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NBC Nightly news reports on the alarming trend of people trying to scrape through tough economic times by cutting back on the medications they need:

As far back as October, the Kaiser Health Foundation found that almost half the people in the country had somebody in their family who was skimping on medical care to save money:

Nearly half (47%) of the public reports someone in their family skipping pills, postponing  or cutting back on medical care they said they needed in the past year due to the cost of care.  For example, just over one-third say they or a family member put off or postponed needed care and three in ten say they skipped a recommended test or treatment – increases of seven percentage points from last April’s tracking poll which asks the same question.

We're now a year into the Bush Recession, and numbers like this are going to get even worse. It's a clear demonstration of the downside of allowing drug manufacturers to charge ever-higher sums for medicine, and it's just another reason why the Obama team is correct to make health care an important component of their stimulus plan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:11 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Snowball effect. (18+ / 0-)

    This is scary, and I've been there. If my wife gets laid off, I may be there again.

    These things blow up, and when they blow up, it means even higher bills and greater cost to the system, making the whole thing even worse.

    Very, very scary.

    Get over to the Green Mountain Daily! What are you still reading this sig for?

    by odum on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:31:32 AM PST

    •  And the argument (7+ / 0-)

      that universal coverage "rations" care chaps my hide.

      We already ration care, pricing people out of coverage.

      Look, if only 10,000 teachers were available to tutor those who could afford private education, and as a country, we decided we wanted widespread public education, then, yeah - I guess those teachers wouldn't be available as they were before to only those who could afford private education.

      But we wanted public education, and have a significant push to produce capable teachers. Let's have a similar push to have capable health care providers.

      The kingdom of heaven is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.

      by MasonMcD on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The McConnell Recession. (6+ / 0-)

        Since Senator Mitch McConnell is standing in the way of the Obama stimulus plan and any plan for help to average Americans, I suggest that we "thank" him by naming this recession after him.

        He owns it now, IMHO, under Pottery Barn rules.

        Bush is on the way out, he will soon be even less accountable than he has been (hard to imagine, I know). Let's give this recession a name that targets someone who is acting to prolong the agony of the American people for political gain.

        Just a thought.

        •  How many DC Die Ins will it take for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          Congress to provide Americans with health care.

          Hey, if I find I am terminally, I promise you I will truck to DC and die in the streets in protest of Americas criminal neglect of its people.

          Dying to Die In DC.

          A bumper sticker....anyone?

          Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

          by War on Error on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:32:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The idea that universal health care... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated

        ...means the "Government" is making the decisions on healthcare chaps MY Hide.

        They argue it will take the decisions away from patients and doctors as if they already HAVE those decisions.

        Right now it's insurance companies deciding whether people get that important surgery or expensive test, because if they don't cover it, YOU can't afford it.

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

        by DawnG on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:27:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  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:
              ladybug53

              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:
              ladybug53

              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 ec.princeton.edu).

          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.

          http://www.fwhc.org/...

          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-)

      ...is 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 ]

  •  how low can we go with health care? (7+ / 0-)

    how low can we go with basic health care in our country? It seems that this is the bush's legacy with our health care system.

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win - Gandhi

    by mysticlaker on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:35:12 AM PST

  •  This is Very Dangerous for Public Health (10+ / 0-)

    As Laurie Garrett points out in her underrated Betrayal of Trust, this is precisely what many Russians did when the Soviet Union imploded.  People cut back on taking all the anti-biotics they were prescribed. And this put an after burner on the rise of anti-biotic resistant Tuberculosis.  This was one of the factors that put Russia into severe population decline.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:35:49 AM PST

  •  Only Half??? (18+ / 0-)

    Doesn't dentistry count as medical treatment any more?

    Gotta be 3/4 of us or more who are skimping on that, given how little our so-called "insurance" allows or "pays" for.

    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 07:36:10 AM PST

  •  My meds are going up.. (8+ / 0-)

    everytime I go to the pharmacy it seems and I have health insurance.  The co-pays are increasing as well as the overall coverage costs.  It is a scary time to get sick.

  •  Thank you for the VA healthcare system NOW (5+ / 0-)

    can all Americans have the same system  they pay for it now  just rearrange the payees

  •  Not only are people foregoing meds (4+ / 0-)

    because of the ruined economy, but todays NY Times reports that people are unable to afford to divorce.

    With nearly one in six homes worth less than the mortgage owed on it, according to Moody’s Economy.com, divorce lawyers and financial advisers around the country say the logistics of divorce have been turned around. "We used to fight about who gets to keep the house," said Gary Nickelson, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. "Now we fight about who gets stuck with the dead cow."

    As a result, divorce has become more complicated and often more expensive, with lower prospects for money on the other side. Some divorce lawyers say that business has slowed or that clients are deciding to stay together because there are no assets left to help them start over.

    Not good to have people who don't like each other forced to live together.

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:40:00 AM PST

  •  Despite economy, health care reform is not (12+ / 0-)

    ..off the table

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    http://www.kff.org/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:40:41 AM PST

  •  you read this on Daily kos some time ago (10+ / 0-)

    What's The Effect Of Recession On The Health Care Safety Net? from Jan '08

    Some of the effect is felt immediately as consumers cut back on discretionary primary care, over-the-counter medications, and dental work...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:41:03 AM PST

  •  I reuse insulin needles. (12+ / 0-)

    I try to make a one month supply last for three.

    This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:41:04 AM PST

  •  I quit taking pills from three months (8+ / 0-)

    when I stopped having insurance (until I could get generics).

    $165 a month for ONE pill bottle!???!!!

