The Powers That Be...


This morning I got up and drove to the Urgent Care Clinic. 


I went to the front desk. I had the almighty insurance card I'd striven so hard to get in my hand. She looked at it. "I'm sorry," the woman said. "People with this insurance have to get a referral first." 

"But this is the Urgent Care Clinic, where you go when you have to. A referral for urgent care?" 

She just shrugged. I was baffled. As of August 1, I'd managed to get on a low-income health insurance plan for the self-employed. I'd waited months to gain access to it. 

The fact that it's likely going away the last of December due to infighting between the powers that be is disheartening, yes. But today, I still had the magic card. Right? 

She pointed me to a phone on the wall. "Call them and see if they'll give you a referral," she said. "Tell them to fax it." 


"Them" is the university teaching hospital I will be going to October 1, to see a doctor or intern or someone. 

It will be my first appointment because I haven't had insurance for months. They'd never seen me. What were the chances? 

None. That's what. They refused to help me. There would be no referral.

I went back to the desk. "What am I supposed to do?" I asked her. It was clear I wasn't turning on my heel and waltzing out immediately. She called for a nurse. 

The nurse came and listened to my lungs. "You need breathing treatments," she said.

Tell me something I don't know. "Well, what am I supposed to do to get that?" I asked her. 

She looked at the other woman. She looked at the floor. She was clearly on the fence. She was clearly feeling powerless. "I don't know," she finally said. "I'm sorry." 


So the almighty card wasn't worth much after all. I can remember, a few weeks ago, when I learned I was only to have it till the end of the year, emailing my youngest daughter in Oklahoma City. "I knew it was too good to be true," I wrote. 

Last summer when I broke my ankle on both sides and had surgery, I recall a man called me up to his desk. At that time, I still had my ex-husband's Cobra. He jotted some things down. He asked me how much of a check I could write. I wrote it for $800. I told him that was the most I could manage. He said he guessed that would have to do.

Then he said, "I need you to know that your insurance isn't good enough for an overnight stay. So as soon as you wake up, you'll be getting dressed and leaving." 

I didn't think I'd heard him right. I didn't want to spend the night, certainly. Because of Abi and Charlie. But what if something went wrong? 

That card didn't seem to be all that powerful either. 


So, I ask you, is there any health insurance card that has power any longer? Does good affordable health care exist? Or is that a myth? 

And what if you get really sick, like with cancer, and the numbers start soaring upward at an alarming rate? Does it really matter how good that card is then? Or is it only good till you hit a certain number?

Fortunately during that surgery nothing went wrong. 


I use to be kind of a news junkie. I loyally watched the evening national news every single night while I did my yoga stretching. I kept up with everything that was going on in Washington. I avidly read Time or Newsweek.

But about six months ago, I stopped. I just couldn't listen anymore. 

Those people sitting in their seats of power did little more than bicker.

I told myself: It's never going to stop. They don't care about people like me. They're far too insulated in their padded elected seats. 

They don't know what it is to have to stand in disbelief because you're sick and refused care.


Well, I think they should have to walk in our shoes for awhile. I think they need to turn over their insurance card. I think they need to stand at a front desk and then be turned away. 

I think they need to see what it's like on the other side. Our side. 

Maybe they'd understand that something, something needs to be done. 

I'm not a genius. I don't know what it is. But this bickering needs to stop and the real issues need to be addressed. Like right now. 

And if the powers that be can't come up with some sort of plan to help the citizens of this country receive help when they're sick, then they should be unceremoniously tossed out of their seats and made to walk out. Just like I was today. 

I think they need to be told that if they can't do any better, then it's time to hit the proverbial road.


I don't want to be a burden on society. I want to pay my way. I want to purchase my own health insurance. But I believe it should be commensurate with my income. 

Is that so illogical? I live very frugally. I don't waste money. Is that really too much to ask?

Today, clearly, it was.



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110 comments

  1. And this is exactly why we have so many people that visit our Emergency rooms. It isn't really an emergency but they do need medical attention and they can't get it anywhere else. I'm so sorry you had to experience this. I just don't understand what a person is to do.

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    1. They told me to go to the ER. But I knew I'd sit there for hours and hours and I just wanted to go home and rest.

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    2. Plus it's way more expensive to go to the ER....

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  2. I just hate reading this!! I feel for you. I only have insurance because my husband has a family plan and it is very affordable. It is through his employer. What is your opinion of Obama care?

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    1. Kelly, I really don't know. I hear this pundit and that pundit. Who do you believe? What I am for is insurance for everyone, whether they want it or not, because eventually they're going to get sick. And I think it should be within their means to be able to pay for it. And that this going to the ER for everything stops. They told me to go to the ER. I drove that way while I thought about whether I would walk in there. But there were so many ambulances in the drive I couldn't even pull off the street. So I just came home. I pay for my insurance. Why can't I get urgent care if I need it without a referral when clearly I need care before I can be seen? It's ridiculous. It's patently ridiculous.

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  3. Brenda, go online to healthcare.gov on Oct. 1' as soon as you can, and sign up for a policy. You should be able to get a good policy AND a subsidy, tax credit, to help pay for it. Please check it out. You should not have to deal with this.

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    1. Oh, I plan to! I may stay up till a minute after midnight to do it too.
      Brenda

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  4. Inquire about an Advantage health insurance. It might be right for you.

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    1. Ironically, to get the Insure Oklahoma insurance I currently have for the next few months, I had to have income 100% below the national poverty rate. Then, a few weeks ago, they changed the rules. Employees with this insurance working at a company with less than 99 employees, would still have to have incomes 100% below the poverty level. But for the self-employed, like me, the rate went up to 200%. I was somewhere in the middle.

