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Article of Interest

Posted by Dorothy on 2/21/05 at 15:52 (169588)

Medical Bills Can Lead to Bankruptcy
High Deductibles, Co-Payments, Out-of-Pocket Expenses Add Up to Big Debt
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Feb. 2, 2005 -- Medical illness can be a financial nightmare leading to bankruptcy. Illness and medical bills contributed to more than half of bankruptcy filings, a new report shows.
'Illness often leads to financial catastrophe through loss of income, as well as high medical bills,' writes researcher David U. Himmelstein, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard medical School. 'Disability insurance and paid sick leave are critical to financial survival of a serious illness.'
His report provides the first extensive data on medically related bankruptcy, Himmelstein writes in the journal Health Affairs. Previous studies have looked only at court records, where medical debts may be hidden in credit card or mortgage debt, he explains. Study of this widespread problem has also been impeded by debtor's hesitation to discuss their bankruptcy. In surveys, only half of those who have gone into bankruptcy admit to it, writes Himmelstein.
His study is based on a survey of debtors in bankruptcy courts -- a total of 1,771 bankruptcy filers. Of those, 931 bankruptcies were due to medical circumstances. Those citing medical causes were interviewed in depth regarding the medical diagnosis, health insurance, medical care, and expenses.
The study is 'frightening,' Himmelstein says, in a news release.
'Most were average Americans who happened to get sick,' he says. 'Health insurance offered little protection. Families with coverage faced unaffordable co-payments, deductibles, and bills for uncovered items like physical therapy, psychiatric care, and prescription drugs. And even the best job-based health insurance often vanished when prolonged illness caused job loss -- precisely when families needed it most. Too often, private health insurance is an umbrella that melts in the rain.'
His report shows that during the two years prior to filing for bankruptcy:
 40% lost telephone service
 19% went without food
 54% went without needed doctor or dentist visits because of cost
 43% did not fill prescriptions because of cost
 15% had taken out second or third mortgages to pay for medical expenses
 1/3 continued to have problems paying their bills following bankruptcy, including paying their mortgage/rent and utility payments
 Even after filing for bankruptcy a number (3.1%) were turned down for jobs, 5% were turned away on apartment rentals, and 9% were rejected for car loans
The debtors' narratives 'painted a picture of families arriving at the bankruptcy courthouse emotionally and financially exhausted, hoping to stop the collection calls, save their homes, and stabilize their economic circumstances,' he writes. 'Several had used credit cards to charge medical bills they had no hope of paying.'
Many debtors blamed high co-payments and deductibles for their financial ruin. One man, working for a large company that provided insurance, suffered a broken leg and torn knee ligaments. He had $13,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for co-payments, deductibles, and uncovered services -- much of it for physical therapy, writes Himmelstein.
'Even good employment-based coverage sometimes fails to protect families, because illness may lead to job loss and the consequent loss of coverage,' he explains. 'Lost jobs, of course, also leave families without health coverage when they are financially most vulnerable.'
Also, many insured families are bankrupted by medical expenses well below the 'catastrophic' thresholds of high-deductible plans, Himmelstein notes

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/21/05 at 16:30 (169591)

This doesn't happen in England. :)
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Re: Article of Interest

wendyn on 2/21/05 at 21:46 (169597)

Doesn't happen here either. :)

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/22/05 at 02:18 (169614)

I will quote myself (from a post on another post) to elaborate:

'Our National Health Service (in the UK) towards which everyone who has ever been in employment has paid contributions, is free to all at the point of use. People who cannot afford, or on principle do not want, private health insurance, are in no danger of bankrupting themselves with medical bills.'

Guess you and I are just lucky, Wendy. :)
.

Re: Article of Interest

vince on 2/22/05 at 06:47 (169615)

But consider where you have to live in order to get the free health care. Do you enjoy being the ward of a socialist country?
When is the son of horse face going to marry the rotweiller?
Time for the royalty nonsense to be abandoned.
As for Canada- why do so many canadians come to the USA for health care- that's because as bad as it is here it's worse in Cananda.

What ever happened to being responsible for one's self. People who cant contribute to their society will ultimately destroy that society.