    Generics are $65.

    Dana Curtis Kincaid Ad Astra per Aspera! http://www.angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com The enemy is not man, the enemy is stupidity.

    by angrytoyrobot on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:44:05 AM PST

  •  I'm just waiting for the drug companies to point (11+ / 0-)

    at this, whine about their falling profits, and demand a fat juicy bailout too.

    •  When they do... (5+ / 0-)

      ...I will be one of the many people quietly sending documentation outlining their naked greed and disgregard for human life in pursuit of the almighty profit margin to both the Obama Administration and the media.  

      It's not an accident that many people who used to work in clinical trials and health insurance had to sign paperwork promising that they would not talk to Michael Moore or anyone associated with him while he was filming Sicko, but quite a few of us never signed anything. Big Pharma's EVIL. If you think Wall Street is corrupt, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

  •  I do this... (5+ / 0-)

    every month it's a constant juggling.  I'm a diabetic, and my dr for some reason keeps switching my generic meds with ever-more-expensive designer meds.  So sometimes I don't renew the expensive ones on time, or use smaller sample doses for a while, or substitute cheaper meds that I used to take.

    I don't think I do it enough to affect my health in any big way.  I never go without blood pressure meds, for example.  But I wish I didn't have to make these calls week to week as I make ends meet.

    I also postpone appts I need because of the copays, or in the case of my eye exams, because of the extra tests they want to do that are not covered.

    Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

    by marjo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:47:09 AM PST

    •  Right there with you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, Alexandra Lynch

      You ever wonder if the docs are just pushing drugs on us because they get favors from the pharmaceutical industry?

      This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

      by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:48:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  definitely true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djtyg, Alexandra Lynch

        I'm sure he genuinely thinks the newer drugs are better.  But considering the amount of samples he gets, you can tell he's a favorite on the circuit.  His patients line up for samples, but woe to you if you're at the end of the line and the samples you need dry up.

        Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

        by marjo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:52:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alexandra Lynch, Vacationland

          After my hospitalization my family doctor did some blood work on me and found out I have high cholesterol.  He just said "We're putting you on Crestor."  All I could think was "What?  No speech about diet and exercise?  You just want to pimp a drug on me!?"

          I really, really hate my doctor.  Fortunately my union just got everybody Blue Cross and I'll be covered with them after next month, so I can ditch this doctor and get a better one.

          This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

          by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:58:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  High cholestorol used to be prescription for diet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandra Lynch

            and exercise first to see if that works. I was told to eat more fruits, veggies, and oatmeal and get more exercise. That helped greatly.

            Going straight to a prescription must be a new thing as I thought first they tried exercise and diet and other methods.

            •  Mine was up a bit from last year (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wishingwell

              My Dr told me the same - stay away from greasy foods and to watch my diet.

              I think he was more concerned with my Triglycerides as my total Cholesterol was right at the high end.

              While I can get about anything I need from him, he is not one to prescribe lightly.   Thank goodness.  

              "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore." -Carly Fiorina CEO, Hewlett-Packard

              by baffled on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:18:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  They are finding (0+ / 0-)

              that Vitamin C is very important in controlling cholesterol.  The RDA is set too low. . .recommend rate should be 2000-3000 mg. daily (taken in 1000 mg doses throughout the day).  

              "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 10:07:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  "After my hospitalization" (0+ / 0-)

            He wants something on the record that he did something.

      •  Personally, I have begun to believe (0+ / 0-)

        that the entire system is rotting from within.  Many of the doctors are no better than the insurers or Big Pharma.  From my own experience, many have no care or compassion for the patient when billing for services. And quite frankly, many are not deserving of the fees that they charge, IMHO.

        "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 10:04:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please don't postpone your eye tests (0+ / 0-)

      despite the expense, good slit lamp eye exams are really important for a diabetic. If you get retinal problems, you really want to catch them early.

      Pills,-it depends--if you monitor and keep your sugars resoably stable you can tinker a bit with pills.  Especially when switching meds, because many doctors will overprescribe.  But this does mean testing sugar levels more often and the expense of test strips.

      That being said, some of the new meds work a lot better for Type II than the old meds.  Sulfonylureas (the old med) artificially increases insulin release from the pancreas, but promotes both weight gain and burnout of pancreatic beta cells in the process.  

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:28:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  47% (8+ / 0-)

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:47:35 AM PST

  •  We are completing the 12th Month (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:48:24 AM PST

  •  I've done it myself! (6+ / 0-)

    I need BP meds but what kept me from getting them is the trip to the doctor.  Gas was so high this summer that I couldn't afford both the gas and the co-pay so I just didn't go.  They will only renew it so long without seeing me.  Now that I can probably squeeze out the gas money, I haven't got the time.  I think that's my New Year's resolution.  I don't need to be stroking out on top of everything else...

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:48:51 AM PST

    •  I don't know why b-p drugs are so hard to come by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djtyg, luckylizard

      I know lots of times when I thought I renewed my Rx for b-p drugs, and I get to the pharmacy to find out that the Rx is not ready, due to an outstanding call to the dr., or some snafu.  Considering the alternative, they should be a little less strict with the blood pressure pills.  When I need my blood pressure pill GIVE IT TO ME before I HAVE A STROKE.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:56:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine is generic (0+ / 0-)

        but they want me to come in to the Dr.'s office every three months.  That's a hardship for something that I'll probably have to take forever.  There are nurses at work who can check my BP.  I think I'm going to see if I can phone it in and only go every 6 months...

