Saturday, September 12, 2009

Healthcare "Meme"

I got this one from Daphne, and thought I would join in!

The "Meme":
"This is so important to pass on that I'm tagging everyone who reads my blog to please post it on yours and encourage your readers to do the same (especially those of you who have a huge readership, which I don't), and if you can relate a personal anecdote that highlights how horrible the current system is (one that touched/is touching you or someone you love), all the better."

My Anecdote/Story:
Thankfully, so far in life, my family has yet to come up against a real health related tragedy. We get sick from time to time, sure; but I grew up with parents that allowed our immune systems to fully develop by not taking us to the doctor for every little cough or sneeze. Growing up, our "treatment" often consisted of: "Drink plenty of fluids and take a day or so off of school to rest up." Tylenol was given in the event of a fever, but was rare. I don't resent my parents methods at all. My body learned how to fight disease all by itself. These days, I see parents traipsing into the doctor's office (or the ER) every time their child sneezes or has a slightly elevated temperature and pumping the kids full of antibiotics at every turn. It's no wonder the kids have virtually non-existent immune systems.

However, laying all that aside, I *still* do not agree with our current health care system, which seems to be designed to benefit only the medical community and pharmaceutical companies. Recently, my 4 year old, started having trouble sleeping at night due a persistent dry cough. The cough only occurred at night around the same time, and kept her (and us) awake for hours until she could settle back down to sleep. Since Tim had asthma as a child, we decided to bring her in to see her pediatrician to make sure that Nadi-B wasn't asthmatic as well. The idea being that I would like to know BEFORE she had a full out asthma attack.

I made the appointment and paid the $40.00 co-pay for her to see the pediatrician. $40.00 AFTER insurance(I can only imagine how much it would have been without the craptacular insurance plan we have from Tim's work) for her to see the doctor for 5 minutes. I.E.- just long enough for her to say "It might be asthma, or it might be allergies," the two options I already KNEW were possible. She was supposed to give me an answer... after all that's what I paid for. What she did give me was a prescription for children's singulair which treated allergies and prevented asthma related attacks. We were to put her on the medicine for 2 weeks, with the idea that if the coughing stopped, it was more likely allergies.

I bring the prescription to be filled; We wait the 45 minutes it takes for them to put 30 pills into one bottle; We return to pick up the prescription. $158 and change the lady tells me. I look at her. She looks back. I say, "did you take off already for the insurance coverage?" She looks at the bag. "Yes, that's after the insurance "coverage." What gets me, was her face. NO SYMPATHY. NONE. She is looking at me like I'm standing in the way of her beautiful perfect fantasy life: where everyone is happy to fork over hundreds of dollars for not a lot of medicine that may or may not work. She is looking at me like I'm wasting her precious time. She is exasperated WITH ME for standing there, completely unable to come up with $158 dollars and change out of thin air. "You can keep them," I say, "I just don't have that kind of money."

I called the hubs in tears (yes, tears, I was preggers and emotional) and explain to him that our pediatrician seems to think we shit gold bricks or something because there is NO WAY we could ever afford that prescription. But how do I justify letting my daughter go without it when she really could possibly maybe have asthma and a serious attack is maybe just possibly waiting in the wings to take her away from me. And if she DOES have asthma and has to be on this medicine for the rest of her life, how do we pay $158 and change EVERY MONTH? How??

After Tim gets me calmed down, he calls the pediatrician and inquires if maybe there isn't a less pricey medication that we can try instead. She, obviously forgetting that not everyone is a doctor and can afford $158 and change every month, insists that singulair is the only option. "Well we just can't afford it," Tim tells her. She tells him to go to the office and she'll leave us a box of samples at the desk for us to try. Now, why? WHY? did she not just give us samples to begin with? Wasn't this supposed to be some whacked out science experiment anyway? Weren't we just going to TRY this drug to SEE if she had allergies or asthma and then go from there? If it wasn't certain that we were going to need the medicine for ever and ever, why couldn't she have just given us the two weeks worth of samples and called it a day. The answer: Because the system makes more money if we pay for the science experiment. They come out better if WE pay for the answers they can't give us, but are charging us for twice over anyway. (the co-pay + the medicine= $200 answer she couldn't give me)

Now, I am not Obama's biggest fan. I would hesitate to call myself a fan at all. I don't know if he'll be able to pull off something better than what we've got going on in the health care world right now.... or not. But I know he's at least interested in trying and, I have to give credit where it's due for that. I know that we can't go on like this. Right now, it's very possible that Nadi-B has the flu and I'm already trying to figure out where I'm going to get the $40 to find out if she does or not. But we have to, right, because now there is the new baby to think of as well and if he gets it from B, who knows? It's scary when you have to think of how you can possibly afford to keep your family safe and healthy. Shouldn't everyone have THAT peace of mind available for cheaps? YES. The answer is YES THEY SHOULD. No one should have to lose sleep over that. No one should have to worry over how to take care of their babies or their loved ones. Even if you HATE Obama... even if you think he's a right bloody prick or the devil incarnate, you can't deny that the current health care system sucks monkey balls. It's worthless and a complete sham.

So, yeah, if you feel the need, repost this meme in your own blog. If you feel the need to give me a good talking to about how we're better off leaving the health care system alone as is, you can take yourself off or mail me the $40 to take B to the doctor and pay me to hear your piece. *Laughs*


Daphne said...

Great post! I agree. I don't know if Obama will be able to pull this off... but he's the only guy we've got who seems to be really willing to try. So I'm all for it. I have Canadian friends who are just astounded that we are still struggling with this health care stuff. How can this be such an issue in 2009 in America??

Tammie said...

this is awesome. im definitely going to do this one when i get a free moment or to two.

i always get a little worried when i have to take the kids to the doctor. not so much because the kids are sick, my kids are relatively healthy. but the price. and you're right about prescriptions...they are out of control, price wise. ive known people who couldnt afford their birth control pills, so they go off of them , and the inevitable happens.

our insurance feels pretty craptastic too. we seem to pay a lot for it, yet it never really covers much. but its not like i have another option.

Barefoot_Mommy said...

I will definitely read it when you post it. My sister in law has the same problems with her birth control... and then if the insurance does cover it, it only covers certain kinds and brands, and so forth. We pay more than our insurance is worth too. It's *almost* not worth it... almost. *sigh*