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/22/05 at 08:27 (169617)

Vince, I am not going to engage with your questions, because they are couched in offensive, and I consider, stupid language.

I'm making this post so that you and others will know that I did not miss it, or overlook it. It is my small protest at the way you often conduct and express yourself here.

Re: Article of Interest

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/22/05 at 12:50 (169634)

Julie:
The US dilemna is the employer based health care responsibility. No one expects a system with free health care but we must have a system in which the number of risk pools that can be manipulated by insurers is minimized or eliminated and where a logical means of financing the system is maintained whether the system be private or not.
Ed

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

vince on 2/22/05 at 20:46 (169661)

I don't care a hoot if you ever respond directly to one of my posts. All that I care about is that you read it and reacted to it in the way I wanted you too.
The entire health care system in the US should be scrapped. It's broken and beyond repair. Pay as you go,buy an insurance policy for the real serious medical exlenses, negotiate with your providers, docs don't deserve BMW's and Benz's by right of their education. They provide a service that should be negotiable. No insurace company's to deal with means many less warm bodies in a med office that need to be paid, less overhead and you can squeeze the doc on his/her fee or take your illness elsewhere. In addition why should my health care premiums be subject to your sickness's? Why should I have to pay for your illness if I am healthy?
You can always go to Canada and wait months for a medical procedure. I guess the Canadian plan is that you are supposed to die before they have to spend any $'s getting you well.

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

john h on 2/22/05 at 21:34 (169667)

When you are on this board long enough you will see the same questions surface over and over again. They have their own cycle. Seems about 2-3 years before they reappear. No one changes their minds and the same charges and counter charges surface. Healthcare systems have evolved over a long period of time in each country and there is not likely to be any radical changes in our life time. European health care comes from a more social form of governments. America developed much different than Europe with people operating independent from government as the nation moved west from the earliest days. Even our Constitution was written to minimize government. It is part of our history to keep government out of our lives. Government is very much in our lives but not as much as in nations that did not develop as we did. These systems will continue to evolve and we will always have disagreements as we do with anything concerning government, health care and religion. Hillary tried to change our health care system and it met with a resounding no so we will only see incremental changes in this country. Europe seems to enjoy their system and I assume the most Canadians enjoy theirs. Most Americans want no drastic changes and generally reject big government and big social programs. We can always change things by voting but it will be a gradual thing.

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/23/05 at 01:58 (169677)

Then you acknowledge that you write in intentionally offensive ways in order to get a reaction? I knew that, and am glad to see that you are perceptive enough to see it too.

You have knowledge to offer, Vince. Why don't you just offer it and stop insulting? It should be obvious to you by now that you've been rumbled.
.

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

vince on 2/23/05 at 06:59 (169686)

RUMBLED??? I wish that Englishmen spoke english. I guess that I should be unhappy that we won the revolution. If we hadn't done that we would have a fantastic healthcare system, eat kidney pie, drink warm beer, pay a tax on metal shovels and be ruled by a functional monarchy that are really Germans. I the german heritage was the reason for the swastika arm band incident. I think that that arm band was the first sign that Britian is now going to start an alliance with Germany against the USA like France. It's about time the USA realized that Europe is essentialy now our enemy. Maybe we should send a bill to England and France in demand for payment for what the USA spent bailing their butts out in WWll.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN- but save her for what and from what I can't figure out.

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/23/05 at 16:01 (169718)

vince:
I realize you are 'kibbitzing' to stir things up a bit but think you will find that sarcastic humor is not understood nor appreciated in many parts of the country -- it is a bit unique to the northeast US, where I used to live and found that after leaving the area, it was possible to anger a number of people, not intending to do so. Readership here is diverse -- keep that in mind...
Ed

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

Dr. Z on 2/23/05 at 21:31 (169755)

Vince,
I though we didn't bill countries that didn't really have health insurance that covered ESWT I mean USA freedom. Ok I can't help it . They both are called United I mean the United Kingdom I could resist

Re: Article of Interest

elliott on 2/23/05 at 23:40 (169763)

