Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Health Care Reform

As our nation is undergoing a great debate on health care, I have been sitting on the sidelines without really forming a solid opinion on the issue. I am not sure what the right answer is in the matter. But on Christmas Eve a long time family friend of ours, Garth Abbott, was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of breast cancer.

This form of cancer requires timely treatment in the form of aggressive chemo and radiation therapy as well as surgery. Garth and his family are ready to battle this condition head on. There is one big problem. Garth is currently uninsured. I always thought we still gave medical care to uninsured people but apparently we don't. We will treat the symptoms of the uninsured but not the root problems.

So apparently Garth can not get the chemo, radiation, and surgery he needs without showing he can pay for them.

His daughter in law is holding an auction to raise money for his treatment. I have a link to her blog on the sidebar of my blog. There are some really great things up for auction and it is worth checking out.

On a broader note, this situation has solidified at least one opinion for me in the great Health Care Debate -- We ought to be able, in this modern era to find a way to treat all people for their medical needs.  I am still not sure what we must do, but I have moved into the "Something must be done" camp.


The Lutz Family said...

He needed to have health insurance as a top priority for his budget. Sometimes we justify our spending priorities with "that will not happen to me,"but if we really tried we could afford those things that are most important. It is not the governments job to take care of us, it is our job to take care of each other. There should be a not for profit hospital that is willing to help (intermoutain does stuff like that all the time). Who are we kidding anyways, when we have socialized medicine the government will look at your friends age and say "we can't treat him, atleast he has lived to the ripe old age of 50". What is happening in Washington is excellent for that lazy percentage of Americans who don't want to do anything for themselves, and the exceptionaly rich who want to haveore power and control. It is really sad about your friend, but this isn't the answer. M

tclybb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree that it's not the government's job to take care of us. The more they stick their fingers into, the more we will be stuck.

But to say "he needed to have health insurance top-priority for his budget?" To buy your own insurance starts at around $500 a month--that's with no children, and not the greatest coverage. Who can really pull an extra $500 to $1000 from their budgets every month? (And that's a little harsh to say now don't you think?)

There has to be another answer.

Noorda Notebook said...

that is such a sad story. we will pray for them. i just checked out their auction and there is some great stuff. i'm definitely going to bid. thanks for posting it!

The Lutz Family said...

Well then he mght need to change jobs, or his wife might need to have a job with healthcare benefits. Health care is available to all people, we don't live in a country that says who can have it and who can't. We need to be willing to do our best to take care of ourselves. Are there problems with healthcare? Of course. How much would change if Dr.s and hopitals didn't have to worry about all these crazy malpractice lawsuits? The government is not the solution, we need hard working and careing Americans to fix this problem.

Chelsa said...

I'm right there w/ you Stephanie. I'm not sure I'm with the health care reform that is being proposed, BUT I do know that what America has right now isn't getting the job done...

Jed and Kaydence said...

This is a complex issue that is really hard to begin to discuss because of the long history of medicine and health care in this country, so I won't even try to address it here.

However, there are many charitable organizations willing to help people in your friend's condition. Places that are designed for this purpose. And, like someone else mentioned, there are also hospitals that have cancer programs for the uninsured.

So there are options, although right at first it may seem hopeless.

Vera said...

I am not a big Obama fan, but I do agree that everyone should have a health insurance.

Being from Germany (we pay 14.6 % of our income for insurance), our insurance system gives me a "feeling of security". I know that I will always get the medical treatments I need and will never be without health insurance. I can't even imagine how living without health insurance must be like.

I hope your friend will be able to get the chemotherapy soon!!!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, I'm afraid you opened a HUGE can of worms even mentioning the health care reform. I think everyone agrees SOMETHING should be done, but one of the many problems is that we have people who aren't in the medicine/healthcare profession writing rules and regulations they really don't know all that much about...and let's face it...those at the top are corrupt as can be. My husband is in the last year of his residency program right now. Our debt is so high. Every time the state has had a budget deficit, they have upped the tuition on medical and dental students because they "will" be able to afford it. Then the judges make it so easy to sue that we have to charge a lot to cover our butts in the event that it happens to us. Oh there is so much more. I guarantee there are many doctors that are NOT greedy that recognize there is a problem and would love to help put together a bill that would about starting out by taking away the regulation of insurance not crossing state lines? Let's see how that works to bring prices down. And we'll go from there...
Jami H

kara jayne said...

i absolutely respect that everyone has a different experience and opinion on health care. i for one like how it was said that 'it is not the governments job to take care of us, it is our job to take care of each other.' i truly believe that we have a responsibility to help others in need, but i am not willing to let the government be the steward of those decisions.

vera made the point that having socialized medicine gives her a sense of security. that's great, but did you notice that she said they pay 14.6% of their income for insurance? do we pay that? some might, but like my family, we opt for a high deductible plan that means we pay for most routine things, but if something catastrophic happens (like to your friend) we are covered.

under the proposed health care plan we will no longer have that option. i want to be in charge of my health care decisions. i also want to be able to donate to charitable organizations that provide help to those who need it. that will be something that will now be punished with taxes and regulations with this plan.

i'll just end with one of my favorite quotes from howard w. hunter:

"If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have lost their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift. Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost."

i for one will be honored to bid in this auction to help your friend. i hope and pray that others reading this will too.

