The Healthcare Experience – 5/19
Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What's your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!
My two biggest frustrations are:
1. The need for prescriptions when it comes to things like fast-acting insulin. Seriously, why must I have a prescription? If I am able to buy Humulin R and N OTC, I feel like there is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t be able to purchase my Humalog and Levemir. I feel that way about many drugs that require a prescription, as well as supplies, such as CGMs, pumps, etc. Maybe it’s the libertarian in me: ”Stop babysitting me and let me do what I want! I can think for myself and it’s my life - Waaa!” Then again, without a prescription, my drugs couldn’t be billed to insurance. And this brings me to my biggest woe.
2. Mandated health insurance. Many don’t realize this, but mandating health insurance coverage allows drug companies to set whatever prices they want, because insurance will have to pay. (In turn the resulting high prices drive insurance limitations of what they will and will not cover, ensuring continued patient dissatisfaction.) If prices were set by the free market, they couldn’t possibly be as high as they are when health insurance is mandated, because individual consumers simply cannot afford to pay that (really, it’s simple supply and demand economics)! Case in point: when I lived in Spain in 2009 – 2010, I paid much less from my supplies without health insurance than I did in the U.S. with what was considered very good health insurance – about $20 for a vial of insulin in fact. That, and Lantus did not require a prescription. Recently, I met someone who travels to Canada to buy their Humalog for - you guessed it - $20 a vial! Again, maybe it’s my libertarian leanings, but I advocate for freedom of choice (to have or not to have insurance, and by extension more choice in what you can use, and hopefully affordability, driven by the free market).
So less mandates, please – whether it’s about health insurance coverage or what does and what does not require a prescription. And that’s my two cents.