weakened Even Questionable Legislation. BUT....and it is a HUGE BUT.
I currently view the HCR Bill -Senate Version as indeed a VERY sick Patient, Critical Condition at this point. But as a Nurse I have never walked out on a Patient during a Critical Moment, I have never stopped Listening to all the Research and Learned Advice. I have kept digging and working to save the Patient. Even though the Patient may indeed come out very damaged and weakened, the Fight is still worth saving What and WHO matters.So for me, it is a Time Game, Time will tell WHEN and if to walk away from this HCR Bill and stop all Resuscitation Efforts. For me I think it is still worth Fighting FOR and About. The Battle is Not over, Not yet.

I also in my heart think Senator Ted Kennedy would not want us giving up...not yet. He would want us still Fighting, and Fighting Hard. And in the end I also think we still need to pursue Healthcare for ALL as a Constitutional Right, so that it is Protected and we never ever have a Bloody Battle like this again.

"Pray for the Dead,but Fight Like Hell for the Living."~ Mother Jones

{{So at this point I will still be fighting Tooth and Nail to get Real Healthcare for Millions , not just Insurance Reform, that means I will still make phone calls, write letters, and continue blogging and twittering and posting research .}}

Please Do Still DC and tell them What kind of HCR We The People Really Need.
Senator Harry Reid
DC: (202) 224-3542
Carson City: (775) 882-7343
Las Vegas: (702) 388-5020
Reno: (775) 686-5750
Call your Democratic Senator too -- Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Call the Whitehouse:: 202-456-1414
A song For Tonight "American Prayer"::

Wednesday 12.16.09 HCR Update::
Nasty rumor circulating Internet that Liebermann revenge driven hateful man that he is, is planning to NOT be the 60th vote on HCR but run for the RNC in 2012. Time will tell if this is just a rumor.
Here is another post that does explain parts of the Bill that are worth knowing about and WHO has worked behind scenes.


enigma4ever said...

I still have not been getting any emails from HCR groups and our Elected in DC, including Obama&WH, for about 2.5 weeks the silence has been deafening.

This to me says that they don't know what to say about the HCR as it is right now, but it also shows me support is flagging/weak or damaged.

If anyone gets emails from DC about HCR let me know.

I realize that I will now get more wrath from the Progressives about this post telling me I am not progressive enough...

but I stand by it as of now 12,16....

YesBiscuit! said...

I'm with you. Reader's Digest version: I'm so desperate for access to health care, I'll take anything I can get, even if it sucks royally. And I don't jump ship during a storm.

Mauigirl said...

Enigma, I agree. We should not "kill the bill." I am very disappointed that apparently the buy-in to Medicare for people over 55 and the public option are both apparently off the table thanks to liebermann et al. But if there are any reforms and anything worth saving in this bill that will help the many uninsured people out there in any way, then I am still in favor of it.

The best is the enemy of the good.

Do we really want to have no change at all? Or will incremental change be better than nothing? When Medicare was first passed it was not in full-fledged form as it is now. Changes were made over time. That can happen here too.

And we have to remember, the final bill will need to be agreed upon between the House and Senate, and could be different from either of the independent legislation from each house.

enigma4ever said...

Yes Biscuit::
don't jump ship in a storm, that actually rings very true..thanks for coming by...

I dont know what will happen in the end to Medicare Expansion or PO-at this point it does not look good-unless House can get it to be brought in....

and yes, what the final version is we don't know....

we shall just have to see....

enigma4ever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the walking man said...

I called all of Reid's offices yesterday and was disconnected at each of them.

Barak Obama has lied with his inaction towards the legislative branch, And the money I sent and vocal support I gave to his campaign I now see was a waste of time and energy, They are all the same and it is now up to us to take care of us.

Take care of yourself one in government will.

Kittie Howard said...

Enigma, Your stats are an eye-opener. As much as I try to keep up with HCR, I did not realize so many were losing coverage ea day/dying ea yr. I don't think we should give up the HCR fight, that something is better than nothing, and, like on of the commenters said, Medicare took years to morph into its present form. Lieberman caved to the Hartford insurance interests...symptomatic of how we got into HCR trouble/why we need HCR. Too many in Congress don't understand the magnitude of problems Out There. I personally favor the German plan where limitations are placed on for-profit insurance companies...but will be happy with any positive step forward...and it shouldn't be this way, not in the U.S.A. HCR shouldn't be an issue. It should be a progam in place and running smoothly. I've called Congressional offices to support HCR, reminding them that Senator Kennedy would be chiding them for ignoring the larger issue of public good. Sigh! Anyway, thank you for the enormous work you've put into helping us understand the issues. Merry Christmas!

D.K. Raed said...

Thanks for putting this together, E. You have given food for thought.

One part of me inclines toward scrapping it rather than settling for crumbs. Another part of me thinks maybe crumbs can be built into something more substantial.

Can the dems get 60 votes even for crumbs? I don't have the answers but after listening to Weiner and Harkin, I am not feeling completely bereft like I was after listening to Dean.

Distributorcap said...

while i agree with you in so many ways - i think the damage this bill will do in the end would be worse

at any point, the govt could cut all subsidies for the poor - who will be forced to pay for insurance that the greedy evil despicable insurance companies will be selling.