I'll point out that the bulk of funding for the NHS comes from general taxation. I believe a chunk of the hefty 17% VATT paid on most items purchased goes to the NHS as well. These taxes in total are quite burdensome, far more so than in the U.S. So while free at the point of use, it is hardly 'free'. Also, with my wife being English, I have some personal knowledge of what goes on there with many of her relatives and friends. For virtually any problem more serious than something cured by Albas Oil :-), those that can afford to, go outside the system to see a specialist of their choice, paying a lot either directly or through expensive private insurance, because what they get inside the system just is not acceptable (not that surprising for a government-run health care system). Those who can't afford private care either live (or die) without it, or else go bankrupt, sort of like in the U.S. :-) Some of the better NHS docs often double in this private world, with their main earnings coming from there. So the British health care system is not exactly paradise, but admittedly, even with acknowledged problems, still generally popular among the masses, in part because it's, well, 'free'.

OTOH, England spends less on health care (as a % of GDP) than the rest of Europe, and more like half of what the U.S. spends. The U.S. spends way more than everyone else, and that is becoming an ever-increasing burden. As a percent of GDP, I think it's something like 14% for the U.S., around 9% for the EU, 7% for England.

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/24/05 at 06:38 (169775)

Elliott, don't you mean Olbas Oil? :)
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Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/24/05 at 06:41 (169776)

Ed, you have a rather odd idea of 'sarcastic humour', if you think that describes Vince's (non-informative) posts.
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Re: Article of Interest

elliott on 2/24/05 at 09:41 (169783)

Julie, I realized after I posted that I misspelled it. Figured you would know what that is. After all, it cures about 50% of all ailments in England. :-) And most Americans never even heard of it!

Re: to Julie Re: Article of Interest

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/24/05 at 10:09 (169787)

Julie:
The Social board does not necessarily need to have posts that are informative. Nevertheless, Vince is posting in jest. I guess it depends where many may draw the line between 'sarcsatic' and 'acidic' but I try to look at the intent behind the writing to make such a determination. Vince was starting a verbal 'joust' which some see as humourous or entertaining but some as barbaric. If you are an unwilling joustee, then your opinion is unlikely to be favorable...
Ed

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/24/05 at 11:48 (169791)

Elliott, it's a great inhalant if you've got a cold with a blocked nose. That's the only ailment I've used it for, but if you say it cures 50% of all ills in England I'm willing to take your word for it. :)

(If you do just the colon and the bracket without the dash, it comes out as a nice yellow smiley face. ;) )

Cheers. Hope you're healing well.

(Have you tried Olbas Oil?)
.

Re: to Ed

Julie on 2/24/05 at 11:49 (169792)

No comment. ;) We see things differently.
.

Re: to Ed

AmyM on 2/24/05 at 14:14 (169807)

ENGLAND is NOT the UK, there are couple of other countries involved, I believe you'll find the same National Health Service, in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Re: Article of Interest

elliott on 2/24/05 at 17:40 (169822)

Maybe it's just me, but I find the smileys and other emoticons generally too strong for my taste. They're also overused, here as elsewhere, causing them to lose their effect. OTOH, a subtle :-) says it all.

I can't understand it, but Olbas Oil did not help my surgical foot heal faster. :-) I sometimes suffer from its secondhand fumes while my wife sleeps with the jar open, allegedly allowing her to sleep better when she's full of cold. I tell her to just drink a lot, but why bother when there's Olbas Oil. :-)

Re: Article of Interest

Dorothy on 2/24/05 at 18:19 (169831)

Is Olbas Oil like Vicks Vaporub? I LOVE Vicks Vaporub. At the first sign of a cold - or even a bad mood - a little VVR and everything seems better.

Re: Article of Interest

Dorothy on 2/24/05 at 18:23 (169832)

In fact, maybe this is the solution to my travel-neurosis. Maybe I'll just swath myself in Vicks Vaporub before boarding.
Sorry - I see that I'm starting to obsess on this topic....I'll let it go. I have a yoga advice question for Julie later, but then I'll take a little breather from HS. Maybe take a little VVR encasement....

:-)

Re: to Ed

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/24/05 at 18:37 (169834)

Julie:

I know we do; that is why I took the time to make the explaination.

