Friday, August 21, 2009

You, Me, Health-Care, The Economy and The World

With this blog, I didn't set out to be a "Mr. Doom & Gloom", but sometimes one must face facts:

1. I now see 4 doctors on a regular basis (5 if you count the Orthopaedist my PCP wants me to see).

2. Each one of these requires a $40.00 co-pay.

3. My meds (refillable monthly) run about $200.00 (not counting the OTC stuff I take to keep from having to take the prescription ones, to keep the cost down)

4. SOME of those meds have severe adverse effects. My new BP medication makes my hands and feet swell to the size of balloons, for example, so guess what? Yup. more expense as we try yet another medicine.

As I write this, I can just imagine some of your comments, such as: "You think you have it rough, Bill? I pay way more than that!", but that isn't the point.

The point is that the sheer expense of doctor's visits and prescriptions is going to cause a lot of us to have to "go without".

I cite as an example, myself: I took myself off the Exelon patch because its cost is $60.00 a month! On my pension and what D makes, it just isn't affordable, so it falls by the wayside, and suddenly I'm in a crapshoot for my life.

Okay, multiply my case with millions of others, and what do you get?

A sky-rocketing mortality rate, just because we cannot afford to take care of ourselves medically.

And no, I'm not taking sides on Obama's health-care reform bill. I'm just stating facts as they apply to me (and perhaps - you).

So what's the answer?


Ready for more?

Recently, the state of California, because it could not pay its bills, issued IOU's to use as "money" on the hope that that "money" would soon magically appear.

Other cities have shut down their governmental ops periodically because they cannot meet their payrolls.

If they can't meet their payrolls, people don't work, and they go without.

"So what else, Bill?"

Here's what else: If cities/states can't pay without having to issue IOU's on worthless paper, what's going to be the next to go?

Computer services (IS, as it's known) will suffer and if the information services?(ISP) provider isn't paid, THEY can't pay THEIR people, and then what?

You're getting the picture, right? (Or you already had it, and I'm late on the "bandwagon", and I'm just stating the obvious - I tend to do that from time to time!)

So what's it gonna be, kids?

Soylent Green or The Waltons?

I vote for the latter. It won't hurt us to go "primitive" again.

Might even do us some good.

Finally, D's and my thoughts and prayers go to our dear friend Becks on this sad occasion of her neighbor's funeral. Please join us.

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


The Animal Rescue Site

edited: to correct spelling and terminology.


Timespanner said...

I'd much rather have the taxpayer-funded public health system we have here in NZ than the situation in America.

Bill Craig said...

I'd much rather have it too, Lisa, but you wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of bitchin' (sorry, ladies) that goes on over here every time we need to raise taxes to help the people.

I mean, when a political party actually PAYS people to agitate and annoy people at town hall meetings, you gotta wonder what's on THEIR agenda?

(And please don't tell me they didn't do this, dear readers. It's a common practice as old as the oldest profession - and that's NOT a slam - it's a fact!)

Autumn's coming up and we're expecting an "explosion" of the H1N1 Virus, the US National Guard is being trained to handle riots when the vaccine runs out, one of my Worl of Warcraft friends has already had it (and recovered, thank God!), so YOU tell Me: are we in deep doggie-doo, or what?

Thanks for your comment dear friend, and I think about you often!


Margaret said...

It's pretty awful being sick-- if you have to worry about paying for care... the thought that people can't afford their meds in the most developed, wealthiest country in the world is mind-boggling.

BTW, insurance companies aren't the way to go, they're in it for profit. A state-run system is better and costs a lot less to administer.

Bill, I don't know what to say. I just hope that once you get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your pseudosenility/depression problem that your costs will go down, and perhaps you'll need fewer meds. The fewer drugs you have to take, the better. Fewer drugs=fewer side effects and interactions.

Take good care.

Anonymous said...

They still have here in California, state funded medical programs. I am on the MISP (Medically Indigent Service Programs), lovely word indigent. Unfortunately, that is the position I have found myself in. There are other programs for womens health that I can get into for the pap and mamo. It takes a lot of research to find the progams, paperwork, legwork, humility and extended waits, for doctors appointments, and you have to be pretty much piss poor to use them. And they will only do what is absolutely necessary. Which puts me in the position of having to fudge the truth a bit, to get the tests, checkups and treatment I feel I need.

I do however, feel glad that these are available, considering California is up shit creek with the budget. I expect it's just a matter of time before they start really cutting back on these services. Although they are building a brand new facility for the financially suppressed.

I also agree, that the lack of medical care for everyone in this country borders on cruel if not criminal.

We probably won't see the necessary changes to medical in our lifetime, if ever.

DAB, I don't know if there is a generic for the Exelon Patch or any other dementia drugs, but you should ask your doctor if there are and also ask if they can provide any samples. I and others I know have lasted a long time on getting free samples from the doctors, but you have to ask for them. It's not money out of their pockets, they get them for free from the pharm companies.

Also, if some of the meds you are taking have generic ones, WalMart offers them for as low as $4.00 per month and three months for $10.00. Worth checking into.

Thanks for the well wishes on losing a dear friend and neighbor. I'm pretty wiped out emotionally at the moment, but life has to go on and I have to continue caring for my mom the best I can.


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, what's a PCP. In my younger days, that was a hallucinogenic that took your brain to far out places. Not that I ever used it of course.


Bill Craig said...

Becks: PERISH the thought! *LOL* Loved the Koala bear joke.

You hang in there through this sad time and the loss of your friend.

As far as me and D are concerned, you're "family"!

Your friends

"DAB' and D

skericheri said...

Bill read your post last night. You got me thinking and I did a little research.This is something that I posted elsewhere.

Take a look at total dollars (US dollars adjusted for purchasing power parities (PPPs)) spent per capita for advanced countries to see just how bad the situation is:
According to a Census Bureau report published in August 2008, there were 45.6 million persons in the United States who did not have health insurance in 2007 (the latest year for which figures are available). Even after subtracting the 9.7 million of the uninsured who were not U.S. citizens the total of 39.5 is shameful. Under current economic conditions I suspect that this figure is rising every day.
In 2003 the head of Health Care Financing Administration (they are responsible for Medicare & Medicaid Services) was paid $135,000. According to Forbes William McGuire the United Health Group CEO is rumored to have made as much as 124.8 mil. (includes stock gains). in total compensation in 2005. In my opinion users of Medicare & Medicaid Services are getting a bang for their buck while the policy holders of United Heal Group are getting banged for their buck.
According to the World Health Organization, America ranks 37th in the world in terms of the main measures of health care quality, losing even to Cuba.
Under the current system every American pays additional money to cover uncompensated care in every medical bill and insurance premium. This cost comes from both the uninsured and the 62% of all bankruptcies in America that stem from medical costs.
In 2011, Mexico hopes to have a cheap, single payer system. If they meet that goal US companies will flock there to take advantage of the savings. I suspect that our current health care system is could be one of the reasons why the U.S. auto industry fell apart. They find themselves competing on price against countries whose industries did not have to spend huge sums to provide health care for their workers because their government provides that.

Bill Craig said...

Wow, Cheri! That's some heavy-duty research, thanks!

From what I can tell, we're putting "Band-Aids" on everything, but not really healing the wounds.

If I may sound morose for a moment: It has always been a concern of mine that I not go to my death concerned about the lives of my son and grand children and THEIR children, but I wonder if that's even possible for anyone anymore?

Take me doing something I love, such as cycling, or put me on a morphine drip.