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Old 02-02-2011, 11:40 AM   #21
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Still, how can we differentiate between those who truly need help and those who simply take life paths that expose themselves to risks while thinking our work-a-day mentality is silly?
You can only do so much to differentiate between those who "deserve" it and those who don't. One of the biggest arguments against most social programs is that they help the undeserving. However, I don't think this is a good reason to not provide such programs. If, by putting a system in place that helps folk who desperately need it, we also help a few who don't, then I see this as an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #22
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Wow, such a sad story.

While I agree with some of the comments bemoaning the red herring "appeal to emotion" fallacies (why does Charlie Sheen owe us health care?), it does highlight the ugly underbelly of health care in the US.

As a Canadian, it seems bizarre to me that in the US, education is seen as a fundamental right (everybody everywhere is allowed to go to school till age 18, right?), but health care is a different story. Up here, health care is as fundamental a right as education. We don't have mandatory insurance, or even subsidized insurance. We just have a "Health Card," just like a driver's license. You bring it to the hospital and they treat you. End of story. No bankruptcies, no ruining of credit. Just the care you need, no questions asked. I don't understand why the US is so resistant to a similar model.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #23
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If, by putting a system in place that helps folk who desperately need it, we also help a few who don't, then I see this as an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect.
I think the debate begins when it appears that instead of helping many who desperately need help while we inadvertently help a few who don't turns into helping many clever enough to con the system while few who desperately need the help make out as well.

In the health care issue, there seems to be much disagreement regarding income levels where subsidization phases in. Even on this forum, where I respect the members and communicate with them almost daily, there was much talk of how retirement incomes could be manipulated so that health insurance subsidies would be received as though one were low income but while still living a nice, middle class life.

It's not a matter of helping people. It's a matter of having a payment scheme that spreads the burden fairly among those who can contribute and always makes working and paying better than not working and not paying.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #24
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That's an interesting comment fisherman. If the treatment is not worth having, I like to hear your "better solution" for those who need urgent care.
I did not offer one and did not comment in a way that I should offer one as that was not the direction of my comment. I took great pains to not make my post in anyway political and providing any suggestion for change would immediately turn into a political argument.

I do have personal experience in the ER with this type of treatment and with paid for treatment as well. There is no comparison between the two levels I received. I was not born at the same financial state I now enjoy, so I have both experiences. If you have not had to use free treatment options please give them a try and I sincerely hope your experience is better than mine was. you can also question an ER professional about how and what treatment they provide based upon the patients ability to pay. Their answer for someone with chest pains would be a good example.

Again, This is not a statement regarding if you should pay for someone else's care or not or if the new law is good or not as those are much broader subjects. I was only passing on that the free care most allude to is something they very likely have never had to use and I hope they do not ever have to.

The bigger point of my post was how important it is to plan for these types of events as many on this board have the means to do so.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:05 PM   #25
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Kats, I am so sorry. It seems like such a needless death.

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Sad story, but why chose death over a potential bad credit rating? She would NOT have been refused treatment at any ER I know of in the US........that part seems totally unnecessary........

I doubt Obamacare would have guaranteed she was still alive, she seemed quite depressed about her llife in general........
She didn't chose death. According to the article she didn't know what was wrong and avoided going to the doctor because she couldn't afford it. She diagnosed herself. Not an atypical story. Her depression does not seem especially relevant to her death, and if she had health insurance maybe her depression would have been treated.

I know all sorts of people who don't get medical care because they ca't pay for it. It might just mean not going to the dentist, but even that can have long term consequences. It might mean not taking medications, which can lead to bigger problems later. Like others here, I also know someone who avoided a doctor because she had no insurance and ended up dying of breast cancer because it wasn't treated early enough. Sure found a lump, but convinced herself it was probably nothing, as most lumps turn out to be. Things had gone too way to far by the time she went to the doctor. Now her husband rationalizes it as "it was her time."

Of course, others with insurance might avoid doctors too, but at least they are not avoiding them because they can't pay.

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It is a sad story, and of course we need changes to our health care system. However, I find it offensive that they use this sad case to paint anyone who doesn't feel that 'ObamaCare' is the best/only solution as some kind of heartless monster.


-ERD50
The article did not say that.

