Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Navy Vet Tells Bernie He's Suicidal over Medical Bills

In a dramatic moment caught on video, an ailing Navy veteran struggling to pay off his medical bills said he was contemplating suicide while speaking at a Bernie Sanders town hall in Carson City, Nevada. The veteran, named John, said Friday his Tricare was taken away, leaving him with more than $130,000 worth of medical bills. "How are you going to pay it off?" Sanders asked the veteran. "I can't, I can't. I'm gonna kill myself!" John responded. The 2020 presidential hopeful stopped John and told him, "You're not going to kill yourself" and told him they would talk about his situation after the town hall.

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After hearing the vet's heart-wrenching story, Sanders said, "I wish that I could say that what John just described is unique and that he is the only person in America who undergoes that, but it's not. So John, we'll talk about it after the meeting, and we'll see what we can do about it."

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The veteran said he suffers from Huntington's disease, a genetic disorder that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no treatment for the disease.

"I have Huntington's disease, I'm in Stage IV," he said. "I can barely take care of myself, and I do not have the energy to fight these people."

After hearing the vet's heart-wrenching story, Sanders said, "I wish that I could say that what John just described is unique and that he is the only person in America who undergoes that, but it's not. So John, we'll talk about it after the meeting, and we'll see what we can do about it."

#1 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-09-17 01:35 AM

Here is a video from Secular Talk talking about it

www.youtube.com

#2 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-09-17 01:38 AM

God bless America this country is so screwed up by Republicans it is sort of sickening.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-17 06:58 AM

Bernie Sanders = Hero

#4 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-17 07:43 AM

Here is a video from Secular Talk talking about it

www.youtube.com

Per the you-tube link ...

gtcstorm40 | 12 hours ago

For profit insurance is pure evil ! Sick leadership in this country.


Every other developed country doesn't have its citizens crushed by medical debt.

We need Medicare-for All, and we need it now.

#5 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-17 07:48 AM

I like veteran's who aren't sick.

- Fat Nixon

#6 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-09-17 08:04 AM

If America cannot afford to care for these soldiers when they come home sick and broken we should not be sending them to war.

#7 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-09-17 09:35 AM

It is a shame what our politicians have done to VA healthcare, both Dems and Reps. But this is apples and oranges compared to universal healthcare. It's sad so many hate-filled people with an agenda refuse to use any logic. This guy served. He did something that justifies him being taken care of. Joe Bob on the side of the road who refuses to work hasn't done anything.

Additionally, this is just more hypocrisy at its finest. Where is the concern for our military when they aren't in a situation that fits your agenda? You protest them at their graves, you protest them when they do their job, you hate the ones who served so long and got high up in the ranks because they are rich...yet, now that he has a health insurance issue all of a sudden you love them. This is no different than when Reps fight against abortion but then when the fetus is born they don't care about them. If this guy gets health insurance and is all fixed up, you don't give two ------ about his service and actually demonize him for carrying out military actions.

#8 | Posted by humtake at 2019-09-17 12:04 PM

Sounds staged to me.

I have been getting VA health care for 7 years. During that time I have been hospitalized several times, probably for a total of 35-40 days. I've had a coronary stent put in. I have had 4 toe amputations on four different occasions. I have had two ophtomology procedures. I am receiving ongoing diabetes treatment.. in these 7 years I have paid about $2,000 for all that. No premiums at all.

I cannot imagine how someone would have $130,000 worth of expenses

#9 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 12:18 PM

"If America cannot afford to care for these soldiers when they come home sick and broken we should not be sending them to war."

Maybe it will occur to people someday that the less wars, the less intervention overseas, the less number of people that serve as pawns in the military-security industrial welfare state-- and the fewer number of people serving, the less medical coverage needed for them.

#10 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-09-17 12:21 PM

#9 It's also not clear how or why his Tricare was taken away, unless he opted out of Tricare For Life for reasons of his own. I sympathize with his plight, but I fear there is more to this story than we are hearing.

#11 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-09-17 12:25 PM

God bless America this country is so screwed up by Republicans it is sort of sickening.

8 years of Clinton
8 years of Obama
16 years of total Democrat control...

Just how are you figuring that?

#12 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-09-17 12:27 PM

How is Bernie Sanders a hero? For talking to this guy? Sanders didn't fix anything.

#13 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-09-17 01:10 PM

"How is Bernie Sanders a hero?"

Bernie's the political equivalent of 3-D Man. When he adjusts his glasses, waving his arms around and his come-over starts behaving with a mind of its own, watch out!

#14 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-09-17 01:56 PM

Joe Bob on the side of the road who refuses to work hasn't done anything.

#8 | Posted by humtake

Republican theology in a nutshell - better to have millions of people suffer who don't deserve to suffer than to help a few people who dont deserve any help.

Lazy people getting help drives republicans more insane than anything else. So much so that they are willing to harm tons of people to avoid it. Of course then they turn around and do everything they can to make it so the rich can be lazy and never have to do any work for generations.

#15 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-09-17 02:05 PM

Just how are you figuring that?

