Your America

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Your America: The Best Health Care System in the World

    So ... um ... right:

    It sat in front of him, on top of a pillow that rested on a milk crate.

    He sprinkled baby powder on it -- what looked like a huge watermelon encased in a compression bandage -- but the unmistakable smell of urine couldn't be completely smothered.

    "Hard to believe, isn't it?" 47-year-old Wesley Warren Jr. said in the poorly lit apartment. "It's freakish."

    What sat in front of where Warren was seated in shorts -- what is actually attached to him -- was more than 100 pounds of scrotum, the protective sac of skin and muscle that contains his testicles.

    "It's not easy to get around," he said, standing and groaning as he lifted his scrotum off its makeshift pedestal and carefully let it hang almost to the floor. "It makes me stay in most of the time."

    If there is a more unusual medical condition afflicting someone from Southern Nevada, the medical community or patient hasn't come forward with it. Warren has gone public, even though he knows there will be those who laugh at him, because he desperately wants a costly surgery to correct the scrotal elephantiasis that became part of his life nearly three years ago.


    For three years Mr. Warren has suffered with his condition, eventually accepting that he is, more than anything else, a joke. He even went on Howard Stern's program, as "Jonathan from Las Vegas":

    ... to let people know that his penis is so buried in his scrotal tissue that he can't direct his urination and often sprays the area around him.

    He also told -- to more laughter on the set -- of how he can't sit down for a bowel movement and must catch it in the same kind of pail used in casinos for coins.

    "I don't like being a freak, who would?" Warren said. "But I figured that the Stern show is listened to by millions of people and they might want to help me. I hope some millionaire or billionaire will want to help me."

    Many people have reached him through his email address, he said.

    How much financial help he's received, Warren won't say.

    "What I've got is a start," he said, his eyes tearing up.

    And why would anyone choose to live this way? Well, it's not really a matter of choice. Mr. Warren needs to raise a million dollars.

    That's right: $1,000,000.00

    A cool million is the estimated cost of correcting the problem.

    And as it is, Dr. Mulugeta Kassahun, a urologist familiar with the condition—variously described in twenty different documentations as scrotal elephantiasis, scrotal lymphedema, or scrotal edema—has told him that correcting the problem, in addition to the cash, might also cost Mr. Warren his penis and testicles.

    And he gets to find out, as long as he raises a million dollars first. Because that's how the so-called best health care system in the world works.


    Harasim, Paul. "Las Vegas man with 100-pound scrotum seeks money for surgery". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 16, 2011. October 18, 2011.
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  3. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Tiassa shouldn't you be rejoicing about the values of capitalism in this? Obviously he isn't a productive member of society or he would have the money to spend on this, its obviously more important that the wall street bigwigs get there bailout than the basic citizens get healthcare because they are more important. Thats what the teabaggers were all about wasn't it, "don't give us services, just give the poor rich guys more money"
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  5. Ellie Banned Banned

    What does that have to do with anything?

    If you could fix this guys balls how much would you charge?

    The technology to fix balls.

    The research to fix balls.

    The medicine and all the research for the medicine.
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  7. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    It's not really about money.
    They tried, but they don't know how to fix his condition.

    So what, even with the best medical system in the world not every medical condition is fixable.
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    And yet this man already has Medicaid. His already has your ideal health coverage: Healthcare paid for by the government..

    However, he has a very unusual problem that requires very specialized care by an entire team of surgical specialists. His government health plan doesn't cover surgery at the place he believes would give him the best chance to avoid castration and the amputation of his penis. It would cover the surgery somewhere else, just not at the place he wants to go.

    Understandably, he wants to avoid castration and the amputation of his penis, so he is attempting to raise the money needed to go elsewhere.

    What guarantee is there that he would be any better off under some government sponsored single payer plan? Would he even have the option to go to where he believes he will receive the best care under a single payer system?

    His situation is tragic and I'm disappointed that the doctors at UCLA didn't take him on as a charity case, but given that this man actually has insurance I hardly see this as an indictment of the US healthcare system.

    Hopefully the publicity he will receive as a result of this article will help him raise the money he needs and/or shame UCLA into taking care of him for free or at least accepting the rate Medicaid would pay.
  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Dude should get medical :m: and be happy.

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  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Thank you

    Oh, quit with the fake naïveté; it's just a bit transparent, you know, and more than a little insulting.