        -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

        by luckylizard on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:00:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  at least you are not at the stage (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barbwires, luckylizard

        requiring two or three different meds to control your HVD. When you get to that point, refills become a monthly ballet with the doc the pharmacist, the HMO and the patient.

    •  I just got back from my yearly exam (4+ / 0-)

      switched to a much cheaper generic for my BP, and said no way to the cholesterol tests. It's awful and scary to be forced to play medical roulette with your health.

      •  I won't be doing (0+ / 0-)

        the cholesterol test again.  I was borderline and I can fix that with diet.  Even if they say it's high, I don't like the idea of taking those meds.  I have no problem with a little diuretic but that other stuff affects too many other systems.  My generic Prinzide is only $4 and my other two scripts are $10 each.  That's not a big monthly outlay, but if I were to somehow lose my insurance, I'd be in deep sh*t.  I'd just as soon not have a bunch of things that I'd have to flip a coin over which to take.

        -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

        by luckylizard on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:05:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eat 'yer oatmeal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority, luckylizard

          I'm in a similar boat, $10 bucks for a script, but I have several, so it comes out to $70 a month, a whole lot for me. So I split pills a lot, especially with the pain meds.

          •  The pain meds are essential. (5+ / 0-)

            Any of the others is just wasted if I am left hurting.  I have been substituting aspirin for ibuprofen.  I have to be REALLY careful to have a full stomach, but it's working so far.  

            The Rx pain meds I split, even before the economy went to crap.  They are so big that I can't get them down whole.  I also get better pain management that way.  If half works, fine, if not I can take another.  If I've taken half and hurt again in three hours, I take the other half.  Many days I have half or even a whole one left.  If I were taking them whole, I think I'd hurt so much by the time I'm due to take the next one that I'd end up taking more in a day.  

            I also don't need as many when I'm not working.  During this Christmas break, I've only had a day or two where I took them all.  I'm not on my feet as much and can recline or use ice when I need to.  Can't do that when I'm teaching :-)  I've got almost another week of this so I'm hoping I'll be rested up before we start in again.  

            I have soda crackers and generic Cheerios at work for snacks.  I can actually go through a big box of cereal in a couple of weeks just sitting at my computer in between classes and computer emergencies.  (I cannot DO oatmeal.  The consistency is just yuck!)  I also make my own granola and eat that with no fat yogurt, but I think the benefit is offset when I sprinkle it on ice cream...

            I hate getting old but it sure beats the alternative :-)

            -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

            by luckylizard on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:30:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  oatmeal, and salads and walking helped my (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            supak, ladybug53

            cholesterol and that of my husband's greatly. Plus we read the ingredients before buying for cholestorol content. We switched to Smart Balance Margarine which has the consistency and taste of butter, and we are very careful.

  •  Sad but some people are overmedicated (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Blicero
    and may be better off. The case in the video was a situation of someone with an absolute necessity for a medication who decided to stop which almost killed him but some people can afford to stop unnecessary medications. They'll save money and probably feel better too.
    •  That a really callous attitude to have. (5+ / 0-)

      Some of us are going broke because of our medical conditions!

      This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

      by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:51:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Calm down! (0+ / 0-)
        I said some people are overmedicated. There are myriad articles and studies that confirm the overmedication of many individuals. Don't lecture me or judge me about being callous. There are cases were certain are absolutely necessary but I've seen people, especially in Pain management, go overboard. Multiple doctors, multiple prescriptions and poor communication just results in people in taking too much and/or conflicting medications.
        •  Doctor DO overprescribe (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maudlin, Spathiphyllum, AJ in Camden

          One of my in-laws is an ER Dr. She has to find out what meds people are on to know what is/isn't safe to be given. It's horrifing how many drugs people take that can work against each other. Many, many times the patient has more than one doctor, and doesn't tell each of them what all the others have prescribed. The doctor should ask and the patient needs to volunteer that info. My s-i-l has sat down with patients more than once and made lists, then copied them and faxed them to all the doctors so that everyone would have the same information.

          It's amazing to me that the patients don't think to volunteer that info. It's amazing to her that the doctors don't ask. I make my hubby carry a list in his wallet, so that if he's ever taken to an ER, at least it'll be handy - I can't pronounce the two  daily meds he takes.

    •  if you had a serious health condition (4+ / 0-)

      you wouldn't say that.

      Hope finds a voice... OBAMA

      by marjo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  got any examples? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, djtyg, AJ in Camden

      At the current cost of meds, the overmedicated may be the ones seeking controlled substances and most of them are seeking script so they can sell them.

      Sad story for an older gentleman locally who was leaving the drugstore with his monthly lorcet prescription when he was accosted by a guy who asked how much for 1/4 of your pills?

      He hesitated for a minute then decided that $100 would really help at this point and sold them........to an undercover cop.
      The judge was sympathetic but there is still a 2 year sentence he has to serve.

      Should be an allegory for our time there.    

    •  Thanks for piping in Phil Gramm! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djtyg, tobendaro, Blicero

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

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:18:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      el dorado gal

      You think that people who can barely afford their medications are the over-medicated ones?  C'mon now.

    •  A pharmacist is an essential (0+ / 0-)

      and often-overlooked player on the medical care team and can provide prescription oversight for patients who see multiple doctors.

      I am fortunate to have an independent, "owner-operator" pharmacy where I fill prescriptions for my parents.  The pharmacists there have kept a close eye on the meds both my parents take and have been helpful on many occasions when I've had questions about side effects and drug interaction.  They take time with all their customers to make sure instructions are clear--we love these women dearly.    

