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13 Responses

  1. Kassie
    Kassie March 3, 2009 at 7:58 am | | Reply

    Welcome to snowy DC! (There’s a phrase you don’t often hear). I find it ironic that we’re talking about shifting to a chronic care model nearly 90 years after the discovery of insulin made diabetes the first survivable/chronic condition! You’d think they’d be farther along with that concept, you know? I hope you talk (SHOUT!) about making diabetes technology affordable and accessible. The cost of the technology scares me, and I have visions of most PWDs getting left behind.

  2. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson March 3, 2009 at 8:12 am | | Reply

    Good luck Amy! So right on the “health care”/”sick care” system and the big job ahead.

  3. Lee Ann Thill
    Lee Ann Thill March 3, 2009 at 8:18 am | | Reply

    Oh, wow, I *wish* I could be there! They’d get an earful and half from me about mental health care or lack thereof that I rant about on a regular basis, the diabetes educator problems that I most recently ranted about two weeks ago, and the counterproductive heels-dug-in resistance to innovative ways to deliver care and methods of treatment. It’s hard to not feel defeated on these issues when it’s been the way it has since I was diagnosed back when Jimmy Carter was President. I’m VERY anxious to hear your recap of what happened and your impressions of what it means. Looking forward to the follow-up, Amy!

  4. k2
    k2 March 3, 2009 at 8:43 am | | Reply

    Amy –
    You will make us proud!! Be sure to tell the folks on the Hill how expensive this damn disease is and the guilt associated with being diagnosed.
    Diabetes is a technology based disease and the technology is expensive, as is insulin – it’s been around since the 20′s and it’s still not available generically!
    k2

  5. Brendan
    Brendan March 3, 2009 at 8:56 am | | Reply

    As someone who is in their 20s I am appalled at the awful technology available to manage this disease. The tools the drug companies put out are not only confusing and bad, but they lock the data into their own systems.

    Good health care should strive for the best solution, not the best way to make money. The companies are focused on pure profits, and Congress and the government has not stepped in against that. As we approach 10% of our country with this disease, we desperately need to leap ahead at it’s solution, not lag behind while someone collects money from all of us.

  6. Sara My
    Sara My March 3, 2009 at 10:00 am | | Reply

    Good luck Amy! But I don’t think you need luck – you’ve got plenty of experience, information and wisdom to guide you on your way. Wish I was there – I’d have plenty to say! I’m grateful you are there.

  7. Rosalind Joffe
    Rosalind Joffe March 3, 2009 at 10:38 am | | Reply

    You’ve probably already spoken and I’m sure you were terrific. Great they got to hear from the “patient” who has also become an “Expert”. Most delighted that you’re speaking on Diabetes as needing chronic care and attention to prevention. We can only try to get the message out there and hope that some of it is heard….and implemented!

  8. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell March 3, 2009 at 5:33 pm | | Reply

    Darn, I wish I’d known about this. I’d have gone in a heartbeat.

    Anyway, Amy please speak out for all of us. We won’t see positive change and real cost savings until the US healthcare system understand the importance of prevention for chronic diseases. One day they’ll cover wellness visits at least as much as they cover outcomes (generally negative). That day can’t come soon enough.

    Anyone going to be live blogging from the conference?

  9. Kevin Walsh
    Kevin Walsh March 3, 2009 at 8:05 pm | | Reply

    Health insurance companies play a major role in our current healthcare crisis. These companies make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us face skyrocketing healthcare costs, impossible bureaucracy, and life-threatening insurance denials.

    HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY PROFITS IN 2007:

    1. UnitedHealth Group — $ 4.654 BILLION. UnitedHealth Group owns Oxford, PacifiCare, IBA, AmeriChoice, Evercare, Ovations, MAMSI and Ingenix, a healthcare data company

    2. WellPoint — $ 3.345 BILLION. Wellpoint owns BLUES across the US, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Healthy Alliance, and many others

    3. Aetna Inc. — $ 1.831 BILLION

    4. CIGNA Corp — $ 1.115 BILLION

    5. Humana Inc. — $ 834 million

    6. Coventry Health Care — $626 million. Coventry owns Altius, Carelink, Group Health Plan, HealthAmerica, OmniCare, WellPath, others

    7. Health Net — $ 194 million

    The huge insurance company profits—BILLIONS EACH YEAR—could be used to provide quality healthcare for millions of people, and to pay physicians adequately for their work.

