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John Simkin, please put this under an appropriate section of your forum.

Thank you,

Ter

This is what I wrote under the window that prompted petition signers to "Write us about your own "Horror" story"

I'm 62 years old, a Nuclear Medicine Technologist of 32 years, whose department was de-comissioned in June 2006, along with my full time status of employment, which was reduced to per diem. I have no medical benefits to speak of, and any form of COBRA coverage would have cost me $800.00 a month to procure. When I was diagnosed with Narrow Angle Glaucoma in December 2006, it was my Chase VISA card that was used to pick up the bill. Medical coverage out of pocket for myself is cost prohibitive with the amount of money I make working per diem, which is what you're relegated to once someone reaches my age. I'm now forced to hold 2 and 3 jobs in order to make ends meet, and all are per diem status. Not because I want it that way, but because that is what's being offered to me. I'm not ready for retirement, and the money I would claim from Social Security at this juncture in my life, wouldn't pay for Alpo Dog Food. You see, I was married for 12 years to a man who asked me to work only part time in order that we wouldn't have to pay out so much in taxes to the IRS. In fact, he would have preferred I didn't work at all, but I had been in the field for 5 years before I met him and didn't want my skills to deteriorate, or fall too far behind the progress being made in my professional field. Therefore, when he filed for divorce, and it became final on April 1, 1995, I was forced to leave college where I had started in an effort to increase my viability as a tech by getting a B.S. degree as a last ditch effort to compete with the new batch of students coming into the field. I was 50 years old at that time. Luckily, three years later I was able to obtain full time work for the last 8 years, which afforded me benefits once again. But, when Bush and his congress went behind closed doors in January 2006 to enact new amendments to the Medicare bill, which ended up decreasing reimbursement to free standing clinics and imaging centers from 80% to 30%, my imaging center was forced to downsize, cancel order on our new Siemens Biograph PET/CT Imager, and ended up de-commissioning its Nuclear Medicine Department, altogether. The second job I'm holding as a per diem Nuclear Medicine Dexa Technologist is at Santa Monica-UCLA, but I just found out on Thursday that this position will only be available to me until December because of the transition that's about to take place since UCLA-Westwood Medical Center's new building is set to re-open. You see, it was built to half the size of the old medical center because they're attempting to transition all surgeries, and general healthcare provision to an out-patient ambulatory care basis in an effort to cut back on Medicare subsidizing of healthcare delivery. Therefore, in order to make room for the glut of Westwood technologists, they are letting go the per diem and previously older Santa Monica techs who had been with the hospital before UCLA took over the Santa Monica Community Hospital facility in 2003. UCLA-Westwood also thinks that the Westwood technologists are better trained to meet the needs of the new transition taking place at Santa Monica, and to be set into motion by the end of the year. I was hired on in July 2006, and now I'm back where I started from.

Michael Moore, can you give me a job? I'm a real hard worker, detail oriented, and able to multi-task 8 different things, all at the same time. That's part of the job description for a Nuclear Medicine Tech. Plus, I have excellent communication skills and can write, read, and speak some Spanish, albeit not fluently, but enough to make myself fairly well understood. How about it? I'm not ready to take this lying down.

Sincerely yours,

Theresa C. Mauro

4070 Jackson Avenue

Culver City, CA 90232-3232

310 836-4095

tmauro@pacbell.net

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John Simkin, please put this under an appropriate section of your forum.

Thank you,

Ter

This is what I wrote under the window that prompted petition signers to "Write us about your own "Horror" story"

