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The state decides how much health insurance you can afford — not you

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Hightop, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Hightop

    Hightop Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Lauren and Nick Destito had a wonderful life in Plainville. They paid their bills and raised two sons in a lovely four-bedroom colonial that they were just eight years away from owning outright.

    But the economy collapsed in 2008 and soon crushed the small tree and landscaping business the couple had run since 1984.

    Now, the state of Massachusetts is grinding the Destitos into the dirt. The reason: the health insurance the Destitos bought, paid $750 monthly premiums on and repeatedly used at doctor visits apparently does not pass muster with the state’s mandatory universal health insurance law. Now the Destitos, both 50 and already on the brink of financial ruin, are facing a $3,000 state fine.

    “The stress will kill me before anything else,” Lauren Destito joked nervously yesterday just before her appeal hearing with the state’s Health Connector. She was so worried she asked her state representative, Dan Winslow, to listen in on the conference call. With hearing officer Irene Herman’s knowledge, I listened in, too.

    “I would just like to say that we did make the effort and purchased a plan,” Destito told Herman. “I don’t understand why we’re in this situation at all.”

    Because, Herman explained, the state must establish if her family could afford other, better insurance, and that affordability is determined “not, unfortunately, from your perspective but from the state agency’s view.”

    In other words, the state decides how much health insurance you can afford — not you.

    After that stunner, Herman asked Destito detailed questions about her income and expenses right down to costs of clothing, heat, food, phones. She also said the state would need documentation on her mortgage and medical bill arrears as well as what her insurance does and does not covers.

    “This is outrageous,” Winslow interjected. “Bankruptcy isn’t enough? Unemployment isn’t enough? Buying insurance isn’t enough when it’s bought from a licensed broker in Massachusetts? They should go after the broker, not the people.”

    Lauren Destito said her family’s financial reverses have been devastating.

    During bankruptcy proceedings on the tree business, which employed both her and her husband, the bank auctioned off all their heavy equipment and then tacked its remaining losses onto the couple’s mortgage, which zoomed from $2,000 to $3,200 a month. They now owe $385,000 on a home they bought for $193,000, and efforts to restructure payments were rebuffed.

    Now Lauren is back working part-time as a nurse and Nick is working as an equipment operator. The family is insured through his union. “But it’s hard to dig out when the hole is so deep,” she said, “even though my husband works six and seven days a week. It’s really very sad.”

    A decision is expected in a month on the Destitos’ fine, which stems from 2010, when unemployment forced them to find cheaper insurance. That same year taxpayers paid $35.7 million in Massachusetts to cover free emergency room visits for illegal immigrants.

    Something is very, very wrong with this picture.

    Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1374144
    1 person likes this.
  2. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

    Feb 16, 2007
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    Thank you Mitt Romney.
  3. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

    Apr 14, 2003
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    So if you have 0 dollars and no health insurance and cancer, at least you have choice, which is priceless!

    Meowgi, I choose to tell you you suck.
  4. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Feb 14, 1999
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    Unfortunately, I can't tell what it is because the article does such a poor job of explaining the fine. So, I'm left to guessing. Did they opt out of a state-program to buy their own coverage and then not buy enough to meet the minimum standard?
  5. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Poorly written article is poorly written. No details as to what is going on. All I can gather from the article is "$3,000 state fine", "mortgage problems" and "illegal immigrant Emergency Room costs". Non of which has anything to do with the state of Massachusetts telling people how much insurance they can afford.

    However, my puny brain was able to catch this much: "the Destitos’ fine, which stems from 2010, when unemployment forced them to find cheaper insurance."

    Sounds like unemployment said "Hey, you got the money to buy such-and-such insurance plan but you need unemployment? Well, we are going to need you to scale back on the insurance to recieve this unemployment benefit".
  6. da_juice

    da_juice Member

    Dec 16, 2009
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    He's rtsy. There's no doubt. Same rhetoric. Same posting style.

    Hightop, or whomever you are. Welcome to the ignore list.
  7. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

    Jun 3, 2002
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    Cat is out of the bag.
  8. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

    May 20, 2002
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    It doesn't seem to indicate if their insurance was too high or too low. It does seem like they got a not horrible deal on their other debts.
  9. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

    Dec 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Thank you, health insurance pr flack.

    You've been had, son.

    Just in case you tired of being fooled.

    Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans by Wendell Potter (Nov 9, 2010)
    Formats Buy new New from Used from
    Order in the next 18 hours to get it by Monday, Oct 31.
    $26.00 $10.40 $9.51 $5.75
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  10. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

    Aug 26, 2000
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    More reason for universal healthcare instead of romneycare or obamacare. Both of them are stupid laws which will make people hate government mandated insurance. The biggest problem is costs which not of these bills will help curb.

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