How To Harass A Good Man To Death


Posted: September 23, 2012 at 2:09 a.m.

One of the fascinating things about my job is that I have the privilege of being with people during some of their most challenging times. Occasionally I meet someone extraordinary and inspiring. Bud Planchon is one of the most remarkable people I know.

This story is only available from our archives.

Opinion, Pages 11 on 09/23/2012

The article was interesting, though I doubt that the author was providing a sneak peak as to what the health care system under Obamacare is likely to provide the rest of us who are not able to obtain a waiver...unlike the privileged members and political supporters of the president.

The situation that this firefighter faces in dealing with a state-level board, that oversees insurance that he contributed towards, will be multiplied as people face the Obamacare-mandated health care exchanges that will mandate what care will be provided in an effort to provide "efficiency" and "savings"

The administrator of the LOPFI board needs to do something, that is true. But he is just a symptom of the problem that will ensue under the socialized medicine that is on the way under Obamacare.

Posted by: IrishMensa

September 23, 2012 at 10:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Free markets!

And the world watches in amazement once again as America still flops around trying to deliver healthcare to a person like this firefighter without also making his last days (hopefully not), a living hell of stress and financial destruction of a lifetime of savings.

It's a sick joke.

None of our peer countries put up with this stupidity. It's bad enough that you get a horrible debilitating disease and may have only a few years to live, but when this happens in our peer countries (as it does millions of times each year), the society steps up and says, effectively,

" know, you've worked, done your best and you've drawn a very unlucky card in the health deck, so we are all going to share this burden together. We've got you covered."

When I tell my Canadian friends of horrorshows like the above, they almost can't believe it. I say almost because they can believe it, because they are very familiar with these events and that they go on routinely here in the wealthiest country in the world. What they *can't* believe is that such utter and unnecessary stupidity is still being tolerated.

And why? Because we are up to our backsides in wingnuts who are serially misinformed by a dishonest media and a rightwing party devoted to greed and lining the pockets of a wealthy few.

It's so dumb and so obvious even Mitt can see it. Here he is praising Israel's effective and efficient socialist system:

"Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. "We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more."

Free markets!

"By an overwhelming margin, Canadians prefer the Canadian health care system to the American one. Overall, 82% said they preferred the Canadian system, fully ten times the number who said the American system is superior (8%)." --Chicago Tribune.

"The vast majority of Canadians, 91 per cent, felt that Canada's health care system was better than the United States..." --CTV, Jun. 29 2008,

American responses:

"...extensive ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer a universal health insurance program over the current employer-based system."

"...just 29 percent of Americans think the overall U.S. health care system is better than Canada's; more, 37 percent, think it's worse than Canada's." --ibid

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 23, 2012 at 11:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )


RE "what the health care system under Obamacare is likely to provide the rest of us who are not able to obtain a waiver"
All of the mechanics for changes in payment within Obamacare were negotiated with hospitals and insurance companies before the bill was written and passed. (Among these changes are the changes that will allow over $700 billion of existing Medicare cost savings, which money will be put back into other parts of Medicare-- a fact you are either ignorant of or keep lying about-- and I suspect the latter.) The question then is whether you will do your civic duty and have insurance, either as a result of your good sense, or as a result of reasonable-- and Constitutional-- prodding from the government.

RE "...unlike the privileged members and political supporters of the president."
Yes, I'm sure the government has a way to determine who votes for Obama so that first-tier health care can be provided to them-- while the rest of America has to make do with the healthcare we already have, I suppose. Please enlighten us with the specifics of this scheme. I don't want to have to wait for Kermit to expound on it.

RE "The situation that this firefighter faces in dealing with a state-level board..."
The fact that it is a state-level board does not mean that it has anything to do with the government-- a conflation that either shows confusion on your part or that you use in order to confuse others.

RE "...that oversees insurance that he contributed towards"
It is exactly like the review boards of every other private group with insurance, and every private insurance company, has in place. I have had to go before a state-level board in order to protest a denial of coverage under my own private insurance. It had nothing to do with the government, and everything to do with the incompetence of the insurance company. (I won my appeal, and wish for a resolution for Mr. Planchon as well.) Yeah, that's a great system-- let's don't improve it.

You should also be aware that the board was probably not aware of the situation until recently, because Mr. Clark apparently had unilaterally withheld the matter from board consideration. So this incident isn't really about the failure of the system; it is about the failure of an individual who acted outside of the system.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 23, 2012 at 11:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

you writers need to get on the subject it was how Bud is getting screwed by the pension board by not getting his pension. It wasn't about health care. I watch all the writings by you 3 and seems you have no one to talk to because you always go on and on about the same old s**t.
Bud is a fine person and seems you could really care less about his situation. You just want a space to write you crap. and as far as trying to think like mr clark or the board with what you all write you may think just like them. so more on to something you can manage like your cereal or something and have a good day.

Posted by: troutjig

September 24, 2012 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )


I agree this article has nothing to do with the Affordable Health Care Act, the man is not asking for health care coverage, he is asking for retirement benefits. I don't understand why his health coverage is so high, through COBRA with the city it should be around $400.00 a month. I went online to LOPFI handbook and tried real hard to see why he has been stonewalled, I will tell you this from what I read I can't figure why he has been given the run around. These rules in the handbook were clearly written by a lawyer, they are so convoluted and confusing I got a headache just trying to understand them.

Bud needs a good attorney, who surly can get this done. Some lawyer should donate his time and take care of this poor man. The news should be on top of this, they need to go to LOPFI office and interview Clark and get to the real reasons why Clark is blocking this fireman's benefit. I for one would like to know his answers as I am sure a lot of Police Officers and Fireman would like to know not to mention the News readers.

This kind of thing needs to be exposed, police, fireman and other public servants pay into this system for years and then when they need it they are treated like this, shame on Clark and LOPFI. I for one would be proud to contribute to a fund to hire a kick ass attorney to represent this man

The news should do what any first year reporter would do and that is to FOI all of the records, and I mean all, that Clark and LOPFI have on this case. I just bet you the answer is in these records and e mails. LOPFI cant claim they are exempt from FOI, they are a pubic servant retirement plan, funded by the publics funds.


Posted by: rummy

September 24, 2012 at 10:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Troutjig: "Bud is getting screwed by the pension board by not getting his pension. It wasn't about health care.">>

Perhaps you should read the article again. It says his:

"illness led him to file for disability retirement benefits."

But regardless, when you have no income and others are coming forward to pay $1,500 per month health insurance premium for you because you've used up your savings, it is: **about health care.**

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 24, 2012 at 12:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )