Thursday, May 7, 2015
Hello people, this is Bea Bell writing to you this month and I’m going to get serious. I’ m not a cussing woman, but there’s something happening in this country that’s got me mad as hell!
I’m a woman in her sixties and, thank goodness, I’m in pretty good health. I’m lucky enough to still enjoy the privilege of being covered by my late husband’s health insurance and it’s a really good policy, but like so many others, it doesn’t cover everything. Recently, I had toenail fungus, which is nothing fatal and, according to my podiatrist, fairly common. From what I understand it can be caused by something as normal as wearing closed-toe shoes, or getting an unsanitary pedicure. People who suffer from diabetes or HIV often have it too.
The results of toe fungus can be pretty unsightly. The toenail gets thick and changes color. I know vanity is a sin, but I’ve got to admit I didn’t like what I saw. I wanted my pretty, pick toenails back so I could wear my sandals in the summer. So when the foot doctor told me about a new medicine that was on the market more effective than any he’d seen, I couldn’t get to the pharmacy quick enough to purchase my prescription. I was more than ready to cover the deductible so that I could take the miracle cure home and start my treatments.
My first surprise was when the pharmacist informed me that my insurance wouldn’t cover the medication. Taking a deep breath, I resolved that I was going to have this medication whether it was covered or not. How much could it cost? $50, $100? Maybe a little more, but I had to have my pink toes back! I swallowed and the conversation went something like this:
“Okay, how much is it?”
“Eleven hundred dollars.”
I was certain that I hadn’t heard him right. “Did you say $11.00?
“Eleven hundred dollars.”
The pharmacist didn’t crack a smile, although I was sure she was joking.
“Eleven hundred dollars?” I croaked. She nodded, and I laughed and laughed and laughed.
The price of that medicine was the best joke I’d heard in a long time. My prescription was for a foot cream, not some life saving remedy! What could possibly be in the stuff that would make it cost so much? Once I recovered from my fit of laughter, and told her to keep the medicine, I walked away from that counter thinking that for some people the price of medication isn’t a joke.
There are plenty of folks out there who need life saving medicines that are as ridiculously expensive as that foot cream. The prices that pharmaceutical companies are charging for these and other medications is nothing but highway robbery. People are put in jail for stealing much less!
I’ve worked in city government, so I’m pretty aware of some of the tactics of politicians. Since the federal government lets these companies get away with it, my best guess is that members of Congress, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries are in cahoots in this travesty. They’re stealing from the people of the United States of America as surely as though they hit us over the head and picked our pockets. I’ve heard that in Canada and other foreign companies the same medicines cost much less. What’s the excuse for that? Tell me we’re not being robbed!
It’s time for the American people to rise up, take Congress to task and let them know we’re sick of it. We should tell Congress, we’re sick of this b*ll sh*t and we’re not going to take it anymore.” For the pharmaceutical companies, I only have four words for them: You make me sick!