    We need to get the insurance companies OUT of healthcare . The only solution is a NON-PROFIT SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM – and the single payer should not be an insurance company or a group of insurance companies.

    The solution? The United States National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. You can read about it here: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.insurancecompanyrules.org/learn_more/the_roster/ and http://www.pnhp.org/

  10. Kevin Walsh
    Kevin Walsh March 3, 2009 at 8:06 pm | | Reply

    WHO’S LOOKING AT THE COMPENSATION OF THE HEALTHCARE INSURANCE EXECUTIVES?

    The health insurance companies have played a major role in our current healthcare crisis. They make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us are denied care.

    ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY EXECUTIVES (2006 and 2007 figures):

    • Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834
    • H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million
    • David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million
    • Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million
    • Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529
    • Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771
    • Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million
    • Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million
    • William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits
    • Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million
    • James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million
    • Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million
    • Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million
    • Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

    This executive compensation could be used to provide quality healthcare for millions of Americans! We need to get the insurance companies and their lobbyists OUT of healthcare. NON-PROFIT, SINGLE-PAYER IS THE ONLY OPTION.

    If you want to learn more, go to:
    http://www.insurancecompanyrules.org/learn_more/the_roster/

    The solution? The United States National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. You can read about it here: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/

  11. Jenny F.
    Jenny F. March 3, 2009 at 8:08 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for looking out for us.

    Martin Luther King said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”

    Only a single-payer approach will end the inhumanity of our failed healthcare insurance system, where profits are more important than patients’ health.

    Only a single-payer approach will end the current disgraceful practice of insurance companies refusing to pay for medical treatment, denying claims, and engaging in rampant price gouging that discourages patients from going to the doctor and has resulted in 50 million Americans without healthcare.

    The solution? NON-PROFIT, UNIVERSAL, SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE. It works well in many, many countries around the world.

    HR 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act, would ensure that every American, regardless of income, employment status, or race, has access to quality, affordable health care services.

    The United States National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. You can read about it here: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/

    Ask your Representatives to co-sponsor HR676.

    Tell Senator Baucus to put Single-Payer Reform on the table: http://www.change.org/ideas/294/view_action/sen_baucus_we_need_accurate_numbers_not_creative_figuring

    HEALTHCARE SHOULD BE A RIGHT, NOT A BUSINESS.

  12. DM Nurse
    DM Nurse March 3, 2009 at 8:11 pm | | Reply

    I believe that single-payer healthcare is the only system that will help all of us to receive the healthcare we need. And now, a new study shows single-payer healthcare would be good for our failing economy!

    A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT SINGLE-PAYER REFORM WOULD BE MAJOR STIMULUS FOR THE US ECONOMY and would provide:

    ** 2.6 Million New Jobs,
    ** $317 Billion in Business Revenue,
    ** $100 Billion in Wages, and
    ** $44 Billion New Tax Revenues

    You can find out more about this study here: http://www.CalNurses.org/

    The press release is here: http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2009/january/nurses-to-congress-expanding-medicare-could-reverse-job-losses-and-repair-our-broken-healthcare-system-and-safety-net.html

  13. Lauren
    Lauren March 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm | | Reply

    Amen to the posts above. “For profit health care” is an oxymoron. How I would love for the CEOs to spend 1 day in a patient’s shoes. How many lives have been destroyed to realize those profits? That’s blood money. Why do we stand for it, as patients, as Americans, as human beings?! Why are we so cowed by these insurance giants that we accept their crimes as just another crummy fact of life?

    Taking the “for profit” companies out of the equation is the first and most fundamentally important step in repairing our terrible system.

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