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I got insurance for my son after he graduated, was off our policy and the first job he found didn't provide health insurance. The policy was $50 a month. No one lost their house. He went to the doctor when he needed to (a high deductible policy, pay the small stuff out of pocket, just like insurance should be structured for most of us).



-ERD50
A woman her age could not get even close to $50 a month, and may very well not be insurable.

There are many who cannot afford the deductibles in high deductible policies. In fact, there is research which shows people going without necessary medical care because they can't afford the deductible.

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I also question (but have not researched) some of the statements in there. Would she have really lost her house (often, that is protected)?



-ERD50
Depends. She might not be able to make mortgage payments if paying medical bills or if garnished for failure to pay medical bills. She might file bankruptcy but live in a state where there isn't much of a homestead exemption.

But a postmortem blame game would not be necessary if we valued health care for all in this country.

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I'm also offended by their twist of the Declaration Of Independence. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is not guaranteed to anyone regardless of which career or life choices they make. It means they are free to make the choices. If that was true regardless, I would have been a failed rock star, and should still expect to live the good life. Many of us chose careers that would provide for our needs, even if it wasn't our first choice of what we wanted to do. I don't think society could function if we were all starving artists.


-ERD50
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... and it is also not everybodys job to live a life like a monk so everybody has health insurance...

I hope someone closes this thread before I blow a gasket and do a Ron Boyd. There is no way to divide the deserving from the undeserving. I value having an educated and healthy population, so I think everyone is deserving. We can make it a right if we chose to make it a right. Getting health care does not equate to "living the good life" for me.

Tool to try to defend health care reform? So what. The story has some relevance.


And we don't have to live like monks to have national health care. Though it might do Charlie Sheen some good to live like a monk for a while.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #26
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So sorry for your loss .Health care has gotten out of hand in this country . We desperately need to be able to take care of our citizens maybe at a more basic level without the horrendous costs that are present today .
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #27
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I hope someone closes this thread before I blow a gasket and .....
Why not put the thread on ignore, rather than impose your idea of what is suitable for discussion or not on others? I think we can each decide that for ourselves. I ignore some threads. And most everyone is in agreement to a large extent - they all want reforms to the system. So why can't this be discussed?


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Getting health care does not equate to "living the good life" for me.
I think you are misinterpreting what we are saying. Under the health care system that we have had, like it or not (and I don't like it), one needs to take some action to be covered. It appears that this person chose to do what she loved, and that didn't come with coverage. Some of us chose to do things we really didn't 'love', in order to get/maintain that coverage. So in a way, she was "living the good life" by doing what she loved. I know people who did what they loved, and took a second job to get the coverage, or got it through a spouse. You make sacrifices. youbet gave an excellent example of this earlier.

Again, I don't like the system we've had, but you have to play the cards you are dealt.


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
However, I find it offensive that they use this sad case to paint anyone who doesn't feel that 'ObamaCare' is the best/only solution as some kind of heartless monster.
The article did not say that.
It certainly implied it, at least that is how I read it:

Quote:
Melissa died because she couldn't afford to see a doctor.

In light of a federal court judge's decision yesterday to overrule the Obama healthcare law,...

RE: Getting a $50/month policy for my son:

Quote:
A woman her age could not get even close to $50 a month, and may very well not be insurable.
Of course not, and I didn't mean to imply that. What I was saying is I know people in the exact position my son was in, who didn't bother to get that $50 policy.

-ERD50
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #28
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As a Canadian, it seems bizarre to me that in the US, education is seen as a fundamental right (everybody everywhere is allowed to go to school till age 18, right?)
You don't understand the USA education system. Yes, publicly funded education is mandated but it varies dramatically in quality from community to community. Children in different communities receive very, very different educations. Calling education a fundamental right would be a stretch IMO.
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Up here, health care is as fundamental a right as education. We don't have mandatory insurance, or even subsidized insurance. We just have a "Health Card," just like a driver's license. You bring it to the hospital and they treat you. End of story. No bankruptcies, no ruining of credit. Just the care you need, no questions asked. I don't understand why the US is so resistant to a similar model.
We're resistant because it's painful to decide how to pay for it. Traditionally, middle and lower class Americans want something for nothing, a way to scam the system, a way to have others pay for what they receive. Upper class types just want to pay as little as possible and support as few others as possible. We'll arm wrestle this one until one of the political parties has enough of a majority to ram something through and then we'll get on with it. In the meantime, FIRE wannabee's will speculate on how they'll be able to RE with publicly funded health insurance they get for free or at a highly subsidized rate.

