Today, I had to go to the doctor for a routine physical. I TOTALLY HEART my doctor, but ouch to the flu shot.
While I was there, I got a few prescriptions, including one for a skin condition that the first dermatologist I saw for it told me black people couldn’t get. WTH?
But I digress. The skin condition is aggravated by exercise, which I’ve been doing a fair bit of, and is aggravated by hot weather, which is Memphis most summers.
I picked up my RXs from Walgreens and in that brochure that lists all the stuff you’re supposed to watch out for, the stuff I rarely read on RXs I’ve taken before, I noticed a line that I rarely pay attention to. This time, this single line of type stuck out, what with all the debate over what form, if any, health care reform should take.
I only got three prescriptions filled – but my insurance saved me $313.45. I paid… a whopping total of… wait for it… wait for it… $16.05.
I was stunned when the tech said that was all I owed, but I gave her my debit card and hightailed it out of there before they came up with something else. One of my RXs, my insurance pays all of it. I have some good insurance, clearly, although I don’t think this option will be one of those offered next year by my employer.
I’ll be honest. I could afford the $313 a month for this. It’d mean I would give less to charity and save less for a rainy day, but I could manage. I just paid off my car, so it’d be like paying a car note for drugs.
But it’d be a huge inconvenience for my retired parents or my sister who is still trying but hasn’t found a job with benefits, despite the fact she has TWO degrees. And many, many people – and probably me, before I had this job – wouldn’t be able to come up with an extra $313 per month if our lives depended on it. And often, our lives DO depend on our medicines.
I HONESTLY don’t know exactly what should be done. But I do think that those of us who can afford it should pay a little more, if that means that those who can’t can get the care they need.
Saw a shocking story in the NYT about an INSANE Medicare policy that only covers three years worth of anti-rejection drugs for kidney transplant patients. The drugs can cost up to $4,000 a month, but dialysis, which is what you go on if you’re waiting on your kidney or your kidney fails, costs $71,000 a year – and Medicare will pay for that indefinitely. This poor woman blew out a donated kidney because she had to scrimp on her anti-rejection drugs when Medicare stopped paying for them. Does that make ANY sense?
It’s examples like that that let me know there probably is enough waste in the system to pay for those who are uninsured now. And that we have to do something. And a public option (we already HAVE socialized medicine, folks – it’s called Medicare, VA, what federal employees get) should not be negotiable.
Yes, health care reform going to be messy and expensive, but it’s worth it. And I’m just naive enough to believe that America can do it.