#12 | Posted by Pegasus

Dems raised taxes on the rich to help the sick.

Repubs are taking healthcare from the sick to give to the rich.

Duh stupid.

#16 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-09-17 02:06 PM

I cannot imagine how someone would have $130,000 worth of expenses

#9 | Posted by goatman

That's because you're stupid.

#17 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-09-17 02:06 PM

Sounds staged to me.

What a surprise, another conservative who can't see beyond his own experience.

#18 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 02:20 PM

"I cannot imagine how someone would have $130,000 worth of expenses
#9 | Posted by goatman

That's because you're stupid.
#17 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY "

Obviously you can't either. I see you are taking lessons from lauramohr on killer zingers. LOL

'When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.'

Socrates

Better luck next time, speaksoftly

#19 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 02:30 PM

"Duh stupid.

#16 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY AT 2019-09-17 02:06 PM "

"Name Calling and What It Implies - Be Careful What You Say About Yourself When You Resort To Name Calling "

activerain.com

#20 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 02:31 PM

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers

Slander requires a false statement, but all he did was say you were stupid.

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 02:35 PM

"Slander requires a false statement, but all he did was say you were stupid.

#21 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-09-17 02:35 PM "

Yep. Slander.

#22 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 02:36 PM

Nope. Not a false statement.

#23 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 02:45 PM

"Sounds staged to me.
What a surprise, another conservative who can't see beyond his own experience.

#18 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-09-17 02:20 PM "

Then you (or speaksoftly) tell me how it can happen rather than just hurling childish insults as a response. That's what is supposed to happen in an honest debate.

Tell me "counselor" *cough, cough*, when asked a question professionally that you don't know the answer to, do you reply with a childish insult? No? Then why do you do it here?

You claim to be a lawyer, but I highly question that. Hell, you didn't even know a basic tenet of the Constitution -- you didn't know it took 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the states' legislatures to ratify a new Constitution.

And you call ME stupid. At least I know my profession.

#24 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 02:46 PM

"Nope. Not a false statement.

#23 | POSTED BY JOE "

So you must have transcripts of my test scores all through school. (which were all good) You must know my job performance as an electronic technician (I'm a damn good one)

Joe it's a well known fact that people call other people stupid because they are insecure in themselves and have to denigrate others to make themselves feel better about themselves. Hell, you don't even know basic tenets of the Consitution and you claim to be a lawyer. So I understand why you need to boost your self esteem.

So if it makes your frail ego feel any stronger, yes, I am stupid. Do you feel better now, big guy?

Now may we move on, Einstein?

"Why do people feel the need to demean others to feel better about themselves?"

www.7cups.com

#25 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 02:52 PM

Tell me "counselor" *cough, cough*, when asked a question professionally that you don't know the answer to, do you reply with a childish insult? No? Then why do you do it here?

Because the DR isn't my office or a courtroom, and i can do whatever i want?

You claim to be a lawyer, but I highly question that. Hell, you didn't even know a basic tenet of the Constitution -- you didn't know it took 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the states' legislatures to ratify a new Constitution.

Yeah, I thought it was 2/3 for both when a Constitutional Convention is called, and admitted to being wrong about 2 minutes later (as opposed to simply running away, claiming to be at "lunch," saying i never saw any posts correcting me even though i'm still in the thread, or pettifogging the issue for 3 days). My mistake - i'll troll harder next time, sir.

#26 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 03:01 PM

#25 Hahaha, look how triggered you are just by someone making a joke about you being stupid. Guilty conscience?

#27 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 03:01 PM

"#25 Hahaha, look how triggered you are just by someone making a joke about you being stupid. Guilty conscience?

#27 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-09-17 03:01 PM "

HAHAHA. Look who suddenly said it's a joke when his own insecurities and low self esteem are exposed. LOL

#28 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 03:10 PM

"Yeah, I thought it was 2/3 for both when a Constitutional Convention is called, and admitted to being wrong about 2 minutes later "

Coincidentally after you were corrected by Jeff. Otherwise you would not have made such an admission. LOL

#29 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 03:11 PM

"#25 Hahaha, look how triggered

#27 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-09-17 03:01 PM "

*yawn* Not again?

Ok. Yes. I'm triggered. Feel better about yourself now big guy? Or is this another "joke". LOL

#30 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 03:12 PM

Look who suddenly said it's a joke

Yes, saying slander has to be false was a bit of humor, but i suppose some people might not think it was funny. Oh well.

Look who suddenly said it's a joke

Yes, usually in a back and forth discussion when someone says something incorrect, they are corrected by someone else which is how they realize that what they said is incorrect. Brilliant observation.

#31 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 03:14 PM

So, I did a little searching.

It sounds like Mr. Weigel didn't register for Tricare after he retired. The $139k bill was not for his Huntington's, but a bill from a hospital visit for chest pains.

How he failed to sign up for Tricare is a mystery. That is covered ad nauseum pre-retirement, during your exit physicals, and by various supporting veteran organizations.

I suspect Tricare (which is underwritten by a major insurer) will make this go away.