It did get us off the important subject though. The US, in 2004, had its uninsured roles increase by about 5 percent. The price of healthcare in the US, presumably, doubles every 7 years yet I am reimbursed by insurance companies at an average of 30% of what I did when entering practice 24 years ago (adjusting for inflation). Some of the best performing stocks in the US stock market, in the last 6 months have included the nations health insurance companies.

I see news articles in which the cost of healthcare and the cost of health insurance premiums are used synonymously and that is an error on the part of writers.

Another area where we often fail to distinguish is the difference between government funding of health care vs. socialized medicine. They are not the same in that it is possible to have a completley private health care system yet have government run insurance pools. I see a reasonable solution to many of the woes of the current system in that the US government make available a catastrophic policy for everyone (an idea actually introduced by Milton Friedman, a very conservative economist). This guarantees that no one need worry about going broke over healthcare costs. Additionally, private insurers are provided with a 'stop loss' so that they need not avoid 'high risk' individuals. Individuals should have a level playing field in terms of tax deductibility of health insurance accounts with corporations and should have tax deductibility of medical saving accounts. The key feature of the medical saving accounts is that we put the patient back into control of decsion making for their healthcare. That means that patients must make an effort to be better informed about healthcare decsions. It also creates a more level playing field for 'alternative' medicine as the patient can opt to make the decision as to what is being paid for.
Ed

Re: to Ed

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/24/05 at 18:49 (169837)

Amy:
Thank you for the clarification as we often fail to make the distinguishment...

It is interesting to compare health care 'delivery' systems as all systems have their advantages and disadvantages. We, in the US are also a bit sloppy in discussing the Canadian healthcare system, failing to realize that each province in Canada has its own system and there is definitely a modest degree of variability. I can contrast BC and Alberta best as they are the closest to me geographically. Wendyn probably is much more familiar and would be interested in her input.

I don't beleive (Wendyn- please correct me if I am wrong on this) that Canada would view its provincial systems as 'socialized' medicine but rather as a single payor system. Obviously, when there is one payor, that payor represents a concentration of power nevertheless, I had found a reasonable modicum of healthcare freedom in Canada, especially when visiting Alberta.

We may distinguish between the potential negatives of ceding power to the rules of large corporations of those of government. Invariably, when a third party is the payor, they will have much say on the provision of services.
Ed
Ed

Re: Ed and Elliott

wendyn on 2/24/05 at 20:46 (169843)

Thanks for bringing me back to this thread Ed - I didn't realize that it was still going on.

Sorry, you've surpassed my knowledge (or lack of) regarding the intricacies of how our health care system is actually structured.

Most of us would in fact say that we have socialized medicine. We pay premiums, or sometimes our employer pays premiums - but most of our health costs are covered through taxes.

While the provinces have some discretion over health care, I know that it's not total control - some of it remains federal.

I've seen the good side and the bad side of our health care. I've had to wait 6 months for an MRI of my foot. On the other hand, my sister-in-law had a tumor discovered on a kidney during a routine ultrasound. She had a CT scan within 48 hours and her kidney removed in less than 2 weeks. (Yes, it did turn out to be cancerous).

Honestly, I still wouldn't trade it for the system that you folks have - and most Canadians wouldn't. If you have money, your system is perfect. If you don't have money, it sucks.

p.s. For Elliott:

:)
:)
:)

;)

Re: Vicks

wendyn on 2/24/05 at 20:49 (169844)

Dorothy, I saw a news segment recently where they explained that Vicks Vaporub is actually quite poisonous. Apparently little kids find it tasty.

So you can wear it, but don't eat it.

;)

Re: Vicks

Dorothy on 2/24/05 at 21:05 (169847)

Wendy -

I didn't know this - and this is bad news! I'll have to see if I can find this information. I've probably eaten my share of the stuff over the years; my mother used to spread it on our chests with a flannel cloth over it (I've never understood the combination but maybe the ritual is what mattered.... like tana leaves and mummies and garlic and vampires; in my family: hear of a germ in the region? Vicks vaporub and flannel.)
Thanks for the tip - I'll take it off the menu.
:-)

Re: Vicks

wendyn on 2/24/05 at 21:16 (169848)

Yuck. I guess you really don't want to eat this stuff:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002566.htm

Re: Vicks

Dorothy on 2/25/05 at 00:31 (169853)

Wendy -

Thank you for providing the weblink with the Vicks information.
All those symptoms? I thought they were my travel anxieties! :-)

Thanks again ~

p.s. Hope you are feeling ok -

Re: Article of Interest

Julie on 2/25/05 at 00:54 (169854)

OK, Elliott. I'll remember not to use smiley faces when I'm talking to you.
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Re: Re:Wendy

Julie on 2/25/05 at 00:58 (169855)

I think that says it all, Wendy (and I'm not talking about Vicks).

