I’ve been watching and reading about the “debate” on national health care that’s going on in the US as someone who’s waiting for it to boil out of control or for someone to actually have a debate and stop screeching at the top of their lungs at every opportunity.
I’ve seen the folks who are disrupting meetings no matter what side they land on be it pro or con. This is not the way to get your point across people. It makes the opposing side look at you sideways and secretly signal for security to sweep you out the door.
I titled this the privilege of having health insurance because I was gobsmacked at how much drugs cost when you don’t have insurance yesterday. I say gobsmacked because I’m not someone who has to take meds constantly or has had serious medical issues in the 36 years I’ve been on this planet. I recently decided to get back on the Pill and I’ve always had insurance so I’ve never thought much of the $10, $15 or even $20 co-pay that I’d shell out every month. This time around I switched to Seasonale, a 3 month on, 1 month off extended cycle Pill and the first time I got it the pharmacy gave me the Generic Quasense. That only cost me $35, I went on my merry way for the next 90 days.
This time I asked for the name brand because of side effects and had to shell out $65. What stopped me cold was the cheerful information at the top of the prescription bag telling me I’d saved $195.00 because I have insurance. I had to text my partner because I just could not believe something as essential as a contraceptive could cost so much for an uninsured woman. Who the hell can afford to shell out $256 every three months in this day and age? Maybe a married woman, but she’s likely to have insurance from her job or her spouses job. The average person who is uninsured likely does not have that kind of money for medications, what the hell is wrong on this country when pharmaceutical companies can charge that kind of money for medication that is essential to some women.
But this makes me wonder about the woman who needs the Pill to stave off Fibroids, regulate her cycle or other reasons that aren’t purely for contraception. What about the woman who’s barely making a living wage from a job that may not offer insurance or may not cover something like contraceptives? What about the woman who may need to make the choice that month between the Pill and the electric and gas bills?
It sickens me that the drug industry has gotten to the point where they can charge such outrageous sums of money for drugs that the public needs. As for drugs the public wants, that’s a whole other story. When I read that triple digit number on my pharmacy bag, it firmly cemented the need for health care reform in this country. Those that want to keep the status quo are probably the ones benefiting the most from it.
If you haven’t made up your mind on this issue, I ask you to look into what it costs people who have no insurance for care or medication. Think about what you have and how lucky you are to have it; but also think about how it can be better for everyone in this country to be able to get health care when they need it and not only those with the privilege of being a card caring insured member of society.