Karen UK said...

I'm not saying that what we have in the UK is perfect but from our taxes the National Health service is funded which provides free healthcare for all. People can choose to go private if they can afford it but the same percentage of their taxes still goes to the NHS. It means that we never need to worry about the cost of having an accident or unexpected illness. What it does mean though is that Doctors have to look at the most cost effective way of treating a patient and that doesn't always mean the best way or most appropriate treatment for that person. It also means that people take their health for granted and damage their bodies with tobacco, alcohol and non-prescription drugs (and in my case chocolate) knowing that they will get free treatment when their body suffers. I don't know if this is the answer but it's all I've known.

Anonymous said...

-Curb senseless litigation that causes doctors to pay an arm & a leg in malpractice suits

-Keep Washington out of healthcare. Having worked on Capitol Hill, I witnessed first hand the incredible waste, the oppulent receptions, and the soul-less politicians. Most do not give two shakes about doing what's right.

-We buy insurance for anything as kind of a gamble. Maybe I'll need it, maybe I won't. It's horribly sad that in this case, they lost the gamble. I have a friend who hasn't purchased health insurance in 2 years, and stories like this make me just sick with worry for their small family. That doesn't mean that overhauling the entire system, getting big government involved will be able to solve anything. Socialized healthcare actually stinks. When I lived in Germany, I got the worst medical care of my life. As a young 21-year-old, I had a sinus infection. They asked me to put wire mesh goggles on, and sit in front of low-grade radiation for 10 minutes a day for five days. (I was naive enough to try it...thinking "Hey, these are qualified physicians telling me to do this.") Six months later, I had a growth on my right cheek that had to be removed. I am positive that it was related to the crazy radiation. Yes, their healthcare was free. But goodness, give me medical care in the states ANY DAY over their socialized care. What a complete joke! My friend who was in Germany with me had endometriosis, that German doctors could not diagnose, nor treat for 6 months. They prescribed her medecine after medecine, and herbal remedy after herbal remedy. She was in incredible pain. I told her she needed to go home to doctors in the U.S. and find out what was really wrong. Back in the states, she was correctly diagnosed, received out-patient surgery and was back on her feet within weeks. I've had my taste of socialized care, and it is by no means the answer.

Kathy said...

I have long felt that if every citizen had access to preventive care on an annual basis, so much suffering and expnse would be avoided. Give every man, woman and child a yearly physical, which would include pap tests, mommograms, prostate checks, etc. and so many conditions would be caught when they're treatable. Instead we have uninsured people waiting unitl their conditions are so far advanced and then show up at emergency rooms seeking treatment.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Abbott family. I will definitely check out the auction.

Memmott Family said...

So sad, When you are self employed you have no other option than to pay your own healthcare. If I didn't have small children, I am not sure I would have it either. In fact when we were first married we didn't have it.

I am just hoping and praying Obama will do the right think.. Please keep us updated on this family. DO you know how much this will cost, or before they will start treating him? What money he has to have?


Angie said...

Obviously it is a passionate subject. But I think rude comments aren't the answer. Obviously, certain people haven't had the misfortune of "no other options". Sometimes life throws us places where, despite our own hard work and planning, we could have never imagined ourselves.

My husband is the hardest working person I know. We have 7 kids who we are happy to be able to have on Medicaid. My husband was laid off twice last year, and so he and I have no isurance. It is very scary. Unemployment pays us $390/week. Where are we supposed to find $1000/month for healthcare? We can't even make ends meet, so even if insurance only cost us half of that, we just can't come up with it.

I was highly offended by what the Lutz Family said about health reform being for lazy Americans. We are not lazy! We are unfortunate at this time of our lives. And it sucks.

Amy H said...

I have to agree with what Angie said. The comment by the Lutz family was unnecessarily rude. I understand that this is a hot topic for everyone and that each person has his or her own opinions, but you also have to consider other people's situations before you make comments that could be offensive.

People who have been laid off don't always have options for healthcare. And finding a job that offers health care? ha! Have you seen the job market lately? It isn't easy to find a job at all, much less one with health benefits. Those who own their own businesses are also in a bind because of the huge expense of healthcare.

I am not saying that I have the answer. I don't. But I would ask that those of you that are so quick to judge and say that "we should take care of ourselves" and "move or find a new job" stop to think first. Not every situation mirrors your own.