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  6. It is alarming to read that you cannot access medical care when you are obviously quite ill. Thankfully, here in Australia the system is much more equitable. Anyone can visit the Emergency department at a public hospital and be attended to for free. There can sometimes be quite a wait before being seen to, but no one is turned away. Under our Medicare system low income earners can visit a doctor free of charge.
    I really hope that you will be able to receive some help very soon. Being turned away like that must make you feel so disempowered and angry.
    Thinking of you...

    Kathy from Tasmania

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. Not only disempowered and angry. Humiliated. I felt humiliated because I can't afford a better insurance card.

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    2. Oh yes, it would have been extremely humiliating. Like you, I am divorced (twice) and without the support of my partner, I would not be able to afford private health insurance, and heaven knows where I would be living. There are long waiting lists here for non-emergency surgery. Even with private cover, it is still expensive to see a dentist or buy prescription glasses. So, our health system here is not perfect either. But I would definitely be able to access a doctor to treat asthma at little or no cost.

      Kathy

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  7. I am so sorry!
    As to the "powers" that be, I have no faith in government mandated health care, even if "they" can agree on it.
    I don't know the answer.
    Our group insurance takes about 25% of our income and has a $5,000 per per person per year deductible. Maybe we should drop it and buy lottery tickets. Just kidding, but paying that much for what we get doesn't seem very smart, either. :/

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    1. I clearly don't know the answer. I just know something needs to be done. People running to the ER for minor things needs to stop. There needs to be somewhere for them to go so they don't run up a gigantic bill the rest of us have to pay.

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  8. OMG- I am SO angry at the medical system that dances to insurance tunes. As you know I worked in a hospital. Here is a TRICK to use, if you are really sick. You walk into an emergency room and tell them you have NO INSURANCE. If you can find a Catholic based hospital -all the better. In this state they CANNOT refuse to treat you if you don't have insurance. Then, when the bill comes you explain it to the hospital and they will either dump the bill into Community Care or they will set you up on a (lifetime) payment plan of ten dollars a month. Sad, but true that it is the only way to get treated sometimes.

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I don't know why it had to come to this, having to use tricks to get medical care when you need it.

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  9. Brenda,

    I remember e-mailing you about Insure Oklahoma months ago. I live in OKC and am a former insurance agent and my honey is an insurance agent. If you come to OKC you can go down to OU Medical Center downtown on Lincoln and they have to accept it. Insure Oklahoma bills like Medicaid. We also fostered kids who were on Medicaid and mastered the whole where we can take them thing. I have friends who are on Insure Oklahoma and they too have had to go to OU. I don't know who accep ts it in Tulsa but I have OKC mastered. If you call down to OU health center in OKC on Lincoln I am sure they will take you and it would be worth the 1 1/2 hour drive for breathing treatments. You don't wanna get pneumonia. They may also be able to tell you who will accept it in Tulsa. Hope this helps.

    Hugs,

    Valerie
    Cottage Making Mommy
    www.lovingmyheartandhome.blogspot.com

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    1. The place I am going to on Oct. 1 is OU. The OU Schustermann Center. I've tried to get in, called to see if anyone has cancelled. They're the ones who wouldn't refer me today. In fact told me they couldn't see me until mid-October. I kept saying I have an appointment. It's just not soon enough. I just need a referral. I was terrified they were going to change it to mid-October!

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    2. That is so weird. We haven't had near the problems in OKC.

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  10. Hospital emergency rooms seem to be full of people that could have been taken care of in a doctor's office but don't go. How would you get a referral after hours or on a weekend.

    I heard on the news today that Congress is filibustering .... and reading Dr. Suess ... Green Eggs and Ham ... at least they should be reading the daily newspaper to get a clue or maybe a few blogs to realize what a bunch of jackasses we think they are.

    I hope Obama care doesn't mess up my medical to where I am not covered for anything anymore.

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    1. Isn't it sad that we have to worry so about this? Shouldn't it be a fundamental right?

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    2. I think congress should be filibustering. I am very proud of Ted Cruz who did today. They are reading and staying on top of Obamacare, 60% of people are against it, and that is what he was trying to do, support them. I don't know the answer either, but socialized medicine isn't it. By the way obamacare is about insurance, but like what happened to Brenda, it doesn't mean you'll get to see a doctor. Maybe someone should create HealthCare Not InsuranceCare like obama.

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  11. I believe that in January 2014 Obama care will kick in. Hopefully that will give you some proper coverage.

    Watch the news Brenda. Find a decently non-partisan station (close to your beliefs) and stay informed. As frustrating as it is for you, not facing the daily going on of your country is not a good thing.

    You were treated disgracefully today. I hope you can get some help. What about emergency.

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    1. I drove to the emergency room. It was so crowded with ambulances I couldn't even pull off the street. I figured there had been some gang shooting or something and I'd never get care. I figured it was best to go home where I could at least be comfortable and rest.

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  12. The town you live in is your problem..Sioux City,Iowa where I live turns no one down ever...We have a community Health Center here that takes everyone...insurance or not...as does Urgent care ot Our local HyVee Store also has a physician on call 24/7 for anyone to walk in and get treated...we also have Husing here for anyone who needs it...of course they go by your income as to what your payment will be but it will be affordable...furthermore the nurse who told you you had to be referred to get in to bve seen at URGENT CARE did not know what she was talking about,,,thats why it is called URGENT CARE..help when you CANNOT MAKE IT IN TO SEE YOUR REGULAR DOCTOR...I would report them in a heartbeat...shame on them for letting you leave...Good Luck Brenda..Wish you lived here I could help you!! Carol

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    1. Judy, bless her, called every Urgent Care Clinic in the entire city. They all told her the same thing. I had to have a referral.

