Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Big, Bigger, Monopoly

I am a victim of the Affordable Care Act.  I do not blame the President.  I am glad that so many people have coverage that never did before.  I am a victim of not being part of group coverage.  I do not have an employer, so the choices for me are minimal.  It doesn't matter if I say that I can pay for premium coverage.  I can't get it.  I have to have an employer.  That sucks completely.  I now have the worst medical coverage that I've ever had.  I need to have a referral to see a doctor that before I could see, regardless if they took insurance.  It was on me.  I had to be responsible.  Now, it's not my choice, it's the insurance company.  Not my choice.  

With all the grousing and criticism by Republicans and others all these years about "Obamacare," what would they do?  Ben Carson mentioned getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid while campaigning this week.  That's not going to happen. No one has come up with any suggestion.  Not one.  They just hate the ACA. We can't have universal healthcare.  The insurance companies make too much money.  What would happen to them if we all had Medicare?  Anyone out there know?  From where I sit, we are screwed.  We will never be able to all have quality coverage.  Our system is too big and too corrupt.  

Don't get me started on the pharmaceutical companies.  If I blame President Obama for anything, it's when he made an advance deal with the drug companies a year ahead of any ACA legislation.  I don't understand the grotesque need to make bazillions off the backs of sick people.  Maybe the pharma companies should stop spending so much money on commercial time on television.  Over the past twenty years, the amount of drug ads has increased to an obscene level.  They are promoting drug use for anything that ails you or didn't even exist.  I don't get it.  Take the time to listen to all the list of possible side effects.  Why would anyone take any medication.  The pharmaceutical companies are making us a legally drug dependent country.  Why should they even promote their products?  You actually have to have a disease, an ailment, a problem.  You have to go to a doctor to get any of these prescription drugs so why do I have to hear about erectile dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, bladder issues, restless leg syndrome, and now there's the inappropriate laughing illness?  

Our country is just a basket of hypocrisy.  Nancy Reagan famously championed "just say no" to drugs and now, every time you turn on the TV, they are pushing drugs.  Granted they may not be marijuana, cocaine or speed, but that doesn't mean they aren't potentially as harmful.  AND now, Walgreens is buying Rite Aid.  WOW! Won't that be too big to fail?  Won't that be a monopoly?  That's what we do in America.  We allow so many companies to grow and grow and grow.  The only ones that are happy are the top echelon executives and the shareholders.  It's unnerving.  Look around, people.  We are down to the last few independent pharmacies.  By the time anyone wakes up and realizes another monster has been created, they will all be gone.   

Next time you are watching television, count how many commercials run and what percentage are drug commercials.  It will astound you. I am spewing all over the place, I know, but these issues are huge, complicated, and can't be resolved for all.  Everyone has a position and point of view.  The drug companies are not there to help people, like I thought when I was growing up.  They are there to make money off the very people that need their medicine.  Just look at Martin Shkreli...bought a drug company and raised the cost of each individual pill 5000%.  He did get push back from all corners, so he lowered it some, but he still raised this medication an unconscionable amount. That's where we are people.  I don't have answers, but major frustration.

I long for the days when we were embarrassed and uncomfortable to hear about tampons and sanitary napkins. 

Sidebars:  Wednesday night in NYC.  Torrential rains.  Good night to stay in and watch TV, but what will it be?  There's the often entertaining and informing GOP debate.  Don't forget Game 2 of the World Series between Kansas City Royals and the NY Mets. Mets lost a heartbreaker last night.  Ugh!  Then, there's just regularly scheduled  programs.  What to do?  If you watch the debate, I hope you will post or tweet comments  -- Saw the movie Bridge of Spies and give it two thumbs up.  The quality movies are rolling out fast.  It's so unfortunate that they even release movies the first 9 months of the year.  We have to get through so much mediocrity to get to the "real" movies.  Although there is something to be said that the powers-that-be don't think you can remember to nominate a great movie released in March....How good could it really be then?  Something to think about. -- I'm sure there's more, but my brain is rainy day mush.  Enjoy what ever you choose to do.

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