:) :) :) :) :) :) ;) :) :)
.

Re: to Ed

Julie on 2/25/05 at 06:57 (169859)

Ed

Your thoughts on health care are interesting.

I don't propose to re-open the debate on the relative merits of health care systems on either side of the ocean. We've been here before.

On the other matter, thank you for the time you took to make your explanation. I'm not going to debate the purpose of the social board, or what is and isn't appropriate on it. But I do know the difference between sarcastic humour and targetted venom.
.

Re: Vicks

John H on 2/25/05 at 09:04 (169860)

Many people use Vicks on toe nails in particular for fungal toe nails. It is no cure but softens the nail up and makes it look better.

Re: sticks and emoticons may break my...

elliott on 2/25/05 at 09:21 (169862)

Go ahead. See if I care. Overuse them unoriginal eyesore thingies and expose your lack of subtleness and sophistication I so cherish. :-)

elliott

Re: Oh dear...

Julie on 2/25/05 at 09:30 (169864)

...I didn't mean to upset you, Elliott - very sorry.

;0 (couldn't resist).
.

Re: Bother.

Julie on 2/25/05 at 09:31 (169865)

That didn't come out right.

;)
.

Re: Ed and Elliott

John H on 2/25/05 at 10:09 (169866)

One thing about our health care system that is much overlooked is that any person with or without money can walk into any hospital emergency room and not be refused treatment. As a result, the emergency rooms now serve as the family Doctor for those who do not have insurance. This was not intended but the way it works. A visit to the emergency room might easily result in a 2-4 hr wait. Drugs are also provided on these visits. I think the last numbers I read were that about 72-75% of Americans had some form of health insurance. Any veteran can walk into any VA hospital and received free treatment. Every American who has been part of the Social Security System is covered by Medicare after age 65. I really cannot imagine a better system than Medicare for the patient. I can choose any Doctor I want and their are few procedures that are not covered including all diabetic supplies or kidney dialysis. I can see my Doctor on any day of the week except Sunday without an appointment and usually not wait more than 30 minutes. If I have an MRI ordered it is usually the next day. If I want to go to the Mayo Clinic or M.D. Anderson or Johns Hopkins I am free to go there. I can walk into about 99% of all specialist in Little Rock and be seen within 30 days. I get a free colonoscopy, blood test, heart test and about any other test I need. Anyone that has worked or who has a spouse that has worked qualifies for Medicare. I just cannot imagine a better system than Medicare. Currently we are arguing how to repair the system but it will get done. Our statistics of people without insurance is a moving target as people are constantly moving in and out of the work force. Many of the homeless refuse health care and as noted any person in this land including illegals can walk into any emergency room and receive free medical treatment and surgery if required. Anyone in the military gets free medical care and any retired military person get all meds provided at $9 per prescription for the brand name or $3 for the generic. Same apples to government retirees. When I wanted to see Dr. Z I hopped an plane to New Jersey and I was covered by Medicare. Now, Dr. Z may not have liked the amount of money Medicare reimbursed him but most Doctors can hardly afford not to opt into the Medicare system as basically every person in the U.S. over the age of 65 are in it and they are the one who most use the system. Medicare does have a 20% co-pay but private insurance to cover this is very reasonable. Yes, our system has flaws but if anyone thinks we have millions wondering around without any source of medical care they are wrong. We can improve upon our system and that is being done on a regular basis, With the history of the American people this nation is highly unlikely to ever opt for a system of socialized medicine. The vast majority of Americans have and will fight any attempt to socialize our medical system. Hillary Clinton found that out the hard way. It is often said that Social Security is the third rail of American politics but I think socialized medicine would truly be the third rail and any politician who attempts to socialize the system will soon find himself out of office

I think it is great the Canadians and Europeans enjoy their medical systems. Our nations developed differently and we have wide cultural differences. I am not critical of their systems. If they enjoy it that is what counts. They drive on the wrong side of the road and have 4 week vacations in Europe but we all believe in Democracy and rights of the individual.