#32 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-09-17 04:03 PM

#32 Interesting. If only we were all automatically enrolled in some kind of "universal" program that ensured access to, and payment for, high quality healthcare so that these situations never occurred.

A man can dream!

#33 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-17 04:09 PM

#33 Unless you have Huntington's. There's a 2 year wait for that.

#34 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-09-17 04:32 PM

Ensured access? Enlist.

#35 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-09-17 07:35 PM

"#32 Interesting. If only we were all automatically enrolled in some kind of "universal" program that ensured access to, and payment for, high quality healthcare so that these situations never occurred.
A man can dream!

#33 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-09-17 04:09 PM "

I get my almost free health care as per part of a contract I signed when I was 19 years old, but you think everyone should have it? Why not say everyone should have the same health care Apple employees have and make Apple pay for it? Or better yet, let me have the benefits Apple employees have, including pensions.

As Petrous said in #35, enlist. Or find another job that offers benefits you like. But don't think you are entitled to the ones veterans get for no other reason than you think you are entitled. You are no more entitled my health benefits that=n you are entitled to Apple's health benefits (unless you work there, of course).

#36 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 07:41 PM

"Not service related" -VA

#37 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-17 07:42 PM

""Not service related" -VA

#37 | POSTED BY GONOLES92 "

Are you saying that is why he has such a huge medical bill? I didn't see that in the story.

Even so, it is odd. I am being treated for a couple of things at the VA that are not service related: My lungs and my diabetes. My eye problems are simply old age and things that happen to everyone as they age. So I find it odd the VA refuses this guy treatment based on "non service related". In fact, I don't think anything I get treated for by the VA is service reated with the possible xception of my hearing. Having nothing more than a bulkhead between you and the 5" gun ain't good on the ears! LOL

#38 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-17 07:46 PM

How is Bernie Sanders a hero? For talking to this guy? Sanders didn't fix anything.

#13 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-09-17 01:10 PM |

If you watched the video I posted here you would have found out Bernie raised the money the man needed to pay his medical bills

#39 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-09-17 08:48 PM

38 | POSTED BY GOATMAN

Nah, that comment was a veterans meme about how the VA sometimes rejects coverage due to non-service related conditions for those who didn't serve til retirement.

#40 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-17 09:17 PM

When it comes to VA healthcare, it's all about eligibilities and whether the veteran is eligible to use the VA.

Most veterans are NOT eligible for VA healthcare -- of the 22 million veterans total, and of there, 8 million vets are in the VA healthcare system.

Basically if you're not disabled and make too much money, you're probably not going to qualify for VA healthcare ... www.youtube.com [9:00 - 11:15 mark]

Who decides who's eligible for VA healthcare? Congress.

Congress has all the say so, Congress makes the rules -- Congress can make it easier for veterans to have access to VA healthcare, and Congress can make it harder for veterans to have access.

Since America is the richest country in the world, you'd think our political leaders would want to make it so all veterans could have access to VA healthcare -- which would be the easiest answer to dealing with veterans like the guy who got screwed over by Tricare.

#41 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-18 08:14 AM

Since America is the richest country in the world, you'd think our political leaders would want to make it so all veterans could have access to VA healthcare -- which would be the easiest answer to dealing with veterans like the guy who got screwed over by Tricare.

#41 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Agreed. It would be a sensible way to creep into a MFA system and get through the growing pains of such a system expansion if congress allowed all honorably discharged veterans regardless of time in service to use the VA.

Would require a ton more of bipartisan funding. Maybe it could get tackled by whoever wins 2020

#42 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-18 01:35 PM

Why not say everyone should have the same health care Apple employees have and make Apple pay for it?

Because the United States Government is the entity that provides basic services to all Americans, not Apple?

Was that a real question?

#43 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-18 01:44 PM

@pinch, I've heard Tricare is often better for retirees than the VA?

#44 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-18 04:20 PM

@ pinch, I've heard Tricare is often better for retirees than the VA?

#44 | POSTED BY GONOLES92

If the retiree is eligible for VA Healthcare, they need to go with the VA. Why? Because the VA is the ONLY fully integrated healthcare system in America, so the retiree will have access to ALL services -- and that's just the medicine. You're not going to get that with Tricare insurance.

Comparing the co-pays between Tricare and the VA is something I'm not super familiar with, but I do know that the VA's prescription drug co-pay is $15, and depending on the veteran's rating the co-pay for everything else is anywhere between $50 and $0 (I think).

Of all the problematic issues with American healthcare as a whole, fragmented patient-care where not all doctors/nurses/clinicians are working off the same patient's chart because the patient is bouncing around multiple healthcare systems (both locally and everywhere in America), is where redundant testing, mistakes, and inefficient delays occur -- and because Tricare is just insurance, and the VA is fully integrated plus insurance, it's just easier for everyone involved (patient, doctor, billing, etc.) to just use the VA.

#45 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-18 08:01 PM

They can take away tricare from vets???

#46 | Posted by Tor at 2019-09-18 09:30 PM

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