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Thursday, April 05, 2012



For me the question on Dick Cheney's transplant is whether he waited in line for a donor heart or somehow jumped line? There are always more people waiting than there are donor hearts and some die waiting. Given the visibility of his case just because he is Dick Cheney I'll assume the agency that makes the decision on who gets the next donor heart played it straight but I'd like to be reassured that it was done by the rules. If you see anything on that subject let us know I'm ok with his insurance and Medicare paying for it - in the future I think it'll be such that those of means such as Cheney either pay more in premiums or pay more for services but for now all are treated equally and I'd not single him out till there's an across the board change in those rules. And if he's in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program he pays an insurance premium of about $425 per month - like all fed retirees. So it's heavily subsidized but not free health care. Medicare will be primary for him and his FEHB insurance which is thru some regular carrier like Blue Cross or Aetna is secondary. Same as my situation as a fed retiree.

Jim Howard

I am not sure it was in the links I gave but I read some stories that said he was not given special treatment for the list. That it is monitored very well to make sure that does not happen.
But they did say that a person can get on more than one list and in fact not limited to any number of list if you can afford to pay for the testing for that list and if you can afford to get to the location.
I think that would make the difference. He could afford to be on all the lists that he wanted and he has the money so that getting to where they had a heart would not be a problem.
I think that is sort of a loop hole for rich people. Even if the medical testing was just $500.00 to get on a list many people could not afford to be on more than one list. Then you got the requirement to have the ability to be at the location of the heart in x amount of time. He could afford a private jet if needed.
I at first was thinking that they might have given him a special pass because of his age. It does not look like that.
One thing they said is that you can not have any other medical problems except heart. So you can not have lung or liver problems or something like that. So if he has a problem like that then they did not follow the rules.


The super rich and Cheney's one of them just assume money will get them access and a special deal - they're accustomed to it and to them it's not "jumping line" or anything out of the ordinary. Well how do I know but i'm guessing they are so used to having travel made easy for them and other things that they assume and often do get special treatment in medical care.

They make their own loop holes and could easily have a air ambulance and crew standing by to leave for "anywhere" on an hour's notice and still be within the transplant rules. So they follow the rules but have their own ways to give themselves advantages over others. In fact I'll say the rest of us are so accustomed to it we more or less assume they're going to get access ahead of others.

I guess he has been on the list for some time but not sure that was known publicly. I wish him well - medical issues are sort of a King's X area and I hope the transplant takes and he's healthier than he's been in a long time. He's defied death several times. I'm no fan of Dick Cheney but don't wish him ill - just wish he'd shut up.

I've known two guys in the NWS who had successful heart transplants. The rare and miraculous surgery of the 60s is nowt routine enough I personally knew two transplant patients. Sort of amazing. One has since died but lived for a number of years via the transplant.


Jim Howard

At one hospital that I worked at I helped a patient into the hospital. It was not an ER patient but someone being admitted for surgery or something. I took the patient to the admitting desk. The patient said I am a "VIP" or something to that effect.
The admitting woman said oh yes.. and took the patient direct to his or her room. No questions asked. No paper work to fill out. The person was on the Board of Directors or something like that.
My problem with that is that they set a board that decides things about the hospital but they get special treatment so they have no idea how the hospital works for everyone else.
Had the same thing at another hospital. Same sort of a deal.
I am sure that their special treatment extended to everything else. Going on a unit with more staffing. Getting special meals and everything else.
If I was on a board I would want to be treated like everyone else. Then I would make a better board member.

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