Other observations: Our education system in American has some serious problems. When I was in grade school the teachers taught the basics and the class moved a a given pace. If you could not keep up you would be held back a year or even more if required. It appears we now move at the pace of the slowest student. This is often referred to as the dumbing down of America. If any one fails I am not aware of it. Some schools do not give grades so as to not make some students feel bad. Some schools no longer give homework and some let the students do the home work if they want to. A young high school boy lived next to me some years ago and I sort of became his mentor. When he graduated he went into the Army. In his letters to me he wrote and spelled at a 4th or 5th grade level. He graduated from a large Little Rock high school. I often think about Walter and how a system (and parents) has totally failed him. I know nothing about the European education system or the Canadian system but I do hope they are better than ours. It appears our problems are largely in the metropolitan areas as some of the smaller schools I have visited seem to still operate in an enviroment which promotes learning. Our country has taken the approach that you can cure all this with money. In Washington, D.C. they spend the largest per capita income on students per year than any city in the U.S. yet are at the back of the pack in student testing and graduation rates. I think I read they spend around $13,000.00 per student per year. I bet Suzanne's school in Kentucky is lucky to spend half that. In American schools are largely funded by property taxes. How are schools funded in Europe or Canada?

Re: Article of Interest

John H on 2/25/05 at 10:15 (169868)

Dorothy if you like Vicks then you surely love Castor Oil. Between these two I grew up never having to see a Doctor except for a broken bone. I think I related the story of removing warts by rubbing them with a dirty dish cloth and then burying it in the yard. I had one wart on my hand and it worked. My grandma said it would so it must have been so.

Re: Article of Interest

Dorothy on 2/25/05 at 10:39 (169870)

John H -
I have a similar wart experience. When I was little, I had a wart and one of my older sisters did the same thing with a cloth. ( I can't verify the details now - was it a dish cloth? was it dirty? Knowing that we each like Sherlock Holmes, I regret that I can't give all the details. I can tell you that there was no tobacco involved and no ash...) The wart-rubbing occurred; the cloth was buried. The wart went away. My sister claimed special powers. I was, and have remained, skeptical of her having special powers (except power over a younger sister!) but I do know that the wart went away. It seemed to happen very quickly, but in kid-time, it may have been many weeks.

Re: Ed and Elliott

Rob M on 2/25/05 at 11:13 (169874)

Dear John H

In Canada, school funding is a mixture of provincial and/or city funding, with curriculum set by the province. I have 4 children in the system, and I've also had some experience with the private system.

The best school I saw was a private school, that charged the least money, about $9000CDN/year. This school taught honesty, respect, discipline, behaviour, and academic basics. Each child had a locker, but there were no locks, or locked doors in the school. Students were expected (and did) respect other's property. During school hours, they were in class, and before re-entering the school, they lined up, settled down and walked back in calmly. There was no corporal punishment, fighting, assaults on teachers etc. Homework was done daily immediately after school at study hall, and then the child had the rest of the day off. The classes were about 20 students/teacher, and were a mixture of high, medium and low ability students, from many ethnic backgrounds.
I would have left my child there forever, but unfortunately they don't offer high school.

When I went to find a highschool for my son, we visited the public, vocational school in our area. The first thing I noticed was the poor maintenance of the grounds, litter, peeling paint, obviously nobody inspecting or maintaining the building. There was a police car parked out front. Inside, students were walking in the halls, and some hassling was observed. The principal was trying to get them into their classes, or wherever they were supposed to be. To look inside any of the rooms, first the door had to be unlocked. This is to provide security for the teachers. I was informed that lockers are opened by the school at will to ensure that students don't have weapons or drugs. We did not send our son there.

On the bright side, my eldest daughter goes to a special arts high school where I think she is getting a fantastic public education, better than the one I got.

