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Ben’s Healthcare Story

Hear Ben tell the story of how he got involved in the single payer movement:

Then tell us why you’re fighting back!

Comments

15 Responses to “Ben’s Healthcare Story”
  1. Virginia Ryan says:

    Wow. Just watched Ben’s video.

    I am fighting for Single Payer because I strongly believe health care is a human right. I see how misunderstood Single Payer is in our country and maybe because I lived in Germany for ten years and no one talked about their hospital bills and lack of coverage there do I know more than others how well it works.
    On a trip to Russia nine years ago with the Friendship Force, a woman became sick and was hospitalized in a Russian hospital for almost a week in ICU (she was bleeding internally from taking antibiotics because she forgot what her doctor had told her and accepted pills from someone on the trip. The hospital bill that she paid was $167. I always remember thinking how much it would have cost in the US.

  2. Allen Robbins says:

    Republican’s say they are pro-life, but are they!

    They have cut food stamps for seniors, children and babies.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/food-stamp-cuts-hit-elderly-164547526.html

    As for those who can’t afford healthcare they have taken an attitude of let them die mentality.

    Republican’s have done everything they could to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, making sure premium rates went up.

    Remember premium rates go down when you have full enrollment.

    We need accessible, affordable, high quality health care is part of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good health care, and that no one should go broke because they get sick.
    These values are why we enacted historic health care reform Affordable Care Act that provides economic security for all families.

    We need to continue to stand up to Politicians working to repeal the health care benefits that are already helping millions of Americans every day. We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power:
    1. To cancel your health policy
    2. To denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions;
    3. To charge women more than men
    4. To be faced with annual or lifetime coverage limits that cause a sudden termination of care; or
    5. Have to choose between saving their life or their life savings because they lack access to affordable coverage.

    The Affordable Care Act is already helping to make health care more accessible and affordable for American families.

    Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:
    • 71 million privately insured people have gained improved coverage for preventive services;
    • 105 million Americans have had lifetime limits removed from their insurance;
    • 3.1 million young adults have gained insurance through their parents’ plans by the extend dependent child coverage up to age 26;
    • Over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion in prescription drug discounts;
    • Medicaid and CHIP have helped millions of children access preventive care at no cost to families;
    • Expanded mental health for millions of Americans at no cost to families

    America doesn’t need a revolution to improve the Affordable Care Act we need an evolution to improve the healthcare delivery system. For sure we can’t have the ACA repealed with out first having congress passing a comprehensive healthcare plan in place first.

    Suggestions on how to bring down the cost of healthcare
    Remember how hard it was to pass ACA, and Democrats had control of both houses. It almost did not pass. Please note that there were more than 120 Republican amendments in the bill when it passed.

    The best way to lower cost is to bring down Insurance administrative costs from the current high in the ACA from 21% to 15%. We believe that can happen if we want to lower premium rates.

    Have insurance companies develop outreach programs for the uninsured, they would receive a bonus for each new documented uninsured subscriber enrolled that never had health insurance before.

    Create a national drug formulary where the price of drugs are done on a bid basis World Wide and have high standards set for drugs coming from outside the US.

    Bernie Sanders single-payer system will not work without healthcare rationing. It has already has been tried and it failed. It was called pre-paid group practice system (The Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York). This is well documented. We need a single-payer system with co-pays and deductibles if it’s going to make it work and to keep premium rates down and stop gross over utilization.

    PS: I work for HIP of New York for 32 years and saw it happened at the medical group level, patients had to wait weeks to see their family physician. That is just unacceptable.

  3. Karen Wormald says:

    I’ve been self-employed and purchasing individual health insurance since 2002. It’s my largest monthly bill, far outstripping my mortgage payment. On what planet should it cost more to see a doctor than to keep a roof over your head?

    I hoped the “Affordable” Care Act would deliver me from annual premium increases that have forced me repeatedly to cut my coverage and raise my deductible until I’m now underinsured, yet still hard-pressed to keep up with the expense.

    Unfortunately, the ACA had the opposite effect. Since 2010 when it passed, my premium has increased 143%, and I pay more out of pocket than ever with my diminished coverage.

    The ACA is a shell game. If people aren’t paying high premiums to directly keep insurers profitable, they pay taxes the government passes to insurers as “subsidies.” It’s a win-win for the insurance industry, and a lose-lose for American taxpayers.

    And it’s unsustainable because people still go bankrupt due to illness. Single payer universal care is the ONLY solution, and many other highly developed nations have proven it works. U.S. healthcare needs aren’t “unique” or “special,” except in that our system is driven by greed and chronic lack of government oversight over costs.

    We need national single payer healthcare NOW!

  4. Anthony Sanchez says:

    I’m fighting back because a year ago I was diagnosed with diabetes and found out firsthand how private insurance works. I pay 178 a month with 1500 dollar deductible. My diabetes is not that bad but I do need insulin and other medication. It takes me about 11 months to meet deductible not including 11 months times 178(premium’s) give or take that’s close to 3000 a year before my insurance even kicks in. At this point with diabetes, I pay for everything(medications, doctor visits, etc) I need myself because of my insurance pays absolutely nothing until the above conditions are met. It is a perfect set up for them, they know we will have to pay for most of our healthcare our selves.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Anthony – thanks for sharing this story. It is unbelievable, and you of course show up as “insured” in the statistics. If you would like to tell your story in depth (in writing, not on video), I’d be happy to feature you on the website. I think it can be an inspiration to others to act when they hear the ugly truth of why we are fighting for single-payer – not because we want it, but because we truly need it and have no other choice but to fight.

