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T.R. Reid: Looking Overseas For ‘Healing of America’

From NPR’s Fresh Air

T.R. Reid made a global survey of global healthcare systems and reports on lessons for the US.

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2 Responses to “T.R. Reid: Looking Overseas For ‘Healing of America’”
  1. Alice Ann Stern says:

    I am a woman with lupus. Even with comprehensive health-care coverage with Horizon BC BS of NJ, my colon was perforated, and then, I experienced several compression fractures of the vertebral column thanks to the doctors at HUP. When I became catastrophically ill (because the doctors at HUP refused to properly diagnose and render the appropriate treatment), Horizon tried to terminate my coverage, while I was lying in the hospital at HUP. My mother approached the SSA without my knowledge and without my consent to have the government intervene. I was placed on NJ Medicaid without my knowledge and without my consent. NJ Medicaid then reactivated my private coverage with Horizon. After NJ Medicaid took over my private coverage (a Traditional B Plan), the representatives of Horizon contacted my mother on a regular basis to have her fill out forms to downgrade my Traditional B Plan to a Traditional C Plan, and then, to a Traditional D Plan. This was done with the guidance of the civil servants working for the NJ Department of Human Services and its Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services for an unexplained reason. By using my mother to downgrade my insurance coverage, the premium went from approximately $4,700 to $29,500 in April of 2003 (rendering me unemployable in the private sector here in the United States). When the premium rose to $29,500, NJ Medicaid terminated my Traditional Plan, thereby terminating all of my medical treatments and access to all of my physicians without exception. NJ Medicaid then placed me on an HMO with Horizon, which denied all treatment (including emergency medical treatment at the ER) without exception. When I used this HMO to seek emergency medical treatment in late June of 2004 and was admitted into the HUP for four days, the Horizon people went ballistic. Upon my release from the HUP, the Horizon sent a courier to my home in Moorestown to intimidate me into not receiving an emergency medical attention in any ER facility. Luckily (or should I really say “unfortunately”), I was not at home, but my brother was home to greet this Horizon courier. He threatened to call the police, causing the courier to flee our property in Moorestown. If I had been home, I would have taken my car and rammed her car before telephoning the police to cause an incident, which would have become public record. (I am stil considering renting one of those huge RV trailers one sees at the big dog shows to ram into something late at night, when everyone is asleep and safely in bed to make public my pligt). Governor Corzine has intercepted on my behalf twice to rid me of the Horizon HMO. I no longer possess the HMO, but my computer data states that my insurance coverage has been effectively terminated, preventing me from receiving all medical treatment and emergency medical attention. All payments to hospitals and to private consultations to physicians are not being paid. There exists a rotating door between the employees in the state government of NJ and the Horizon BC BS of NJ. One of the employees at the NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, who guided my mother in downgrading my Traditional B Plan, is now employed by Horizon. In using my mother against me without my knowledge and without my consent, all of my civil liberties and constitutional rights were violated without exception. I am being persecuted for having lousy professors of medicine attend to my lupus. If you begin reading T. J. Reed’s latest book, he describes a woman, who had just developed the disease. I have been living with the disease ever since receiving a bad measles vaccine in the year of 1964. This vaccine not only caused an horrific allergic reaction, but rendered me with a most viral form of the measles virus (which I could have easily contracted the natural way as I did with all of the other childhood illnesses without any problem or consequences). No one in my family has ever suffered from a disease similar to lupus, and no other person in my family received this measles vaccine. I am now seriously considering the possibility of leaving the United States. I had studied at the university and lived in France in 1978 to 1979. I also lived in Israel, after spending a year in France. In France, I received superior medical attention at a fraction of the cost here in the States. I returned to Israel and France in 1998 to 1999 (before becoming cognizant of what happened to my health-care coverage and having lost my civil liberties and basic human rights here in the States)to receive medical consultations to determine whether the American professors of medicine had goofed. Oh boy, did they goof up! It’s unbelieveable that I am still alive. I intend to leave the U.S. due to irreconcilable political differences. I can obtain gainful employment in the private sector, and there is no way I could possibly work for the government without seeking revenge with dire consequences. I must leave. I need your help. Alice Ann Stern, 241 Hedgeman Road, Moorestown, New Jersey 08057. I am going to hire a French tutor at the Alliance Francaise to help me practice my French language skills. By the way, my recently deceased uncle left $1.5 million to the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health in the form of a professorship. This $1.5 million professorship is a direct benefit to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, since much of their research has been out-sourced to the JHU. The bottom line is: I cannot remain in the United States and must therefore seek political asylum abroad in the EU. I am only a second generation American, so hopefully I can gain access into one of the countries of my grandparents, such as Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Romania. Right now, I would settle for Romania just to obtain an EU passport to receive my medical treatments. Help!

  2. George Naniche says:

    I saw Mr. T.R. Reid interviewed on PBS by Brian Williams, tonight. Perhaps it was a rerun of the original interview which may have taken place earlier.

    Somehow I did not get convinced by his arguments. For example, I have a hard time believing that people get good health care, perhaps even better health care in foreign countries than in this country at a fraction of the cost incurred in this country. For this to happen, something has got to give. How to estimate the costs in foreign countries if governments subsidize health care systems? I have a difficult time understanding also how so many countries can negotiate much lower prices with drug companies for drugs than what we pay in this country. Is it possible that we, U.S. patients “because we are rich” and do not negotiate prices, are in effect subsidizing patients in other countries when they buy their drugs? In other words, if we had the clout to negotiate the cost of drugs here, our costs would go down and current costs in foreign countries would go up? Because it has to be a zero-sum game if drugs companies pay for the cost of developing new drugs, and make a profit consistent with other industries.
    Another thing that bothers me is that we have a shorter longevity in this country than in other “rich” countries, and that we should blame the health care system for it. How many more murders, car accidents, drug addiction with early deaths and also resulting sicknesses at birth we have here compared to foreign countries? Longevity statistics include I assume violent deaths, or deaths caused by irresponsible people who do not care for themselves, like drug addicts or alcoholics. It is known for example that longevity in Russia is much lower than ours because Russians are heavy drinkers.
    Comparing world health care systems is probably an extremely complex endeavor. In England it is well known that rationing takes place. Beyond a certain age, people will not be treated. Mr. Reid argued that rich people here get much better medical care than poorer people. Perhaps. But I won’t believe that it does not happen also in “rich” foreign countries that have universal health care. There is in Europe an old tradition of giving higher up people, rich, or elected officials, or professionals a much higher consideration than ordinary people, and I can’t believe that the medical system does not reflect it. Also I heard that doctors in Europe rarely spend enough time with patients to explain to them what is going on, and to answer questions or god forbid, question their diagnostics. Here whenever I need answers, I get them.
    A very complex problem, I know.