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Re:RE: Thank You for your kind thoughts - Reply to Rich Lewis

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Rich Lewis wrote:
You all are taking the opportunity of people's kindness and thoughtfulness
and turning it into a political battle.  You have now even expanded it to
Tom Delay.  This is just as bad as Bill P making some of his statements that
you hate.

Why couldn't you accept people's kindness and leave it at that?  Most of us
don't want to fight you while you're down.  If you're angry, go write the
NYT editorials.

I do wish you good health, both of you, regardless of your beliefs.

Rich Lewis

I think you should read my e-mail once more. I never turned this into a political issue nor did I mention anything that had to do with Tom DeLay. If I were to express my political opinions, on this (and I have) I did so on the Desert Sun Newspaper and intend to do so on my own personal Blog - but nowhere on the SEAINT list have I attempted to turn this into a political issue.

Serious health care problems in this country is a fact and is not intended to be put into the political areana. My point was to indicated that not every nurse or CNA operates at 100% productivity. In fact, at night it is easier for a nurse to sedate a patient when they should be helping the patient to get out of bed and begin walking. This is done by the day after surgery and it does not matter whether it was my problem or my friend who just had a Kidney Transplant - he too was made to get up and on his feet as it helps prevent Pneumonia and aids in the recovery to get the patient ambulatory and finally out of the hospital to home care. 

For the record, there was a mix up when we went into the emergency room and my wifes insurance policy was classified as not having been renewed in January (an error we proved by the receipts on her pay stubs for her portion of the premium that includes my granddaughter and myself). When this happened we were informed that I would not be admitted unless I agreed to pay the hospital $5,000.00 per day for care. This set my wife into tears as she finally hit the end of her rope.

The insurance was finally verified as a computer error and we were only liable for less than $400.00 of the bill that was over $80,000.00 for five days and surgery. 

If you have never experienced a catastrophic ailment then I would not expect you to understand the importance of being protected. However, there are many bout there with existing conditions that would not be covered if one of the spouses carried a health care plan (even an HMO) that was issued through a group policy. There is no denial of service (I thought this was a computer virus) if your policy is issued through work - however, both my wife and I went for years without insurance because of her back and my Crohn's disease. When I attempted to fix the Crohn's problem by a new treatment used for Crohn's and Rheumatoid Arthritis (both diseases elevate the immune system so that injuries will not heal as the body fights infection and the healing process by keeping the surgical areas inflamed. In my case I spent a year on Infusion treatments with Remicade every other week for eight weeks and then a double dose every eight weeks for a year with the addition of a cancer drug call
ed Methatrixate (spelling). The infusion takes two hours and is done in an infusion center at a cost of over $6,000.00 per treatment. Including the doctor and treatments, the first year exceed $56,000.00 - the reason my wife went back to work as a nurse.

The Remicade treatment did not help me, but it caused a number of problems. Because of the high risk to lung ailments I was admitted last year to the hospital in February after a flair up with Crohn's disease that left me dehydrated and sick. I picked up a Staph infection in the Hospital and it took nearly a year to clear it up. The medication; Zyvox is given twice a day for one week - 14 pills and the price is #1,800.00 for these 14 pills. The oral meds are a bit stronger than the infusion and the doctors are more likely to issue the oral meds over an infusion treatment twice a day for a week (which can not be done at home). 

I was hospitalized again in September while visiting family in Chicago and spent another week in the hospital in Libertyville Illinois where my step-daughter is nursing supervisor in Labor and Delivery - so she was able to get me into the new wing of the hospital. This time it was for what is called wandering cellulites that was close to my other problem area and the doctors wanted to be sure it was not related to the Crohn's disease. It turns out that it the Staph infection was back and when I returned to California I had to go back on the Zyvox for another week - another $1800.00. In each case, my Copay was over $350.00.

in 2002 I needed medical attention and did not have insurance at the time. After doing my taxes, the medications I was on for the first year exceeded $22,000.00. This included a medication called Nurontin which led to my involvement in a class action suite against Pfizer who was illegally promoting non-labeled uses of the medication intended for Epileptics but which also helped other medications work more efficiently in the body. While there were three companies waiting to release a generic, I was spending over $700.00 a month on Nurontin alone. 

Rich, I am sorry to make this so long, but my point should be clear. Most people who don't earn what we do and who have problem keeping jobs or work for employers who attempt to tighten their profit margins by reducing the benefit plans. Not only are we paying a premium for our family (which is still worth working for) the family pays for all of the costs not covered in the policy and the government will not allow a tax deduction until the cost exceeds 7-1/2% of your Adjusted gross income. 

This is not a political issue - it is morality issue and of all the people who've I've expressed this to, I would have through that you would have empathized with the problem. I had three experiences and when a Physician's Assistant in the hospital told my daughter and wife that there was no need to have my granddaughters Abscess attended to by a surgeon. So she let the PA go to work and later after seeing he Pediatrician chastised the PA's work since Lauren needed Antibiotics and wound care. Her surgery was done a second time by a surgeon who also criticized the work of the PA at the other hospital (there is no competition as both hsoptials are run by Tenet - who owns JFK but manages Desert Regional in Palm Springs.

I don't understand where you think I am angry - I am concerned. A competent nurse is running from patient to patient and working a 12 hour shift. A nurse who is less than competent will generally sedate the patient and hope that they fall asleep for the night. 

I live in a state where, if you consider this political, the governor of the state is attempting to improve the cash flow of the hospitals and compensate for the high cost of medication by increasing the patient load - and in my opinion, asking for trouble. What the public does not understand is that the nursing staff and doctors will make mistakes. In most case the death is not reported as a mistake but complications are at fault.

This and my last e-mail were intended to alert our professional community - most of who are working for larger companies and have benefits (which are being dwindled down), a spouse who works for medical care, or in the case of those who can not afford to buy a policy is directed to Medicate - a welfare that we all pay for.

Don't wait for a loved one to become ill for you and others to wake up. I meant what I did say - health care is not a privledge in the country it is a moral and ethical responsibility of the society that we created for our care. The government is each of us - yes there are representatives and a commander in chief, but the fact remains - they work for us and the problems we have are the responsibility of those we put in office to make sure we retain. In my mind, there is no question that each person in this country should be kept healthy and that in the end we pay for whatever plan we choose - the point is to fix the problem rather than trying to maximize the profits. 


Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant


760.564.0884 (office - fax)

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