Tag Archives: health insurance

Adventures in Health Care 2: What Hold Does Holy Joe Have Over The Democratic Senate?

Can someone please explain to me why the entire Democratic side of the Senate would back down because of one man? Who the hell is Joe Lieberman to decide for the entire country who has a right to health care and who does not?

It is so plain that the man is in the pocket of the insurance companies as to be silly. If the health care bill as it stands is allowed to pass, then what damudbug posted in response to a forum topic here at Mondo Cult, will be reality, to wit:

Here is the Republicans’ health care reform program:

1)  DON’T GET SICK!!!

2)  DON’T GET SICK!!!

3)  IF YOU DO GET SICK-DIE QUICKLY!!!!!!!!

I didn’t make this up-one of the congressmen used it during a speech several weeks ago.

I have to say, when someone wants me to die, it makes me want to reciprocate……….

Fuck these assholes in the insurance companies!  They would just as soon see millions of folks (literally) DIE from lack of care.  As far as I am concerned, insurance in all its forms should be outlawed.  Rip the sucker down and start from scratch.  There has just got to be a better way…

The bottom line is that all people in this country should be covered by some kind of affordable health care. No one cares what they call it or how they do it, just get it done. Option, subsidy, whatever the hell – just get it done.

And is this folding of the tents on the liberal left reasonable? Is this what we elected to represent us on the Hill? Mr. Obama and his congress are a sore disappointment in this as well as some other things which I go into in the forum, but this health care issue is the absolute limit. I would rather see them table it and come back after Christmas and get the job done right than vote on it now when there is so damned much at stake.

Giving up now is nothing more nor less than giving in and keeping everything as it has been. That is not good enough. This country requires a change and Mr. Obama promised change in his campaign. The slogan “Yes We Can” has become a joke around this house.

Yes We Can what, Mr. President?

  • Yes we can go back to business as usual?
  • Yes we can let the citizenry of the United States go whistle for health care?
  • Yes we can let one man represent the pharmaceutical lobbies in DC and squash any chance of legitimate reform?
  • Yes we can continue to ignore the people in favor of lining political and corporate pockets?

Hey! Barry! I’m beginning to wish I’d never given you my vote. Not even a year in office and you and your majority Congress have folded in the face of one greedy, small-minded bullshit artist. I guess I’m not really angry with Joe. He can’t help being an asshole. He was born that way; but the tremendous lack of balls in the Democratic Senate and apparently in the Oval Office as well is more than a disappointment. It’s downright demoralizing.

Thanks a lot guys. If we all make it to the next election (I expect several of us may well be dead by then due to lack of medical attention) and things are as they are today, I can assure you, my vote will be cast elsewhere.

Breaking News: Nelson supports health bill after tough bargaining.

Why Do I Not Buy The Santa Cruz Sentinel?

It’s not the Sentinel itself that annoys me so much – though I do disagree with their basic editorial view – it’s the people who read it and post on the comments board.  In this case, the headline was “WAMMfest asks for smoking exception, again.” A little background is in order.

What is WAMM? In short, WAMM (Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana) is a group that was started by  Michael and Valerie Leveroni Corral here in Santa Cruz, CA. These people do good works. They are a letter-of-the-law medical cannabis cooperative who grow their own and hand it out to their members. It’s the old joke about graveyards, people are just dying to get in; it’s no joke at WAMM. All members of WAMM either have a terminal or chronic illness whose symptoms are relieved by the use of cannabis. Do people pay for the smoke? No. People donate cash as they can and those who can’t get it for free. Usually those who can’t donate cash easily do something else for the co-op; bake muffins or cookies, volunteer in the office, help out in any way they can. Those who are too ill to do either simply get the medicine for free. Only members may receive the weekly ration and the weekly meetings are strictly monitored. If you don’t have your current ID with you, you don’t get into the meeting and you don’t pick up your weekly scrip.

Sept. 17th, WAMM patient, Robert Anton Wilson, picks up his weekly supply of Medical Marijuana in front of Santa Cruz City Hall and millions of people around the world.

Sept. 17th, WAMM patient, Robert Anton Wilson, picks up his weekly supply of Medical Marijuana in front of Santa Cruz City Hall and millions of people around the world. (Photo and caption from the WAMM website.)

It’s a phenomenal organization that has helped so many people in so many ways, including my husband. I stand tall and bellow loudly about how wonderful this collective is. Later on I will direct you to a film that was made discussing the day the Feds raided the WAMM garden and totally destroyed the crop, resulting in no medicine for the members for quite some time. I wasn’t involved with the organization then and don’t know how they got through it, but they did and every year around that time, WAMM puts on a festival in San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz, in an effort to give something back to the community that helped them through such a rough time. With the advent of smoking bans all over the place (smokers of any kind are second class citizens and have no rights – I know this because I smoke cigarettes), it has become necessary for WAMM to request an exception for legal medical marijuana patiens to be able to smoke in a designated area in the park for those 5 hours a year when WAMMfest occurs.

