Extensions of Remarks
January 6, 2011
supplies he’s proudly showing me). He has in-surance but ‘it sucks, only covers so much,’he told me. ‘They don’t cover even the sup-plies I have here. And if you go to the hos-pital for low blood sugar, or see a specialist,it costs several hundred dollars.’ He was pre-viously under his parent’s coverage but nowhis own insurance, which ‘bad as it is,’ headded, has been further downgraded becauseof the economy. ‘But,’ he said, ‘I don’t havemuch choice unless I get another job, andthat’s not at all easy these days.’’’ Chris—Frederick, 7/23/2009‘‘Frank’s story centers around his fiance´e.She’s a breast cancer survivor. The chemo-therapy, according to Frank, ‘cured the can-cer but devastated her body. She continuesto have health problems,’ he told me. Theseinclude diabetes and psoriatic arthritis forwhich she is treated with methotrexate andEnbril injections. She had been getting hermedications through PAC (Physicians As-sistance Care of Maryland) but, as Frank ex-plained to me, ‘Only the diabetes medicinesqualified and those she got through this pro-gram were less effective than what she waspreviously taking.’ Now that she is working,she is no longer eligible for the program(which requires an income of less than $1,400a month). Her new job offers health insur-ance but, ‘the premiums are so high that if she gets the policy, there’d be no money foranything else.’ Getting health insurance,would ‘make it impossible for her to live,’Frank told me. ‘And, even with the policy,the medications would be too expensive. Ba-sically,’ Frank summarized for me, ‘withouthealthcare, she has pain and suffering, can’tget out of bed and so could lose the job.’That’s terrible, I said. ‘Oh, it could be worseI guess,’ he replied, shaking his head.’’Frank—Frederick, 7/23/2009‘‘I met Howard and Tauyna over breakfastat the Days Inn. Howard told me thatthey’ve generally been OK, but even with in-surance, ‘deductibles have been increasingand out-of-pocket expenses also going up.’But Howard wished to share a story fromtwenty years ago. ‘It actually relates towhat’s happening today,’ he told me. He wasbetween jobs, he explained, having left a po-sition with health insurance for a higher-paying job that did not, however, offerhealth benefits. Soon after, his wife had atubal pregnancy and with the hospital billshe ended up having to taking out a loan for$8,000 (‘a huge chunk of change in thosedays,’ he added). The doctor forgave his feeand he was able to negotiate a half-pricewith the anesthesiologist. ‘I sure don’t knowwhat would happen if it were today.’’’ How-ard—Frederick, 7/24/2009‘‘Brenda’s story is about her father whodied two months ago. She told her story witha mix of disbelief and quiet anger though shewas heartened to be able to share with otherswhat she felt was a true health insurancehorror story. Her late father had diabetessince 1995. His illness was complicated byneuropathy and multiple foot infections re-sulting in an amputation of one great toe.Earlier this year, his insurance company,Group Health, told him that they were drop-ping him for medical noncompliance al-though Brenda, who’s a nurse, said this waspatently a lie and they had medical proof, in-cluding doctor’s attestations, that he was incompliance. And then he had a stroke, whichwas compounded with multiple complica-tions. He came down with sepsis, had to haveanother amputation, this time below-the-knee. Though the MD said everything wasOK, the operation was, in fact, a ‘was a dis-aster,’ Brenda told me. It turned out he wasleft unattended in the hallway, coded in re-covery, had a head bleed, was given CPR, puton a ventilator and admitted to the ICU. Henever regained consciousness. He was takento a Palliative Care unit and though he wasput on a morphine drip, he survived for twomore tortuous months. All during this time,people from the hospital kept coming bytelling his already grieving wife that shewould be responsible for the bill. ‘The totalbill is $69,000 and still going up,’ she said.’’Brenda—Gaithersburg, 7/24/2009‘‘Shayla’s been newly enrolled in a PPO.Supposedly better than an HMO, she hadhigh expectations. ‘But,’ she told me, ‘I don’tunderstand why it’s so good. First, you paymore,’ she explained, ‘and second, you stillget a bill AFTER the co-pay.’ And then shetold me about the prescription plan, whichrequires you to mail away for the medica-tions and it often takes 4 to 6 weeks for de-livery. She shook her head. ‘That justdoesn’t make sense!’’’ Shayla—Gaithersburg,7/25/2009‘‘Keith is one of the founders of the ubiq-uitous Food Not Bombs organization. His or-ganization has protested around the worldand now he’s in front of the White House de-livering his message to all those gathered.His story is simple: he’s got fibromyalgia,which he says he acquired after being tor-tured by the CIA during one of his several in-carcerations for illegally delivering freefood. With his income and this sort of pre-ex-isting condition, he can never get health in-surance.’’ Keith—Washington, 7/26/2009‘‘Doris, from New York, is here in DC vis-iting. ‘No insurance, can’t afford it.’ Shesaid, ‘and doesn’t ever go to a doctor. I’motherwise lucky,’ she said, with a smile andwent off with her friends.’’ Doris—Wash-ington, 7/26/2009
