Check This! @amandapalmer’s #insurancepoll

October 16, 2012 in health care costs, Health Insurance, Insurance Bills, Medical Debt

As you read this, there’s a fascinating conversation about health insurance in America and abroad taking place on Twitter and on musician Amanda Palmer’s blog. It’s an outpouring of stories about medical bankruptcy, asking a friend to stitch up a deep finger wound, skipping medications and losing loved ones who couldn’t afford needed care.

The conversation started shortly after Palmer read Nick Kristof’s column about a college buddy with stage 4 prostate cancer, cancer he didn’t catch sooner because he didn’t have health insurance.

Palmer decided to poll her 698k Twitter followers about their health insurance, She asked these four questions:

1) COUNTRY?! 2) profession? 3) insured? 4) if not, why not, if so, at what cost per month (or covered by job)?

Palmer has a couple of volunteers now tallying the results, which keep coming in (check the hashtag #insurancepoll).

Many of Palmer’s followers live in Germany, the UK or France and are baffled by the stories on Palmer’s blog about the cracks in the American health care system.

In Massachusetts, where many residents are proud of the state’s low uninsured rate, one college student points out that required school coverage is often more expensive than some of the subsidized options available to anyone who is not a student.

And, there’s the occasional mention in the stream of comments about moving to Massachusetts to get insurance coverage. I’ve often wondered how often this happens.

Anyway, keep an eye on this poll and the flood of responses that highlight, as Palmer puts it, “the power of social media and sharing stories.”

3 responses to Check This! @amandapalmer’s #insurancepoll

  1. I think this is AWESOME! Please forward results to Michael Moore! As a nurse I often thought the prevention of expensive preventable illness is better than the millions of dollars spent/lost due to undertreated cancer,heart disease,stroke,loss of vision,hearing,mobility,life etc…A dollar figure assigned to the loss of a families income,the death of a once healthy college student over 19 denied a menningococcal vaccine,insurance coverage,treatment costs (picked up by the Medicare/medicaid sector) after the private insurers have made their profits and won’t cover said chronic conditions,the lost wages of a patient,decreased standard of living for a family with a stricken parent,(or society having to raise the orphaned children after a parent dies suffering undiagnosed /undertreated/preventable CA conditions),the ensuing depression,mental illnesses and dysfuntion of said children. The list of health care’s impact on society as a whole is alot to fathom.A dollar amount fixed to the previously mentioned issues I am sure would look interesting on a graph next to the cost spent on the patient and ultimately what appropriate care would have cost.
    How about the moral or ethical issues raised by a richly profited industry that is allowed to be apathetic in causing many people emotional pain and anxiety at a time when they can least physically afford it?Nothing like someone asking your to pony up $3000.00
    for the monthly cost of a drug on a man who’s undertreatment of increased PSA and negative biopsy levels cost him kidney CA and ultimately his life.An abdominal CT would have been fun.The extra cost of this test though was not deemed cost effective.
    Just an FYI! The next scheme around the corner are lower premium costs but higher copays that keep some of my patient’s from getting prescribed medicine,or approprite care at office or ED visits.Hey I ould get into Pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufacturers/vendors etc but I’d be dead by the time I finished.

  2. Hey Lynne – I agree that that the shift to lower premiums and higher co-pays or deductibles is going to have a profound impact on health – but I wonder how anyone will measure it – beyond the stories, which you mention.

  3. Not on twitter – this needs a facebook page -

    My poll answers.
    1) US 2) Medical biller, eBusiness Intern and full time student 3) uninsured 4) I dropped my full time medical billing position to a part time position and added the part time internship, but I am not covered because neither company has part time benefits. I would be covered by school, except I am a non-traditional student. I make too much for Medicaid and too little to buy a decent plan by myself.

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