I'm 62 years old, a Nuclear Medicine Technologist of 32 years, whose department was de-comissioned in June 2006, along with my full time status of employment, which was reduced to per diem. I have no medical benefits to speak of, and any form of COBRA coverage would have cost me $800.00 a month to procure. When I was diagnosed with Narrow Angle Glaucoma in December 2006, it was my Chase VISA card that was used to pick up the bill. Medical coverage out of pocket for myself is cost prohibitive with the amount of money I make working per diem, which is what you're relegated to once someone reaches my age. I'm now forced to hold 2 and 3 jobs in order to make ends meet, and all are per diem status. Not because I want it that way, but because that is what's being offered to me. I'm not ready for retirement, and the money I would claim from Social Security at this juncture in my life, wouldn't pay for Alpo Dog Food. You see, I was married for 12 years to a man who asked me to work only part time in order that we wouldn't have to pay out so much in taxes to the IRS. In fact, he would have preferred I didn't work at all, but I had been in the field for 5 years before I met him and didn't want my skills to deteriorate, or fall too far behind the progress being made in my professional field. Therefore, when he filed for divorce, and it became final on April 1, 1995, I was forced to leave college where I had started in an effort to increase my viability as a tech by getting a B.S. degree as a last ditch effort to compete with the new batch of students coming into the field. I was 50 years old at that time. Luckily, three years later I was able to obtain full time work for the last 8 years, which afforded me benefits once again. But, when Bush and his congress went behind closed doors in January 2006 to enact new amendments to the Medicare bill, which ended up decreasing reimbursement to free standing clinics and imaging centers from 80% to 30%, my imaging center was forced to downsize, cancel order on our new Siemens Biograph PET/CT Imager, and ended up de-commissioning its Nuclear Medicine Department, altogether. The second job I'm holding as a per diem Nuclear Medicine Dexa Technologist is at Santa Monica-UCLA, but I just found out on Thursday that this position will only be available to me until December because of the transition that's about to take place since UCLA-Westwood Medical Center's new building is set to re-open. You see, it was built to half the size of the old medical center because they're attempting to transition all surgeries, and general healthcare provision to an out-patient ambulatory care basis in an effort to cut back on Medicare subsidizing of healthcare delivery. Therefore, in order to make room for the glut of Westwood technologists, they are letting go the per diem and previously older Santa Monica techs who had been with the hospital before UCLA took over the Santa Monica Community Hospital facility in 2003. UCLA-Westwood also thinks that the Westwood technologists are better trained to meet the needs of the new transition taking place at Santa Monica, and to be set into motion by the end of the year. I was hired on in July 2006, and now I'm back where I started from.

Michael Moore, can you give me a job? I'm a real hard worker, detail oriented, and able to multi-task 8 different things, all at the same time. That's part of the job description for a Nuclear Medicine Tech. Plus, I have excellent communication skills and can write, read, and speak some Spanish, albeit not fluently, but enough to make myself fairly well understood. How about it? I'm not ready to take this lying down.

Sincerely yours,

Theresa C. Mauro

4070 Jackson Avenue

Culver City, CA 90232-3232

310 836-4095

tmauro@pacbell.net

*****************************************************************

I just loathe replying to myself, but I did get this back and would like to share it.

Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 17:57:00 -0400

To: tmauro@pacbell.net

Subject: Thank You

From: "Democracy for America" <info@democracyforamerica.com> Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

Dear Theresa,

Thank you for signing our Sicko Petition for Health Care and submitting

your own health care horror story. Please take a minute to forward the

message below to your contacts.

- The DFA Team

Greetings!

With over 45 million people uninsured and health care costs sometimes

double what people pay in other countries, we still lead the way as the

only industrialized county without a universal coverage system.

Isn`t it time to fix the Health Care crisis in America?

In SiCKO, my new documentary opening in theaters nationwide tomorrow,

June 29, I expose the truth about Health Care in America and audiences

are already standing up and demanding change.

I love the hard work Democracy for America members do. You are the

boots on the ground working for progressive change year after year. You

understand that when we get local and speak up, there is no stopping our

movement. And now that the entire insurance industry is working on

overdrive to confuse the facts and keep Congress from enacting any health

care reforms, I know I can count on DFA to fight back and get the job

done.

Please sign the petition demanding Health Care for America right now:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/sicko

In SiCKO, I highlight numerous health care horror stories (you can

watch the trailer at the above petition link). Real events that happened to

real people. And to make it worse, they all had health care. Our

system is broken. The change we need isn`t going to come from little tweaks

and lobbyist funded think tanks. Real change will come from you and me

working together, telling our stories, and demanding action.

That`s why Congress needs to hear from you. How has the health care

crisis affected you and your family? Do you have a health care horror

story? Sign the petition demanding health care for all Americans and share

your story. While you`re at it watch the trailer for SiCKO and search

for a screening with other DFA members near you.