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  13. I am so sorry Brenda. How horrible. I have no idea what it is like in your state. Come to CA. It seems they don't refuse anyone. I can't figure out why they didn't send you to an emergency room. You cannot be refused at one here so folks use it as urgent care that don't have insurance. And it is the most expensive area of health care. So stupid. Yes, they need to do something.

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    1. They told me to go to the ER. But I felt so stupid going there when I knew I just needed breathing treatments and maybe some steroids. But I did drive there. It was crowded with ambulances. I knew it would be forever till I got in. And I worried what that bill would cost me.

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  14. I am horrified that this happened to you. I was going to suggest the ER but I see above you've already tried that. Those of us who do have the magic card are paying over $1,000 a month out of our limited retirement pay to have family coverage. Making our retirement pay nearly nothing. It's a really bad situation in this country. Employers are knocking their employees down to part-time, and now below part-time to avoid giving them any insurance. My husband works part-time (30 hrs a week) and recently was required to lower that to 28 hours a week so they don't have to offer him health insurance. It's all insane and I couldn't agree with you more: the powers that be should turn in their cards and get out if they can't get this thing straight. They're making more than enough money to insure the whole country, and that's just wrong. Thanks for letting me vent.
    Mary

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    1. Oh Mary, I'm so glad I'm not venting alone!

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  15. It's not too much to ask, Brenda. Your plight brings tears to my eyes, and I have no answers.

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    1. I don't know if anyone has the answers. But they should at least stop fighting political BS and seriously try. Thanks for the support, Laurel.

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  16. as you know I am in the same boat as far as insurance is concerned.. I am truly so very sorry this happened and you were made to feel bad on top of already being sick..

    its a national outrage and until enough people stand up and demand medical care for all, this is what those of us without company policies will go thru.....

    for several years we paid over 800.00 a month for blue cross blue sheild-- I had one dental surgery and 3 days later we got a cancellation notice.. no letter about going up -- just cancelled. I went all the way to the state government and all I got was blah blah blah- no help at all...

    sad isnt it.

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    1. Terribly sad, Sonny. And not just that, it't an outrage. That's what I mean. No one knows how good their insurance is until they need it. That they have the right to cancel people who have been loyally paying their premiums, I find despicable. They cash your checks. But when you need them, they wave bye-bye.

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  17. You are finding out what our wonderful new health care is like. I pay so much money just for co-pays....I had to get new glasses because of the chemo treatments...cost $500. That is after insurance! Now granted I have a high prescription, but really??? And I don't think it is going to get better. But I hope you do soon!!

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    1. I think this is our old and current health care. What will happen with Obamacare, if they don't manage to get rid of it, remains to be seen. I'm beginning to think insurance isn't worth much. They cancel you for using it. They make you pay ridiculous amounts for medications. I don't trust insurance companies and I don't trust pharma. They're just out to create meds they can charge a fortune for. They're all crooked in my opinion. Wonder how they sleep at night.

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  18. Brenda I am so with you on this one. I haven't had health ins in years and it dictates the care of take of myself. I try to do what I can but he costs are so high. If I get REALLY sick it scares me so much. I'm sick of the politicians and their decisions that don't affect them at all.

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    1. In Europe they take to the streets. They demand action. In America, we're meek in the face of political figures. We take what they give us.

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  19. So sad it has come to this. Shameful, indeed.

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    1. And I can't help but think it did not have to come to this. I think there has been a great deal of dragging of feet. Perhaps due to lobbyists working for health insurance companies?
      Brenda

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  20. Brenda, don't talk to us. Send this exact wording to your senator and representative, and do it by snail mail. They don't pay much attention to emailed letters, but snail mail with a hand written envelope seems to get more attention.

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    1. I plan to do just that. Thanks for commenting.

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    2. I was going to say exactly the same thing! do it. then go to the ER.

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  21. Powerful! I hope that you send this to your senators and representatives. I read it aloud to my husband and he thinks you have told your story very well.

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    1. I just sent it to various entities that have a lot at stake. Hope they read it.

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  22. I'm sorry you had to go through that, Brenda. We are fortunate to have good insurance, but I am noticing it is so hard to get in to see anyone...sometimes 2 weeks to see my primary physician, and much longer for specialists.

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    1. I know it is not that unusual to wait months to get in for a first visit. But I do think there needs to be implemented an arrangement for those waiting to get in who have health needs are need immediate care. What are they supposed to do? Join the others sitting at the ERs using that as their primary care?

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  23. Brenda, It's an awful way to be treated! Here in Georgia, people are already getting letters where their Insurance companies are cancelling them due to Obamacare. My feeling on Obamacare is that it will be nothing short of a train wreck! Look at the Veteran's Administration Hospitals! Government run healthcare at its best! I think we, as a nation need to be shouting in the streets to these ignoramouses running this country! What a mess it's in! I worked over 20 years for Public Health. We oversaw 13 county health departments in our district. You might check to see if your health department has a Primary care clinic, or a general clinic. Payments in health departments are usually based on income. Some have physicians on staff, and most have nurse practitioners, which you would end up seeing in urgent care most likely. Check to see if you can access care there. Also, we have several free clinics in our area too. Check on that too! There has to be help somewhere! Take care of yourself and feel better soon. Thinking of you!!

