Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Heath Care Time

**I was surprised by the outrage expressed at my recent experience with Reliance Standard Disability “Insurance” Co.

I am also happy to hear I am not alone. I would certainly be willing to share my story anywhere; however, I am unable right now. I will write more about my experience with these companies soon. This is not the first time, but I was too sick, too tired, and too embarrassed to talk and ask for help.**

To Andyson: send me an email about Thursday. I lost yours.

Please Be Aware This was Written several weeks ago.

It’s Health care time.

Health care, everywhere, that’s all I have been seeing, in the news and on tv.

I knew this time would come.

I had been waiting for it.

The country was poised to understand the implications of our archaic failing system even if the governmental hand had been forced by a catastrophic financial depression scraping off the façade of American prosperity to reveal the true picture of how Americans suffer and struggle for basic needs.

We are the land of the free, but how free are we if we can’t meet our needs?

The statue of Liberty says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
 The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
 Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
 I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

We, as a country, have experienced a significant transgression from this mantra in the years since receiving Lady Liberty as a good will gift. Our strongest statement of foreign policy has long been forgotten.

Maybe, somewhere, in small print on Ellis Island, it states, “if you have the financial means.”

I read a title to an article on yesterday asking, “Is capitalism making a comeback?”

I didn’t even waste my time clicking the link.

I think capitalism, whether we like it or not, is getting a full-blown cultural overhaul. This is not an overhaul taking place in meetings and being set by agendas with policymakers, this is a social change, decided by the people, who due to personal misfortunes realized capitalism is not working completely.

Just like the world’s tectonic plates shift and readjust to meet our planet’s needs, humanity, as a whole, is doing the same thing. We are readjusting based on needs. We are “yearning to breathe free.”

Now that the scab covering the deep festering wound of health care in America has been picked off and exposed, I can’t pick up a paper without seeing several articles on policy reform.

Horror stories are also popping up.

In Sunday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times, David Lazarus writes about a LA resident who, despite being a pillar of health at 44 years old with no more problems than a low thyroid level, received a letter from Blue Shield California saying her monthly insurance premium was going up by 54% on July 1.

WHOA! Could you imagine getting that letter?

The letter states, “Rates are changing due to rising costs across the health care industry.

Well, costs are also rising to maintain our standard of living.

Thankfully food prices have gone down to alleviate some of the pressure from American’s investments that have tanked in the past year, but what is to come for Americans?

Rapid rates of inflation will come, but they are all ready being seen in the insurance industry and health care sector.

Could you afford a 54% increase in your insurance plan? Could you afford that if you had recently become sick, lost your job, and planned to receive tens of thousands of dollars in healthcare?

Local insurance brokers, according to The LA Times article, say Blue Cross Blue Shields increases this year are from 8-28%.

I can only be left to assume that this is to keep their hefty prophet margin, especially if they are instituting these rate hikes on healthy individuals.

Despite health care reform making news and an aggressive, possibly overly optimistic, timeline to have the health care system overhauled and a historical bill on Obama’s desk in the fall, American’s are feeling the squeeze in a very big way by the industries with their hands in our health.

America has taken a swipe at raising revenue by increasing the cigarette tax; however, in watching local politics, the politics of my native NH there is a significant budget gap.

In yesterday’s Eagle Times Sen. Bob Odell himself reported a budget funding gap in our state of NH.

A bill to ad electronic gambling to an all ready existing horse track in NH to gain revenue for this funding gap has been rejected due to fears the placement of a few machines in a select location where gambling all ready takes place will turn the whole state into Las Vegas.

People must have visions of vagrants and mob wars dancing in their heads in dear old NH.

In reality, if we were to gaze back to the past, this is the same argument that was made twenty years ago when NH began looking into the lottery as a possible means of added revenue.

A fundamental reason for knowing history is to learn from our mistakes, and from our successes, and proceed accordingly.

I feel fairly comfortable stating the lottery has not lowered the quality of life in NH.

The beauty of adding these programs, such as gambling, to create revenue is that they are being made available and convenient for those who all ready qualify to use them in specific locations.

The structure of the bill does not allow for slot machines to pop up on every street corner. It allows gambling at an existing horse track.

I look forward to seeing the bill proposed again next year.

What really disturbs me regarding this existing funding gap exists in NH is the primary area of budget cut funding will take place in reimbursements towards Dartmouth Medical Medical Center and Boston Childrens Hospital.


You are cutting the sick to the tune of millions?!

When you cut to the bottom line from institutions that provide health care, those getting hurt are not entirely the hospitals and staff, it is the patients.

The quality of our care is being compromised by a budget squeeze that had a possible remedy.

I see debt being shifted from our government onto our hospitals.

I am seeing visions of inability to access care dancing in my head.

There is all ready a huge discrepancy between what medicare/Medicaid reimburses and the actual cost to effectively treat a patient.

I spoke regarding this issue in front of Sen.

Boston Children’s Hospital has all ready enforced tight restrictions on accepting NH Medicaid payments due to lack of reimbursements. Children’s simply can not afford to care for our children if they only receive “Healthy Kids.” The choice needed to be made between bankrupting a fine institution that serves the entire north east region or enforcing strict guidelines to ensure the financial survival and quality of care children’s is known for.

Here is a factoid that makes the proposed cuts to area hospitals all the more frustrating: Dartmouth College, which resides in my lovely state of NH, is currently researching the best ways to provide quality effective care in its nationally renowned Atlas Project (

This nationwide study is researching health care issues in hopes of finding the best practices to enforce cost-effective quality care.

Though NH has these great minds in our midst, it seems we can not or will not access the data we have at our fingertips to improve the infrastructure we all ready have.

The NorthEast Region, and NH, possess has everything necessary, specifically the health care infrastructure, the ongoing research, and the patients to arise as a leader among the United States in the health care reform.

It’s time to get started in a big way.

No comments: