Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Government Competence And The Non-Existent Death Panels

What a great sign of things to come:

A woman battling a cancer battle was dealt a surprise blow by Uncle Sam this month.

Diana Smith has gone through six months of radiation and chemotherapy -- one week out of every month. She is in remission and had a donor for a transplant; being in remission is prerequisite for the transplant.

But her hopes of receiving the transplant were dashed in March, when she says, the Social Security Administration contacted her –without her soliciting it -- and told her that her three year-old son was entitled to receive Social Security disability payments. Even though she didn't ask for it, she signed the form and received her son's first check check.

In April, Medicaid canceled her universal health care policy because her income level had risen with her son's payments – making her ineligible for the insurance program.

The problem is Jackson Memorial Hospital cannot provide the procedure because the risk is too high. The universal policy from Medicaid helps shield the hospital from liability in this kind of case. Without it, they are subject to liability issues.

Even though Smith offered to cancel her son's disability benefits, she was told it's too late.

"She's gone through six months worth of radiation and chemo, her body can't take anymore. If they don't allow her to have this transplant coming up right now next week, they're in effect signing her death warrant," said her friend Tom Noonan.

"I want to live to see my son grow up and get on with my life," Smith told CBS4's Ted Scouten.

As a result of the WFOR CBS 4 report, State Sen. Dave Aronberg is prepared to take action over the weekend. Social Security officials are also looking into the case to make the surgery happen on Tuesday as had been planned.

Hm, so let's see here.  The government came to Ms. Smith and offered her financial assistance for her son.  She took it, which bumped her into a higher tax bracket, which then invalidated her universal Medicaid health coverage.  If she doesn't get that coverage restored, it's essentially a death sentence.  When she offered to cancel her son's payments, she was told to take the pain pill and die, just as Barack Obama wants.

The upside here is that Ms. Smith will probably get things sorted out due to the national attention she's getting now.  The downside is, of course: what if it was you, and what if you didn't get this level of national attention?  Do you trust the government not to botch your health care once it's paying for everything and making all the decisions?  And speaking of decisions, remember that Medicaid is the single largest denier of insurance claims, larger than any of the eeeeevil private insurance companies.  When you stop to think about it, this situation sounds startlingly similar to the death panels that supposedly don't exist, doesn't it?  Hmmm...

All the more reason to be demanding a full repeal of DemCare as soon as possible, with nothing less as an acceptable outcome.

There's my two cents.

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