      "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

      by CKendall on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 12:41:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Mother of all Recessions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg, sluggahjells

    The George W Bush recession. It really started in 2003. The vast corporate fraud was exposed and crumbled in the last year. Enron was the beginning but Bush being a corrupt big business crony looked the other way. Now middle class America is paying big time.

    •  Enron imploded in 2001 (0+ / 0-)

      Before its bankruptcy in late 2001, Enron employed approximately 22,000 (McLean & Elkind, 2003) and was one of the world's leading electricity, natural gas, pulp and paper, and communications companies, with claimed revenues of nearly $101 billion in 2000. Fortune named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years.

      Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

      by Scarce on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:01:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spathiphyllum, jgtidd

    I don't have health insurance so I go to the doctor only when absolutely necessary.  Luckily it hasn't been necessary for over five years.  

    •  Do they have free clinics in your area? (0+ / 0-)

      They're better than nothing.

      This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

      by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:52:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but then how would you know ? (0+ / 0-)

      Without a yearly checkup you could be a walking timebomb. Just sayin...

      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 07:53:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who wants to know? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, djtyg, tobendaro

        I know that sounds flip, but I understand where BDA is coming from. I was without insurance for years, believe me, I ignored the shit of out symptoms, as it was a rock & a hard place. Play craps with your health? Or your (already) insecure financial state? Maybe you can ignore it long enough to find that job that provides insurance...

        I don't think anyone can imagine the panic I felt when I thought I had appendicitis and no insurance. (Fortunately, it wasn't.)

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

        by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:16:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't blame you.... (0+ / 0-)

          but I went through the same thing (even when I had my crappy insurance) and it ended up costing me more than if I had just gone to a free clinic.  I kept trying to tough it out until I almost collapsed and didn't have much choice but to go to the hospital.

          This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

          by djtyg on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:24:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Too many forms of Cancer can be cured but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          only if caught early enough to be treatable. For the most part there are few sign until it is too late to treat. All of life is a gamble but it's best to cut the odds down in your favor at every turn.

          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 08:26:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not arguing the logic of that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama, SmileySam, Nicci August

            just expanding on the mindset, and the sadness that we place too many Americans in the position, pay the rent, or pay the doctor?

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

            by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:30:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  true if you have a few symptoms or are having (0+ / 0-)

            tests for something else and the cancer is found that way.

            My parents always went to the doctor regularly and did everything the doctors said. They followed doctors' orders strictly and made an appt for the least little symptom. Yet both died from rare cancers as when they did have a small symptom, the doctors tested and found nothing.

            Both of them had to get so sick that exploratory surgery was done and then cancer was found. They were forever at the doctors having tests and checkups and the doctors would declare them both in great health.  And when they were sick, doctors could find nothing.

            So with some cancers, especially in my family, it seems they are silent cancers or so rare, hard to detect..so even going to the doctor all the time is not a guarantee.

            Of course, I agree with your premise: going to the doctor and early detection is the best route..always and I highly recommend it.

            I just wanted to say that with my parents and a few other relatives who were always at the doctors office for a sniffle or pain ...still the doctors had trouble diagnosing and treating their problem.

  •  I've always skimped on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg

    medical (and dental) care and insurance to save money.

    It's a gamble, but I'm basically healthy (knock on wood), and I try to maintain good health through exercise and a good diet.

    •  If you have good insurance and can afford it (0+ / 0-)

      It is good to at least go for annual checkups and if female, the annual ob/gyn examinations and mammograms. And after 50, get the colonoscopy if possible.

      But for those who cannot afford it, I can see why they skimp on those annual exams.

      I have a friend who has poor insurance and high deductible but she says she scrimps and saves for the basic annual checkup at the doctor and dentist once per year. Then if they find anything, she tries to schedule the appts several months apart..ie often dentists will find cavities but you can schedule that as it suits you unless the cavity is bad or you are in pain.

      My dentist will even give us antibiotics if we have to put off a root canal or a major tooth issue so we are not in pain..as long as we get the work done within 3 months if possible..or he puts us on a very reasonable payment plan.

      •  as I said upthread (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch

        I just got a baseline colonoscopy and was upset to get a bill for a $500 copay I wasn't expecting.

        I would definitely not have had it done if I had known it was going to cost me $500!  I'm glad the results were normal but I don't have $500 to spare!  I don't even have $50!  

        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 01:38:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I feel your pain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority

          I just went for blood work for a simple condition.  I have insurance and I am still on the hook for more than $200. And I only received a 3 month script due to some abnormal blood results and the need to recheck the blood work.  So I get to kick out a few more hundred in another month or so...

          It was actually cheaper for me when I didn't have health insurance - the doctor tried to keep the charges to a minimum for me then and it cost me less then $100 out of pocket.

          "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 10:16:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  How very sad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulko

    And the TRUE testament of how history will look back at GWB....as the man that made his country SUFFER in so many ways. Bye bye, Georgie...don't let the door hit ya where your body split ya.

    •  I wish someone would organize (0+ / 0-)

      a "Don't let the door hit you in the ass!" goodbye party for our current pResident.  I think we should all go out in the streets and make a lot of noise. . .

      "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 10:17:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  $1400 a month plus & counting (5+ / 0-)

    My family health care bill without meds. visits and uncovered stuff starts at $1400 because I don't have the fancy Gov't backed plan u get when u work for most branches of Gov't , nor do I have the fancy Big Corp. policy u get when ur a top mgr. I don't even have the lousy u pay for part of your plan most other people get if they work for most Corps. I have the FU buddy your out of luck health care plan. Can I afford it? No, can I afford not to somehow pay it, NO! One real visit to the hospital and your under. Here's a little example. I was born in 1949 and my folks had NO health care. They still have the hospital bill of $50.00 for my delivery etc. My nephew's wife just recently had a child and the bill was $15,000! They have a lousy Corp. policy.  Have things gotten out of hand? DOH!

