Category: Health Care

‘Punished for Living Too Long,’ Paralyzed High School Football Player Dies at 27

Rocky Clark in his home in Robbins in 2010.

Rocky Clark in his home in Robbins in 2010.

The sad news comes from the Chicago Tribune: “Rasul “Rocky” Clark, who was paralyzed while playing football for Blue Island’s Eisenhower High School in 2000 and later fought an unsuccessful battle to keep his health insurance, died Thursday after undergoing surgery at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, a hospital spokeswoman said.”

More from the Trib:

He was a 16-year-old backup running back on Sept. 15, 2000, when Eisenhower’s starting running back separated his shoulder in a game at Oak Forest High School. Mr. Clark went into the game. Four plays later, he was tackled and suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and a spinal injury.

Left a quadriplegic, Mr. Clark for 10 years received top-notch health care through the catastrophic medical insurance provided by Community High School District 218. That included nurses in his home around the clock, access to pain medicines and prescriptions and a storeroom of supplies.

But in August 2010, Clark was informed the $5 million health insurance had reached its maximum and would no longer cover his medical needs. Officials with Clark’s insurance agency, Health Special Risk Inc., previously declined to discuss his case or their policies on claims and lifetime maximums with the Tribune.

At the time his policy ended, Clark said he felt he was being punished for living too long. Many quadriplegics die within 10 years after their injury because of lung or kidney failure. But Clark was able to thrive, in part because of the meticulous health care he received, his physician and family members said.

Punished for living too long.

Read the whole story here.

From Liberal Values: To Hell With Facts–Rick Santorum Wants To Keep Science Out Of Politics

From Liberal Values by our good friend Ron Chusid:

Conservatives have developed their own “news” sources such as Fox and right wing talk radio to protect them from hearing actual facts about the outside world. When the wish to hide the fact that they are promoting views which directly contradict the views of the Founding Fathers on subjects such as separation of church and state, they promote their own revisionist history. They ignore sound economic principles to promote their brand of Voodoo Economics, regardless of how often their economic view fail in the real world. Conservatives especially concentrate on rejecting science when the facts contradict their views, including on creationism, denying geology and cosmology when it contradicts their views on the creation of the earth and the universe, and denying climate change.

I’ve had numerous discussions with conservatives who have openly rejected science, believing scientific evidence can be ignored when it contradicts their religious beliefs, but political leaders are rarely as open in their contempt for science. Rick Santorum is an exception in his open hostility towards science. He opposes keeping religion out of government, but does want to keep science out. According to the Des Moines Register, while discussing controversial subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum suggested that “science should get out of politics.”

Read the entire post here.

New Look for Turning Left

I’ve always thought of Turning Left as a dark place screaming to the light.

For what it’s worth.

Haven’t posted in a while.  With the 2012 presidential election heating up, it’s time to get back into action.

With that comes a new look with some of our old colors from our previous look.

Heading to 2012, my friends. Let’s get to work.

The Weird Right is stranger than ever.

Poll: Growing Number of Americans Oppose Repealing Health Insurance Reform Law

A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll asks a random sample of 855 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone May 6-9, 2010, whether any parts of the health insurance reform law should be repealed. Results show that a plurality of Americans said they would prefer Republicans to leave the new healthcare law alone and not repeal any parts of it.

As you may know, many Republicans have vowed to repeal President Obama’s health-care-reform law. Which part, if any, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THEM GET RID OF?

Requiring all Americans to buy health insurance 30% 45% 13% 32%
Stopping insurance companies from denying coverage 8 6 6 11
Letting children stay
insured until age 26
8 10 8 7
Expanding prescription
coverage for seniors
2 3 1 1
None; I’d keep them all 42 18 68 38

Tip of the hat to The Wonk Room at Think Progress for this.

Video: Fox News Cuts Away From Obama Bill Signing To Cover Plane That ‘Had No Problem Landing’

From our friends at Media Matters.

Honestly, this sounds like a headline out of The Onion.

Health Insurance Industry Agrees To Fix Kids Coverage Gap

The threat from the health insurance industry came Monday on an apparent loophole which apparently gave insurers wiggle room to deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions.

From the Associated Press:

The fine print of the law appears to have been less than completely clear on whether kids with health problems are guaranteed coverage starting this year. If there’s a problem, some parents and their children may have to wait a long time: The legislation’s broad ban on denying coverage to any person on account of a health condition doesn’t take effect until 2014.

The sticking point is that the immediate benefit for children may not be as sweeping as Obama has claimed in extolling the legislation.

That’s because the law can also be read to mean that if an insurance company accepts a particular child, it cannot write a policy for a child that excludes coverage for a given condition. For example, if the child has asthma, the insurer cannot exclude inhalers and respiratory care from coverage, as sometimes happens now.

But the company could still turn down the child altogether.

Now, that will not happen. Again from the AP:

The insurance industry says it won’t fight President Barack Obama over fixing a coverage gap for kids in the new health care law.