Best of luck to this man. I will view the auction and see what I can do to help.

Karen UK said...

Let's be serious here for a minute.Have you seen how many yummy treats are on that auction ? Not one of them offers hand delivery to the UK- this is where the real injustice lies. If you live near these people and don't bid then I don't know what the world is coming to. Fresh bread, cookies, valentines treats,cakes and plenty more mouthwatering goodies.

Gwenevere said...

My problem with Health Care Reform is that as a Nation we are suppose to the best and THIS is the best we can come up with? I thought we were smarter. Does it really need to be so complicated? That is my question. Let's break it down, simplify it and build if needed (over time) not the build and then break down.

Stacy said...

Angie- I dont think the Lutz family meant "If you have been laid off then you are lazy." You and I both know that there are infact people out there who do take advantage of the system just to get anything free. I agree with what a lot of people have said in the comments; that it is NOT the governments job to take care of everyone. It is our own responsiblity to take care of ourselves, and help where and when we can. I hope more people will begin to understand how scary it will be if the government starts to be in control of the health care system. It definetely needs help now, but government isn't the answer.

Anonymous said...

I know the Abbott family and Garth is self employed and uninsurable due to previous health issues beyond his control. If you don't have group insurance then some individual health plans won't cover high risk people or charge several thousand a month for it with severe limitations which few can afford.

chanel said...

it would be great if everyone took care of each other,but realistically that doesn't and won't happen, sooooo there is the government. ironically it is people like the Lutz family who have it all figured out and know who is lazy and who is deserving and who needs medical attention and who should just die that I don't want to count on to "take care of me". Good old corrupt politicians and imperfect health plans that give at least a fighting chance are much more up my ally. There are so many situations out there, innocent blind children like my nephew for instance that deserve health care, and NOBODY especially high and mighty know it alls that are blessed beyond belief to have good health and good incomes can tell me any different.
God Bless Garth Abbott, the world is a better place because of him, and he deserves all the blessings and help we can give him.
Thanks for putting him on your side bar.

Anonymous said...

I love discussing politics because it's important and so often people shy away from these topics.

Someone above made the point that we shouldn't rely on the government for health care assistance because we should be helping each other. That same person also said that she hopes to be able to help others...which I read to mean that she's not yet, but hopes to someday. Good intentions are not going to help people. I keep hearing this mindset that citizens should help each other through ways other than government organizations- but advocates of that mindset often don't back it up with real action.

There were several references to German healthcare- someone said they had a horrible experience there, but don't we all know people who have had horrible experiences everywhere- definitely including the U.S. I have family living in Germany who are getting wonderful healthcare!

For all those who believe the government should stay out of healthcare- how about your family members over 65 who use Medicare? Yes, it's a huge system, and it does a great job for how big it is! I worked in a hospital for several years and Medicare was a saving grace for countless was Medicaid.

I'm a social worker- I've worked with children, families, immigrants, elderly, people who are not lazy nor looking for handouts- there are countless hardworking people facing huge challenges, without the resources, and privilage that many people so fiercely against health reform have enjoyed. When you actually start to work with the people who are depending on Medicaid and Medicare- you gain a valuable perspective.

Even for our family with decent jobs, it's very hard to pay for family insurance- $400 a month for bare minimum coverage- no dental or extra's. Our family has had periods of time with no insurance because we could not afford it. People take and keep jobs based soley on health insurance- which isn't great for the economy because it creates a workforce afraid to follow their passions and dreams which ultimately hinders the innovation, energy and talent our country needs!

- Simone

CV said...

My friend's Dad was in the UK for a couple of years serving a mission with his wife. A simple outpatient process here in the states took an entire month of him in the hospital with all the paperwork and back and forths over there. He almost died with a condition that is treated in hospitals everyday here in the states.

Are things perfect? No. Something needs to be done, no doubt about it. But in no way shape or form do I agree that it should be with the governments involvement.

I dont have the answers...but there are people with actual medical and insurance backgrounds who I would feel much better about being involved in the solution than the government anyday.

I pray that your friend will get the help he needs and I will absolutely take a look and see if I can bid on anything to help him and his family.

CV said...

Interesting points, Simone. I'm glad for your perspective.

Anonymous said...

My opinion; Take the same amount of time it took you to post your side of this discussion and PRAY for the COMPLEATE HEALING of Mr. Abbott. God is our Father and we are his children and he WANTS us to ask him for help beacuse he WANTS to help and heal us.

Mr Abbott, I'm going straight to the Big Guy and asking him to heal you. And I will do so as long as I need to. I believe you can be healed.

God Bless,


Em said...

I would like to know why the health care debate seems to be whether or not "everyone should have health insurance...and can we afford it and is government care good care".

We need to debate the constitutionality of nationalized health care. Politicians like Pelosi laugh at & mock us when we ask where the Constitution gives Congress the power to legalize their bill because they know darn well the Constitution does not give then the authority. (Never mind the bribes, backdoor, secret deals).

