Friday, January 16, 2009

US Health Care

Okay, I've just got to vent here. I'm pissed. The generic of Lamictal is $92 at my local pharmacy. I am not working anymore and not eligible for unemployment. I'm going to be applying for disability, but not likely to be approved, and anyway it's only a pittance and not enough to live on. There's no way I could get assistance with my medications except a line of credit which has to be paid in full at the end of every month. Well, if I had the money every month for the prescriptions, I wouldn't need their help, now, would I? I have trouble holding down a job with bipolar disorder. I get stressed and then I get extremely depressed and suicidal after only a few months. On top of all this trouble I've been having, I just found out how much my prescription costs in Canada. It's $59 for 100 pills, not the 30 pills I got over here. That's a little over a 3 month supply, and it's almost half of what I paid here. It's the exact same prescription! This is ridiculous! And if I were Canadian, I wouldn't have to pay for it at all!!!! Why is it that America is supposed to be the best country in the world, and we don't have national health care. Why are people so afraid of that? Why? It's completely irrational. Are they thinking they'll never get sick? Are they thinking that it's okay for people to rack up thousands of dollards in debt to pay medical expenses and end up declaring bankruptcy? That's OKAY to these people. I think it's wrong and shameful that our country allows that to happen. We're supposed to be the best country in the world, aren't we? Aren't we supposed to be the shining example of democracy that everyone else wants to follow our example? Aren't we? My friend L in Australia has schizophrenia. She gets her medical expenses paid by the state. She gets set up in an apartment of her own (which she couldn't do without their help--they have medical personel on staff to help, then she gets set up in a regular apartment after that). She gets regular doctor appointments. She gets disability payments every 2 weeks. AND she's allowed to work while this happens. That would NEVER happen in the United States, because apparently we think that mental illness is not important enough or life-threatening enough (if you're mentally ill, you KNOW that's not true) or else that it's not a real illness and it's all the ill person's fault. In England, where S lives, they have national health care and she doesn't have to pay for her diabetes treatments, even though she has severe complications. She gets disability as well. On top of that, their income tax is higher than ours and they have a separate tax for health care, although it's cheaper than insurance payments for us Americans. It all takes about 40% of her husband's income. BUT, they still afford go on regular overseas trips and they get 5 weeks of vacation a year, if not more. They have GUARRANTEED vacation--4 weeks minimum BY LAW. America doesn't even require ANY vacation time. WHY NOT? You're lucky if you get even 2 weeks (which won't happen unless you've been at an employer for several years, usually). That's just crazy. We complain so much about how high our taxes are. They're not even that high. They're among the lowest and that's because we have this stupid capitalist system that says we should pay for everything ourselves and screw you if you're poor or ill. So I just feel like Americans get screwed by the government and we're just supposed to accept the propaganda that our country is so great and we're better off than everyone else. Bullshit. Our country should do more for us. They really could do better. If I could afford to move to Canada I would. Sorry US. Love the country. Hate the government. And I swear that I'll really have a chip on my shoulder if Obama can't get us national health care, because it's about time we did have it. Or are the Republicans so rich that they don't need it and don't see any reason any one else should have a problem affording their doctors or medications? They're so out of touch and if they sabotage Obama's plan I'll hate them even more than I already do. Our country is supposed to be better than this. The government should do better and take care of our people. That's what they're supposed to do. Isn't it? Isn't that their role? They're supposed to maintain law and order, protect the nation from threats, protect the economy, and take care of those less fortunate that others. Taxes pay for that. Shouldn't we get what we pay for? If it were a product in the store, we'd have returned it because it's defective. Capitalism doesn't work. It just makes people greedy for money and they only look out for their own interests. We can't expect private coorporations to handle health care. They're not doing a good job now. Too many people fall through the cracks and it makes me very, very, very mad. I know there are people worse off than me moneywise and healthwise. My family helps the best they can, but it's not fair to them. Neither of my parents are rich, and anyway I'm 37 years old! It's not their job anymore to take care of me. And if I'm having problems I know there are people much worse off than me. This poor woman I used to work with had some weird immune disorder where her immune system was attacking all the cells in her body, including her heart and lungs. She has to have chemo frequently and she gets sick a lot. But she couldn't afford to pay her bills, so she had to leave a job she loved to take something that's not even in her field and that she hates (she's miserable and depressed now) just because the pay was better. Even then, that's not enough. She'll be paying that debt for the rest of her life because there's no cure (they don't even know what it is) and she'll need treatment forever. She might end up losing her job because of missed work. What's she supposed to do? Even if she could get disability, it probably wouldn't be as much as she's making now. How can she pay her bills? She's going to end up in bankruptcy over and over again because of the constant chemo. She racks up $15,000 of debt a day during chemo. She doesn't make that much in a month, much less in a day. And with inflation, the bills will go up higher faster than her income will. That's not fair. Why should she have to struggle like that for some illness that she had no control over? Why is it that France (a country many Americans hate) treats its people better than we do? They get a minimum of 5 weeks of vacation a year (by law), although most employers offer more than that or no one would want the job. They have a 35 hour work week. They have national health care (it even covers pre-natal care and even other costs for the mother after the birth--like someone to come take care of your house for you so you can concentrate on the baby!). Oh, I could just go on and on. I doubt anyone would change their mind on national health care because of this, but I just had to vent my frustrations. But I'm really, really, really pissed and disappointed in the US right now.