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:57:19 AM PST

    •  It is ENTIRELY about PROFITS. (7+ / 0-)

      We are being robbed at ever juncture.

    •  one nice thing about owing $300,000 or (7+ / 0-)

      $400,000 in medical bills is the calls don't bother you anymore. If the collection agencies want to pick the rotting scraps off the carcass, they will have to stand in line while it seems that if they do try to go to court, they will first have to fight among themselves to see who gets to file the first lawsuit.

      Somewhere around $500,000 you reach the state of mind of many Latin American republics during the Reagan years. Don't worry, you can never repay it. As a matter of fact, the sheer amount is so staggering that you are better of not wasting your time trying to pay off any part of it.

      It appears after you go far enough, you are immunized against worrying about debt.

    •  I have (0+ / 0-)

      FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan) after retiring from the feds.

      $100/mo premium

      11 + prescriptions costing me well over $200 per month

      Ever-rising premiums

      Ever-rising copays (rising at 50% in some cases)

      Yes, I have to prolong getting my prescriptions until I get my SS or retirement, in order to pay for them. I am 6 prescriptions down right now, but had skipped during holidays in order to make it to the first of the month.

      •  $100 a month... breaks my heart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch

        Want to trade? The system as it stands is sucking the life out of increasingly large numbers of Americans. It doesn't collapse like the housing bubble because of the fear factor. However, @ some pt. up ahead it will do just that for an ever increasing number of those people that aren't lucky enough ( like u) to be in that ever shrinking circle of those with great care. More and more of us are being locked down into steerage as the health care Titanic sinks. Those with good care might feel sympathy for friends and family without, but fear for their own lives will keep them from really doing anything or supporting any real reforms. So, where is this all heading? For many death and ruination on the way. I predict a growing number, a vastly growing number of suicides as the baby boomers age and many have no health care worth a damn. I also predict a increasingly greedy Health Ins. establishment and health care sector will lock out those on medicaid and eventually this system will be next too worthless.

        "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

        by Blutodog on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 01:43:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have a broken tooth (6+ / 0-)
    RIGHT NOW and I cannot afford to get it fixed until I save up some cash.

    It shouldn't be too much longer before I can afford to get it addressed.

  •  this was on fire nine months ago (5+ / 0-)

    Good that it's getting attention, but our veterans are literally starving over this stuff.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    •   I am sorry. . . (0+ / 0-)

      that your diary didn't get more attention when you posted it, SW.  This subject needs more attention.

      We've got thirty billion to bail out the Bear Stearns gamblers but the cupboard is bare when a man with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star needs sixty dollars so he can drive his wife to see her heart specialist.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Words escape me.

      "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 10:27:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shocking that nbc did this story! For them it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    was a step in the right direction. It's about time they started talking about what this depression is doing to tens of millions of people and the suffering it is causing.

  •  Interesting my dermatologist friend (7+ / 0-)

    was wondering last night where all his patients went. I pointed out skin concerns may be one of the first places people cut back when trimming a health-care budget.

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

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:06:58 AM PST

  •  Me and the wife both work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spathiphyllum, Gorette, AJ in Camden

    part time.  I need to see a doctor to help diagnose whatever the fuck is wrong with me.  Can't afford the consultation, not to mention subsequent tests.  
    A couple of weeks back, I went to apply to a local volunteer provider of medical services, hoping to see a physician.  I was told I didn't qualify for help because, what with two children and all, we are under the Federal Poverty Line.  I wasn't really surprised, but at the same time couldn't quite believe it.  I wouldn't blame that organisation for it, they do a great job of helping those who qualify, but what about the millions across the nation who have fallen through the cracks.

  •  I split pills all the time (3+ / 0-)

    Especially the pain meds. And I still have insurance! Even with the insurance, it's just too much money, so anything that's not in a capsule I try to split. In some cases, I take the pill every other day....

    My doctors frown on it, but what am I supposed to do?

  •  I'm no Bush apologist, but (4+ / 0-)

    I'm no Bush apologist but I'm getting tired of seeing some of the more prominent voices online keep referring too all of our problems being caused by the last eight years of a failed President.

    Sure, he's done bad, really bad, but in terms of our economic troubles, these are the results of decades of traitorous, so-called "Free Trade" policies which have decimated the middle class job market.

    In fact, Clinton was the one who signed NAFTA and and other pacts that paved the way for our manufacturing base to leave this country in the name of short term profits for corporations.

    Al Gore also went on national television to sell NAFTA while debating Ross Perot, who accurately depicted just what we're seeing now.

    So quit thinking small and blaming the latest guy there is to blame, just because he's on the other side of the aisle.

    This isn't a Republican-caused economic crisis, this is a FAILED GOVERNMENT problem, and both sides of the aisle sold us all out, as they often do.

    Cufford
    Fresno, CA

    •  True enough (4+ / 0-)

      but a real leader would ADDRESS these issues. Not let them fester for the next administration to tackle.

      Bush has shown no leadership at all on any of the major issue facing this country.

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

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not quite so fast there. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dems2004, Neon Mama, CKendall

      It's a lot more than that. The current economic catastrophe emanates more from de-regulation of the financial sector (including the subprime mortgages) which has been GOP-driven since Reagan. Sure Clinton contributed to the situation but the last eight years of deregulation, of greed gone wild, that's what is really causing the incredible job cuts and collapse of our economy.

