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PLease Call Your Senator and ask that they extend debate on this unfair bankruptsy bill. (202) 224-3121

90% of American bankruptcies are the result of personal crises: medical emergencies, job loss, divorce, or deaths of family members. What can the Bush administration do to ease these people’s pain? Take their money and give it to credit card companies.

The more America learns about this bill, the more it will become a political liability for the bill's suporters. When the facts are on the table on this bill, the difference between the core of the parties is crystel clear: the party of special interests, and the party of the people. That’s why it’s crucial that the Senate not cut off debate tomorrow by invoking cloture. Call your member of Congress and insist that the debate be allowed to continue. Dial (202) 224-3121 to reach the Senate Switchboard, ask for your Senators’ offices, and leave a clear message: “Do not cut off debate on the bankruptcy bill.â€

This is a big one to keep an eye on.


http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/bankruptcy/


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The credit card companies have poured alot of money into politicians on both sides of the aisle on this issue. The banks like collecting 18-28% interest on the money they let you use on credit card purchases, and pay you .3% on the money you have in your savings account.
 

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You are right, it's both parties...
 

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The reason you pay 18% is BECAUSE of the people who don't pay their bills. The bill simply makes it difficult for people to file chapter 7 (the "screw you, I'm not paying chapter"), as opposed to chapter 13 which forces you to make some effort to pay back those who in good faith loaned you money. Isn't that the right thing to do.

As far as the .3% versus 18%, you get .3% because you are taking on no risk. For those with 18% loans/credit cards...it is because your credit sucks and you don't pay your bills as agreed.
 

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Unfortunately, it also penalizes those who are not covered by medical insurance. That's the kind of debtor I see most often. I spoke to one lady today whose hospital bill alone was over $54,000.

In former times, doctors and hospitals allowed you to make reasonable payments over a long period of time. Now, they quickly turn you over to a collection agency, which repeatedly calls you at work and at home demanding you come up with $200-$300 per month to apply against your account. If there was only one bill, that wouldn't be so bad. However, when you now go into a hospital for treatment, you get a bill from the outfit that runs the emergencyroom, the outfit that runs the Xray services, the outfit that does the lab tests, and every doctor that looked at your chart or tests or offered a consulting opinion.

When I was in a local hospital about 12 years ago, my hospital bill for a 5 day stay was $7400. Included in the bill was a charge of $35 for a 12.5 oz. bottle of Mylox I never used, or received when discharged. I was charged $105 for about 5 ft. of plastic tubing that would have been less than $0.25 per ft. at the local plastic's outlet. My insurance carrier settled that $7400 bill with a payment of $2000.

Yes, there are credit card abusers, but the majority of people I see filing bankruptcy are doing so because of medical bills, or because one of the two incomes of a married couple was lost, while the bills, usually car and house payments continued.

I was at a seminar a year ago, where a banruptcy clerk from Toledo spoke. He indicated that NW Ohio had the highest per capita bankruptcy filing rate of any federal court district in the nation. If you live in NW Ohio, you can see the reasons for that: job loss due to businesses closing and medical bills being unpaid due to medical insurance coverage being dropped or reduced by employers because of excessive cost.

Credit abuse constitute only a small portion of the reasons for bankruptcies I see.
 

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That is absolutely false. Where you are getting your percentages and numbers is amazing to me. I have had 4 back surgeries. Medical bills totalling close to 1/4 million dollars. Guess what, I was responsible enought to have medical insurance. It was expensive, still is. But that was more important to me than a new shotgun, big screen, truck, etc. If we enacted tort reform in this country, our medical costs would not be so high. Do you have any idea what a specialist pays in malpractice insurance? If not, it is staggering. But, they have to because of low lifes trying to make a buck.

Based on your comments, you seem like you would favor a nationalized healh care system...like what Hillary and her henchmen would like to see. Before you run to the polls, I would encourage you to look at other countries whe have enacted this type of system. Then, you will be in this forum bitching about how high your taxes are.
 

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lefty makes an excellent point. if we had limits on damages awarded, you would see a big decrease in lawsuits, and a drop drop in insurance costs, and all health care costs.
 

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I don't specialize in bankruptcy's, but do about 1 every other week. My analysis comes from my observations of those with whom I deal. How many bankruptcy cases have you done over the last year to support your conclusions?

