Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.

1.26.2005

Paranoid and Irresponsible? Part 2.

Inspired by Goldie's post.

I believe that there are consipracies, or at least something hinky happening in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. It wouldn't surprise me if there were cures for various diseases (major and minor), that are being withheld, because it is more profitable to have a person on maintenance meds, than it is to cure them.

If you're lucky enough to have insurance and your insurance company's not run by assholes, you can get most of your medications without problems. However, if you don't have insurance you just plain can't afford to get sick, and you sure as hell can't afford to get well.

Personal example: (Not used to whine, merely the one I am most familiar with).

I get migraines. Not the kind that lay me out for days at a time, but they were/are severe enough, and frequent enough that they can really knock me down. Migraines are not life threatening (even if can make you want to die sometimes), but the longer you have them without treatment, the more damage that can be done to your brain. (and even with treatment, you're still doing damage, because the medication has to be taken once the attacks start) Anyway. The last time I went to a doctor, the visit itself was 150.00 (because of my deductible) and the medication they prescribed was about 25.00/pill. With insurance, it cost me 35.00 for 8 tablets (1 month). I was lucky- I had Rx coverage, and I was able to hoard my pills by refilling even if I didn't need any, to save for the future. Like now.

I haven't had insurance in nearly a year, and it's not like I've been unemployed. I've been working continuously since I was 17. I've just been working for employers who were too small to have insurance, or the plans were so prohibitively priced (and my employer wouldn't help with the costs) that I couldn't afford them. Does that make me lazy? Does that make me stupid? No, it just makes me like an overwhelming number of Americans who work full time (or more) and can't afford insurance for themselves. (Luckily, kids can be covered by the state in most places.)

And if your insurance company decides that your blood pressure medication is too expensive, and they're not going to pay for it anymore, despite the fact that it's the only one that works? Well, you can either suck it up, and pay for it yourself, con your doctor into saying it's medically necessary, or live with the side effects of the other meds. Don't mind the fact that the people at the insurance company don't have a clue about your condition, the only thing they're concerned with is their bottom line.

And don't even get me started on insurance companies that will pay for Cialis and Viagra, but won't pay for a pack of Ortho-Tri-Cyclen (when the Ortho's about 30.00/month, vs. Viagra which is 3x as much for 8 tablets). Too late.
Why is it that Birth Control is such a scary damned word for insurance companies, and now pharmacists to hear? I take oral contraceptives so that maybe I can predict when I'm going to have searing hot pokers jabbed into my right temple, and, if I take them right, avoid having mongolian death cramps. Oh yeah, and I also take them so that I don't pop out some kind of youngin', because the Sauce, she would be one shitty mother.

I'd think an insurance company would be absolutely fucking overjoyed to pay for a 30.00/month prescription for birth control pills, versus nine months of pre-natal care. I think they'd rather pay for a pack of Yasmin, instead of a script for RU-486, if it's their delicate sensibilities at stake. Oh yeah, we'll pay to make a dude's hog hard for hours at a time, but we're not going to help ensure that his partner doesn't get knocked up. And I totally don't buy that bullshit that "oh, it's for old people who won't get a girl pregnant". Please, young dudes at the peak of their "insemination period" are snappin' that shit up.

Argh. THERE'S a conspiracy.

I think that Pharmaceutical companies do behave unethically when they "bribe" doctors with dinners and swag to get them to push the newest most expensive drugs. I think there are people out there who want drugs just because the see them on TV. And I'd like to slap the guy in the "Our drugs are expensive, because they fund research for newer drugs" commercial, because I call "total bullshit" on that one. I think it's reprehensible for anyone to have to decide between rent, food, and medication. I don't think that AIDS is a government scheme (because honestly, most of the HIV positive clients we had at the pharmacy were on Medicaid, and were getting their meds picked up by the government), but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. I don't have an easy solution to the crisis, but I do have (somewhere) a paper I wrote a few years back on some possible solutions. I'll dig it up and put it up here.

So I got a little off topic... smack me.









2 Comments:

Blogger Ghost of Goldwater said...

Since you so kindly allow it:
*slap-slappetey-SLAP*

Ahhh... I'm feeling MUCH better now...

2:28 PM  
Blogger parcequilfaut said...

You are much more eloquent than I, ET -- my comments on the subject tend to get Doggian -- "Fuck this fucking fucker, it's fucked."

Alanis-ironic that you posted about this today, when the check that was supposedly mailed last Friday from my insurance company is STILL NOT HERE. They are pretty good, though; last time it was lost they overnighted it so I could pay my rent on time. Still, gr!

(So says the twin who WITH good coverage still pays $100/month for the drugs that make her able to work to pay for the drugs that cost too much...sigh.)

6:05 PM  

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