      But it's true, the trade policies have been horrendous for the middle class. People like the Clintons liked to think that these policies were helping the rest of the world, and us in some ways, but they did virtually nothing to look out for the middle class and people who were displaced from outsourcing.

      Imho.

  •  best example of a dysfunctional system! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Neon Mama, CKendall

    When a patient cuts out their diabetes medication and ends up in the emergency room.

    IMO this is what happens when we confuse health care with health insurance and get all wrapped up with single payer, private sector etc.

    There are certain treatments and medications that one wants the widest possible use of because they have been proven to be cost efficient- vaccination, generic diabetes and blood pressure medicines come to mind. These should be provided FREE of cost to patients and providers should get directly reimbursed by the government. Trying to get them incorporated into health insurance plans is plain stupid. If there is a high probability consumers will use the service  insurance companies will simply include the entire cost into the premium they charge plus a mark up for their costs and profits. The consumer (and ultimately society) ends up paying $1.25 for something that only costs $1.00

  •  Medicine is for rich people, only. (7+ / 0-)

    You fucking elitists! Who do you think you are, feeling ENTITLED to life-saving pills that were made for well to do, Republican people?

    Here's a book on how ANYONE can get rich, whatever your income, as long as you're willing to practice a little discipline.

    Start with your daily insulin dose. Look at this chart: it shows how, by doing without that one little insulin dose each day, you can save enough money, at 10% interest compounded, to retire a millionaire by the time you're 65 years old!

    Unless you're irresponsible enough to blow that savings on food for your kids, like those losers do. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever!

    REPUBLICANS: The Older White Meat.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:08:42 AM PST

  •  Going thru this crap right now. Just picked up (4+ / 0-)

    a generic drug that I'm bring charged same as the original drug---makes no sense. fighting the pharmacies; the the Plan D provider.  This is how easily people get frustrated ---and say "Screw it, I'll do without"

    After the stimulus, this must be Obama's number One effort---A new health care system!!

  •  What will are rallying cry be (0+ / 0-)

    When Bush is out of office?  While he has blundered 8 years I find it comical how some can make every problem that of George Bush's doing.  

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:12:55 AM PST

  •  the silence of the kossacks (0+ / 0-)

    As school girls in their uniforms lie dead in pools of blood in Gaza, and the Israeli government uses Obama's comments about defending his own daughters to justify the slaughter, Kossacks discuss everything but.

    Jeff Cox

  •  money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems2004, Gorette

    By taking money out of circulation--giving it to the banks to hoard--this recession is becoming incurable.  No matter how great Obama is, Humpty has fallen off the wall--we're screwed.  Bush's re-election was the last nail in the coffin, we knew it then, now we're in a euphoric period of denial.
    We need a revolution now--not a simple fix.

  •  McConnell: *%&#$^ The Poor and Middle Class (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Alexandra Lynch

    McConnell flips off the country after handing money to Wall Street rich folks.

    Would the voters of Kentucky please stop sending this hypocrite to the Senate?  It makes your state look bad.

    Make them filibuster forever.  See if they can keep it up.

  •  My mother is going through this... (7+ / 0-)

    I was on the way out of the house this morning and she asked me if I can give her some money for her blood pressure medication.  Sometimes she cuts her pills in half or skips them.  She is a registered NYS daycare provider and makes "too much" money for Medicaid.  My father is also self-employed and does not have health insurance.  Ironically, my father had gall bladder surgery in November while uninsured.  I had the same surgery in November 2004 while I worked part-time and was uninsured.  He has applied for Medicaid, but it is still pending. I am thankful that I now have a full-time job and am insured, but I can't stand to see my family suffering.  My father hasn't been to the doctor in years.  We can spend billions on pre-emptive war but seem to be unable to provide healthcare for the millions of Americans who have to choose between prolonging their lives and buying food.

    America Finally Got It Right! Congrats and Godspeed to President-Elect Obama and VP-Elect Joe Biden! Sarah P, keep watching those Russians for us!

    by Bronxcutie on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:22:16 AM PST

  •  I've had to drop 3 meds (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems2004, ladybug53, AJ in Camden

    The insurance considers them "brand but not preferred" so they cost a significant amount more than the rest. 1 is an antihistamine which I'm substituting with an OTC that is actually cheaper but not as effective. 2 are for fibromyalgia - I couldn't drop any of the migraine treatments because doing so would increase my migraines which would put me at risk of stroke, so I had to decide to live with much more pain from FM. I've also had to put off going to my doctors for as long as possible - basically until I need prescriptions. I'm supposed to see the neurologist every 3 months and the allergist every 6 months. Instead, I've seen the neuro twice this year and the allergist once. Everyone else is being put off completely because I don't have scrips with them, so no annual check ups - can't afford them even with co-pay because of the scrip costs.

    Thanks, Bush.

    **President Barack Obama!**

    Did you know that Congress Matters?

    by Spathiphyllum on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:22:23 AM PST

  •  Single (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch, Neon Mama

    Payer Health Care, anyone? Certainly hope our new President leans on this in a big way.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:28:53 AM PST

  •  My father is in this situation (6+ / 0-)

    he stopped buying his medication for his arthritis because the cost for it every month was obscene, even with his health insurance.  Its even worse now because he got laid off a week before christmas and as of January 1st no longer has insurance, and there aren't many people looking to hire a 56 year old electrician with Rheumatoid arthritis.