CELEBRATING THE GRANDOPENING OF TERRY’S HOUSE
HON. JIM COSTA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today torecognize Community Regional Medical Cen-ter on the occasion of the grand opening ofTerry’s House, a new, state-of-the-art facility indowntown Fresno, California, which will pro-vide much needed support and housing toallow families to stay close to sick and injuredloved ones in the hospital. Located in theheart of the Fresno medical district, this new15,874 square-foot, two-story family housewith twenty guest suites will be the first hospi-tality house in the Greater Fresno Area.This residential facility is named in honor ofTerry Richards who suffered and survived aserious trauma at the age of five when he wasinjured in a car accident. For nearly fivemonths, his mother was forced to travel nearly80 miles a day to see her son while he wasrecovering in the hospital. Currently, familymembers of patients must seek accommoda-tions miles from the hospital, and many whocannot afford lodging sleep in waiting rooms,in their cars or try their best to find a spot ina busy hospital. Often, patients’ loved oneshave no alternative but to leave the hospitaland make the long drive home. Now familieshave Terry’s House, their home away fromhome, while their loved ones receive care.Terry’s House was made possible by thetireless work of Terry Richards’ brother, TomRichards, a local community developer andCEO of the Penstar Group. With the dedica-tion of Tom Richards, Leta Ciavaglia, the Ter-ry’s House Development Council, the Commu-nity Regional Medical Center Foundation andmany generous members of the community, afamily dream has become a reality.Mr. Speaker, I applaud Terry’s House andits many supporters for their efforts to createa facility which keeps families together duringtimes of need. I ask my colleagues to join mein commending Tom Richards and the com-munity members of Fresno who have workedunremittingly to make the opening of Terry’sHouse possible.
THE WALK FOR HEALTHCARE:HEALTHCARE STORIES FROM IL-LINOIS AND INDIANA COL-LECTED BY OGAN GUREL, M.D.
HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I submit thefollowing stories, collected by Dr. Ogan Gurel.
‘‘Martha finds it shameful that Americacan’t provide basic health care for its citi-zens, like any other developed country does.‘Civilized nations care for those in need,’ shesaid. She especially noted that the connec-tion of health care insurance to employmentstatus was a big problem. ‘It doesn’t makesense. If you get sick, you have a greaterchance of being unemployed.’’’ Martha—Chi-cago, 6/27/2009‘‘Addison, on the right, is Martha’s olderson. He’s a student in college who, with evi-dent pride, told me that in the past electionhe had just voted for the first time. As heembarks on study abroad in Italy this com-ing fall, he is, despite his glowing patriotism,embarrassed that health care for all, as hehas learned is the case in Italy, doesn’t existhere in America.’’ Addison—Chicago, 6/27/2009‘‘I met Ron along Martin Luther KingDrive. He was working at painting a fence.He waved his hand towards the south sidestreets beyond and said, ‘Yes, there’s manypeople here without health insurance.’ Witha serious look, he turned back towards me.‘Yes, without health care.’ He shared a storyof an old lady from the neighborhood. Shehad a change in coverage that now made ittoo expensive to get her insulin for her dia-betes. ‘It was all very fishy business,’ Rontold me. This lady, on Medicare, was in thehospital for some time. An insurance sales-man came to her hospital bed and convincedher to change her coverage (Ron couldn’t re-call the exact name but he told me it sound-ed, ‘Something like Well Care’). What hap-pened was that this ‘new’ plan didn’t coverthe old lady’s particular type of insulin so,with her ‘brand-new’ private supplementalinsurance plan in place, she ended up nowspending $129 a month, out-of-pocket, for hermedication. The insurance salesman is goneand now she’s struggling, Ron tells me, ontop of her fight to stay well, to piece to-gether her wrecked insurance and financialsituation.’’ Ron—Chicago, 6/27/2009‘‘Stopping by the Chicago Baptist Insti-tute, I met Rev. Joseph Felker, the Chair-man of that organization. A crowd was gath-ered and they were hosting an outdoorevent—a ‘Healthy Walk’ event actually. Hetold me, ‘We should have had health care forthe uninsured years ago. It is a travesty, atrue travesty, but hopefully the change weare seeing is a start.’’’ Joseph—Chicago, 6/27/2009‘‘Sitting next to Rev. Felker was Rev. Dr.Tyler. He concurred, saying that, ‘Healthcare reform is long overdue. With the wealth
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