There is lots of variability in the system, but as you said, money isn't the issue. It is discipline and respect, teaching behaviour and rules, and stimulating kids to be their best that makes the difference.

Rob

Re: Ed and Elliott

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/25/05 at 12:17 (169878)

John:
Being 'in the trenches' with the patients I can see the good and bad in our system. There are some invisible, intagible difficulties that are not apparent on the surface. A good example is the reluctance of small employers (they do provide most of the jobs now) to hire older workers as
their risk pool is too small causing much higher premiums and in many cases, they may get turned down all together by a number of companies if they have too many older workers. Aetna turned me down just because I had a middle aged female with diabetes -- I am a small group so it only would tkae one or two to make my office a higher risk to the insurers...
Ed

Re: Ed and Elliott

John H on 2/25/05 at 12:26 (169880)

Rob I think we probably have some private schools that meet the standards you describe. The students for the most part come from families in tact, with resources, and who have roll models. Things many of our public schools do not have regardless of how much money is available to them. As you probably know we have been fighting a battle in this country over school choice where a family can take the money dedicated to each student in their district and use it to buy their way into a private schools or even into a public school they perceive as being better than the one they are assigned. For instance in Washington that could be $12,000 a year a student could use to go to what ever school they chose. The public schools are generally very much against this as they see it as a program that would take away money and drain the best students out of the system. I think this will be decided on a state by state basis but our Teachers Unions are very powerful and I really do not see it happening. My daughter attended public schools up until about 1965 when we began to have riots in our schools in Wichita. At that time I moved her into a Catholic school (we are not Catholic) and there was more of a learning atmosphere and discipline. By the time we moved to Little Rock in the early 70's she finished her last year of high school in a public school. It sure was a lot more simple in my school days. 10 students in my first grade class and you had better learn your lessons and your teacher had the final word on anything and everything. I remember all my teachers to this day.

Re: Ed and Elliott

Dorothy on 2/25/05 at 14:37 (169894)

Dr. Ed -
(I'm butting in..) That is an extremely interesting point, one I had not thought of, that older workers would affect the pool. I wonder what the actuarial facts are on this if one considers all the events that can befall 'younger' workers, from disease, addictions, accidents, birth and family disorders and so on. This is fascinating when one considers all of the various pressures being brought into the picture e.g. further raising the retirement age for Social Security which will make working longer a necessity for many 'seniors' and this is promulgated as if a 'senior' can just go out and pluck a job off a tree; the reportedly serious problems with Medicare (as opposed to the controversially 'serious' problems w/Social Security); and the loss of jobs at all levels. We may be witnessing the creation of yet another new class of underclass citizens...it's ironic, since that is what the original creation of Social Security was designed to ameliorate.

Re: Tempting

wendyn on 2/26/05 at 23:30 (170002)

Elliott, you know that if I were to truly display a lack of subtleness and sophistication, I would have offered you (((HUGS)))

Did I ever tell you that you remind me a lot of one of my best friends?

Re: Tempting

Julie on 2/27/05 at 05:46 (170011)

Careful, Wendy - he'll probably melt in your arms. He's really a big softie, you know... ;)
.

Re: Ed and Elliott/Helping HIlda

JudyS on 2/27/05 at 12:06 (170037)

I've been looking at a very good book about family members being hospitalized-patient advocates. It's called Helping Hilda. It's written by a trio of San Diego sisters so I don't know if it was only published locally.........

Well, having said that I paused writing here to see if it was on Amazon and it is.

Anyway, these sisters had enough experience with their hospitalized mother, and enough varying professional experience, to have decided to write this book. I wish I'd had it when my Dad, then my Mother-in-law were hospitalized - eventually passing away.

I also wish I'd had it during a harrowing experience that had my husband in Emergency a few years ago. It's all about understanding hospital processes, what to be aware of, when to be assertively vocal, etc. I was thinking that, because many of us here are Baby Boomers with elderly parents, it seems like an informative resource.

Re: Vicks

JudyS on 2/27/05 at 12:09 (170038)

Dorothy - when I was a kid that flannel cloth was heated up before it was laid over the Vicks-smeared chest. Boy oh boy was that heaven!