  •  This Is Rampant (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems2004, ladybug53, Gorette, AJ in Camden

    A young co-worker of mine had a seizure a year ago.  Since then, she has had them regularly, to the point that she probably misses at least a day of work a month, if not more.  She thinks she probably has epilepsy, but has not been to a doctor yet! (!!) Why?  Because she lacks health insurance.  She had a seizure at work a few days ago, and that is when we learned that she has never even seen a doctor, is on no medication, etc.  And, for all she knows, these seizures could be something other than epilepsy, maybe more serious like a brain tumor.  

    Can January 20th get here fast enough?  I don't think it can!  Although implementing change in our health care system will take time, it will be comforting to know that it is at least being addressed, and that positive reform is the goal.  

    You might win some but you just lost one.-- Lauryn Hill

    by BamaMama4Obama on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:36:56 AM PST

    •  Oh my God, she has seizures and has not seen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AJ in Camden

      a doctor? Holy cow, my heart goes out to her.

      Does she not have health insurance because she is part time or can she not afford the premiums offered by the employer or does the employer not offer health insurance?

      As granted, the doctor would order tests, particularly a MRI..and that is costly. But she could be driving, walking down the road, or mostly anywhere, have a seizure and be hurt seriously or killed.

  •  $$$ is the plan the plan is DEATH (0+ / 0-)

    with apologies to the late James Tiptree Jr/Alice SHeldon.

    Yes We Did! Yes We Will!

    by TheOtherMaven on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:44:52 AM PST

  •  People are going to learn what poverty is, real (7+ / 0-)

    soon, by the droves. Correct that. They ARE learning. I learned a few years ago when due to health problems I couldn't work and lost my business and my home, etc.

    It's very tough. But much more so when you or your family members don't have money for medications or basic health care. When I had to try to get help for meds from a pharma corp because I had no coverage and was dropped by Medicaid due to my age, I felt like I was begging, literally. I'd never been through anything like that.

    First my doctor's office was slow in helping and I had to beg them, telling them that if I died it would be on them. Eventually I got the medication I needed but it was frightening and debilitating in itself. You feel as if you are living on the edge and no one cares whether you live or die. Millions are feeling that right now.

    Universal health care now.

  •  It's a Depression. The W Depression. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't understand the unwillingness of people to recognize the current economic situation for what it is.

    It's a Depression, it was predictable, and it was caused by the deliberate actions of the Bush Administration.

    It's the W Depression and we should make sure that Obama does not get the blame, by allowing for the "official" change to take place after the Inauguration.

    IMHO.

  •  this is what we are up against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Neon Mama

    courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program:

    Photobucket

    a bit dated, but I'm sure things haven't changed all that much (notice our friend Max Baucus in this gang of conspirators)

    •  I'd like to have a "Wanted" poster with this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Alexandra Lynch, tegrat

      photo to give to the people at the pharmacy who are getting the bad news about falling into the "donut hole."  Most of them seem to have no idea what has happened to them when their prescription costs suddenly skyrocket.  I feel for the pharmacy staff who have to constantly be explaining Medicare Part D rules, only to be met by confused and fearful faces.  But most of all I feel sorry for the people who walk away without their meds because they don't have enough money.  I would like to be able to tell them they are the victim of a crime, but can't think of anything to say that would actually be immediately helpful to them.  

      "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

      by CKendall on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 01:04:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMHO, it seems like Part D (0+ / 0-)

        has a "due process" problem when people find that they are in the donut hole without sufficient warning.

        •  There is sort of a "due process." (0+ / 0-)

          At least there is for my parents' Part D plan.  But the Part D status information is always a month behind actual expenditures and it's only one of MANY pieces of insurace/medical-related paperwork that comes in the mail on an almost daily basis.  I can see how people lose track of or can't keep up with all of it.  Or never understood the Part D rules in the first place and that they needed to be aware of the "donut hole."

          Whenever I've explained all this stuff to my parents, they look at me like I'm speaking a language from another planet.  

          "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

          by CKendall on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:44:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tip to prescription drug users. (5+ / 0-)

    If your pills aren't specially coated, see if your doctor will prescribe a pill that is double the dosage of the medication you actually need.   You can then use a pill splitter to cut each pill in half and make a month's supply go for 2 months.

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

    by DawnG on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:26:04 AM PST

  •  As one who is getting trickled on... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, CKendall

    I appreciate the post.  I am uninsurable, had to change my meds from best available to ones on the cheap list that most closely match my needs.  My internist is now my specialist in three different fields.  He tells me he is stunned at the amount of his patients that are slipping through the cracks(his practice is in one of the wealthiest counties in the US).
     The system has already failed.  It is a silver lining that Obama has the opportunity to revamp using "shock" politics for the good.  I hope he does.

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."--HST

    by moondancing on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:33:49 AM PST

  •  This isn't news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, LRLine

    Millions of Americans have been skimping on needed medical care for years to make it ends meet, even before this current recession.  I guess it takes a bad economy to for NBC news to cover this problem.  Getting us close to universal health care should be Obama's #1 priority.

    Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

    by tmendoza on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:14:04 AM PST

    •  Well, we're certainly in that position (0+ / 0-)

      We got caught after Katrina...here it is three years up the road and we're still juggling finances to make ends meet. Some months, those 'scripts just sit until the money is there to pay for them. And insurance? nope. can't afford that, haven't had it for years.

      Wait too long on a good health care plan and we will go the way of Russia, as someone mentioned above.

