Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Healthcare Issue Comes Home

It's been one of the most, if not the most, horrific of allergy seasons.

I've been on the verge of a sinus infection for months. Sometime in the last two weeks, I went hurtling over the edge. Part of the resulting domino effect found me fighting an ear infection last weekend.

Early on Monday, I called the doctor's office. Once I finally got someone on the phone, I was quickly told that sure, I could have an appointment … on July 3. Seriously?! Five minutes later, I was on the website for our local Walgreens' Take Care Clinic. 

Less than three hours after that, I was back home with drugs in hand. Today, while worn out and hardly 100 percent, I am actually better. Without medication, I wonder, how much worse would I be right now? I'm just glad I don't have to find out.

But … what if I were among the millions without health insurance? Chances are good I wouldn't have bothered to call the doctor. And the clinic? Chances are better I wouldn't have the $89 fee and the subsequent $100 plus to pay for my medication. (Being among the fortunately insured, I paid a $20 visit fee and $10 for my medication.) It was a struggle to get up and out the door all week, even though I was being treated. Just how sick would you ultimately have to become to be cared for?

I think a lot. (Probably too much for my own good sometimes.) And this little experience really got me thinking.  As I type this, my own state is notifying THOUSANDS of people that they will no longer provide health insurance premium coverage (for adults who make a certain percentage above the poverty level) or prescription coverage (for seniors at or below poverty level). 

My fear is that this could soon be the national experience we face after the November election. And to extend the fear to my own doorstep, if l lose my remaining thread to employment, when it comes to healthcare, I could be just like those who are pulling those happy letters from the state out of their mailboxes: screwed.

Think you're outside the healthcare debate? Think the election doesn't matter? Think again.


Kathy said...

My husband decided to quit his job and look for different work back in February. We've consequently been without health insurance since then, and I'm on about $400 worth of meds/month. (That's three prescriptions) I haven't been in to have my bloodwork done or my blood pressure checked because frankly I can't afford the $315 office visit fee. That's $315 for approximately 2.5 minutes of service. We won't add in the lab fees.
We did try to obtain private insurance at $875/month. We were turned down for having too many pre-existing conditions.
How can people say this country doesn't need some sort of national health care program? We're not poor by any definition, and we're struggling to afford health care!

Karen Anne said...

This year thanks to a new med being added, I fork out $600 a month for meds in the Medicare donut hole,

That's 50% of the full price of the prescriptions, thanks to the new healthcare law. Last year anyone in the donut hole paid 100%. The donut hole is going to continue to close until it's completely gone.

Unless the Supreme Court throws out the health care law, that is.

Anyone on Medicare or who is going to be on Medicare and who votes Republican is certifiably crazy. Not to mention if they care about preserving Social Security.