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View Diary: Another Casualty Of The Bush Recession (237 comments)

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  •  My grandmother did this and ended up (20+ / 0-)

    in the hospital.

    She falls withion the infamous "donut hole" in the Medicare Prescription Drug farce.  She cut her blood pressure medication in half due to its high cost.  She's 87.

    Thankfully she came out all right after a few days hospitalization.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:32:56 AM PST

    •  This is why it's so absurd not to have national (17+ / 0-)

      health insurance.  With poorly designed things like Medicare Part D, we get crazy incentives like you mention.  The end result is far more expensive than if the prescriptions were paid for correctly, since hospitalization costs so much more, even ignoring the costs to her health.

      I can't wait to see some proposals for real reform coming from Obama.  I have confidence in his health economists, though I don't have so much confidence in Congress not to water things down for no good reason.

      Guide to my comments: When in doubt, assume sarcasm.

      by Gray on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:35:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absurd Yes, But We Must Be Sensible (10+ / 0-)

        and not radical leftist activist extremist.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:36:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the money spent on Medicare and (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peglyn, el dorado gal, Spathiphyllum

          Medicaid would be enough to start a National health care system  and then insurance companies could buy into it  and the underfunded companies can be squeezed in somehow    but this spiral will be the death of all of us

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

            my 56 yr old brother, self-insured realtor, his insurance company "cancelled" him three weeks ago.  He's been with this company going on eight years - the claim - chronic asthma.

            Yep, asthma - that's enough to get you cancelled, and oh yeah, turned down.  

            Just found out something interesting, medicare will cover shoes for diabetics.  MIL, radical republican, well-to-do MIL shared this with me.  I looked at her and asked, "Don't you have private insurance too?"  She looked shocked that I'd even ask.  

            Her response, "why would I?  It's there and I'm taking advantage of it".  

            That's a radical republican - bitch about services being offered, and then jump in when you don't really need it.  Sounds like a couple of Merrill Lynch/CEO's I've heard about.  

            •  foot care is important for diabetics (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              if neglected, it can lead to amputation of toes or the entire foot.  then trouble walking can lead to inactivity and whole body weakness.  it's a serious thing.

              so shoes and podiatry visits are a covered expense.  my diabetic mom even had to have her toenails cut by a podiatrist!

              but I take your point--Republicans accepting free care from a Medicare system they constantly bitch about is just WRONG.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
              We inaugurate President Barack Obama in 21 days!

              by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 01:25:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sue the bastards for attempted murder (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Alexandra Lynch

              The average asthma meds cost hundreds of dollars a month.  That is why they are excluded.  Can't make a profit with asthma.

              Fight for the Right to receive health care and medications.

              Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

              by War on Error on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:37:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Most preexisting conditions (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobnbob, Alexandra Lynch

                involve expensive drugs.

                The insurers don't want somebody that pays a $4,000 annual premium and requires $10,000/year in drugs.

                To solve this problem , I have thought up a balanced progressive plan for drug companies, insurance companies, and those now excluded by previous conditions:

                New drug company stock of a value equal to the national excess [computed on a per capita basis] expenditure per drug compared to the countries of Western Europe [+ Japan after 2010 + China after 2015 + India after 2020] would be issued to the insurance companies, the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund, and state pension funds.

                The drug company would be obligated to use the excess funds to fund drug/disease research.

                The insurers would have stock they could sell so the pre-existing condition drug users wouldn't actually have to cost them extra for drugs, the sick people would get their drugs, and the researchers would get funding to make new drugs.

                The existing shareholders would get more R&D and hopefully future profits in exchange for the newly issued shares.

                The shares would help shore up Medicare and state pension funds.

                Five percent of a stock holding might be sold annually by the SMI Trust Fund if the stock doesn't beat both the CPI and the Dow Jones and two percent if it does.

                If government can insist on mandatory policy issue, government can insist on mandatory stock issue.

            •  I am sorry to hear about your B-I-L (0+ / 0-)

              Many states have an insurer of last resort.  In Michigan it is Blue Cross Blue Shield.  They offer rates based on age and type of policy, and if there is no lapse in coverage, there is no pre-existing waiting period to endure (6 month period here).

              The policies aren't even close to the gold-plated plans Congress enjoys, but they are adequate and the cost is reasonable (as reasonable as can be expected in a bloated insurance market).  

              When I tried to get a policy, I couldn't even get Golden Rule (marketers of junk insurance) to quote me.  And even if they would have given me a policy, the waiting period for my pre-existing condition was 18 months.  

              Check out your state government website.  Perhaps there is a plan out there for your B-I-L.  There are too many bad things that can happen to a family if the main breadwinner is sick or gets injured and cannot afford treatment.  