We need to understand the proper role of government. Liberty. Freedom. And fundamental rights.

Fundamental rights are those rights which all people can simultaneously claim without forcing someone to serve their needs (only exception being a child's claim upon his parents). One cannot force his neighbor to pay for his health care therefore a person cannot have the government force his neighbor to pay for his care.

A reading of President Benson's book "The Constitution- A Heavenly Banner" can shed more light on the proper role of government. In addition, a true understanding of agency, accountability and the realization that Satan uses corrupt government to "force" and take away our agency & liberty is a true awakening to our awful situation.

kara jayne said...

love it megan! that's the true real help isn't it?

i did want to just clarify a few things...

the only problem with having a discussion like this in blog comments is that there is no way to decipher tone, nuance, and where each person is coming from. there is never any reason for judgment and name calling.

i too was taken aback by the lutz family comment, but i also chose to believe that she must be near a situation right now where she sees exactly that kind of thing happening. on the other hand, i also choose to believe that most people would absolutely do everything they can to get health insurance on their own.

also, one commenter took my comments of hoping to help as an admission that i don't. no...i was hoping that i can continue to help people and organizations without all of the hurdles the proposed plan would put in place.

i could go on and on about how my husband is a doctor in a private practice, how this makes him a small business owner and how we pay for our own insurance and insurance benefits for his 35+ employees and their families. we can do this right now and i'm so glad we can be a part of their families stability. if this new health care plan is instituted small businesses like his will be hit so hard with new taxes and regulations that they may be forced into the government plan. this is not what we want to offer our employees.

i could also tell about how he volunteers at the homeless shelter and actually gets requested by name because of his work and compassion.

i never advocated getting rid of any kind of government help. medicaid/medicare have a big place in our system and has been a lifeline for many people who need. it. i'm proud to pay into something like that if it's being handled properly. that i have done exactly what i hoped to point is that in just a few comments we cannot hope to judge any other persons FULL position and character. i know that 99% of people want everyone to get proper care and treatment. the problem it seems is how to get there.

we will be hard pressed to cover the whole 2000 page bill on poor stephanie's uplifting blog.

i hope my tone has been one of love and acceptance. as i said before, i truly embrace others opinions and am aware that i do not have their life experience. thanks for sharing differing views.

The Stells! said...

I am one of those americans without health care currently. I guess i have a different perspiective then most people though. I dont think the goverment needs to fix it for me. I should fix it for my self. I dont expect others to do things for me its my job to provide insurance for me not the goverments nor should it be. If something does happen before i can afford insurance i will have to deal with it as it comes, but that is part of life challenges are always there.

Anonymous said...

Our government does NOT run ANYTHING well! Not one thing. And when they get their hands in anything, it costs soooo much more than it should. What ever they decide is set in stone,cant be scraped when it is a failure.
Maybe some regulation of the private sector, or a 5 year trial period on something, and then let US vote if its working or not.
Think, what does aor government run efficently?

Em said...

Okay I just have to put in my two cents on the "Obama Care". I have been at the bottom with no health insurance and it is very scary but at that time I took extra precautions to make sure I would be healthy. Also After having my daughter while my husband was in school full time and working nearly full time I was covered by medicaid (wonderful program but needs major over haul). I feel that Major government programs like Medicad and medicare have been taken advantage of and missused and they need to be revamped so students and others I am sure can't buy car's but can't seem to afford groceries are not able to missuse the system. Then those programs can be of use to those who really need it. Then I also think it comes down to education, you want insurance get enducated to where you get a job that provides it to you. You are self employed or whatever then I think the government should make it to where we can buy insurance across state lines, competetion will lower prices and make it more afforadable not the government taking mymoney and others money to hand it out. Then they should do something about "the pre-existing condition" garbage that insurance has. But let me get this staright I do not like how Obama is going about to get people health insuance, if I wanted health insurance like Europe I would live there, it isn't that great I have been there. Also his plan won't cover everyone who actually needs it. Also I don't want to pay for a health plan that doesn't include me and to be honest I love my current plan and do not want it taken from me, I also do not want to pay for it when it is going to be another program that will be missused or where government will borrow from it. I am fed up with government they ruin what they touch just like Social security they borrowed from the program and now the program will be gone before I use it although I pay into it, I say give me my money back let me spend it where I want to and how I want to, cause the government can't handle money, and Obama socialist views is only more trouble for my pocket book.

Anonymous said...

I am a Canadian and it has been interesting to see what is going on in the US in terms of health care. I honestly feel that the US would be wise to implement a public health care system patterned after the Canadian health care system. Health care in Canada is provided based on need; not an individual's ability to pay. I think its terrible that people in the US literally die waiting for care. I sincerely hope a solution is found for US citizens.

