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Letter: ‘Obamacare’ would have saved son’s life

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Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:00 am

My son, Terry James Maurer, would be 37 years old just this last June, but it was not to be. He was a good kid. He served his country, and was a general manager of some health clubs in Indiana at the time of his untimely death.

He died just over three years ago of cardiomyopathy, which, once diagnosed, rendered him “uninsurable.” He would be alive today if “Obamacare” had been in full effect at that time. We, his caring family, made extraordinary efforts to find care for him. Instead, like many other perfectly good and responsible Americans, Terry was sentenced to death by the corporate policy of big insurance.

It’s always been about profitability for them — never about health care for us. It’s an old corporate saw needing to be directly confronted by all Americans who know that there is a better way. While Obamacare has a lot of faults, these can be worked out by responsible, caring citizens of this great country.

Don’t like Obamacare? Your vote may be enough to kill more kids like my son, and sentence many others to long-term misery.

Gary F. Maurer


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Jien Kaur posted at 2:21 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 385

    What I posted was Question #2 - AFTER you answer Question #2 with a yes or no to the items you listed.

    You may be correct. If your VA benefits were granted in the manner you described, that is wonderful.

    Please refer to my comment below, it takes YEARS for approvals/denials/appeals.

    If your experience was different, then you were lucky. Not so for over 20,000 vets each year who die from disease/old age/suicide.

    Count yourself lucky.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:16 pm on Mon, Oct 14, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Jien Kaur - what you referenced to is part of the "Enhanced Eligibility" for V.A. Health Care.

    Under "Basic Eligibility it states: "If you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well." (

    Until a Veteran actually applies for health care, they cannot possibility know if they are eligible. However, I know for an absolute certainty that pre-existing conditions are not necessarily a reason for denial of care.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 10:48 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 385

    With the timeline for claim approval or denial running at 2 years or more from date of application, along with most other VA benefits, a terminally ill or critically ill person will be dead before they are either accepted or if denied go through the appeal process with regard to a pre-existing condition.

    It is estimated that over 20,000 vets each year DIE before their applications are processed.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 10:44 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 385

    From the VA website:

    Do You Qualify For VA Health Care?

    2. Are any of these statements true?

    - You were discharged or separated for medical reasons, early out, or hardship
    - You served in theater of combat operations within the past 5 years
    - You were discharged from the military because of a disability (not preexisting)
    - You are a former Prisoner of War
    - You received a Purple Heart Medal
    - You receive VA pension or disability benefits
    - You receive state Medicaid benefits

  • Jien Kaur posted at 10:38 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 385

    Emphasis on "healthy."

    One of the key provisions of the ACA is that insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. These are the people who either died or have been subjected to huge medical debt.

    What about that is not understandable?

    And not that long ago, ALL health coverage was a lot cheaper until all of the small companies were driven out of business by the big 3 or 4. Now it's akin to a monopoly and prices are controlled by these few entities.

  • John Lucas posted at 6:28 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Yes, but his chances were much better if he had been able to see a doctor.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 12:01 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Not all that long ago, a young healthy male could purchase health insurance for less than Obamacare at the current advertised rates and the deductibles and "out of pocket" caps were much lower.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:47 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I’m sorry, but non-connected pre-existing conditions are not necessarily denied through the V.A. Healthcare System.

    As far as quizzing the author of the letter being “embarrassing,” considering that Mr. Maurer may not have provided all salient facts, it’s only natural that respectful questioning of him would follow (isn’t that the purpose of this forum?). That he actually believes if “Obamacare” was in effect during the time his son was so ill he “would be alive today” is also not necessarily true.

    The “fact” about life is that eventually each and every one of us will die – not only is that a fact, but it IS absolutely true. Most of us don’t know when or how that event will take place. Take cancer for instance. It’s no secret that I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in early 2006. My chances for survival were very low – but surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy helped me to live; of course there were other factors that I believed helped considerably. Yet I know of others who have had lower stages of cancer with higher chances of survival than mine who in spite of the same types of therapies are not with us today.
    I think it was wrong to suggest that if implemented at the time, Obamacare would have saved Mr. Mauer’s son’s life. Indeed, perhaps if he had all the “facts” in place at that time his son might have lived longer; or maybe not. Again – we are all destined to die. Even with Obamacare fully implemented people will still die. Or are those who truly believe that along with the system being “free,” no one will die once everyone is enrolled?

    Sometimes reality is difficult to face.

  • John Lucas posted at 8:35 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Typical, If he was not a Veteran and could not afford insurance then it was ok for him not to get treated and die. Our country, which spends twice as much per person on healthcare than the other 30+ countries rated above us in medical outcomes is the only place where that could happen. Obamacare is evil but people dying for no real reason is good. A conclusion only a Conservative could come up with.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:45 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Another bit of info someone may need to know - even if one has been assigned a 100 percent permanent service related disability by virtue of evidence provided by personal physicians, they still MUST go to a VA medical facility for a complete medical workup in order to be admitted to the VA health system.

    Go figure.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:42 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    FYI - any veteran cannot walk into a VA health facility and receive services merely by being a former service member. There are strict guidelines - one disqualifying factor is a PRE-EXISTING CONDITION that is NOT service connected. Income is also a consideration, i.e., low income candidates take precedence over those with higher incomes.

    It sounds like the employer(s) did not provide health benefits, thus no prior coverage. As early as 2000, many employers who offered coverage were also pushing healthy, younger individuals to purchase (one their own) only catastrophic policies rather than expensive group policies through the employer.

    It is embarrassing that this gentleman is being quizzed on WHY his son did not have health coverage. As usual, blame is being assigned to the individual, not the system.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 11:03 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Mr. Mauer, your son's death was surely a tragedy. I can't imagine my son dying before my death. As a veteran, why didn't he have access to health care at a veteran facility? Was he insured BEFORE he was diagnosed? If not, why not?

  • John Lucas posted at 3:17 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I am so sorry for your loss, Mr Maurer. Stories like yours get lost in the political wrangling and clash of ideologies. Obamacare is an answer to a real human problem that goes unnoticed all too often.


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