              The video in this diary is a very sad example of our health care system - trading diabetic meds so you can feed your kids.  But what happens if - God forbid - it all catches up to you?  Who will feed your kids then?

              I can't say it loud enough - SINGLE PAYER, SINGLE PAYER, SINGLE PAYER!  We cannot settle for less.  

              "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

              by givmeliberty on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:42:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (3+ / 0-)

          This has to be done right, not just rushed through to get it done. It may mean another year - or two - of pain to get everything spelled out correctly. But the last thing we need is another "rush" job, in which no one knows what's going on and/or who's accountable.

          •  you have to start somewhere and FDR (4+ / 0-)

            started SS  and they have been tinkering with it ever since  best program ever but not if you ask a republican

          •  Forgive me if I'm wrong (0+ / 0-)

            but you sound like someone who has worked in healthcare administration.  I agree that we need some smart people to write up the details.  My input would be to keep the top-level rules simple: everyone is covered, everyone has the same coverage.  But no matter how simple the final product is, there are still going to have to be lots and lots of subterranean regulations.

            •  Not me (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm not in healthcare - but I have a sister and a sister-in-law who are nurses, a s-i-l who's a Dr and a father-in-law that's a retired OB/GYN.  I just ask questions and try to understand their answers. :) My biggest concern is that some big health care reform package will get pushed through as fast as the bailout package did - with just as little oversight or accountability. Sure, it can be tweaked down the road - but major revisions will be just as hard as the original package.

        •  Listening to Boortz today (3+ / 0-)

          I got the conservative marching orders for their "intelligent people movement" which is privatizing SS (yeh don't you wish your future SS funds were in stock right now?) and also with restructuring MC and MCD so that there is no waste or fraud.
          They opine that that simple action will give more than enough money to cover everyone who needs it. I think they also have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.  

        •  NOT! We need to push hard for medical care! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53, Alexandra Lynch

          Time to rally on behalf of those less healthy than we are.

          Stand up.  A good test of our democracy.  Can we protest safely for medical care?

          Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

          by War on Error on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:34:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (3+ / 0-)

        I have NO faith in congress and especially the obstructionist Republicans!  They are already preparing to try to destroy this country rather than work with everybody to make it work.

      •  Don't expect "change" anytime soon (4+ / 0-)

        Obama and Congress have already indicated they won't be pursuing comprehensive health care reform anytime soon.  Rahm Emanuel's brother, Zeke, who is a strong supporter of the private insurance industry and opposes publicly funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare has been hired to work in Obama's administration.

        Lobbyists for the health care and insurance industries have been working overtime the last few months making sure we'll see nothing more than tweaking of the current system.

        So far, their only plans are to expand SCHIP and offer money to help laid off workers make COBRA payments.  If you're uninsured now or can't afford copays and prescriptions, that's not likely to change.

        They want to "wait" and approach the problem "carefully" and ease in "changes" over a "period of time".

        There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:11:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hit the donut hole last week (11+ / 0-)

      So far I have had 2 trips to the ER that will cost Medicare much more than my meds would of by a value of 10xs, and expect at least one more trip between now and when I can get my med again.

      The idea of the donut hole is penny wise but pound foolish because of the ER costs alone, not to mention the loss of life and quality of life. My meds cost about 500 a month, one trip to the ER is over 3 Grand not to mention the wasted time and space of the Dr/s and Hospital.

      President Theodore Roosevelt,"No man can take part in the torture of a human being without having his own moral nature permanently lowered."

      by SmileySam on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:46:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Last week? (0+ / 0-)

        Can you wait a couple days more? You start all over with the new year, right?

        REPUBLICANS: The Older White Meat.

        by AdmiralNaismith on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:10:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  right, 2 weeks of pure hell (7+ / 0-)

          I'm a Chronic Pain Patient, trying live without meds is like walking thru fire 24/7 until Jan 2nd. By going to the ER I can beg for a shot that is good for a couple days and then return for another. This only works if I get a understanding Dr. who knows the difference between chronic pain and drug seeking behavior. There aren't as many of those as you would think.
          As I am also a fulltime caregiver for someone in even worse shape than me this has turned into a dangerous time for more than just me.

          President Theodore Roosevelt,"No man can take part in the torture of a human being without having his own moral nature permanently lowered."

          by SmileySam on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:31:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Donut hole was a very bad idea (5+ / 0-)

        Like the Medicare prescription drug plan, it was written by pharma company employees, their lobbyists and GOP Congressional staffers.

        A real "Edsel" piece of legislation.  As long as we keep letting private industry write our legislation and design public programs, this is what we'll end up with.