Anonymous said...

it's not that I can't afford, it's that I don't want to pay for insurance. It is RIDICULOUSLY overpriced and coverage SUCKS. I only need emergency care(I'm a klutz), eye care and Dental. I do not go to a medical doctor on a regular basis(three years ago, they tried to kill me with all their awful prescription drugs), I won't go back, I would also like a plan that will cover Chiropractic(I have scoliosis)and homeopathic doctors(which is who I see). It's not so much health care reform we need as insurance reform, it's become a greedy moneymaking racket and no on cares about the patient.

Anonymous said...

Megan..God helps those who help themselves! God or not..we still need affordable just keep praying and hopefully this man will be blessed with some healthcare that along with our prayers will see him through this journey..

Brittany said...

I have a friend who has who had to get insurance on their own and it's ridiculous what they have to pay and they have to get a supplemental insurance if they want to try for a baby. My husband's civilian job raised their insurance and we would not have been able to pay for it, so thankfully he is in the Air Force reserves and we get Tricare or I don't know what we would do. I am so sorry for your friend and hope that he gets the treatment that he needs. I am against the new Health Care reform, but I do think that it's unfair that not everyone has a right to healthcare. I also agree that we should be self-sufficient, it's what the Prophets have been telling us for years, but it's definately not someone's fault if they are laid off or are hard-workers but can't afford these huge insurance costs. It's sad because those that are lazy and just want handouts make it so hard for those that are hard-working but are just handed some really bad luck.

~plaid said...

Just trust God. Insurance won't cure you anyway. If you are meant to have the cure, you will have the way provided. I don't believe Government is that way.

There are people dying every day from malaria & other diseases that we never even consider. We have it too good here if we are really so upset by the system we have. Could it be improved? Well, coming from a mom who had two children die after doctors told me there was nothing wrong and they still can't find answers for me with our youngest who is having issues - YES!!!! (I could write a book about all the problems with the health care system here.) But let's be more grateful and acknowledge the amazing access we really have! The technologies have advanced so much and offered so much hope, and yet it has come at the price of entitlement?

We use these freak, chance, rare situations to justify letting our freedom be exchanged for medical insurance? Now my family IS the kind of family that has the freak, chance, rare things happen, and I do wonder what the future will be like with all the government insertions into health care. I don't want politicians who have never even met my family, let alone know ANYTHING about our current health situation, let alone the medical HISTORY we have in our family making any kind of suggestions, recommendations, or worse - DECISIONS - for my family!

Insurance is not a right. It is a privilege. Just like the technological advancements in transportation (and yes, transportation truly could be argued to be just as vital as health care to have a quality of life to be sustained). Are we going to start demanding that EVERY person in this country be given free transportation? The result will be we all get, at best, a nice bike. Advancements will only be for the rich and powerful, and the rest of us will be told we have what we need.

Rayney said...

I have to agree that the Lutz comment was extremely rude. It must be nice to have money like they do. Apparently this person does not realize that the majority of Americans are working class(AKA working poor)and while a lot of them are in school, some are waiting for a better job, those aren't growing on trees right now. So, I have to say that it's hard to pull $500(pardon my language)out of your ass for health insurance when you only make $1000 a month.

~plaid said...

Death is inevitable. Everyone needs to accept it. Our days our specifically numbered. God knows what our life span will be, and He will provide a way for those who ask Him and it is His will. If the children in Africa who are malnourished and suffering from malaria and on death's doorstep are to be spared today, they will be. Even without the wonderful medical care that they are without that we currently have (problems and all).

I also don't know that the anonymous poster from Canada has had much experience with their system there. My sister moved to Canada and began having symptoms of MS. She had an initial workup showing markers for MS on an MRI. This was about three YEARS ago. The next step would be to have a spinal tap to confirm the diagnosis. But in the social care that they have, you have to meet certain criteria to receive this care. She has not been able to have this standard test. If she was here, she would likely have had that test done within a month at most of the results of the MRI. MS is a treatable (although not curable) condition, with improved quality of life and extended life expectancy if treated. But the "free" health care system there has been inadequate. And they are still paying a good amount into this "free" system anyway, and still have copays, etc.

Like the poster from Germany said, over 14% is paid for this? Someone posted the cost of insurance added to the cost of housing etc. is unreasonable. Well, the cost of this tax added to all the taxes we are currently subjected to (payroll, income, sales, property, excise...). It is INSANE! "For behold, we are in bondage... and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne." (see Mosiah 7)

I do think it's terrible when things happen to people and money becomes a problem. A century ago, we wouldn't have to carry guilt for not "doing more" to save the lives of loved ones, because there just wasn't the advancements we have. It is almost a curse to have the medical advancements we have. Who would want to put a price on the life of a loved one? But that is what the advancements do. It is fair to pay for the cost of these advancements, and we should not feel entitled to them simply because we value human life so dearly (which we should). There is just so much expense that is literal and real to caregivers and medical facilities to provide medical treatment.