Re: Vicks

Dorothy on 2/27/05 at 14:27 (170052)

JudyS. - Yes, indeedy! Now you're talking Cure!

Re: Ed and Elliott/Helping HIlda

Dorothy on 2/27/05 at 14:35 (170054)

JudyS. - This is good advice for anyone, Baby Boomer with elderly parents or not. My father-in-law died too young and had some critical hospitalizations before. During each one, my mother-in-law who was fierce as a tiger with her loving vigilance, watched and learned and studied and supervised. She has a very sweet smile and disarming manner so she wasn't taken to be a 'problem' - but she caught a number of potentially life-ending mistakes in the works because of her vigilance. We all need an advocate, preferably a caring, informed one; unfortunately, not everyone has such a person. Good advice, JudyS.

Re: Ed and Elliott/Helping HIlda

Dorothy on 2/27/05 at 15:20 (170056)

JudyS - Here are a few more, but they don't come with the personal recommendation that your book does. I have not read even one single one of these books, but I have kept a list of them in case I ever get around to reading on this subject - and when I really NEED to read them, I won't be able or have the time!
Anyway, they SOUND good and if you read the descriptions and customer comments (for what that's worth) on, say, Amazon, they are generally positive:

What to Ask the Doctor: The Questions to Ask to Get the Answers You Need by Margaret Fitzpatrick

Hospital Handbook Get In, Get Well, Go Home by Joseph Sacco

Dr. David Sherer's Hospital Survival Guide: 100+ Ways to Make Your Hospital Stay Safe and Comfortable by David Sherer

Protect Yourself in the Hospital: Insider Tips for Avoiding Hospital Mistakes for Yourself or Someone You Love by Thomas A. Sharon

How to Survive Your Hospital Stay: The Complete Guide to Getting the Care Your Need And Avoiding Problems You Don't by Gail Van Kanegan

What Your Doctor Won't or Can't Tell You: Doctors, Hospitals, Drugs, Insurance What You Need to Know to Take Charge of Your Own Health Care by Evan Scott Levine, MD

How Not to Be My Patient: A Physicians' Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis by Edward Creagan


How to Survive Your Doctor's Care: Get the Right Diagnosis, the Right Treatment by Mary Gallin

Re: Ed and Elliott/Helping HIlda

Dorothy on 2/27/05 at 15:22 (170057)

JudyS - Here are a few more, but they don't come with the personal recommendation that your book does. I have not read even one single one of these books, but I have kept a list of them in case I ever get around to reading on this subject - and when I really NEED to read them, I won't be able or have the time!
Anyway, they SOUND good and if you read the descriptions and customer comments (for what that's worth) on, say, Amazon, they are generally positive:

What to Ask the Doctor: The Questions to Ask to Get the Answers You Need by Margaret Fitzpatrick

Hospital Handbook Get In, Get Well, Go Home by Joseph Sacco

Dr. David Sherer's Hospital Survival Guide: 100+ Ways to Make Your Hospital Stay Safe and Comfortable by David Sherer

Protect Yourself in the Hospital: Insider Tips for Avoiding Hospital Mistakes for Yourself or Someone You Love by Thomas A. Sharon

How to Survive Your Hospital Stay: The Complete Guide to Getting the Care Your Need And Avoiding Problems You Don't by Gail Van Kanegan

What Your Doctor Won't or Can't Tell You: Doctors, Hospitals, Drugs, Insurance What You Need to Know to Take Charge of Your Own Health Care by Evan Scott Levine, MD

How Not to Be My Patient: A Physicians' Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis by Edward Creagan

How to Survive Your Doctor's Care: Get the Right Diagnosis, the Right Treatment by Mary Gallin

Re: Temptation

elliott on 2/27/05 at 17:41 (170069)

Hey, this kinda feels like internet adultery. :-) OTOH, it kinda also reminds me of marriage: Fight. Make up. Repeat. :-)

Re: Ed and Elliott/Helping HIlda

Dr. Sherer on 3/03/05 at 07:49 (170341)

Dear Folks,
I heard my book mentioned in discussion and I really think it could be of help to any one of you with these health issues and concerns. Feel free to contact me with questions at (email removed). Thanks.

D. Sherer MD