It's just different down here.......
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #29
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Responding to a few....

We were very close friends when we were younger. We grew apart toward the end of high school. She ended up as a writer. Several years ago we got in contact again. I visited her when I visited my mother. She was living in the house she inherited from her mother, the house she grew up in. The house was paid for and was close to where my mom lives. That is a few hundred miles away so we mostly keep in touch through Facebook and email.

She edited a book of stories that did well, was a fairly well published short story writer, worked as a teacher for a time. She loved writing though. For the past few years she mostly made money as a reviewer and doing interviews for Publishers Weekly as well as from her stories. But not a job with health care insurance.

In Memoriam: Melissa Mia Hall, 1956-2011 Genreville

[By the way I don't see her as being depressed at all. She loved art and writing and was very vibrant.]


No, she couldn't afford health insurance. She had a fall that required medical treatment a year or so ago that almost bankrupted her. It seems so backwards to me that people who *don't* have health insurance get charged 10 times as much as those who do.

My understanding is that she got behind on her real estate taxes and had a payment plan with a payment due on 1/31. If she went to the the ER would they treat her? Sure. But she couldn't afford the huge bill.

I'm sure that if she had realized that her pains were heart attack symptoms she would have done that. On her facebook page she posted early last week that she had injured herself picking up her dog. She then posted several times during the week that she was in a lot of pain. She was so happy when her doctor apparently called in a prescription for her.

I have no doubt that if she thought she was having a heart attack she would have gone to the ER. But, she had a looming tax deadline (and even with a homestead you have to pay your real estate taxes) and she thought she had pulled a muscle. So many talk about all the "unnecessary" doctor visits that people make. I'm sure she didn't think that this was life threatening.

If she had gone to the ER and they said she had a pulled muscle from lifting her dog, how many people would be saying she was frivolous in making an unnecessary visit?

We can certainly debate as to the best healthcare system. And I'm not saying that Obamacare is the best we can do. I do think it is better than what we have now which clearly doesn't work.

Maybe some would say that she should have had a job with health insurance. And maybe she could have had one if she picked a different field of endeavor than the writing she did. Yet, is that how we really want our country to be? Where you have to pick your work based upon whether it gives you health insurance? And what about all the jobs that don't offer health insurance? Bear in mind, she did work ... just not for places that offered health insurance.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:07 PM   #30
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I'll start at the end -



I think you are misinterpreting what we are saying. Under the health care system that we have had, like it or not (and I don't like it), one needs to take some action to be covered. It appears that this person chose to do what she loved, and that didn't come with coverage. Some of us chose to do things we really didn't 'love', in order to get/maintain that coverage. So in a way, she was "living the good life" by doing what she loved. I know people who did what they loved, and took a second job to get the coverage, or got it through a spouse. You make sacrifices. youbet gave an excellent example of this earlier.

Again, I don't like the system we've had, but you have to play the cards you are dealt.


-ERD50
You are blaming her and the 50 million other uninsured people for being in the position they are in. They could have done this, they could have done that, they could have gone to college, they could have picked a different job . . . And how do any of us know that they could have done better? We don't. We all play the cards we are dealt.

I guess you are right. To spare my blood pressure I need to use the ignore function.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:12 PM   #31
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Maybe some would say that she should have had a job with health insurance. And maybe she could have had one if she picked a different field of endeavor than the writing she did. Yet, is that how we really want our country to be? Where you have to pick your work based upon whether it gives you health insurance? And what about all the jobs that don't offer health insurance? Bear in mind, she did work ... just not for places that offered health insurance.
Again, I am so sorry. These stories break my heart. There are so many people who struggle to earn a living. I wish it was different.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:42 PM   #32
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You are blaming her and the 50 million other uninsured people for being in the position they are in.
Well now, that's a bit unfair, isn't it? Remember, I keep saying the system is in need of reform.