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/sicko

The petition is only the beginning. Over the rest of summer, DFA

members will organize health care forums in their local community, hold

meetings with their Congressional representatives, and keep the pressure on

the Democratic candidates for president. I`m proud to have Democracy

for America members turning my movie into an agent for change. Thank you

for making it happen!

Alright now go get some popcorn and meet me at the multiplex.

Be well,

Michael Moore

/---------------------------------------------\

|Paid for by Democracy for America,

|www.democracyforamerica.com ,

|and not authorized by any candidate.

|Contributions to Democracy

|for America are not deductible for

|federal income tax purposes.

\---------------------------------------------/

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Terry,

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It's disgusting that in a country as rich as ours, anyone has to worry about the cost of being sick. I've worked for a giant health care institution for over 30 years, and I could tell you some unbelievable first-hand horror stories. Michael Moore should read some of your passionate, well-reasoned posts on this forum and others- he couldn't find a more capable fighter for the cause. I wish you all the best- my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Terry, that stinks, Don is right, what justification can the richest country in the World have for denying its hard working Citizens the best health care possible? Are they still attempting to scare Americans with the bogyman of "Socialist medicine" get yourself over to England, we'll put you up in olde Cambridge towne, and the NHS will do the rest. I hear Cuba offers a full range of cutting edge treatments, and after care as well, with your left wing credentials I'm sure Uncle Fidel would help......Steve.

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Terry, that stinks, Don is right, what justification can the richest country in the World have for denying its hard working Citizens the best health care possible? Are they still attempting to scare Americans with the bogyman of "Socialist medicine" get yourself over to England, we'll put you up in olde Cambridge towne, and the NHS will do the rest. I hear Cuba offers a full range of cutting edge treatments, and after care as well, with your left wing credentials I'm sure Uncle Fidel would help......Steve.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=10313

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Terry,

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It's disgusting that in a country as rich as ours, anyone has to worry about the cost of being sick. I've worked for a giant health care institution for over 30 years, and I could tell you some unbelievable first-hand horror stories. Michael Moore should read some of your passionate, well-reasoned posts on this forum and others- he couldn't find a more capable fighter for the cause. I wish you all the best- my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Listen to this one. I had to have a lumpectomy in 1997 and fortunately it was benign. They sent me home in a "surgical bra." You could buy something like this in K-Mart and it would have been superior. The hospital sent me an itemized bill, which they had also sent to my insurance. The surgical bra was listed and I was shocked -- and still angry -- because they were charging $237 for it. Is this for real? It was a complete waste. There was nothing special about the bra. It closed with Velcro.

Kathy :ph34r:

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Terry, thanks for posting - I sympathise greatly with your situation.

At the risk of having you feel even worse, let me tell you and other readers/posters what the situation is here in Sweden.

I pay 32% of my gross salary in tax - and that covers both national and local taxes. My employer pays another slice in payroll taxes and social welfare taxes. Living costs, like rent, typically amount 30% of your after-tax salary.

If you are ill, you have to pay a fee of about $20 (the exact sum varies from county to county) as a one-off registration fee, and after that basic treatment is without charge. If you are referred to a specialist you'll have to pay another fee (about $30 in the place I live) the first time you go to see her or him. After that all treatment is without charge. If you are often ill, or have a chronic condition, you'll find that there's a cap of about $250 per annum on these one-off fees. Once you've paid that amount, all further visits are without charge that year. (I'm trying to avoid the word 'free' scrupulously, because of course we're paying, it's just that we pay collectively, rather than individually).

The same applies to medicines: once you've paid about $250 in any one year, you don't pay any more. My wife's undergoing desensitisation treatment for her allergies, which involves a series of injections over a three-year period, and $500 per year is the most we'll ever have to pay for it.

There's a guarantee system in place too. You have the right to see a general doctor at the local clinic the same day you report that you're ill (there's a phone in system which involves you talking first to a nurse, and that nurse might refer you to a district nurse before you see a doctor). You have the right to a referral to a specialist within one month, and treatment must start within three months. If your county can't meet this guarantee, you have the right to find one that can, or even to seek treatment abroad - at the state's expense.