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    1. It is, in my opinion, a train wreck already. I don't know what the answer is. But we have elected officials whose jobs it is to figure this out. They represent us, or so they say.

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    2. Brenda I am so sorry that you are going through this and I pray you find an answer to get the help you need soon. I know that alot of people are afraid of Obamacare taking affect but I honestly believe that a lot of the fears could be subsided if everyone would actually take the time to research what is REALLY going to happen when it goes into affect. It is not by any means a perfect plan but in my opinion it is the start of what our country needs. Our healthcare is out of control and too much of that control is in the hands of the insurance companies and doctors right now. Obamacare will change a lot of that and for the good. I really believe that it's the change that's freaking so many people out and causing fears. Nothing is perfect and I'm sure we can all agree that the current system we have right now is NOT working and it needs to change. My husband is a disabled Vet and he uses the Veterans Administration for his healthcare. It really angers me when I hear people complain about the VA and how they handle things. Of course there are horror stories that have occured with the VA but I really don't believe that they are any worse than the ones that happen in the private sector. My husband has received tremendous care from the VA and I hate to think where he would be without them. It hasn't always been perfet for it is a system. And one must have patience and understanding when in a system. But in the end he always gets what he needs and thank God for the VA
      Nothing is perfect, and it never will be. But what we have now isn't working.
      I will keep you in my prayers. Hugs and Blessings.

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  24. I'm so sorry you had such problems, Brenda. I wish I had some helpful advice to offer.
    I live in Massachusetts and when Romney was governor, he initiated making affordable health insurance available to everybody who needed it. (Not at all like Obamacare, for which I've signed countless petitions lately demanding that Congress not exempt themselves from it. If it's so bad that they don't want it, then I don't want it either, not to mention I certainly don't want the IRS handling my health care).
    I hope you are feeling better soon, and it sounds like some people have offered some good suggestions. I hope something works out for you...
    Donna

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    1. I think Congress has sat in their plush seats a bit too long if they don't know the needs of their constituents. Or perhaps they know them, but just don't care enough to do anything about it. Until election time, of course.

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  25. While doctors continue to believe they are the be all and end all of medical care, costs will never be reduced. In England where I trained as a nurse, patients see nurses who have taken additional training to diagnose and treat minor ailments and manage chronic conditions. Patients get excellent care and the healthcare system saves a ton of money. Doctors are now keen to have these nurses in their offices to free them up to give adequate time to serious cases. My friend does all the annual check ups, does ECGs on the spot so doctors have the information while the patient is still in the office and does two clinics a week where she follows up on her own patients. U.S. politicians need to start thinking beyond the status quo and the voters needs to rattle their cages until they do.

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    1. Oh, we've tried to rattle their cages. They're just too far up in their elected seats to hear us, apparently. I think a lot of medical care can be, and should be, done by nurses, nurse practitioners, etc. And doctors should be freed up for serious cases. That's just common sense. But common sense is never a factor when you're dealing with elected officials. It's "what can this do for me?" It's the fear of what insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies might do if they "vote the wrong way."

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  26. Brenda - go to the ER. You don't want to get worse. My friend who had diabetes and lost her job and insurance tried to do without insulin. She got so ill she ended up in the ER. This was at Mercy in OKC. They had her fill out forms and supposedly they will send this to the fund the hospital has set up to take care of situations like this...where someone desperately needs care and can't get it. I though the whole point of Urgent Care Clinics was that you could go there are get easy and quick medical help.

    I had gone to one years ago in Georgia. I didn't have insurance and I just paid the bill that day. But go to the ER...they will give you the treatment and then send you the bill...you can just pay on it every month. Just pay something. I have a friend who is forced to do this...she pays $5 - 10 a month and just keeps paying. It is her only choice.


    I'm glad you are blogging about this...yes,,,those man in Washington have no idea what is going on in the real world. I was listening to NPR today and they were talking about the fillibuster and saying how the fact that the was reading Green Eggs and Ham was ironic because at the end of Green Eggs and Ham...Sam discovers he DOES like Green Eggs and Ham after all. Which very well could be the case of Obamacare...he may discover he loves it. People were totally against Social Security at one time too and now everyone totally supports it.

    Go to the ER....don't let yourself in a bad situation.

    Keep talking about it. Everyone needs to wake up to how bad the situation is.

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    1. I can't help but think that Mr. Cruz, in his standing and talking stunt, was doing a bit of "grand standing" for publicity purposes.

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    2. Nita what a perfect analogy with the Green Eggs and Ham! I really think fear and the unknown are driving so many people on their hate of Obamacare. I wish more would get the true information of what it will change and NOT the heresay that is all going around. I hear so many people talking of the same as you mentioned with the Social Security - it was pretty much the same. Everyone was against it and it was the most horrible thing ever. now, where would most be without it?

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  27. I am so thankful to have made it to 65 so I can get Medicare.However the cost of Medicare and drug coverage plus supplemental coverage is going to take a huge chunk out of my Social Security check. I just don't know how I'm going to make it all work.

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    1. I use to think: One day I'll be 65 and have Medicare. Now I think: Can I afford all the supplemental insurance it will take to augment it? I'm 56. I know how worried you must be.

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  28. If insurance will not pay for one for you, I have an extra one you can have. Seriously. It is just sitting in a closet as a spare.