I fear government intervention will ultimately be a way to deceive many and forget the true Physician, the real Healer. God is the one in control. Medicine and government can become idols when we forget that His plan is perfect, even though I will testify boldly (and have) that I HATE His stupid plan sometimes, because I would love to have had my kids live. If their life could somehow have been spared by some government intervention, though, just ONE life (or two, in my case), do I think this is all worth it? NO!! More blood was spilt, more lives lost on battle fields to protect our freedom than are lost because of "inadequate" care. And we should preserve that freedom while at the same time acknowledging He who has given it to us.

The Health Care debate is a way for the devil to deceive. He is subtle at times, but I think it has become ever more clear. He mixes some truth and some good intentions to mislead us and rob us of that which is even more precious. Life is dear. We should protect it, but freedom (the battle in Heaven was even fought for this) is also precious.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,
This is God. I would appreciate it if you stopped commenting on my behalf. I have no official opinion. I DO want you to 1) love me and 2) love your neighbor.

The Matlocks said...

As a close friend of Garth's, it broke my heart to come across this this morning and to find him called out as a "lazy American". I don't believe Stephanie's post was in any shape or form negative, but to no surprise some of our fellow bloggers took a blog that was intended as a cry for help and turned it into a hate fest. To the Lutz family, please don't be so quick to point fingers and judge because you never know what situation might arise that is out of your control. Garth Abbott's priority is and always has been his family and he would put their healthcare needs before his. And, if that makes him a lazy American, then I would be proud to be called a lazy American, if that meant I was being compared to Garth. Your post was offensive to those who love Garth and know the full extent of his situation. He never asked for assistance from anyone, but I am glad that so many people that know him and many that don't are stepping up and doing something rather than wasting time creating debates in places there doesn't need to be.

The Lutz Family said...

I never meant to imply that Mr Abbott, or anyone else in a bad situation were lazy. I totally understand hard times are had by everyone. I was referring to the many people who take advantage of every govenment run program out there, there is horrible waste and injustice.
The truth of the matter is that Mr Abbott's situation would not change even if he was fully insured under a government system. They would provid pallitive care only for someone of his age and health issues. So that is where it comes back to us to take care of each other (like with the auction, other donations, and prayers).
I am sorry if I have caused offence. It is sad to see good people in bad situations, but the solution can't be to take away every Americans freedom of choice. The quote posted earlier and given by Howard W. Hunter is so true, and a solution needs to be found, but within those bounds.

Anonymous said...

The situation at hand is not about "the many people who take advantage of every government program out there," it is that of a man who is sick and needs help....not from his government, but from his fellow man. So stop whining about health care reform and help him! If you have time to back track and post multiple comments about health care reform, then surely you have time to donate! If you can't donate, then please spare the rest of us your political ramblings.
-Proud Supporter of Garth Abbott

Tom said...

It seems as those this post was posted and open for a healthy debate on the health care reform. I agree that it is a sad thing for the Abbott's family to be in this situation but I think we need to remember that health care is a privilege not a right. We don't need the government to force us to take care of the sick and needy, we as Americans will do that for each other. I for one am not willing to give up my rights in order to be guaranteed sub par government health care. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Abbott family.

Rachelle said...

For fear of being misunderstood by whatever I tried to write here,I have not commented until now. I have silently read and openly discussed with my husband the debate on this blog. I am Garth Abbott's daughter in law; the same one hosting the online auction for him.

I do not take offense at anyone's political views about healthcare reform. We all approach life from different perspectives based on our past life experiences.I think the discussion and debate are healthy in order to hopefully arrive at a solution that improves healthcare! I don't think it matters what political camp you sit in, I think we all agree that something needs to be done to change where health care is at.

I agree with what the Lutz family had to say in their last post. There is a lot of waste and misuse of the current system. Having said that, I am also grateful that there is a system even if it is imperfect. I definitely don't want more government control; I advocate a free market system and privatized healthcare. I admit that I don't have the solution to this problem. Let's continue to debate and lobby our congressman until we find a solution that improves where we currently stand.

Setting healthcare reform aside, I'm so grateful for good, kind, generous people, willing to help their fellow man. Thank you to everyone who has given a donation, offered items, bid on items, sent a note of kindness, and offered prayers in Garth's behalf. He is my dad, my children's grandpa, and loved by so many.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually get involved in discussion, but I saw a few people writing how great our medicaid and medicare is. I have been directly involved with many medicaid and medicare patients, and it is VERY poorly run! They overpay on medical equipment. For example, they will spend $600 on a wheelchair that is $200. Not because they are charged more, that is just how much they pay. Home health and hospice patients are required to have nurses, counselors, pastors, social workers, etc. (more so hospice). Even if patients prefer not have them. The system is going bankrupt. If the government is unable to appropriately manage money for just medicare and medicaid, how can anyone want them to control health care for the entire nation? Changes and reform DO need to occur, but more along the lines of caps on law suits, purchasing insurance over state lines, things of that nature. And there should be some sort of penalty for people UNWILLING to work. Not those down on their luck, but the lazy bums who want a free ride on everyone else's money.

