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Most of our listeners know…we love our Donna Smith. Since the start of Nurse Talk Donna has been and is—a remarkable contributor and a tireless advocate for single payer healthcare. She is a legislative organizer for National Nurses United and no one knows healthcare/political issues like Donna. And at the heart of the matter—she doesn’t really believe healthcare—and access to it—should be a political issue. Donna says, “It’s a matter of heart and humanity. It just is.” Having just been diagnosed with cancer (for the second time) Donna now faces what so many sick AND INSURED do—her insurance company is denying medications and treatment. Donna talks about this and more …coming up. Check out some of her blog posts at MichaelMoore.com.
AND…listener Sharon B. gets some answers from Stanford nephrologist, Dr. Anjali Saxsena. Dr. Saxsena talks about Kidney disease—the symptoms, the treatments—and the National Kidney Foundation. Learn more at the National Kidney Foundation.
Hives in Phoenix…A listener is having a rough time—but keeps her sense of humor about it all. Gets nothing useful from the nurses—but—she probably knew she wouldn’t anyway!
Healthcare Trivia strikes again. This weeks question: What is the strongest muscle in your body? Read more…
Most of our listeners know…we love our Donna Smith. Since the start of Nurse Talk Donna has been and is—a remarkable contributor and a tireless advocate for single payer healthcare. She is a legislative organizer for National Nurses United and no one knows healthcare/political issues like Donna. And at the heart of the matter—she doesn’t really believe healthcare—and access to it—should be a political issue. Donna says, “It’s a matter of heart and humanity. It just is.” Having just been diagnosed with cancer (for the second time) Donna now faces what so many sick AND INSURED do—her insurance company is denying medications and treatment. Donna talks about this and more …coming up. Check out some of her blog posts at MichaelMoore.com. Read more…
Originally posted August 7th, 2012 2:25 PM on MichaelMoore.com
My tweet yesterday said I’d write about the three pieces of mail I received from my insurance company, Aetna, this week. All three confirmed it. In their eyes and in every manner of decision they make, I am either a medical loss if a claim must be paid or I am a profit if they can deny me.
If only we had Medicare for all for life…
My first piece of mail from Aetna was the first round of denials of the medication my doctor ordered to help reduce my gut pain as diagnostic effort and other care continues. That instantly made me upset which also makes me feel worse.
If only we had Medicare for all for life…
But it was second piece of mail from Aetna that gnaws at me more. The letter informed me that my employer would be getting a rebate check since Aetna failed to meet the amounts they needed to in approved/paid claims. The letter was a bit celebratory in that it told me that my employer could choose to use the funds for other employee health costs, but I wasn’t celebrating. It would have made me happy and healthier to have my medication. Read more…
Today Missy and I went to look at a new nursing facility. It is close to our home. Missy has so many medical bills and she hasn’t worked for the last few years because she is taking care of me. We would of been OK but Missy’s MS drugs are over 3500.00 a month, her insurance will not pay because they are considered preventive, so for 3 years she has paid for them. Then when her insurance denied her surgeries because of the cancer clause. We were up a creek.
I am going to have to move to a nursing facility, not real soon, but soon. The place was nice, all the people were nice and smiled at me. Afterward, we went to McDonald’s and took our lunch to the river. We sat in the car and watched the barges go by. I started crying, and told Missy, “Don’t make me go yet. I will be good, I can stay by myself all day till you get home. I will be OK.”
I told her I was scared to go there and be with strangers, that it wasn’t time yet, I was still me. Missy started crying and told me that I didn’t have to go yet, that she would work something out, that she never wants me to be scared. Read more…
This week on our lovely “sheeew”—we talk about a customer service practice that is now being used in the healthcare field. It’s called scripting and rounding. In the corporate world scripting and rounding has been part of the customer service model for giants like Disney, major fast food chains and many five star hotels. Now—healthcare? RN DeAnn McEwen gives us a “spirited” overview!
You won’t want to miss Phyllis Katz. Like any skilled improviser, when longtime performer and director with the famed Groundlings comedy troupe was faced with her insurance company being unwilling to pay six figures to fix her two hips, she improvised. Good-bye, Los Angeles. Hello New Delhi. Phyllis is here to talk with us about her wonderful new book Hipwrecked, My Health Insurance Sucked so I Went to India for Surgery.
And if you haven’t heard the our new segment “In My Day” with comedian Lynn Ruth Miller–you need to. This week Lynn Ruth talks about a favorite all-purpose remedy her mother used: baking soda. Told only as Lynn Ruth could—it definitely harkens memories from the old days!
Read California Healthline’s roundup of last Wednesday’s successful vote on SB 810:
Friday, May 06, 2011
Senate Health Committee Moves Single-Payer Bill
by David Gorn
Many dozens of single-payer supporters crammed the Senate Committee on Health chambers on Wednesday for hearing on a bill that would set up a single-payer health system in California.
The supporters were respectful and emphatic as they all stepped, one by one, up to the microphone to voice their support for such a model. After all of the advocates took their turn and returned to their seats, Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) wanted to know if there were any more speakers, so he politely asked if there was anyone else in the audience who was in favor of the bill.
And a sea of hands went up, as nearly everyone in the audience spontaneously and quietly raised their hands.
That has been the history of single-payer legislation in California, with enthusiastic, almost fervid, support of it by many citizens and organizations in the state, but a tepid, almost embarrassed, reception by many lawmakers.
Here’s how Wednesday’s vote on SB 810 broke down:
YES – Ed Hernandez, Elaine Alquist, Kevin de Leon, Mark DeSaulnier, Lois Wolk
NO – Joel Anderson, Sam Blakeslee, Tony Strickland
Sen. Read more…
Facing possible extinction for the first time in four years, the single payer bill SB 810 pulled through, passing the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday on a 5-3 vote, state Sen. Mark Leno’s office reported. Up until a couple of days ago, committee chair Sen. Ed Hernandez had been undecided, putting the bill in jeopardy. But intense pressure from single payer advocates across the state and a massive phone campaign finally secured a “yes” vote from Hernandez. In addition, hundreds of single payer supporters descended upon the Capitol in Sacramento to attend the hearing.
Leno’s office released the following statement after the vote:
“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which has a significant impact on the state budget, businesses and families,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Our single payer plan not only guarantees universal coverage for all Californians, but also contains health care costs, which is essential to solving our state budget crisis in the long term.”
SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.
It looks like California and Vermont could go on two different trajectories in America’s battle for healthcare equality. On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate approved by 21-9 health reform legislation that would create a single payer system in the state. Once the bill is reconciled by both chambers of the Vermont legislature, it will land on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk. Shumlin is a strong supporter of single payer.
Meanwhile, in our state of California, SB 810 could be in jeopardy. Wednesday’s scheduled hearing in the state Senate Health Committee was postponed to May 4. According to single payer advocacy group, Single Payer Central, two Democratic members on the committee – chairman Ed Hernandez and member Michael Rubio – are apparently wavering on the bill:
“The Senate Health Committee was scheduled to discuss SB 810 on Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30pm. The Health Committee meeting has now been postponed to Wednesday, May 4th at 1:30pm.
The vote on SB 810 is in jeopardy of not passing because of two members of the Health Committee, Democratic State Senators Michael Rubio from Bakersfield, who is not in support, and the Chair of the Health Committee, Ed Hernandez, who is not sure what he thinks. Read more…
Our friends at the California Nurses Association report…Seven of California’s biggest insurance companies rejected on average more than one-fourth of all payment claims in the second half of 2009, according to new data just released by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee and its national arm, National Nurses United. Read entire article…