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    1. Last night I dug through all my things and found a nebulizer I'd forgotten I had. When I first moved into this house nearly 2 years ago, they were still painting and fixing it up. And I immediately got asthmatic bronchitis. My daughter took me to a doctor.and went to the pharmacy to get what he prescribed. But when I get to that point, I don't remember much. Maybe it's the lack of oxygen. But what I couldn't find was the part that goes into your mouth to breath it in. I called my pharmacy last night and asked if they'd sell me the small plastic piece. Sorry, no. It's considered a medical part and requires a prescription. Come on...

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  29. This was horrible how they treated you. I wonder what would have happened if you would have gasped, and slumped over in your chair. I too thought of a Free Clinic that might be best for you to visit. I have a freind who came down with pneumonia, didn't go see the dr, and was found and rushed to the hospital, then spent months in rehab and has never been the same. She was older than you though, so please don't mess with it. I had a phone conversation with our medical provider today about my daughter's insurance, trying to get her $411 a mth premium reduced, and they said to wait to Oct 1st, as she's already been assigned a plan with the new Obama Care. We even applied 2x to reduce it and were denied due to a surgery she had last year to remove a mass in her neck. All I want to do is lower her premium and raise the deductible, and to have that denied seemed ludicrous.

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    1. I really don't understand why there has to be so much bureaucratic BS administrative paper pushing. Which is probably the main cost in healthcare, by the way. Administrative costs. Put it all together and under one umbrella so one hand knows what the other is doing. I hope you can get it reduced.

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  30. querida Brenda sinto muito. Aqui no Brasil o governo disponibiliza hospitais, emergencias, pronto socorro para todos, inclusive transplantes, tratamento de cancer.É precario mas é gratis e em muitos casos, dependendo do lugar é um serviço de ótima qualidade, dependendo do governador local. Minha sogra ficou dias internada no INCA no Rio de Janeiro e me disse que até o suco ela podia escolher. Tudo pago com nossos impostos.É um modelo ótimo, porém há muitas fraudes e roubos e porisso também temos problemas, porém me parece um bom modelo para seu pais seguir pois sei que no seu pais a lei funciona e não haveria roubos. Fique bem e se cuide.Milca.

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  31. querida Brenda sinto muito. Aqui no Brasil o governo disponibiliza hospitais, emergencias, pronto socorro para todos, inclusive transplantes, tratamento de cancer.É precario mas é gratis e em muitos casos, dependendo do lugar é um serviço de ótima qualidade, dependendo do governador local. Minha sogra ficou dias internada no INCA no Rio de Janeiro e me disse que até o suco ela podia escolher. Tudo pago com nossos impostos.É um modelo ótimo, porém há muitas fraudes e roubos e porisso também temos problemas, porém me parece um bom modelo para seu pais seguir pois sei que no seu pais a lei funciona e não haveria roubos. Fique bem e se cuide.Milca.

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  32. Brenda, I'm so very sorry to hear how you were treated but I'm not surprised. It's so very sad that in this country people are turned away due to a referral or not having the almighty insurance that the particular facilty accepts. They are bickering in Washington (like they always do) because the folks who have insurance and frightened that with Obama Care they might lose what they have. Actually, it's more complex than that. I think it's every human beings right to have decent affordable health care and if you don't have health care, you still have the right/need to be treated. Brenda, go to the ER. They cannot refuse you treatment. This is an emergency if you have asthma. It's nothing to play around with. I don't want the news very often becuase it makes me angry but this healthcare issue needs to be solved. I imagine back in the day when social security was instituted the powers that be fought and bickered too. What might help solve a lot of these issues is having the wealthy (extremely wealthy) pay their fair share. Why the heck to folks who make over a certain amount no longer have to pay into the system for the year? I believe everyone should have health care period! And good health care not subpar! That almighty card is the first thing the healthcare facilities want! I almost died from bee stings and the first question.......what kind of insurance do you have? My head was swollen (I was stung on the ankle) and my tongue was swelling and they wanted to see my insurance card. It sucks and it really ticks me off! Go to ER Brenda. If my husband didn't have insurance, I would have had to pay $1,0000 a month because when I retired from UM I wasn't 62 yet. I can't work a full time job anymore due to my heart issues. I would have been out of luck.

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    1. I know what you mean. When I broke my ankle on both sides, I had to wait five days to have surgery. I was kept in the ER, where I was ambulanced from the same Urgent Care Clinic I went to yesterday, because they said I needed surgery. I waited for hours in pain. But apparently there were some shootings or gang related injuries that took first priority. So I was sent home, had to lease a wheelchair, and wait. Maybe they need to have a special place where people committing crimes go for their medical care so that will free up places for you and me to go. Yes, the wealthy should pay their fair share. When people talk to me about how they're afraid their health insurance will be different just so more can have access to health care, I think: But don't we matter? We have freedom of speech, freedom of religion. Why not freedom for adequate health care?

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  33. Sorry folks that I got long-winded. I need to work on that lol!

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    1. We need to hear what you're thinking. No one is longer winded than I am!

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    2. Oh, I must change that. Unless I can't breathe. Then I am not long winded!

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  34. Girl! I could have written this post!!! (other than the broke ankle and urgent care part) I am so sick of our government dictating our care and I am so sick of people not getting the help they need. That beats all that you couldn't be seen at urgent care without a referral!!! I received a notice from my (private) insurance company last month, telling me that my rates will go up significantly after the new health care reform goes into place. I guess I'll be an obamacare receiver, too. :(((((((

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    1. Well actually, I could have been seen. If I'd paid the entire amount for my care up front. Which I did not have. So that is their "out." I just couldn't afford it. Poor people cannot afford health care. That is the unfortunate bottom line. I never thought I'd be in this position. A little over two years ago I was married to a doctor. He had all his social security paid in by April of every year, because after you pay the maximum you no longer have to pay in. But life happens. Injuries happen that are unforeseen. And you find yourself in a place where you put off maintenance for your health because it's not in the budget. Just think of all the diseases and such that finally get diagnosed after it's too late. Because maintenance health care, where it would have been found, is just not in the budget. Then the costs to treat it when it's gotten that advanced is exorbitant.