Kevin and Natali McKee said...

I am absolutely baffled that so many seem to think this is free health care!

My husband and I have always struggled financially. I can't afford Insurance, I really can't(I am talking no cell phone, no cable, no going out to eat), but I pay for it anyway because I keep having kids and it is cheaper in the long run. I totally get the whole, "I don't have insurance because I can't afford it" bit. Totally get it! BUT this is NOT free. Each and every one of us is now required to have costly insurance. We have lost that freedom. IT IS NOT FREE! Those that opted to not get it because they can't afford it don't get that liberty anymore. On Yahoo today it said there will be moderate increases from what we already pay now.

The whole reason they are demanding this is for those that don't have insurance to have it now, but those people didn't have it because they couldn't afford it, and now that it is mandatory it will be even more expensive than if they had just gone out and gotten it. That means you Stephanie, will be paying MORE than $500 a month just for yourself. Can you imagine what that will do to us that really can't afford what we pay as it is or those that don't have any and are now hit with these huge bills every month that they never had! Of all times to force more money out of us!

The thing that needed work was eliminating Pre existing Conditions and charging more for them. That is what should be mandated from the Government.

Look at what happens when you mess around with the IRS. If you fault on fines, you go to Jail! I have already heard that will be the case with the Health Care, which no one seems to be talking about either.

We have 3 options.
1. Pay for Health Care
2. Pay fines for not having Health Care
3. Go to jail for not paying fines, for not having Health Care.

It is legit yet no one discusses the real REAL issues that are soon going to be imposed on us. We have lost a freedom. The Rules are so complicated that Lawyers have to sift through them. They try and rush it without taking the time to find something that might work. They have to make some serious deals just to get people to sign to this, because it is that bad! We have no idea the repercussions this will have once everything has been implemented and people finally realize how it is going to personally affect them.

My Visiting Teaching companion's Husband is related to Harry Reid. He is an anesthesiologist. He called him personally multiple times to let him know how devastating this will be even for the Doctors. She explained that when Medicare would have normally given $100 for something, with the new plan, they will be paying $30. It will cut his salary down 2/3rds. No Doctor can support a family on 2/3rds of what they were normally making, especially with the Malpractice Insurance. Do you think Harry Reid listened?

Our Politicians are corrupt. Do we really want to put our lives and the lives of those we hold most dear in their hands?

Anonymous said...

For those down on how the government runs everything so badly- is the private sector so much better??? My gosh, the private sector is completely profit driven and when things like our food supply or health care are left to people who are only interested in mad profits, what are we going to get? Our best interests won't be the driving force, profits will- and have been- which is why our insurance companies are so heinous.
Government definitely doesn't have the corner on corruption.

All the fabulous nonprofits out there trying to help people? Homeless shelters? Low cost medical clinics? WIC? (How many LDS families use WIC!!) They rely on government grants and contracts. So they're privately run with government money. So many do a dang good job.

It's also quite offensive how people refer to other people as lazy bums milking the system. How can people make such large claims about 'undeserving poor?' Someone may not have a physcial injury that prevents them from working, but like it or not, there are many people struggling with depression, unresolved trauma stemming from child abuse, mental illness, the list is endless and you can't judge someone who looks like they should be able to go work the 100 hours a week they would have to work at a minimum wage job to afford to be totally self-sustaining.

There are more registered lobbyists in Washington than we've ever had before- there are very deep pockets putting out major scare tactics about health care reform. Insurance companies have so much to lose (rocketing wealth). Obama has good intentions i believe and he is stuck in the political machinery that makes change nearly impossible. Money drives everything.


A Daily Double said...

I agree that we can do better with healthcare in this country and I also don't know what the answer is, though I think allowing insurance companies to cross state lines would begin fixing some of the problems. But I do think that if agency was worth a war in heaven, then agency is still worth a fight here. And that's my first criteria for judging what I will support. How much of my freedom do I have to give up for the "common good"? Because helping each other should be voluntary and we are at fault if we don't step up and help each other. But no one and no government is allowed to legislate away more of my freedoms, even if they say it's to help another person. There's no blessing in being forced to help others. Does anyone feel like they are providing service on April 15?

Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm a citizen of a very comfortable country on April 15th- a very small portion of our taxes actually go to welfare type programs. Taxes pay for many of the comforts you enjoy each day- safety, roads, water, a very long list. Maybe a few pennies of your paycheck go to helping someone on welfare. Is your freedom really infringed on? Or are you gifted blessings to live here with so many public comforts?