It goes without saying that calling an ambulance is without charge, and they'll never ask you for a credit card, or anything like that! Some places have air ambulances, but our county prefers well-equipped road vehicles (apparently helicopters can't take the kind of heart resuscitation equipment ambulances can, and they often can't fly in weather conditions which allow ordinary ambulances to travel in).

There are also some other neat collective practices, such as the Lex Maria (a law which obliges medical practitioners to report cases of mistreatment) and Lex Sara (which obliges convalescence centres, etc to report bad conditions, ill-treatment, etc). These are seen as very useful laws, since they take away some of the blame, and enable the system to concentrate on putting things right.

Another interesting law is the one which requires the state monopoly pharmacies to automatically substitute a cheaper generic drug, whenever a doctor prescribes a more expensive brand-name (assuming that the generic does the same job). You can visit a web site (http://www.fass.se - if you understand Swedish!) which explains what the active ingredients of any medicine you're prescribed are, what side effects they have, etc. I remember once in Turkey being given something for a runny nose … and finding out from FASS that it was actually a preparation to arrest potentially fatal allergic reactions - it'd certainly stop the snot!

Our new conservative government would love to screw this system up … but it'd be political suicide! What they are doing is relaxing the controls on immigration for people who want to come to work here. You used to have to have a job offer before you could get a work permit (if you weren't an EU citizen). The new system allows people from outside the EU to come here to look for work. If Terry could get a job here, she'd be eligible for the benefits too (Sweden doesn't make any distinction between nationals and people like me with work permits)! You'd be OK as an EU citizen too …

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Terry, thanks for posting - I sympathise greatly with your situation.

At the risk of having you feel even worse, let me tell you and other readers/posters what the situation is here in Sweden.

I pay 32% of my gross salary in tax - and that covers both national and local taxes. My employer pays another slice in payroll taxes and social welfare taxes. Living costs, like rent, typically amount 30% of your after-tax salary.

If you are ill, you have to pay a fee of about $20 (the exact sum varies from county to county) as a one-off registration fee, and after that basic treatment is without charge. If you are referred to a specialist you'll have to pay another fee (about $30 in the place I live) the first time you go to see her or him. After that all treatment is without charge. If you are often ill, or have a chronic condition, you'll find that there's a cap of about $250 per annum on these one-off fees. Once you've paid that amount, all further visits are without charge that year. (I'm trying to avoid the word 'free' scrupulously, because of course we're paying, it's just that we pay collectively, rather than individually).

The same applies to medicines: once you've paid about $250 in any one year, you don't pay any more. My wife's undergoing desensitisation treatment for her allergies, which involves a series of injections over a three-year period, and $500 per year is the most we'll ever have to pay for it.

There's a guarantee system in place too. You have the right to see a general doctor at the local clinic the same day you report that you're ill (there's a phone in system which involves you talking first to a nurse, and that nurse might refer you to a district nurse before you see a doctor). You have the right to a referral to a specialist within one month, and treatment must start within three months. If your county can't meet this guarantee, you have the right to find one that can, or even to seek treatment abroad - at the state's expense.

It goes without saying that calling an ambulance is without charge, and they'll never ask you for a credit card, or anything like that! Some places have air ambulances, but our county prefers well-equipped road vehicles (apparently helicopters can't take the kind of heart resuscitation equipment ambulances can, and they often can't fly in weather conditions which allow ordinary ambulances to travel in).

There are also some other neat collective practices, such as the Lex Maria (a law which obliges medical practitioners to report cases of mistreatment) and Lex Sara (which obliges convalescence centres, etc to report bad conditions, ill-treatment, etc). These are seen as very useful laws, since they take away some of the blame, and enable the system to concentrate on putting things right.

Another interesting law is the one which requires the state monopoly pharmacies to automatically substitute a cheaper generic drug, whenever a doctor prescribes a more expensive brand-name (assuming that the generic does the same job). You can visit a web site (http://www.fass.se - if you understand Swedish!) which explains what the active ingredients of any medicine you're prescribed are, what side effects they have, etc. I remember once in Turkey being given something for a runny nose … and finding out from FASS that it was actually a preparation to arrest potentially fatal allergic reactions - it'd certainly stop the snot!