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  35. As long as health care is a 'business' things will only get worse. It's disgraceful what this country has come to.

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    1. Health care should never be a business. That is basically a non-sequitur. Health care should be a right. A fundamental right. Just like our other rights. I 100% agree with you. Yes, it's most definitely disgraceful.

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  36. Maybe Obama care will be good for you..Medicine and insurers are in a sad state of affairs...Even the GOOD insurances are severely cutting what they'll pay for and if you ever saw an EOB..they my Drs next to nothing

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    1. I don't know. I hope so. I just wish it could be equitable for everyone. Affordable for everyone.

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  37. Good Morning, Brenda;

    I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you. In fact, it is more than sorrow that I feel. It is disgust. When government exempts itself from the type of medical care you and others will be receiving in January and does not correct the problem that has historically had a multiplicity of problems, then you see what you, myself and others have and will experience. It is interesting that today, I received an email in my inbox titled: IRS Faulted on Tracking of Health Care Reform Costs.
    Some may not be aware that the IRS is the entity which will implement and oversee the numerous new tax law changes. I have already had those who have shared their experiences with their insurance coverage. From their experiences, I can already see part of the picture down the road. Insurance policies are being cancelled and replaced with insurance policies which have higher deductible costs and fees. You can be sure the level of care and costs will change with the new policies.
    I am wondering that if the new policies are worse, why do you think the government exempted themselves from the Healthcare Bill after they finally got around to reading a huge complex document that was said to pass it and then read it? Then, I am wondering why is the government agency and its divisions charged with the program? And you see it has it own problems.
    I am concerned the picture is bigger than what we are seeing or wanting to see.
    Take care.

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    1. I think you're right. And I think the powers that be sit on this stuff hoping it will just go away so they don't have to do anything. What do they have to lose but their elected jobs? The stunts they pull shock me into thinking that it's just a fight between the two parties. And helping us is far down their list of things to get done. First they must malign the other side adequately so they feel superior.

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  38. It just makes me SICK to know that you and how many others are turned away because of this damn
    OBAMACARE....I don't have a clue how we are all going to survive this horrible time. We are on Medicare but our supplemental ins. is going SKY HIGH and we just can't afford it. We are old...we have health issues....and we are not alone. So so many people are going to be so hurt over this health care bill and I feel so helpless about it all.

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    1. I don't know the answer, BJ. But if they don't do something, then what happened yesterday will only continue and get worse. Something must be done. Someone told me that hospitals don't have to make you well. They just have to stabilize you before they open the door and shove you out. My not being able to spend the night after major surgery is just one example. Thank goodness there were no complications. And by golly it was Friday the 13th too!

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  39. I feel sick reading this. As a California State Employee of 27 years, I have had really good insurance and it makes me so sad to read what happen to you. That would have never happened in California. They cannot refuse to see you at ALL, they cannot refuse to treat you at ALL. I wonder what you they would have said if you told them you DIDNT have insurance? I am so sorry to hear this; as an asthma sufferer, I just could not imagine suffering...and I am sure you are not getting sleep with wheezing and all. You need to demand an inhaler when you see the Doctor on the 1st with refills!!! My prayers are with you.

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    1. I do have an inhaler my four year old granddaughter wasn't using. So yes I have that. I know what they would have told me if I didn't have insurance. The same thing they've told me when I've called a doctor's office to see someone for months. They tell me: Do you have insurance? When I say no, they say: Then you go to the back of the line. First we see people with insurance. And there is a long list waiting who are in your shoes. And that was at the OU teaching hospital! I told them that was discrimination. They said: That's the rules.

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    2. Oh, forgot to say: I asked them if I could get in if I had cash. They said no, we want health insurance.

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  40. Brenda, I think you should go to the ER, and wait as long as necessary to be seen. I also recommend that you get a credit card that you can use in an emergency. I know you will then have to figure out a way to pay that off, but I think sometimes we have to do what we have to do. I am glad you will get in to see a doctor soon.

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  41. Did Oklahoma opt out of the Affordable Care Act? Having been in the insurance industry for many years, I know this health insurance is going to be a literal life saver. Look into it.

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    1. How is it going to be a lifesaver? Do you have evidence to back this up?

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  42. Brenda,
    It sounds like you've got a plan with a "gate keeper". We're all going to have "gate-keepers" soon but they will be controlled by the government. You were probably instructed to establish yourself with a primary care physician when enrolling in the plan. Unfortunately, clinics can't risk not getting paid because someone hasn't adhered to their policy's stipulations. It's not the clinic's fault. Their hands truly are tied.
    Do any of us really want the gov't to be our "gate keeper". The system is broken in many ways but thinking the gov't is going to fix it is insane. Every single person legislator who voted for the ACA should be the first in line to enroll. What are they doing? They're opting out. That should speak volumes!
    Blessings,
    amy

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    1. I have had a "gate keeper" with insurance for years. When I was married to my ex, the doctor, we had a gate keeper. We have always been told who we could be seen by, which hospital we could use, etc. That has been a fact for me for years.