So I put some/most of the blame on our messed up system (and most of the mess up can be traced back to govt intervention - tying coverage to employment). But I also think it is over-reaching to say that 50 million (or whatever number) are uninsured through no fault of their own. Many of those people choose to be uninsured (it's available, and at reasonable prices, yet they don't pursue it), some don't take the extra effort that is required under our messed up system to get coverage.

I don't know enough about this individuals situation to comment more fully, but it is at least reasonable to question if she could have taken reasonable steps to obtain coverage. Maybe she really had no options, but many do and just don't take those steps.

-ERD50
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:06 PM   #33
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I am sorry for your loss Kat.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #34
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Just got back from seeing my Doctor and am surprised this thread is still open. Ironic that I was thinking about this topic while waiting for my excellent Doc to give me a check up - routine, preventative, "50,000 mile maintenance" kinda stuff. He's a great Doc - taught at the University of Virginia Medical School and is highly respected. He takes his time with me and makes sure I get the best of care. Plus, he has a great sense of humor and makes a medical appointment something not so dreadful.

I have insurance so this is not an issue for me personally, but I think so much about people who don't have access to decent health care. If they go to an ER, I doubt they would get the quality of health care I'm fortunate enough to receive.

Since this topic keeps coming up in different threads, I think there is a strong desire to talk about health care - an issue which certainly pertains to early retirement. It would be great if we could find a way to talk about this issue without the thread getting closed.

Speaking of closed threads, I see RonBoyd's is now closed. I don't understand why. I would have been unhappy if I had been away from my computer for a day and didn't even get a chance to say something to him before the conversation was ended.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #35
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/snip/
I know all sorts of people who don't get medical care because they ca't pay for it. It might just mean not going to the dentist, but even that can have long term consequences. It might mean not taking medications, which can lead to bigger problems later. Like others here, I also know someone who avoided a doctor because she had no insurance and ended up dying of breast cancer because it wasn't treated early enough. Sure found a lump, but convinced herself it was probably nothing, as most lumps turn out to be. Things had gone too way to far by the time she went to the doctor. Now her husband rationalizes it as "it was her time."

/snip/


I hope someone closes this thread before I blow a gasket and do a Ron Boyd. There is no way to divide the deserving from the undeserving. I value having an educated and healthy population, so I think everyone is deserving. We can make it a right if we chose to make it a right. Getting health care does not equate to "living the good life" for me.

Tool to try to defend health care reform? So what. The story has some relevance.


And we don't have to live like monks to have national health care. Though it might do Charlie Sheen some good to live like a monk for a while.

Martha... just a couple of comments on what you wrote... just having health insurance does not mean the person would still be alive either.. giving example of people dying because they did not does not mean the exact opposite.. One of my oldest sister's best friends died a few years ago with colon cancer... she put off having a colonoscopy for years... she was having problems, but thought it was hemorrhoids... by the time she went to the doc it was way to late.. she died in 6 weeks...

We all are making up what the person would have done if they had insurance... but there are a lot of people who do not like doctors and will only go if they have to.. therefore, I don't usually jump to the conclusion that if they had insurance all would be fine...


Since you quoted me for your last comment about blowing a gasket..... I don't know why you would be so upset at my comment.... wanting the thread to be closed (I do admit that it got offline quickly since the OP was just commenting about her friend passing)..

I was trying to make a point on the Charlie Sheen comment in the article... insinuating that he was wasthing his money and this lady lay dying in her bed... I resented that comment... and made another ridiculous statement about every Starbucks drinker (which if you think about it is a lot more money than Charlie blows)... they are wasting their money drinking that expensive coffee while this lady lay dying... but we all make choices in where we want to spend our money... some have a lot of money and can blow it with 'blow'... others do not have a lot and just live paycheck to paycheck... but can find money for beer and cigs...

I would love to think that it is as easy as you seem to indicate to change our system... I just don't see it...
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:04 PM   #36
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/snip/

No, she couldn't afford health insurance. She had a fall that required medical treatment a year or so ago that almost bankrupted her. It seems so backwards to me that people who *don't* have health insurance get charged 10 times as much as those who do.

/snip/

I'm sure that if she had realized that her pains were heart attack symptoms she would have done that. On her facebook page she posted early last week that she had injured herself picking up her dog. She then posted several times during the week that she was in a lot of pain. She was so happy when her doctor apparently called in a prescription for her.