        There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:13:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pharmacies make a killing on dispensing fees (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        givmeliberty, ladybug53, SmileySam

        I just had a discussion with my pharmacy yesterday about the fact that they add higher dispensing fees to prescriptions for smaller amounts of meds.

        One example, I have a prescription for 240 tablets which they tell me i would be charged $52 if I paid cash. And, if my prescription was for 120 tablets the price would be close to $52 because the dispensing fees are higher.  What that tells me is that they determine what they are going to profit from a bulk bottle of medicine and percentage wise the less you are prescribed the more you are forced to pay.  They make loads of money on filling lots of small prescriptions.  This is a pain medication and you know that they do not have too many prescriptions for larger amounts.  Most would be written for 10, 20 or 30 tablets.  

        I get my prescriptions filled at Costco and their prices are half of what Walmart as well as all the other pharmacies around here charge.  I have called around to ask what the cash price was for the above prescription to Riteaid, Bartells, and Walmart.  Each wanted $110 for the same 240 tablets.

        It is not just the manufacturers that are raping us; it is the pharmacists themselves who are making out like bandits.   And, then, they think they have the right to make medical decisions about your medication and whether they will fill your prescriptions or not based on their moral values or judgment about whether your pain medication fits in with their idea of pain control.

        •  Smith's grocery matches Costco pricing (0+ / 0-)

          But you have to ask each time you fill the script.

          Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

          by War on Error on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:38:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Plan B & planning ahead (0+ / 0-)

          Emergency Contraception (The "Morning After" Pill - "Plan B" - "EC")

          You can prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse by taking Emergency Contraception pills (Plan B). Plan B works by giving the body a short burst of synthetic hormones that disrupt the hormone patterns needed for a pregnancy to start. Some types of regular birth control pills will work. Emergency Contraception is most effective 24-48 hours after unprotected intercourse but it can work for several days.

          To find a clinic, doctor or pharmacy close to you, call the nationwide Emergency Contraception Hotline at 1-800-584-9911, 24 hours a day in English or Spanish (also at 1-888-NOT-2-LATE and

          If you already have birth control pills in your possession, ask the hotline how to use them as emergency contraception. Or call our clinics at 800-572-4223 and ask how to use the birth control pills you already have to prevent pregnancy after sex.

          In Washington State you can get Plan B directly from your pharmacy without first getting a prescription from a doctor. Call ahead to make sure they have it in stock and a trained person available to give it to you.

          Women's health activists are working to make Plan B available over-the-counter nationwide so that one day soon you could purchase it at your neighborhood drug store.

          Some women are buying Plan B in advance (it costs around $35-40) so they will have it on hand if they need.

          Contact your gynecologist before the time of need.

    •  with Medicaid cuts, expect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barbwires, Stranded Wind

      more people who have to choose which medicines they are going to buy and which meds they will do without. Also with Medicaid and Medicare HMOs expect more shifting formularies so that people end up on generics which are not the same as name brand.

      •  NO TO MEDICAID CUTS. Bull Poo Poo (0+ / 0-)

        Increase country club taxes.

        Don't take away from the poor.  This will only create social chaos.

        Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

        by War on Error on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:40:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When you, a family member, or friend (0+ / 0-)

          is denied necessary medical care, that is social chaos unless you subscribe to Marie Antoinette's POV which paraphrased, is God loves the poor because He made so many, just like flies.

          •  I was denied. At 61 insurance is not an option. (0+ / 0-)

            $8000 minimum per year.  Who can afford that?  And then there is the additional out of pocket.  And at 61 they will refuse everything anyway as being preexisting.  Screw the insurance companies.  They will never get a dime of my money.  And, if I become terminally ill, I plan to die on the streets of DC.  I will get there somehow and become the first DIE IN to protest the immoral treatment of US Citizens, especially my age group.  I worked hard all my life.  Is it my fault the employers were too damn cheap to pay a decent wage for my hard work.  The greedy bastards!

            My daughter lost her insurance through divorce.

            My family is uninsured.  I don't play because I am afraid of breaking something.

            Where did my country go?

            Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

            by War on Error on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:42:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I'm guessing those few days (3+ / 0-)

      in the hospital probably cost about what 6 months of blood pressure meds would have.

      Wake me if he actually repeals DOMA, DADT or passes ENDA.

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:09:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem with pill splitting... (4+ / 0-) that people are splitting their regular pills instead of asking the doctor to prescribe a double strength pill to split.

      If you needd 10MG of a drug per dose, splitting THAT into two is not a good idea.  But if you get your doctor to prescribe that same pill in 20MG dose, you can then split it into 2 10MG pills. (assuming it doesn't have a special coating that is neccessary for the effectivness of the medication).

      The 20mg pill usually won't cost more than the 10mg pill. exceptions apply of course.

      You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

      by DawnG on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:30:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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