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    2. This is one of the myths about the new reform that just isn't true. The government WILL NOT be the "gate keepers" to our health care plans, they will not control your health care. In the present and the past it has been the insurance companies that have controlled such things. They have been telling people who they can and cannot have for a physician. The new reform will put that power back into our hands as individuals. This is just ONE of the many myths and things being said about the reform that just isn't true. Things being said to scare people. That's why it's all the more important to get informed and know the TRUTH of what is going to change.

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  43. Honey we are insurance and we do need to clean house in washington!!!

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    1. We need to take a broom and sweep all the pompous elected officials out the door and into the trash, in my opinion.
      Brenda

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  44. This might be a dumb idea but the CVS by my home takes walk ins. I wouldn't go there for something really important but I know people that have gone for different kinds of infections. There is a fee. Do you have anything like that available? I don't have much hope that this new Obamacare will be the answers to our prayers. They never addressed the real problem of the cost and insane law suits. It will be so confusing the left had will have no idea what the right hand is doing. I don't like when anything that gets too large. Look what happened when we went from small neighbor schools to huge campuses. We pay our own insurance and let me tell ya we've had many a toss and turn night. We've been told in our area under the new law it'll go up 80%. I've never wanted or expected anything free I just resent being ripped off and paying for things I have no control over. I've worked for years with people that are on Medicaid. I've never had a bad experience with the clients being turned away. In fact it's quite the opposite. The clinic are young students that go overboard with they're enthusiasm to treat people. Sometimes it's too much but they're young and want to help people. So I get very confused why the people that are going to be charged would be treated poorly. I guess it's the same old the people in the middle get the you know what.

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    1. I have used CVS for years and they don't have anything like that here. Furthermore, the left hand has not known what the right hand has been doing for decades, I'm afraid. How could it get much worse? Insurance companies tell us what we can do, cut us off when we reach a certain amount, refuse us due to pre-existing conditions. This to me does not sound like a compassionate group that cares about the people who pay them their high premiums. I truly believe insurance companies need to be overseen in a better and more scrupulous manner. The dealings I have had with them are hair raising and hard to even believe. They do what they do because "they can." I don't have any hope that things will ever get better with insurance companies and their CEOs at the reins making big bucks.

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  45. Health care is not a privilege. It is a right!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Amen, amen and amen again! We have a right to free speech, but not the right to live.
      Brenda

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  46. Sorry for the spelling errors. I have a love hate relationship with my ipad��. This was the best gift I ever received but it does have a few flaws. Anyway, your not alone Brenda. We feel your pain. Many people I know in this area are now getting less hours of work and insurance is being dropped. So it's a double whammy.

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    1. Until someone takes the reins and tells these insurance companies for once what they can and cannot do, they are going to continue to rake in the hellish premiums we all pay and not give us much in return. They are like vultures. I have heard so many horror stories it makes your head swim.
      Brenda

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  47. wow....shocking. Seriously. Had you gone home and died you would have been just another statistic. I am a Canadian who is very thankful that I can go to the hospital or urgent care whenever I need to and not be sent away due to lack of insurance. Our system has its flaws. It is not perfect. Fortunately though, I have never known a single person who filed bankruptcy due to a medical crisis. I know that if I get cancer next week, I am not putting my family into debt so deep they will never see daylight. The filthy rich and the dirt poor are all able to get medical treatment. Hearing horrible stories out of the U.S makes me more thankful everyday.

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    1. And every time I mention Canadian health care, Americans tell me "But oh, they never get proper care. They wait months to get seen. It is horrible there." And you just told me the opposite is true. I'm afraid FOX news has brainwashed people.
      Brenda

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    2. I know that is what the right would have you believe. Wait times in Canada are getting much better. I have done the sit for 9 hours in the ER. That was true about 15-20 years ago. If you are truly ill, you will get the help you need in a reasonable period of time. I had Septicemia 16 years ago. I became #1 priority in the hospital. It was amazing how fast and efficient the nurses and doctors were. Now, mind you there are people going to the ER who have no business being there. They clog up the system and increase wait times.
      Should you require an appointment with a specialist, there is a wait. It is generally within a 6 week period unless it is something very serious, in which case most people are seen fairly quickly.

      Canadian doctors are every bit as intelligent as American doctors. They are efficient and professional. They use modern equipment and procedures, not the antiquated stuff the media in the U.S. would have you believe. We are not post communism Romania for crying out loud :)

      If you had gone to a clinic with the symptoms you were presenting with, you would have been treated and sent home. It would not have mattered one iota if you had the proper insurance. That is the difference between my country and yours.

      I do not understand why universal healthcare scares the right so very much.

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  48. Hi Brenda,
    Here is the link for Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums for 2014 by state.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/marketplace_premiums_ib_final.pdf

    This will give you an idea of your coverage and what your payment will be. I think the Affordable Health Care is a wonderful program for our country. Sadly there is to much bad information out there that people believe.