I don't support nationalized health care insurance, but something has to be done as those of us who have to pay for it, directly or indirectly, subsidize those who don't. When people who don't have insurance go the the hospital, we pay for their services. We pay for the services they receive through higher medical bills for services we receive. We pay for it through higher taxes used to pay for the government picking up a portion of those bills. We also pay for it in higher insurance premiums and higher copays for our own coverage. I would like to see everyone who has an income bear some of the cost of the services they receive, even if it is only a small part. I just don't know how that can be done fairly.
 

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My surgeon probably botched my first surgery. But, I was pain free for 5 years. Could I have gone back to sue him, maybe. But morally, it was not right thing to do. He did what he could to fix the problem. Worked for five years. Probably could have sued my other neurosurgeon. Hell, I had three with him. Guess what, it was my body that was/is giving out. They are trying to fix it. Why would I try to cut-off the hand helping me. I could be a millionaire...but, I would still have a screwed-up back. Like in any profession, professionals talk. I would not want to get "black balled" neurosurgery specialists...I'll probably need them in a couple years.
 

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dukcaller:

Malpractice insurance costs and punitive damage awards are way out of line. My brother is a cardiologist in Gainesville, FL. In 25 years of practicing medicine, he has never had a claim made against him, much less a suit filed against him. Yet, this last year his malpractice insurance premium went from $8000 a year to over $32,000 per year.

But before you blame attorneys for the outrageous awards, remember neither the attorneys, nor the judges make these awards, they come from decisions of jury's composed of people such as youself.
 

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Insurance companies don't raise costs on a whim. I'm sure your brother is a fine cardiologist, he is probably lucky he doesn't have any claims from some money hungry moron. Or, his costs would be higher.

I pay for my own insurance. I have no desire to subsidize someone who runs to the emergency room because they have a cold. And, that happens a lot. Especially in the inner-city hospitals. Enough of my tax dollars are wasted every year by mindless leftwing politicians. (By the way, I use the name Lefy because I'm left handed -- no political affiliation there)
 

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Lefty:

I pay for my own insurance as well. And, I have no desire to pay for someone else's insurance either. However, if something isn't done to control medical costs and to spread the cost of paying for them over a larger portion of the population (read those who don't pay for it now) our costs will continue to go up. Whether it's a good plan or a bad one, the nationalization of the health insurance industry is an attempt to spread those costs over a larger portion of the population than now pays for it and to control those costs.

The downside is all the other problems such a scheme will cause, and they are legion.
 

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Simple but harsh...don't pay for it, don't get it. If we go down the road of more subsidies, we become a socialist county paying 80% income tax. Does anyone want that? Put caps on jury awards! Medicaid with stricter limitations. Welfare with stricter limitations. Force people to get back on their feet. Making people dependent on government programs is the best way to make sure they don't get back on their feet. They become slaves to a federal program and come to expect and demand it.
 

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Now excuse me, I have internet porn to tend to. Ha!<img src="/images/boards/smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0" align="absmiddle">
 

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Health insurance is one of the biggest extortion scemes in the history of this country. I am young so I can afford to say that. I look at my uncle who sells polocies. He makes money hand over fist. For what? That one time you need it. Then your premiums shoot through the roof. Leeches. Worse than attorneys.
The medical profession is just as much to blame. The hospital charges them $10,000 and the insurance says we'll pay $3,000. WTF is going on? $200 a month for a $2,000 deductible. It's all a scam.
 

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dukcaller:

No, you didn't initially blame attorneys, but you did in your last post.<img src="/images/boards/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" align="absmiddle"> That's why I inserted the warning not to blame the attorneys, in anticipation of what was likely to be forthcoming. They don't award the excessive judgments, jurys of your peers do.

The vast majority of cases are settled before they get to trial. The reason is that usually it becomes pretty clear whether there is or is not liability prior to trial. The battle is often over what the damages are worth, not liability. Remember, if you have a permanently incapitated person, you may also have recurrent medical bills and income loss that will last for the rest of that person's life. What's it worth? That's your job as a jury member to decide. If someone accidently killed or permanently injured your spouse or child, what would it take in the form of money to make it square with you? That's one of the tough decisions a jury has to make as part of it's job.