So much for the history lesson.

Following is a small sampling of the comments left at the Sentinel‘s forum regarding this situation.

Why don’t Mike and Valerie just invite all these people to their marijuana garden and sit around there and smoke themselves to death? We don’t need them doing so in town in violation of the law polluting the air for those who don’t want to inhale their second-hand smoke.

NO! No! No! No!
These people already feel they are above any law and have gotten away with breaking the law under the guise of “medical marijuana” which is a joke for about 95% of those who claim some medicinal value. You can’t tell me these people all need to sit around and self-medicate (or self-intoxicate is more like it) at the same time. Do people taking any other real prescription medication gather all at once to pop their pills? A smoking ban is a smoking ban……..PERIOD

And then there was… Cite one study showing smoking marijuana DOES NOT affect ones lungs or other organs. You can’t. Inhaling anything like cigarette smoke, and certainly marijuana smoke, has a detrimental affect on ones health. There probably has not been a study because anyone with common sense can figure that out without spending mill[i]ons of dollars.

You get the idea. And, in fact, a particular study was cited but this brainiac didn’t seem to be able to read any of the words. In fact, they kept on bellowing about second hand smoke when this government’s own study proved that:

The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

The new findings “were against our expectations,” said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

This from The Washington Post, Friday, May 25, 2006 as reported by Post staff writer Marc Kaufmann. The full story can be read here. This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

I attempted to persuade these folks that if nothing else, they should consider it from the patients’ view point. I was ignored. Well, not completely ignored. I endured quite a bit of jeering after posting this:

I am the wife of a cancer patient who has chosen to use medical marijuana to help him through it. His doctors all agree that it’s a much better way to fight the reactions one gets from radiation et. al., and so it’s the only medication he is on other than said radiation. He has gained weight while undergoing treatment, if you can believe it, and is nearing the end of the doctors’ visits. Without the cannabis, it would have been an entirely different story.

For the record, I am 100% in sympathy with WAMM and feel they should be allowed to have their festival, with their two smoking tents, and any other things they wish to bring in there, without people who are uneducated and blind to change telling them what they may and may not do.

Santa Cruz has always been a place where people work and live together in harmony. It’s one of the reasons my husband and I moved here. Since living here however, we have found so many people, like several of you posting on this board, who feel that the rest of us must take a back seat to their morally unjust stances.

Just jeering mind you. No actual, substantial argument was presented to show how wrong I was. But I digress.

So, why are so many people who post on the Sentinel’s forum ignoring this information? It’s been around for more that 3 years. More and more States in this union are approving the use of medical cannabis. In fact, there are 13 States now. They are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. 13 States. You know, this country was founded with 13 Colonies and based on the premise “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Must I cite our Declaration of Independence for you? Perhaps for some of you not schooled in the States these words don’t bang inside your brains and so I will note that, that line is from paragraph number two of the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. Just in case you want to refresh your memories or even read it for the first time, you can do so here.

That document means quite a lot to me and I try, daily, to live my life based on these concepts put forth by our founding fathers. It would seem that others in this country do not. I think that’s a shame.

Some of us were in there swinging for the lifting of the ban. The bottom line on all this is that the ban was not lifted this year, but not because of the uneducated. The fact is, it never got on the agenda. While the request was made, apparently one must also request that the item be added to the agenda so it can be discussed. Just asking for an exception isn’t enough anymore. Now you have to ask for it and also ask that they talk about it!

At any rate, that’s why I don’t buy that newspaper. I can not abide the thought that I share anything with people who identify themselves as their moods strike them, as opposed to being strong enough to stand up, say, “Hi. My name is Jessie and I think you lot posting on the forums are a crowd of uneducated, malicious, narrow-minded cowards.” See, I use my name when I post. I don’t hide behind a pseudonym like, “The cow says mooooo….” Really. Some numb-nuts has that as their screen name on the Sentinel forum. Can you stand it?

Whether you agree with me or not is not the issue. Whether you’re willing to educate yourselves and put forth a valid and sensible argument is. And when I say sensible, I don’t mean running around and bellowing, “What about the children?” What about them?! If you don’t know what to do with them, don’t have them!

Jessie Lilley
Editor-In-Chief
Mondo Cult

(Click on the following link to see the movie mentioned earlier: The Cry Movie)

Adventures In Health Care

I’ve been driven to this blog this evening, due to the idiocy of various members of the health care industry. I shall begin at the beginning. It all began in January of 2009 when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since then, bits and pieces of health “care” have been building up to this evening, when I lost my temper in public.

