Real patients are victims too

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In response to the letter “Health system is abused” (Jan. 20), I sincerely hope that the writer never has to experience the living nightmare an individual such as myself experiences daily.

While you visited the emergency room for a cut that no doubt needed medical attention, I was transported to Medical College of Georgia Hospital recently because of chronic pain related to the terminal cancer I suffer from. I arrived by ambulance in desperate need of pain and anxiety medication. I have neither insurance nor Medicaid as of yet. I am permanently disabled because of the cancer as well as a terminal lung disorder.

Our beloved government, for whatever reason, makes disabled Americans wait two years before we can have Medicare. Medicaid in most states covers nearly nothing if you have any income. I worked and paid into the system for more than 25 years and cannot get help with two – not one, but two – terminal diseases, because our government says I haven’t been sick long enough.

I am not oblivious to the writer’s frustration, but he should please try to have some degree of empathy for those of us who do not manipulate the system. We simply have no other alternatives. I did not ask to get cancer. I did not ask to get a lung disorder. The fact that the writer is, as he says, a paying patient, gives him no priority over those of us who, in his opinion, are simply looking for free narcotics and/or health care.

I pray the writer never experiences the pain and anguish I live with every day. May good health always follow him. I hope he tries to understand that not everyone abuses the system. Some of us are victims of it as well!

Richard Kramer

North Augusta, S.C.

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allhans
21960
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allhans 01/28/12 - 12:05 am
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How sad, Mr Kramer. My

How sad, Mr Kramer. My prayers are with you.
Please keep us up-dated.

desertcat6
1140
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desertcat6 01/28/12 - 06:10 am
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God Bless you brother. The

God Bless you brother. The two waiting period is extremely hard on those that don't have health insurance if they become disabled with a chronic illness before 65. In some cases the date of the disability determination by the SSA will shorten this window or eliminate it - a date different from when you start receiving benefits. For a select group of illnesses, the wait time is waved. Wish your letter included details on why you don't/didn't have health insurance.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 01/28/12 - 07:34 am
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Since I wrote the letter that

Since I wrote the letter that you refer to I must respond to let you know that I have great empathy for your health problems. Every time I visit the hospital and see people like you I make a comment to my wife as to how fortunate we are to have lived to our mid to late eighties without serious illness as you describe. I would be the last person that would lump you into the group that I described in my letter. Our health care delivery system is broken and you are, indeed, a victim not a misuser of it.

Bizkit
22010
Points
Bizkit 01/28/12 - 09:46 am
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Times sure have changed. My

Times sure have changed. My dad told me about riding in horse and buggy with his father making house calls to ill patients. I rode with my father in his car to make house calls to ill patients-he would often go in the wee hours in morning too. Now if you get a physician it is a phone call. I think we are missing something. The medical system use to treat people like individuals-now like cattle. Living in a rural area my father was often paid with whatever the farmer had to offer-produce, etc. -or he would just write it off. He was a part of a community, he was loved to the point of almost being a deity (because he delivered their child, saved their child, saved their mom or dad, etc.-you wouldn't believe the number of children in my home town that were given some part of his name). There was a real personal relationship and he knew his patients almost better than his own family. He would also attend the funerals of his patients-you don't see that too often anymore. I feel like cattle when I enter the medical system now.

agustinian
621
Points
agustinian 01/28/12 - 10:19 am
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Mr. Kramer, Let's not

Mr. Kramer,
Let's not conflate your much deserved medical care with those who abuse the care and drive up the cost for the rest of us and delay needed care to those in the ER.

Those who abuse the use of the ER, also delay your care. So really, your letter should have been supportive of the writer's issue concerning abuses of the ER by druggies and deadbeats.

Bizkit
22010
Points
Bizkit 01/28/12 - 10:39 am
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The main reason medicare

The main reason medicare isn't solvent is fraud. My reading states if this problem were eliminated it would work. I see little action to address it-seems the opposite and a resistance to address it.

scoobynews
3702
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scoobynews 01/28/12 - 10:52 am
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But yet perfectly healthy

But yet perfectly healthy young women capable of working can have babies on the government dime and then get food stamps to feed them. Disgusting! Yet someone who really needs care can't get it.

itsanotherday1
34792
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itsanotherday1 01/28/12 - 04:59 pm
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Mr. Kramer's letter

Mr. Kramer's letter highlights two things:

1. What the rest of us can expect with government run healthcare.
2. Our system has some major flaws; one of which are those folks who fit in the slot between too wealthy to qualify for Medi____, and too poor to buy insurance on the open market. THAT is where the focus should be, not turning the whole system upside down in a backdoor effort to nationalize healthcare.

There needs to be a strong focus with incentivizing people to seek care for non emergencies some place besides ER's. The easiest way is to have a mandatory co-pay of $50(or whatever) for an ER visit. If you are really sick, that isn't much to pay. If you just have a bad cold, you will probably wait until the next day for the clinic. No cash on hand? That's alright, we will deduct it from your next welfare/food stamp payment, or bill you if you are not on public assistance. Still won't pay? We will take it out of your tax refund. No refund? We will garnish your wages.

Bizkit
22010
Points
Bizkit 01/28/12 - 12:05 pm
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People should really be

People should really be afraid of this transition to online medical records. The HEPA laws will just be a joke. I predict daily hackings and altering medical records for public and private viewings for political and personal reasons. Once that Genie is out of the bottle and all our medical records are online we will be identified by risks. Even within the system other physicians will be able to change your records. Big brother at its worst. Think about Murdoch in the UK and hackings for years and it becomes easily predictable.

itsanotherday1
34792
Points
itsanotherday1 01/28/12 - 04:57 pm
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You make some good points

You make some good points Biz. They are very strict on the HIPPA regs now, but if there is a database, someone will figure a way to hack it.

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