Letters to the Editor

A poor fit

January 11, 2012


To the editor:

Governor Brownback’s initiative on managed care is causing concern in the disability community not so much because there is a fear that actual medical care may be managed in a different way — theoretically a more coordinated, wellness promoting way — but that the state’s request for proposals (seeking to turn over $2.8 billion in taxpayer dollars to a lucky three major insurance carriers, several of which are lined up on our Kansas borders like birds in a Hitchcock movie) presumes to include activities of daily living under the purview of the insurance companies.

As typical non-disabled users of the medical system, we go to the doctor when we are sick or to screen for stuff that might make us sick in the future. Under the governor’s plan, individuals with disabilities will have a for-profit medical insurance company “managing” every aspect of their daily life. In the disability services community we promote a functional self-determined model, not a medical model. The emphasis is on enhancing quality of life through promoting interpersonal relationships, autonomy, self-determination and enriching life experiences.

I can tell you that there are no insurance companies that have any clue what this nonmedical orientation to disability services looks like. It is ludicrous to include day and residential disability services in the governor’s managed care proposal.


mloburgio 6 years, 5 months ago

Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

That has absolutely nothing to do with the "developmentally disabled" that Cottonwood serves.

ems1013 6 years, 5 months ago

Really?! That's what you're going to connect people with developmental disabilities to?! Yes, what that person did was reprehensible. But that in NO WAY equates to the care and supports that individuals with developmental disabilities require to simply live a regular life.

Grow up!

BusseS 6 years, 5 months ago

It's pretty scary that Kansas legislators are enthusiastically turning the care of our most vulnerable citizens over to these vultures.

Wendell Potter is a former Cigna VP and is now coming out to expose and oppose the unethical policies of insurance companies that are counter-productive to good health care and designed to line pockets.

See him speak tonight at the Kansas City Public Library: http://www.kclibrary.org/event/wendell-potter-deadly-spin

KansasPerson 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry to break it to you, but you're still going to be "paying" -- it's just that this huge amount of money that you (and everyone else) has paid via their taxes is going to be handed off to some out-of-state, profit-driven company to manage. At least if I'm reading it correctly.

Oldsoul 6 years, 5 months ago

I do not condone the twisted treatment of human beings that happens in KS. This place is way behind the curve, and to my mind the true disabled are the obviously less than sharp people who train up their kids to participate in aggressive street harassment against those perceived to have physical limitations. Treating people like they are disabled is illegal , but when a whole culture behaves this way as a matter of upbringing, you really need to get the Americans with Disability Education people in here for some mass training. It's very unpleasant and makes dealing with the public an ordeal when one knows the chances of having his boundaries violated and being insulted during every shopping errand run close to %100.

Assuming that someone with even a minor a physical limitation is so needy they will welcome a backwoods dummy right off the street to approach them and commandeer their person and belongings is unhealthy and creates a hostile public space. It makes people feel unsafe. Let's take our camera phones out and start sending pictures of these criminals to law enforcement. It illustrates the kiss-to-kill, self-serving form of offensive and patronizing charity to tee. It's nothing less than an aggressive form of discrimination and bigotry. It forms a concrete example of the medical model gone wrong the letter writer is critiquing. It amounts to viewing and treating people as physical objects--in terms of a perceived flaw even if they have the highest intelligence scores of their entering graduate school class and are way more sensitive and aware than the hick with a fat ego who deludes themselves they can actually help a stranger. In the great state of KS such otherwise capable people become fodder to be abused and trashed.

Dummy Kansans use their twisted definition of "helping" as a crude form of status-seeking. Helping people means treating them like anyone else and equally--supporting their ability to develop their potential. May the many anonymous haters who have harassed me in Lawrence and especially the incompetent and dishonest KU officials who brutalized me and abused their police power simply for wanting them to follow due process and civil right laws fry in their own stinkingly bad karma juices.

KansasPerson 6 years, 5 months ago

Dear OldSoul, or socialintelligencecounts, or goodcountrypeople, or equalaccessprivacy, or however many names you have on here:

I feel bad for you. I don't know if you've had just one terrible encounter with a stranger (or someone at KU) or a lifetime of terrible encounters, but it appears to have marked you for the rest of your life.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Brownback and corporate welfare are in bed together always 24/7. We all know the most reliable source of fraud is private industry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies."

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

"The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable -- publicly accountable -- health-care option," said Wendell Potter, who until early last year was vice president for corporate communications at the big insurer Cigna.

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Here is the logical reform:

Improved Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All is one substantial part of the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you choose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.


Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

Bring out your dead (horses)! Bring out your dead (horses)!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

When too damn many politicians constantly badger we taxpayers with the word reform we best grab our wallets. More often than not reform means to them funneling more of our tax dollars to private industry..... the ones that finance their political campaigns.

We might be surprised what names have been investing in health insurance and health care.


Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

My, what uncivil language I'm seeing on this award-winning website!

goodcountrypeople 6 years, 5 months ago

To think that a country bumpkin could be of use to the complete strangers they aggressively approach and terrorize on the sidewalks of Lawrence, Topeka, and elsewhere in this backward state is to pretend ants can understand eagles. Definitions of "help," are way dumb here too. Opening a door hardly counts as a form of assistance, and since you often cause distress instead of eliciting gratitude when you do so, it would decent to stop.

One definition of good manners involves taking care not to cause distress for others. Chivalry is sexist and demeaning and asserts a relationship of inequality. It also involves standing way too close to strangers unless you happen to be going through the same door and that is the best way to avoid stampeding someone. It's a patronizing act you should not aggressively impose on strangers. It reeks of Southern political incorrectness.The first rule of helping involves not doing harm, but Kansans are mostly too thick and lacking in good judgment and insight to meet that bar.

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