Our new conservative government would love to screw this system up … but it'd be political suicide! What they are doing is relaxing the controls on immigration for people who want to come to work here. You used to have to have a job offer before you could get a work permit (if you weren't an EU citizen). The new system allows people from outside the EU to come here to look for work. If Terry could get a job here, she'd be eligible for the benefits too (Sweden doesn't make any distinction between nationals and people like me with work permits)! You'd be OK as an EU citizen too …

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Terry, thanks for posting - I sympathise greatly with your situation.

At the risk of having you feel even worse, let me tell you and other readers/posters what the situation is here in Sweden.

I pay 32% of my gross salary in tax - and that covers both national and local taxes. My employer pays another slice in payroll taxes and social welfare taxes. Living costs, like rent, typically amount 30% of your after-tax salary.

If you are ill, you have to pay a fee of about $20 (the exact sum varies from county to county) as a one-off registration fee, and after that basic treatment is without charge. If you are referred to a specialist you'll have to pay another fee (about $30 in the place I live) the first time you go to see her or him. After that all treatment is without charge. If you are often ill, or have a chronic condition, you'll find that there's a cap of about $250 per annum on these one-off fees. Once you've paid that amount, all further visits are without charge that year. (I'm trying to avoid the word 'free' scrupulously, because of course we're paying, it's just that we pay collectively, rather than individually).

The same applies to medicines: once you've paid about $250 in any one year, you don't pay any more. My wife's undergoing desensitisation treatment for her allergies, which involves a series of injections over a three-year period, and $500 per year is the most we'll ever have to pay for it.

There's a guarantee system in place too. You have the right to see a general doctor at the local clinic the same day you report that you're ill (there's a phone in system which involves you talking first to a nurse, and that nurse might refer you to a district nurse before you see a doctor). You have the right to a referral to a specialist within one month, and treatment must start within three months. If your county can't meet this guarantee, you have the right to find one that can, or even to seek treatment abroad - at the state's expense.

It goes without saying that calling an ambulance is without charge, and they'll never ask you for a credit card, or anything like that! Some places have air ambulances, but our county prefers well-equipped road vehicles (apparently helicopters can't take the kind of heart resuscitation equipment ambulances can, and they often can't fly in weather conditions which allow ordinary ambulances to travel in).

There are also some other neat collective practices, such as the Lex Maria (a law which obliges medical practitioners to report cases of mistreatment) and Lex Sara (which obliges convalescence centres, etc to report bad conditions, ill-treatment, etc). These are seen as very useful laws, since they take away some of the blame, and enable the system to concentrate on putting things right.

Another interesting law is the one which requires the state monopoly pharmacies to automatically substitute a cheaper generic drug, whenever a doctor prescribes a more expensive brand-name (assuming that the generic does the same job). You can visit a web site (http://www.fass.se - if you understand Swedish!) which explains what the active ingredients of any medicine you're prescribed are, what side effects they have, etc. I remember once in Turkey being given something for a runny nose … and finding out from FASS that it was actually a preparation to arrest potentially fatal allergic reactions - it'd certainly stop the snot!

Our new conservative government would love to screw this system up … but it'd be political suicide! What they are doing is relaxing the controls on immigration for people who want to come to work here. You used to have to have a job offer before you could get a work permit (if you weren't an EU citizen). The new system allows people from outside the EU to come here to look for work. If Terry could get a job here, she'd be eligible for the benefits too (Sweden doesn't make any distinction between nationals and people like me with work permits)! You'd be OK as an EU citizen too …

*******************************************************************

Thank you, Don, Stephen, and David, for your kind words. I eventually will expatriate from this American Nightmare, I figure in about 8 years. That'll be about the time I'll be able to beef up my Social Security pension with some of my ex-husband's, who divorced me, BTW. This is a little known fact that was just told me by a friend of mine, who's husband works for the gov., and also was more or less confirmed by another childhood friend of mine who is a retired FBI agent. Apparently, I have to wait in order to catch up with my ex, who turns 50 in October, so it'll be closer to his retirement age.

But, you know what? So what! I can still collect and continue to work, as long as I make under 30 grand a year. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the $2000.00 a month stipend. And, then that'll be when I finally get to hit the road, for good.

So, keep your eyes peeled in the not too distant future. You may find Terry headed down your block to your house to take you out to dinner. Things may be looking brighter before we know it. <_<

Ter

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