      "I love it when a plan comes together" -- Hannibal Smith, A-Team.

      by LRLine on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:20:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The equation is simple. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LRLine

        We make $1200 a month net. The insurance through his work wants $850 a month to give us junk insurance.

        Not happening. I like a roof over my head and heat.

        •  Thanks for your candid statement, Alexandra! (0+ / 0-)

          Like you, we too like a roof over our heads and heat! Insurance offered these days through "privatized" companies servicing corporations is just crap. They price it where no one can afford it, and even when it is utilized, if you do decide you can afford it, they'll fight you on each and every claim that bucks usual and customary. It's pathetic. Our net is only slightly more than yours...it seems that's about all any couple is earning these days! Good luck and I hope things get better for you guys in 2009.

          "I love it when a plan comes together" -- Hannibal Smith, A-Team.

          by LRLine on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 03:59:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  i have the answer to that (0+ / 0-)

      the economic mess wasn't a problem until it started affecting rich people.

      now it is news.

      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 01:40:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Everyone is saying (0+ / 0-)

    I bet this is what everyone is saying this who is effected by the recession.

  •  Meds (0+ / 0-)

    They probably don't need them anyway.  This country is

    WAY TOO OVERPRESCRIBED

    .  While I don't think just not being able to afford them is the route to go, there are many people taking medications they don't need. Drug cocktails that doctors have no idea of the effects.  It's so out of control it's sickening.  

    •  So diabetics or epileptics don't need medicine? (0+ / 0-)

      This is a bit shocking.  THe primary decline in these purchases are not the people on questionable meds (most of those are still relatively secure) but the people on diabetic, blood pressure, siezure medicine, etc.  Mark my word, we will have riots in this country if widespread change is not instituted in employment policies (no more "low cost society" lets actually pay people for the work they do), health care, and social priority.  And with Obama appointing nothing but "don't rock the boat" Clinton people this will not happen.  So get started on your looting now and beat the crowds...

      "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

      by Mister Gloom on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:31:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Correction: SECOND Bush recession (0+ / 0-)

    Can we forget the massive collapse after 9/11? Blaming it on "9/11" means the government couldn't do anything to forestall the recession then. Which I do not believe. A measured response instead of the national panic that the White House fostered for its political ends caused serious problems in business confidence, and the "recovery" was, of course, about 95% due to the housing bubble.

    I'm of the opinion that the economy cratered in early 2002 and has never recovered. We're just seeing the fruits of all sorts of governmental ponzi schemes now.

    I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a democrat. -- Will Rogers

    by TheCrank on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:01:08 AM PST

  •  There is one positive thing that could come out (0+ / 0-)

    of this.  Alot of people are gonna find out that they do not need to buy any of that shit- alot of people.  Just say no!!!  You do not have to use painkillers only to be a pillhead, and ever since the pharmas started showing those commercials, people have been like cattle headed for the trough with all this shit.  Go for a walk instead.  If this is not for you please don't bitch at me.  I said "alot of folks," not everybody.

  •  i had a $500 co-pay (0+ / 0-)

    for a recent colonscopy.

    would not have scheduled the procedure if I had known the co-pay was that high.

    I cancelled another non-urgent procedure because of not having the $500.

    but so far I can still afford my prescriptions--I only take two and they are moderately priced.

    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 01:20:38 PM PST

  •  I gave up both the 'scrips I've been on for (0+ / 0-)

    5 yrs when we lost our jobs & insurance.  I'm using one OTC med for GERD due to a hiatal hernia, and it is only moderately effective.  The other med was to control a genetic anxiety disorder.  Talk about catch 22!  Just when I needed it most, I had to quit taking it.  Although we opted to purchase private health ins ($360/mo), the drug coverage it offers is minimal, and I had to choose between buying my prescription or not buying grocieries one week out of the month - the costs were about the same.

    As if "W" all by himself wasn't enough to make me angry, dyspeptic, and anxious, I have him to thank for the financial situation that has made all those things much worse!

    I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. ~Albert Einstein

    by Civil Writes Activist on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 02:05:07 PM PST

  •  Ask for a bill signing on Inauguration Day (0+ / 0-)

    on the Capitol steps that will:

    1. open CHIP up to all children
    1. open Medicare to all adult Americans
    1. have age-based Medicare premiums for non-disabled adults under 65 and standard Medicare premiums for SS disabled adults
    1. credit, without college year-to-college year carryover before 2012, 70% of the net tuition cost of full-time students in college
    1. effectively reduce Medicare co-pays for all people below age 65 [and starting in 2011 above 85] as of the first of the month that are also below 150% of the poverty line ASAP on a graduated scale from 19 to 5% based on federal government SS & IRS tax return records by posting reimbursement payments after April 2, 2009 to one's income tax account
    1. allow sign up in 2009, upon expiration or substantial insured adverse transformation of any existing coverage, and in July of even numbered years.
    1. require premium payments be made to Medicare or an employer-subsidized health insurance scheme until the amount Medicare has paid out on behalf of the individual has been exceeded, adjusted for inflation.

    People could pay for a three month period of Medicare coverage by sending in an age-based premium like they do with estimated taxes, but about a month in advance so they can get a three-month orange Medicare card in time. People needing subsidies could just go to a welfare office or health department and pay whatever their share is with a check, cash, or a postal money order, the agency would make up the difference in a check to the Department of Health and Human Services or DHHS.

    Under any system, a person needing and getting $X of care and paying a lesser amount in premiums such as $Y, will be getting a subsidy of at least $X-$Y.

    One can subsidize the sick with regressive mandatory insurance or progressive income taxes.

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