Insurance companies make alot of money from premiums, but most companies don't make much net profit from health insurance. The medical costs are high and getting higher every year. Those advocating national health insurance use the lack of profit as a justification for the claim of lower costs. However, I don't ever recall a government run program which runs more efficiently than a similar enterprise run by private businesses.

There's no easy answer to this problem. Every alternative has a downside to it. Lower costs often mean less service. My brother explained how the government plays the game.

He told me it took at least 45 minutes to do a complete medical history and examination on a new patient. The Fed. government would pay 80% of the prevailing rate in the area for that service. Unfortunately, the "prevailing rate" determined by the Feds. was actually about 80% of what it really was, so he was being paid 2/3'rds of the real prevailing rate. This meant he made about $63 for the service, when the real rate was about $100. When he has to pay his nurses about $30 an hour for wages and benefits, the left over $33 doesn't go too far beyond paying his overhead, much less leaving anything for his services.

The Feds. would pay for one visit each month to a patient in a nursing home, and if more than one visit was required because of the patient's needs, they would automatically deny payment, but giving the physician the right to appeal based on the physician proving the necessity of the extra visits. The physicians rarely appealed because it would cost more to prosecute the appeal than what they would get even if they won the appeal.

The justification for the rule was that some physicians had abused the system and charged for visits they never made, or which were unnecessary, padding their bills. Unfortunately, while the rule saves the Feds. some money, it puts the costs for services he provides to those patients back onto the physician, who passes it on to those who pay with private insurance or out of pocket, you and I.
 

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Duckaholic,

When you grow up, get a real job, and have a family...I'm certain your feelings will change. You have no idea what you are talking about. When you have a child that has a medical problem, you will be more than happy to pay the premiums for the best medical care in the world. When I was young, I bitched too. But, after my own medical issues, and my child's issues...I never complain. Our system allows us access to the best doctors, specialists, hospitals, etc. So, until you are grown-up enough to speak with any degree of knowledge...I would encourage you not to make an idiot of yourself.
 

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Right on Lefty !!its way to easy for these lazy people to file. the rest of us good credit people pay for it .get a job and fire you lawyer!!<img src="/images/boards/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" align="absmiddle">
 

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It's a common misconception that unemployed people compose the majority who file bankruptcy. In fact, if you are unemployed, you have less of a need to file than if you have a job.

Until several years ago, the most a wage garnishment could take, under Ohio law, from your monthly pay was 25% of the net pay from one pay period every 30 days. Since most people were being paid every week, they would lose only 6 1/4% of their net pay every 30 days. The law was changed, allowing wage garnishments to take 25% of their net pay every pay period, which meant they lost 25% of their after tax, after child support, income, quadrupling the amount that would have normally been taken under the previous garnishment law.

For people who are barely being able to pay their rent, car payments, utility bills, gasoline costs, etc., a wage garnishment, or the threat thereof, is usually the thing that tips them over the edge into a bankruptcy filing. Many of the people I see have tried to work with debt repayment organizations, but don't have the extra money beyond their basic living expenses to be applied against these other bills. Most are embarrassed to be in a position to have to file for bankruptcy protection from their creditors, but feel it is their only course left. Many are single women, supporting families, who are nervous wrecks from the phone calls they continously receive at work, jeopardizing their jobs, and at home, from zealous debt collectors.

Yes, there are those who abuse the system, but frankly speaking, from my experience in over 15 years of handling bankruptcy cases, I would say they are relatively few in comparison to the others who do so because of income reduction due to job loss or due to medical expenses that were not covered by insurance.
 

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So Lefty what is your experience with other countries medical systems? Or is it that you were told we have the best? Do some research and you will find that this country is not at the top in the way of medical care. Tell me what I know, you don't know me. Do you read the paper? Where are you coming from? What is your knowledge base? I draw from my experiences just like you. In my mind you get no where near what you pay for. All you are doing is lining the pockets of sleeze. Something needs to be done. Big pharmacutical companies have so much clout its really pitiful. Other countries spend so much less yet we have to bear the burden? No insurance companies do and they have a position to negotiate. What about people living along the poverty line? Oh, you don't give a shit. Thats typical. You say get a job. What if you have a job? We all can not make six figures. Companies cut benefits. Wages do not nearly inflate with inflation. At what point does it stop? Rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I am sure you have heard that. Does that have any ligitimacy?
 
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