    THE TOP FIVE MYTHS ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
    Myth #1: The ACA is a Sign of Impending Socialism Does ACA close down the free market framework and limited restrictions in the current structure? This is the framework we’ve operated under for decades, and that is has left tens of millions without care. A true socialized medicine would have us contributing via taxes to a government-administered healthcare delivery system. Instead ACA is a restructuring of the regulations that govern private insurance and private health care delivery.
    Myth #2: The Government is Taxing You for Healthcare Nope. The penalty fee only applies to those who choose not to buy insurance, so outside of legal circles, calling it a “tax” is inaccurate. Taxes are intended to pay for public goods that the government provides to everyone. The individual mandate is intended to charge those individuals who don’t choose to buy insurance for the cost that society incurs as a result of their decisions—emergency room fees for example.
    Myth #3: It’s Going to Plunge Us Into More Debt and Cost Us Trillions The Congressional Budget Office projects the ACA will save us money and cut the deficit by about a trillion dollars during its second decade of implementation. The ACA preventsaverage Americans from paying the healthcare costs of others: Because of those we have to pay for premiums go up, procedures are more costly, and physicians have to charge more.
    Myth #4: The Government is Eliminating My Choices Choice is built into the ACA with health insurance exchanges. These allow people to choose the providers and plans they want. By giving you the ability to select your physician, the ACA reallocates to you the power previously held by insurance companies to tell you which doctors you can see. Additionally, with the virtual elimination of annual and lifetime caps which impose spending limits, you’re no longer forced to choose what essential medical tests or care to pursue based on arbitrarily low spending limits imposed by insurers.
    Myth #5: ACA is Raiding Medicare In the last decade, payments from Medicare to private plans have increased dramatically—in fact, figures show that Medicare actually overpaid by 14-20 percent, and the costs of this overpayment fell on our seniors via increased premiums. The ACA has made Medicare more efficient by cutting out a significant part of that overpayment.

    AND ACA-
    *STRENGTHENS THE SUPERVISION/APPROVAL PROCESS FOR PREMIUM INCREASES AND COMPANY EXPENDITURES;
    *ELIMINATES THE PRE-EXISTING CONDITION EXCLUSION;
    *LETS PARENTS KEEP THEIR KIDS ON THEIR INSURANCE UNTIL THEY TURN 26,
    *CLOSES THE SENIOR'S PRESCRIPTION DONUT HOLE; * REQUIRES INSURERS TO MEET CARE STANDARDS INCLUDING PREVENTATIVE CARE

    Happy you will have good coverage with our new system.

    Carla

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    1. Thank you. A voice of reason. I have been reading this. Confusing. But I will figure it out. Thanks for going to so much trouble on my behalf. Truly.
      Brenda

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  49. I worked in the health insurance industry for over 30 years Brenda. I never heard of a medical plan that require one to get a referral for urgent care. I would suggest you call your insurance carrier's member services to see if it is true you need a referral to go to an urgent care facility. Most plans recommend you seek care and call member services as soon as you can after receiving care if you are out of network. Usually one's medical ID card has information printed on it when preauthorization and/or a referral is required. The only good thing about having insurance and using participating providers and facilities is getting the discounted rates. It is unbelievable what hospitals and providers charge for their services. As far as Obamacare - it won't be better. Not under the thumb of the federal government and the IRS. And Congress and the President should NOT be exempt from any laws.

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  50. Supposedly, come Tuesday, we're supposed to be able to go to healthcare.gov and find what we need and can afford regarding coverage. At least that's what the letter I got from my employer said. We'll see what ObamaCare has on offer. I'm skeptical.

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  51. I thought it was illegal to denie needed medical attention on your inablitity to pay.
    Cant you go to social services and get some type of help or do they not give medical cards anymore?
    Are you a member of AARP?iF your 55 or over.It should help some.I know it does with prescriptions.
    Hope you find away to get your asthma under control.I take a steroid inhaler and keep an emergency inhaler.

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  52. I live in South DUHkota...a state I absolutely hate. HOWEVER, that being said, when I got cancer last January (2012), I signed up under the local hospital and qualified for "free" health insurance through them. I got radiation treatments in May of last year. It has been a lifesaver. Again this year I had to have radiation treatments in August/September. The total of the radiation treatments both times was $21,000. Every four months I had to have a CT scan to check the progress of the disease. They are around $7,000 each. I thank the Lord that this was available. I worked for 40 years and never accepted any kind of help outside of mine or my husband's paychecks. I can no longer work (although at this point I am cancer-free - PRAISE THE LORD!!) and my husband had to come out of retirement and get a part-time job just so we can survive. I know we are VERY fortunate compared to a lot of people, but I wonder what will happen next year if I am diagnosed again. Best wishes to you, Brenda. My prayers are out to you and all who will need help.

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  53. Branda,
    I notice this was several months ago and since we are on Medicare with a supplemental thru AARP AND I postively despise the news and haven't watched it for years I'm totally clueless about what's happening with the insurance issue. The whole subject of government turns me off. But, as an asthma patient I did want to give you this idea....is there a Freecycle organization in your area? I put an ad in for a nebulizer and was gifted with a very nice one - seldom used and with all the attachements. I tossed the mouthpiece and bought a new one at a local medical supply then asked my primary provider to write me a prescription for the medication to put into the nebulizer. Maybe this is a possibility for you? If you don't have Freecycle maybe Craig's List or you local newspaper.......just ask if someone has one that isn't being used anymore. At least you'll be able to handle situations when they come up instead of the stress of dealing with clinics, etc when you're already in distress.
    And please tell me why those nurses didn't take things into their own hands and just take you in and do what was necessary - off the books. Oh yeah.......(slapping my forehead) liability! Courtesy of the same attorneys and legislators we would all like to see living like us.

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  54. Brenda I bought a breathing machine for like under $50. All you need is the med that goes in it. Albuterol is what I get. You can get machine medical supply or Amazon. I've had albuterol 3 years now and it still worked all this past winter. One Prescription gives lots of vials to keep. I just got my Medicaid. I hope it's good. Your post I must have missed, scares me. A referral for urgent care? What a mess we are in!!

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