      Thank you again,
      Ben

  5. Al Kruse says:

    Insurance is not healthcare and high deductible policies are not insurance. Also we are not consumers of healthcare, we are patients.
    There is a bill before the Minnesota Legislature to offer Minnesota Care as a Public Option, open to purchase based on income instead of policies offered by for profit insurance companies.

  6. Donna Starr says:

    Horror story after horror story while private insurance pays huge salaries to CEO”s, build the tallest and largest buildings in major cities, negotiate hospital costs while the uninsured are victims. The whole for profit idea is repugnant! The ACA is NOT the answer, for profit still rules. It won’t be pretty, but we must start from scratch, letting each state have a go at it, or work for a national single payer system.

  7. Jim Ols. says:

    HR676 is the fix for what ails America. I believe senior citizens can be the key to HR676 enactment. So I wrote the following to be a one page flyer.

    Attention All Seniors, and Others

    Would you like to get rid of Medicare Part B & D premium payments?

    Would you like to get rid of your need for a Medicare supplement insurance policy?

    Would you like to get rid of deductibles and copays that you must pay for?

    Would you like to get rid of your 20% coinsurance responsibility?

    Would you like to eliminate all of the paperwork?

    Would you like to have full coverage for prescriptions?

    Would you like to have coverage for necessary dental work?

    Would you like to have coverage for necessary eyeglasses?

    Would you like to have mental health coverage?

    Would you like to have freedom of choice of healthcare providers?

    Would you like to have your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren covered?

    Would you like to have long term care coverage?

    If yes, then support congressional bill HR 676. The bill explains how it would all be paid for.

    Tell your representatives in the U.S. Congress House and Senate that you support HR 676.

    Tell the AARP that you support HR 676. Please read it. It is about 15 pages long.

    It is publicly funded and privately delivered health care for all. Everybody in; nobody out.

    We can have full coverage healthcare for all. And everybody saves money (except insurance companies). And Medicare for All would be very simple to use.
    Members of Congress and their families would have the same coverage as the rest of us. That would be an incentive for them to make it the best that it could possibly be.

    It would eliminate the wasteful Medicaid and other inefficient government programs. Medicaid and those other programs would not be needed; because everyone could go the health care provider of their choice, and not have to worry about paying any bills for it.
    We simply have to convince enough members of Congress that it is the best thing for America.

    Healthcare-NOW.org and pnhp.org and medicareforall.org

  8. Great post Ben-Personal stories are powerful, and I’m glad you had the courage to tell yours.
    I’ll look forward to seeing you at the annual meetings this Fall, and if you want a place to stay while visiting the South, consider our Memphis home- you are always welcome.
    Art

    • Ben says:

      Thanks, Art! Will try to get back to TN soon – really appreciate your hospitality. We’re also working on a module for getting new groups started – I’ll email you, would love to get your input.

      Best,
      Ben

  9. Harry strunc says:

    Keep talking.
    Keep spreading the news.
    Keep telling America the truth.

    Thank you !

  10. Bob Mason says:

    Ben

    Thanks for sharing your powerful story. My wife and I had to remortgage our house and place our retirement in jeopardy due to a health care crisis. And we had so-called good insurance, but deductibles and 20% co-insurance of hospital bills when you’re unable to work creates a financial crisis too–and lots of anxiety.

    Grateful to your starting the sharing,

    Bob Mason

    • Ben says:

      Thanks, Bob – Horrifying. We are the so-called “lucky ones” with coverage. If you ever want to tell your story (in writing, not on video), I think it can be an inspiration to others when they see why we are fighting for single-payer, beyond the talking points and statistics.

      Yours truly,
      Ben

  11. Howard C Lucas, MD says:

    The ACA is really the Unafordable Care Act. It establishes the insurance companies in control of health care. If you have a high deductible plan you do not have insurance for most for most people.
    When solving a problem first define you terms and set the parameters. The question “what is health care” has never been asked. Is health care a service which we all need similar to the police department and the fire department or is it a product to be sold for a profit to the highest bidder. It was just assumed to be a profit making product which big business could use to make high profits with no control over them. That is what we have, the wrong answer and all of the people are suffering.
    I began to practice medicine in 1951 and ophthalmology in 1960. I well remember how happy my patients were in 1965 when medicare became available for those over 65 and they could have their cataracts removed and have good sight restored. We need Rep John Conyers HB 676, Medicare For All. I have been a member of Physicians for a National Health Program- http://www.pnhp.org- for 23 years. Go to this web site for an accurate explanation of how it would save one third of medical cost and provide medical care for everyone and make work much easier for doctors and hospitals.

  12. A great story, kind of a very sad view of USA and our “so called” world’s best healthcare. We’re 37th. I hope I get to meet you, and Stephanie at the 2016 Strategy Conference. I have had times when a halfway decent (insurance benefit bearing) job was so hard to find. I currently do have job with benefit at an auto parts manufacturer. I have been married 28.5 years, but recently widowed. Wife lost battle with cancer on Dec 7, 2015. I am also a musician/singer/songwriter and activist for single-payer. Here is my Owl City Fireflies healthcare justice parody, Six Figure Debt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTFsGspGKF4 . . . Here is song that was theme song for movie “Labor Under Attack” I was bald at time, I have shaved to help wife who lost hair due to chemo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e1Vx_UveDk