/snip/

If she had gone to the ER and they said she had a pulled muscle from lifting her dog, how many people would be saying she was frivolous in making an unnecessary visit?
A response to a few of your statements...

I AGREE 100%!!! I am amazed at the price that shows up on the insurance SOB I get when something 'big' is done... my wife had foot surgery and the hospital bill was $10,000... the cost to our health insurance was $2,000 (which we paid since we have a bid deductible)... but, if we did not have insurance they would have billed us the $10K


Your second stmt goes to the heart of the matter IMO... she did not think anything was wrong except for a pulled muscle... as I said before, she might not have gone to a doctor even with insurance..... so making the article with a theme of 'how poor it is that a woman has to die because she is scared of the cost' just does not hold water for me... you can go to a clinic for $100 or so... which she should have done for the meds she got... they might or might not have caught her problem.... but since she did not worry about her symptoms, I do not see any other outcome even with insurance...

I have no problem with someone going to the doctor for pain... it is not a choice of 'I have insurance and can go to a doc' or 'I don't have insurance and have to go to the ER'... she could have gone to a local clinic which is a lot less cost than ER... if the doc did not find anything, you pay the $50 to $150 and you are done... maybe with a prescription, maybe not... but pain means something is wrong... if it is new pain it is best to get it checked...
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:09 PM   #37
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Sad, sad story. The subject of the story who died last week was my childhood best friend. Seems like such an unnecessary death.

The Lipstick Chronicles: The Least Among Us
That you friend died under such circumstances is sad.

That her death is being used by the author to make points about the health care issue (and that political support or opposition of the same by Melissa Mia Hall is not mentioned) is a poor reflection on the author. It would have been better to celebrate her life. The author usurped the death for his own agenda.

I think it is appropriate to comment the health care issues when discussing society in general. But, to use the death of one person of which we know little for political points is wrong.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:22 PM   #38
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I think it is appropriate to comment the health care issues when discussing society in general. But, to use the death of one person of which we know little for political points is wrong.
This is done by many authors to illustrate a point and make it more personal and understandable. For example, consider Bill Gates talking about a little boy he met in Africa that died of AIDS to promote his charity work. The AIDS problem is hard to understand because it's so big - the dealth of one little boy when you see his face makes the tragedy seem more real. There are many examples of using a story about one person to promote understanding of a message. It's used in just about every type of communication - business, religion, politics, education, advertising, etc.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:28 PM   #39
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"Many of those people choose to be uninsured (it's available, and at reasonable prices, yet they don't pursue it), some don't take the extra effort that is required under our messed up system to get
coverage". ERD50

ERD50....I do not agree with your statement above at all. In many cases, individual health insurance is NOT available at an affordable cost. Some people make a huge effort to try and get health coverage under our "messed up system" only to be turned away time and time again. This is because they cannot afford the cost for catasrophic coverage plus paying 100% of their healthcare costs because the deductable is so high. Sometimes it comes down to a choice......buy healthcare insurance and be homeless, or have a home and hope for the best.

Perhaps you don't live in the United States so don't understand our current healthcare system. It isn't an emotional issue....and it's not personal. It's just business. Healthcare if is simply a product just like toothpaste or printer paper. If you can buy it, you can get it.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Purron View Post
This is done by many authors to illustrate a point and make it more personal and understandable. For example, consider Bill Gates talking about a little boy he met in Africa that died of AIDS to promote his charity work. The AIDS problem is hard to understand because it's so big - the dealth of one little boy when you see his face makes the tragedy seem more real. There are many examples of using a story about one person to promote understanding of a message. It's used in just about every type of communication - business, religion, politics, education, advertising, etc.
Yes, and that is why using Melissa Mia Hall death to make point about health care are inappropriate. Melissa Mia Hall death and life is being used by the author's points about health care. We do not know why Melissa Mia Hall
- didn't go to the doctor
- didn't have health insurance
- position on the health insurance debate
- would approve on her life and death being used by the author to make the author's points.
That is why the author is wrong in this article.

As far as Bill Gates - the child and/or parents could be asked for permission to be used in such a way. They would then have the decision to be associated with Bill Gates etc. (If you mean a general 'boy' that is less personal that what is being discussed here.)

The difference is that Melissa Mia Hall could not be asked by the author for that permission.
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