    That is, do you really think "healthcare paid for by the government", deliberately constricted—some might suggest sabotaged—in order to appease your preferred brand of politics, is my ideal health coverage?

    That's new. Please cite your source.

    Ah, I see. Makes perfect sense. Thank you for explaining how your America would work.
  11. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    We had Kaiser when I was growing up . It was O.K. . Pretty fast get you in get you out kind of thing for the most part . Then after I came of age " Nothing for may years as I wocked as a scab. ( My new word walk work combined to describe the slavery of humanity , The human condition ) It was not until I got back in the union then I had a choice . Kaiser was one of em . I chose Kaiser. It cost 1 dollar every time you went to the doctor with that plan and the other one was what ever the doctor charged over a premium . You can see why I picked Kaiser as most did except a few with a long time family doctor .
    Anyway I been a cash payer for a long time now . Butt load cheaper than insurance so far ! Knock ! On ! WOOD !!!!! I wnat to live ( That is my new word for not sure ) O.K. O.K. what did I learn from cash pay . There profit margin is to low . I don't know how they stay in business ? They don't charge enough . There administration cost eat the shit out of the budget from the get go then the poor slob that is running the machine puts it farther in the hole . I don't know how they do it ? They must be soaking some one some where ? Insurance companies maybe ? They got to do better than brake even just to keep up with deferred maintenance when it comes due . If the Insurance company is over charged who gonna pay them for there over charge . Premiums ? You think that could be that ? O.K. what happens to the litigation and malpractice insurance . Who pays for that ? Besides doctor premiums . I mean the litigation and the blood sucking Lawyers. Who pays for that? They get paid pretty good to don't they ? Who pays for that ? The insurance company silly . Who pays for that , Premiums. You see a problem with system and who are they that like to make as much law as they can ? Who would have the most to gain ? You need a good one when you get in trouble with the law . There a big hint . What a waste is all I got to say . Think of all that wasted energy . On what ? Now that leads to one big industry if you think about it . Great for money sucking poverty to sneak up on you !
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Ah, if only he were left to the private insurance system. Then he'd have.... no insurance at all, and no way to get any treatment. Sounds like a convincing argument against government health care, all right...

    What is guaranteed, is that this guy would be unambiguously worse off without the government sponsored plan he already has. Then he'd have no options whatsoever, rather than options he isn't entirely thrilled with.

    Let's note, again, that the private insurance system would not give this guy the option to go anywhere at all. He's in the category of people that GOP debate attendees would cheer at being left to die.

    Didn't you just spend half of that post indicting the US healthcare system for providing this guy with insurance that is insufficient to send him to exactly the hospital he wants to go to?

    Conversely, if merely "having insurance" (and not the ability to go to whichever boutique clinic you think might best serve you) is the rubric for criticism, then you have no real grounds to criticize reforms intended to extend coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans out there (be it ObamaCare or single-payer national health insurance).

    Is it actually an issue of the rate, or the fact that he has Nevada Medicaid and wants California surgery? The articles I found didn't say anything about the rates, just that UCLA wasn't going to accept Nevada Medicaid. Does Nevada put some limits on their Medicaid funding of out-of-state care? Or is it an issue of dollar amounts?

    Also the expectation that charity should handle any holes in the insurance system is pretty craven. Why have insurance at all, when health care providers and the general public apparently have some duty to see to it that everyone gets the care they need at a price they can afford? Conversely, if such a duty exists, why not just codify it as a national single-payer system?
  13. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    It's government healthcare. Isn't that your Holy Grail? Everyone forced onto a government plan. Everyone subject to government control.
    The article you referenced in the OP. Did you read it? Here's the relevant portion:
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


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    That's not what government funded healthcare means - having a plan available for everyone does not imply that everyone has to use it. It simply means that those that don't have the money have an option available to them other than simply suffering.
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I'm not arguing that all government healthcare programs for the poor should be abolished. Of course someone in this guys position deserves help..
    There's a difference between providing coverage for the poor, which amounts to charity, and taking over the entire healthcare system.

    My criticism is that any government system is going to limit choice and put even more people in the unfortunate position this gentleman finds himself in.
    The article referenced in the OP explains that it's both:
    I personally provide free eye care to patients unable to pay all the time. Usually at least a few patients every week and once a year I provide eye exams to an entire homeless shelter.

