Sunday, June 08, 2008

caregiving: "Here's a cold truth ..."

I confess to jumping up and making noises more appropriate in a stadium than in front of a PC after reading the following article from the Washington Post by author Michael L. Millenson.


Want Universal Health Care?

The Operative Word Is 'Care.'


“ … Here's a cold truth: Despite much media hand-wringing on the subject, most of us give about as much thought to those who lack health coverage as we do to soybean subsidies. The major obstacle to change? Those of us with insurance simply don't care very much about those without it. …”


Specifically with Multiple Sclerosis, treatments in recent years involve maintenance medications. When Patti was trying Avonex for example the cash price would have been over $1,000 a month for 4 weekly injections. Far, far less when purchased through her prescription plan.


If you were uninsured or underinsured you were locked out of such a treatment option.


Or suppose you or your spouse’s health care prescription benefits change? Divorce, disability, unemployment or death can and will change your family medical benefits?


Whether patient or caregiver you may as well be playing Russian roulette with the economics of healthcare each and every day.


How do you continue expensive maintenance medication? Safety nets such as Medicare and Medicaid rarely cover the “designer” medications.


What if anything is known about the effects of abruptly having to abandon a treatment because your family health care situation changed?


"One paycheck from poverty/One illness or injury from misery," is this really the best we can do as a national heath care policy?


“… It has been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican running unsuccessfully on the Bull Moose Party ticket, boldly became the first presidential candidate to promise universal health coverage. That was in 1912. Nearly a century later, we're still waiting for a leader …”


Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer 





(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")


  1. wonder if we will ever get it (universal healthcare); you are absolutely right, Patrick, I don't think about those who don't have health insurance (well maybe once in awhile when I go to the doctor and see how expensive services are and I'm grateful I have insurance); we just get some wrapped up in our lives we forget the lives of others who are struggling and less fortunate; I hope one day health care will be affordable to all and available to all


  2. Even with health insurance, many go with out Dr's visits simply because they cannot afford the co-pays and deductibles.Games people play to survive rival Los Vegas crap tables. "Let's hope it's a sprained ankle and not a facture. The baby is cutting teeth and not catching pneumonia. The cough that hangs on is just going around and not early lung cancer. Well, migraines run in the family. Learn to live with it." And the most expensive visit ends up with these words, "Well, let's just watch it for a couple of weeks and then check back if you're not feeling better."

    Valid, sound advice from the doctor, perhaps. But...the expense can kill the family financially and emotionally. And yet, one hangs on to the insurance, "just in case".
    And the insurance companies get fatter and fatter!

  3. I went through a lot of my adult life without care in order for Charlie to keep his. It just isn't possible to be able to go to the doctor, much less any medicine needed. Another loop in the system, I guess...



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