5 comments:

chloe in the sky said...

have you seen sicko? by Michael Moore?
it argues exactly that

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Since I don't have health insurance, my medications are very difficult to afford.

One way to cut costs is by splitting pills. Of course run this by your doctor first.
So, if you are taking 50 mg of lamictal, it will probably be about half the cost to buy 100 mg tabs and cut them in half.

Another way to save money is with some of these free Drug Prescrition Discount Cards. If you talk to your local pharmasist at CVS or Walgreens, they can usually help you.

Also, explain your situation to your doctor and see if they can get you some free samples.

When I first started Lamictal, they didn't have a generic, and it was over 300$ for a 1 month supply.
Now with the generic, I paid $176 for a 9o day supply of 100 mg tabs.
It would have been $320 without the discount, just for the generic.

At walgreens the prescription discount card they used was APM.
That is where I paid $176.

At CVS, they gave me a Caremarx plan.

Amy said...

I don't see how this can be right, but this is what http://www.costco.com
has listed on their website for prices.

LAMOTRIGINE 100 MG

30 $14.13

50 $18.13

100 $27.58

CJ said...

Thanks for the advice on prescriptions. I get mine currently at this place in Canada and it's $80 for 100 25mg pills. Still, that's a lot when I'm also taking Trileptal, which is $100 for 100 pills. I just can't afford both at once and I'm taking 2 pills a day each. My doctor does give me samples of Geodon, since I have to combine two doses to make the dose I take, and to buy both would cost $700. But if that ever goes generic I won't be able to get the samples anymore. Plus, I see my doctor every three months at $95 a session. I can't afford therapy, which would REALLY be helpful at this point. I haven't been able to work to help pay for this stuff and my family isn't rich by any means. This is a big struggle for them to pay this stuff for me, which makes me feel like I'm just a burden on them and they'd be better off without me. But I know they'd rather have the burden than not have me. Sweet, but it's hard for me to take when I see the hardships my family suffers because of my bills. We live in a cheap apartment that I hate and my dad, who is the one who pays for my bills doesn't even have his own place because he can't afford it with my bills and his at the same time. So he lives with HIS mother. Makes me feel terrible because I know he hates it there. My mother can't help me at all as she can only barely cover her own expenses (sometimes she CAN'T cover them). I just wish I could be normal and keep a full-time job. It hurts my self-esteem to not be working.