These bits and pieces started dribbling out at Rite Aid pharmacy in Capitola, ‘way back when. I’d drop off a prescription for David and be told it would be ready later that evening or tomorrow or whatever. I would duly return at the appointed time and wonder of wonders, the scrip wouldn’t be ready. I was given different reasons each time. This one’s my favorite.

Them: The insurance company said it was too soon to refill it.
Me:
But it’s a brand new prescription. How can I refill something I’ve never gotten before?

Them:
Well, you must have or they wouldn’t have said so.
Me:
Would you call them and check again please?

Them:
We don’t do that.
Me: You do now. Call them or get me your pharmacy manager.

(The call was made.)

Them: Gee, I’m sorry. This isn’t a refill. I was reading the notes for someone else. But we’re out of this now and won’t have it until next Monday.
Me: He has to take this for a procedure this Friday.
Them: There’s nothing I can do.
Me: I’d like to speak with the manager please.
Them: I am the manager.

You see what I’m up against here. So I switched pharmacies when we moved from Pleasure Point to Aptos. I went to the Rite Aid down here. I won’t bore you with those details. I switched again, this time to CVS.

I like CVS. The people are pleasant, busy, competent and seemingly genuinely interested in helping you feel better. They too, however, must deal with the insurance companies. Now I’m not really bitching about the insurance company in general. Just in this particular part of their procedures – that of filling prescriptions. Truly, the insurance we have is excellent and while it’s ridiculously expensive (and yes, I have to pay for it via COBRA because I was laid off from my job and find myself with no insurance unless I cough up the big bucks every month) it would be far more costly if we didn’t have insurance at all!

Today, the entire crowd conspired to give me a headache, which is why I’m here ranting at you lot.

I broke my back when I was 18. I have been in regular and increasing pain ever since. Daily. Never a break. It’s gotten to the point where there are days when I can’t walk without a cane and sometimes I can’t even get out of bed. Those days are few and far between, but they are there. So I take these magic pills from the doctor. They kill the pain. I requested a refill this past Tuesday. On Wednesday I hobbled into my local CVS to pick them up but they weren’t there. I called them today and the doctor still hadn’t called in the refill. Odd. So I called the doctor. First I held the line for close to 10 minutes to be told that I’d have to hold while the matter was looked in to. I was calling from my office and had to hang up because more calls were coming in and I couldn’t just tie up the line. So I called back a little while later. Happily, they had the answer this time. Doctor approved the refill on Tuesday and they called it into Rite Aid.

I asked a simple question.

Me: Why, if CVS requested the paperwork, did you fax it to Rite Aid?
Them: I don’t know.

They said they’d call it into CVS. I thanked them and called CVS later in the day. Yes, they had the prescription. It would be ready by 5:30 this evening. I thanked them and drove over to pick it up.

CVS was quite crowded. It took about 10 minutes to get to the counter and indeed I reached it at 5:30 on the dot. I asked for the scrip and the counter girl came back and said that the insurance company said I was only allowed to refill every 30 days and I’d just gotten this two days ago.

Ah ha! Rite Aid! I asked if they still had the insurance company on the line, would they see if they could cancel the Rite Aid order and switch it to CVS, my pharmacy of choice. Couldn’t be done. The insurance company didn’t trust me to not sneak over to Rite Aid and get an extra bottle of goodies.

I told the lady at the counter that I understood and would collect the drugs from Rite Aid and left. Before I did however, I turned to the 18-20 people in assorted stances of waiting and said, “Who here is against health care reform?”

You could have heard a pin drop.

“Okay,” says I, “how many of you are for a change in the current health care system?”

I kid you not, there was laughter, a certain amount of mild cheering and a smattering of applause from all concerned – including the pharmacy staff!

So rather than go to Rite Aid, or as we call it here at home, Wrong Aid, just to stand in line for 10 minutes and wait to be attended to by people who are rude, stupid and slow – I came home, fed my husband and myself and will now – having unloaded on all of you – spark up a joint which will not kill my pain, but will make it so I don’t mind it as much.

And yes, I have a prescription for that stuff too.

It strikes me, that it the people conducting the polls on health care reform would hang around pharmacies and get the opinions of the poor slobs who are out here in the main stream, trying to get by day to day and having to fight for every damned pill, they might find that closer to 85-90% of the citizen’s want a change. I don’t know if this current legislation the Dems put forth today (10/29/09) will do us any good – I don’t know if it will be better or worse – but it sure as hell will be different.

Right now, I’m all for different; Bill Ritch’s rantings notwithstanding – somethings got to change.

Jessie Lilley
Editor-In-Chief
Mondo Cult