RUSH: Jean in Brookfield, New York, hi, and welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It is an honor. My mother turned me on to listening to you… Oh, gosh, it’s gotta be at least 15-plus years ago. Anyway, the comment I’m calling about is, I’m a retired disabled federal employee. Now I still have health care through my employer which was the United States government. I pay nearly… Well, all but 27 bucks of my retirement goes to my health care. So it’s very, very costly. It’s a very good plan or at least it always has been.
RUSH: Is it $27 a month?
CALLER: Oh, God, no! It’s five hundred-and-something a month.
RUSH: Oh, you said ‘all but $27.’
CALLER: All but $27.
RUSH: Oh, okay.
CALLER: Because when you’re retired government, you have to apply for Social Security so that the one agency can take 80% of the other’s money and vice-versa until you reach a real age of retirement.
CALLER: Otherwise it’s called ‘double dipping,’ even though it’s not double dipping when you pay into it. So, anyway (chuckles), I always had excellent health care, and I still have that same plan and I pay through the nose dearly for it. But I have noticed lately — especially since the economy went south, obviously — insurance companies are out it make a profit. Their profit lately hasn’t been the greatest because, just like everybody else’s bank account, it’s gone down with their investments. So lately I have noticed that one particular item of mine, which is very costly, has been being denied. Even though for umpteen years it’s been medically necessary to get this item, CDPHP out of Albany, New York, seems to deem that, ‘Oops, it was a mistake. You don’t get that,’ and I have noticed that the reason that… This is my guess, anyway.
RUSH: Wait a second. I’m confused here. You’re going to have to help me out in understanding something.
RUSH: You worked for the federal government?
RUSH: You had a health care plan through the federal government?
RUSH: Through a private insurer?
CALLER: Yes. You get to have your choice. When you’re a government worker, you get to have your choice of whom you’d like.
RUSH: Okay, but this is a private insurer that’s providing insurance for other government workers in a pool and you’re one of them?
RUSH: Interesting. And so now essentially your health care is being rationed, for whatever reason —
RUSH: — the economy south, whatever. Your health care is now being rationed.
CALLER: That’s my guess is the economy.
CALLER: Because they’re out to make a profit, and the main comment here is —
RUSH: Well, now, wait, wait, wait. Wait just a second, now.
RUSH: When you say, ‘They’re out to make a profit,’ you say this with a huge negative connotation to it.
CALLER: No. I have no problem with businesses making profits. However, my main point would be, if people now who have a very good health plan coverages (sic) are being denied is that you have to go through appeal after appeal after appeal — if we’re having problems with good insurances trying to get things that they’ve always covered before — what the heck do people think it’s going to be like what the government is trying to hold onto it?
RUSH: (laughing) Well…
CALLER: I can tell you right now, there won’t be just the people that have insurance now that are getting disapproved for items currently.
RUSH: Now, you say you’re disabled?
CALLER: Yes, I am. I got hit by a truck.
RUSH: You got hit by a truck.
RUSH: A government truck?
CALLER: No, I was on my way to work but I was in my own vehicle. A truck put its rear bumper up into my car up to the back of my head.
RUSH: Oh, whoa.
RUSH: Whoa! It gave you an enema.
CALLER: Yeah, literally. (giggling) So I therefore was broken for the government. But, anyway, everything works out for a reason. I now have metastatic cancer, so I wouldn’t have been able to work now anyway so what the heck? But the main thing here is —
RUSH: Wait a second! Wait. Are they treating the metastatic cancer?
CALLER: That, but they don’t want… I have lymphedema from before, and the garments — they say — are just a support stocking (laughs) and you don’t get to have that, even though for years —
RUSH: All right, now, look, the disability is one thing.
RUSH: But you got two conditions here.
CALLER: Oh, I have multiple, yes.
RUSH: All right. Well, you got two big things. You’ve got metastatic cancer and you’ve got this disability. Now, in my opinion, these circumstances are precisely what health insurance is for.
RUSH: It’s not for people to go to the doctor every other day with they think they have a cold or a cough.
RUSH: So somebody is deciding somewhere that you’re not worth it for whatever reason.
CALLER: Right even though for however many years —
RUSH: I hate to put it that way to you, Jean.
RUSH: For whatever reason — you think it’s profit or whatever but — somebody is determining that you’re not worth it, and I’m betting you it’s the cancer that you’ve got.
CALLER: But they said, ‘If you’re a breast cancer patient, lymphedema of your arms, the garments for that would be covered.’ Mine happen to be up my legs.
RUSH: This is —
CALLER: They’re too expensive. They used to cover ’em but now they say, ‘Oops, that was a mistake.’
RUSH: This may be private insurance.
CALLER: I’m just trying to say.
RUSH: Wait a second. Is this Medicaid- or Medicare-related at all?
CALLER: No, no. Not at all. I do have Medicare through Soc’Security, but only part A, only when I’m in the hospital does that become primary. I have —
RUSH: This is absurd. This whole circumstance that you’re facing is absurd, and you’re right: it’s only going to get worse.
CALLER: It’s going to get worse. It’s going to get worse, because —
RUSH: And you know why this is? The reason that this is absurd, because it’s gotten so out of whack you can’t afford it yourself.
CALLER: Correct. It’s $6,000 for the garment at night.
RUSH: So now you’re dependent on all these other people. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
CALLER: Yep. You better believe it. And my stepfather was on the last boat to this country with the communists seven miles behind him, and when I was a little girl I used to listen to him tell stories, ‘You always watch if your government ever does this or that,’ and I used to roll my eyes thinking, ‘Oh, here we go again.’ And let me tell you, I was talking to him Sunday on Father’s Day, I was talking to him on the phone he said, ‘Jeanie, baby, I never thought in all my life that I would see or live to see what is happening to this country — and it’s not so much that it’s going towards socialism, it’s at the speed of which things have changed and are changing in this country.’
RUSH: Amen to that. Amen. It takes sometimes an outsider to see that. Well, God bless you, Jean. I… (sigh) I wish you all the best. But I’m glad you called and shared that with us. That’s a pretty good lesson.