Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I recently sent a letter to the Bulletin regarding Sarah Palin’s accurate prediction of “death panels” if the Affordable Care Act passed. I said she was correct except that she named the wrong people who would be on those panels. Those, what I call “suffering and death panels,” turned out to be the CEO’s and board members of pharmaceutical companies.
I pity the poor SOB who has no health care insurance or who has insurance that refuses to cover certain prescribed medications like Epipens because the costs are immorally outlandish. Well, let me tell you a personal story. I have been coughing my lungs out recently so I went to my local doctor. He prescribed a 30-day inhaler with steroids in it called QVAR. The pharmacy called me and told me that that little 30 day supply inhaler costs $747 and that my insurance would not cover it. I don’t blame them. It is an immoral rip-off of huge proportions to have to pay that much for a little metal container smaller than your thumb. So, my prescription insurance company then agreed to pay $297, with me paying a $45 copay, for a different inhaler with a 30-day supply of a similar medication. I told them that I am very reluctant to get it for that cost to both of us. Again, I think it is a damn rip-off, yet for some reason I feel guilty for needing such an expensive drug. Go figure.
I understand that the cost of meds also takes into account the cost of the research as well as other costs of producing any particular medicine. I get it. What I don’t get is just how easy it was for those big pharma companies to buy those legislators who made it illegal to purchase and bring the same meds in from Canada or Mexico at a substantially lower cost. That is what I call cold hearted capitalism.
And I shouldn’t have to move to Canada or Mexico to be able to afford those meds. I do have a suggestion for your readers who are not afraid of reality, and that is to go to YouTube.com and do a search of George Carlin’s best 3 minutes. Watch it. It pretty much accurately explains situations like the one I just described.