In a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the industry’s top lobbyist says insurers will accept new regulations to dispel uncertainty over a much publicized guarantee that children with pre-existing medical problems can get coverage starting this year.

The president of America’s Health Insurance Plans said the industry will "fully comply" with the regulations, expected within weeks.

Onward to what’s next…

Obama: The Big ‘Effing’ Deal

the big effing deal

I love this.

From a friend at Facebook.

It’s A Great Week For Obama, Everybody! Health Care And Arms Pact Breakthrough

In addition to landmark healthcare legislation passed Sunday and signed into law yesterday, President Obama has succeeded in breaking a logjam in arms control negotiations, the New York Times reports, leading to a significant reduction in deployed strategic weapons.

All of this happened while you were paying attention to the healthcare debate. Amazing that we have a president who can do more than one thing at a time.

From the New York Times:

The United States and Russia have broken a logjam in arms control negotiations and expect to sign a treaty next month to slash their nuclear arsenals to the lowest levels in half a century, officials in both nations said Wednesday.

After months of deadlock and delay, the two sides have agreed to lower the limit on deployed strategic warheads by more than one-quarter and launchers by half, the officials said. The treaty will impose a new inspection regime to replace one that lapsed in December, but will not restrict American plans for missile defense based in Europe.

President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia plan to talk Friday to complete the agreement, but officials said they were optimistic that the deal was nearly done. The two sides have begun preparing for a signing ceremony in Prague on April 8, timing it to mark the anniversary of Mr. Obama’s speech in the Czech capital outlining his vision for eventually ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

The new treaty represents perhaps the most concrete foreign policy achievement for Mr. Obama since he took office 14 months ago and the most significant result of his effort to “reset” the troubled relationship with Russia. The administration wants to use it to build momentum for an international nuclear summit meeting in Washington just days after the signing ceremony and a more ambitious round of arms cuts later in his term.

Very cool.

Relax, Mom: House Approves Landmark Bill to Extend Health Care to Millions (Video and Text)

Yes, I cried a bit. Now my Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about losing their health insurance and not getting another policy because of pre-existing conditions. That’s what I thought of first.

From the New York Times:

Congress gave final approval on Sunday to legislation that would provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines proposed by President Obama.

By a vote of 219 to 212, the House passed the bill after a day of tumultuous debate that echoed the epic struggle of the last year. The action sent the bill to President Obama, whose crusade for such legislation has been a hallmark of his presidency.

Democrats hailed the vote as historic, comparable to the establishment of Medicare and Social Security and a long overdue step forward in social justice. “This is the civil rights act of the 21st century,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote, with Republicans unanimous in opposition.

Congressional officials said they expected Obama to sign the bill as early as Tuesday.

A second measure — making changes in the first — was lined up for passage later in the evening. That measure would go to the Senate, where Democratic leaders said they had the votes to pass it.

Crowds of protesters outside the Capitol shouted "just vote no" in a futile attempt to stop the historic vote taking place inside a House packed with lawmakers and ringed with spectators in the galleries above.

Across hours of debate, House Democrats predicted the central bill, costing $940 billion over a decade, would rank with other great social legislation of recent decades.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Delivering a hard-fought victory in President Barack Obama’s year-long pursuit of a national healthcare overhaul, a divided House tonight narrowly voted to approve a Senate-passed healthcare bill which both supporters and opponents call historic in its sweep.

The 219-212 vote will deliver to the president’s desk an initiative for which he has fought on Capitol Hill and campaigned across the country: A healthcare bill that he finally can sign.

This was the first step of a two-part drama unfolding in the House this evening, with another late vote expected soon on a package that reconciles differences between this Senate-passed and now House-approved bill and another measure which the House approved in November.

Together, the two bills would present the president with a long-sought triumph for the signature domestic agenda of his presidency, a bid to offer health insurance to an estimated 32 million Americans who are uninsured and improve the coverage of those with insurance.

The second measure, also expected to pass the House tonight, will have to go to the Senate, where leaders hope to approve it by a simple majority vote under a process of "budget reconciliation.” Any changes made in the Senate, however, will return that legislation to the House before the president can sign the second bill.

"I know this bill is complicated, but it’s also very simple,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) during the final debate. "Illness and infirmity are universal, but we are stronger against them together than we are alone…. In that shared strength is our nation’s strength.”

"Tonight, we will make history for our country and progress for the American people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in the leadership’s closing argument. Crediting Obama for his "unwavering commitment to healthcare for all Americans,” the speaker said "this legislation… if I had one word to describe it tonight, it would be opportunity.”

Boehner is Half Right: Health Care Is NOT An Entitlement … For The Rich


Representatives Boehner (R) and Hoyer (D) were on Meet the Press this morning with David Gregory. Boehner said, once again, health care is not an entitlement.

He’s half right. At last I can agree with him in part.

Health care is not an endtitlement for the rich, and right now that’s all health care is in the United States of America: an entitlement for the rich.

Health care is a fundamental right. Where is the pro-life movement on this crucial life issue?