    I also know many surgeons willing to do the same. Most surgeons I deal with are happy to assist hardship cases and many even travel to third world countries to provide vision restoring surgery to people who would otherwise not have access to it.

    As to a duty, it's just basic decency to help someone in need. We should (and do) have programs to help the disabled and the poor. When people fall thru the cracks, we should help each other.
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Unless, of course, the only realistic way to provide health coverage for the uninsured is exactly to institute national healthcare. Because then you have a big enough pool of payers to actually deal with that stuff, and enoug bargaining clout and centralization to control costs.

    Impossible on its face - the guy's already in a government system, so it can't be the case that any government system would be worse than this one.

    1/6 of Americans lack health insurance. Are 1/6 of your patients charity cases? If not, then you aren't doing your fair share to address the problem.

    So, then, your answer to the 52 million uninsured Americans is... what? Hope a doctor takes you on as a charity case?

    Why not just embrace a system that gets rid of all the cracks that tens of millions of Americans are falling through in the first place.
  17. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Who needs optometrists? A spoon and a razor blade are much cheaper

    My "holy grail" as such, is a health care system that can accommodate everyone's needs. The social contract of a government, while one might argue for or against obligation or capability, at least includes the possibility. The social contract of the private sector does not include that possibility. The social contract of the private sector is entirely about profit and greed. Goods and services are only provided as long as it is profitable according to investor expectations.

    We might also pause to consider that it is the concerns of capitalists, conservatives, and other greedy folks that make the idea of universal healthcare something to be described distastefully as "forced onto a government plan", or "everyone subject to government control". You might as well pollute the groundwater and then complain about the pollution in the municipal water. Certes, at some point you must be capable of recognizing the fact that plenty of people can see right through your disingenuousness.

    You know, like the old joke: ... and a Republican will tell you what is wrong with government. Then he will get elected and prove it.

    It doesn't mean that government is inherently bad. Rather, it just means conservatives who complain about government probably shouldn't govern.

    Interesting. I didn't read it that way. Although if we read sentences and paragraphs as entirely independent of one another, then yes, I can actually see your interpretation. Otherwise, I think your conclusion is suspect.

    I mean, you do realize, do you not, that if the reason Wesley Warren is walking around with a one hundred pound scrotum is simply because he has refused effective surgery, there really isn't any point to publishing his story.

    Indeed, none of the coverage I've been able to locate suggests specifically that he has refused a viable surgery in favor of a more expensive option out of state. To the other, there is always a solution—just amputate. And, frankly, you're right: It would be a lot less expensive that way. There are a number of ailments and injuries that could be settled a lot less expensively if the standard medical procedure was to amputate. I mean, why bother with a lifetime of glasses or contact lenses? It's much quicker to just yank the eye. (A spoon and a razor blade are a lot cheaper than an optometrist.)

    Anyway, what it seems is going on is that doctors in Nevada have pointed Mr. Warren to a facility staffed and equipped to help, except it's out of state, so it's out of the question for Medicaid. And if it was in state, it would still be too expensive for Medicaid, because that's how we accommodate conservative avarice.
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I don't know of any system where all the doctors work for the government (and who in their right mind would want such a system).
    Indeed, in Obama care the care is provided by the private sector and administered by the same insurance companies as do so today.

    In this red-herring of a case that the OP presents, he has received plenty of treatment and indeed surgery to correct the problem was offered for free.

    He simply refused the treatment offered.

    So what?

    You want special treatment then you pay for it.
    That's the same reason why some Canadians come here, for special treatment.

  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Wait a minute. That was a story line on South Park! They got the condition deliberately in order to qualify for medical hemp. Except Stan's dad was using it for mobility by bouncing on it like a medicine ball. That last part never seemed completely realistic.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    And what treatment was that?

    What treatment did he refuse?
  22. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    From your OP link:

    They told him of the risks and he declined and went looking for treatment elsewhere.

    Since he is under Nevada's Medicare plan, they won't necessarily pay for out of state treatment if treatment is available in Nevada.

    In this case it is but he apparently doesn't trust the Nevada doctors.

  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The mystery treatment?

    In addition to ignoring my prior address of this issue°, you fail to tell me what that treatment is.


    ° ignoring my prior address of this issue — Was that deliberate? After all, it's part of the post you replied to.

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