Anonymous said...

There are so many comments at how horrible the new system will be. nothing has passed yet. The two parties can't agree on anything. It changes everyday. I hate to see rumors flying around to scare people into being against trying to fix the system. I wish they would scrap everything they've done and go back to square one.

I'm also confused. Don't we already have socialized medicine: Medicare; Medicaid; State Health.

I agree with the comment about government not having a monopoly on inefficiency and corruptness. Thank you for pointing that out. Remember, the government is put there by us, they are not an evil dictator.

I've never thought of it this way before, but America has been dually participating in socialism and capitalism for quite some time. It's kind of like a system of checks and balances or a two party system. Laissez Faire capitalism would be just as dangerous as rampant socialism.

There has been a lot of quotes from scriptures and general authorities about free agency. I loved the comment from God. It made my day. Now, if I could put some words in His mouth. Where is the compassion and mercy? If we were all living the law of consecration, we wouldn't need to be having this discussion. Not in our affluent society. Aren't medical advances a gift from God? Why should only the wealthy benefit from them?


At a church meeting three women who were all the wives of physicians complained about not making a good living. One commented about how it's not worth going into medicine anymore. My eleven year old daughter innocently disagreed saying, "yes it is! To help people." (I was so proud.) They were kind of surprised by her interruption and abruptly said, "but you need to make a living too!" Yes, I know it's more school, more loans, (by the way, as to a previous comment, tuition is going up for everyone, not just doctors) and high insurance, but coming from women who have been on two cruises a year, have lovely houses nicely furnished and drive luxury SUV's, I think they are doing okay. I don't think a new health plan will change that. People are just scared.

One friend, an optometrist wife, said that if Obama had his way practitioners would only be making $2500/month. What? I asked her where she heard that and she said she couldn't remember and admitted pulling the figure out of her head. All these rumors must stop!

Thank you Stephanie for opening this to discussion. I appreciate your blog because of your thoughtful insight and meaningful topics. I am impressed that you would put yourself in someone else's shoes and, with empathy, realize that life doesn't work out like it should for everyone. We are all in different situations and we are all doing our best.

I'm really sorry this is so long. Maybe I should start a blog of my own. :)

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

I haven't read through this whole thread, but earlier someone said:

"He needed to have health insurance top-priority for his budget?" To buy your own insurance starts at around $500 a month--that's with no children, and not the greatest coverage."

That is totally not true in Nevada where there is a NV-based insurance company that offers insurance for much less than that.

Most people get employer-based health coverage and as long as that's the case, individuals will have a hard time getting equitable pricing for policies. When employers used to foot the bill for an entire family for no cost, no one cared. But, that's not the case any more so why are employers still controlling our health insurance plans?

And, lawsuit reform has to be part of any reform. Not sure if the Democrats have really tackled that. I know I have never once heard the Democrats talk about that in their talking points.

Insurance companies also need to be able to sell policies across state lines.

I want health INSURANCE reform. Not healthCARE reform.

And, I do not want the government controlling my HEALTHCARE. But, that's exactly what the Democrats are trying to do. They're not hiding this, it's in plain site. They are calling it HEALTHCARE reform.

My husband was Canadian until 1.5 years ago. Thanks to him being a healthcare worker in Canadian, he moved to the US in 1992. He's seen it from the inside and unfortunately also how his dad's prostate cancer and ultimate back surgery health issues were dealt with there. At my FILs request, my husband got some estimates for having back surgery here because the wait was so long (2 years). But, hey, FIL was over 70 -- not high on the priority list.

Bridget said...

For Simone - Medicare isn't as rosy as you may think it is. My parents got on it a few years later than they could have. They had to pay a higher premium (gov.'t imposed) as a result of saving the taxpayers money by keeping their private insurance. They also have to carry a supplemental insurance that works with Medicare because Medicare doesn't cover everything. In fact, they cover such a small percentage of the cost of health care that every other person has to pay more to offset the shortage. Many doctors in my area (Seattle) will not accept new patients with Medicare. The system is bankrupt. And Obama wants to nationalize a more complicated system? That is NOT the answer.

I'd like to see people paying up front for services that they use. Clinics should post a price list like any other service professional(think fast food menu on the wall).

Insurance should be used to cover the big things. I imagine it to be like car insurance. If you get in a wreck, you're covered. If you need an oil change, you pay for it yourself.

I really think the premiums would decrease tremendously if people paid out of pocket for services under $500 or $1000. There's no reason why we need to support huge bureaucracies of clinical/hospital billing/insurance people who all add to the costs of services.

At a time when we chose to be uninsured, I paid $150 cash for a prenatal ultrasound. It was the same type that I had received with another child when we did have insurance. Insurance that time was billed $850. That's a huge difference. Gov't involvement would further compound this problem.