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New co-pays for expensive drugs

In another sign that the people who run our country have no compassion for the less fortunate, a new co-pay system has been devised, passing on to patients enormous co-pays for the most expensive drugs.

  The New York Times reported on April 14 that ten percent of private health insurers, including Kaiser Permanente, now utilize a so-called "Tier 4" on drug payment plans, leaving 25 to 30 percent of the cost of the most expensive drugs to be borne by the patient.  The article pointed to Robin Steinwand as an example of this unfortunate development:  she recently renewed her prescription for the drug she takes to slow the development of multiple sclerosis.  Her 25% co-pay for the month was $325.00--or $3900.00 annually; she'll face this expense for the rest of her life, if she hopes to keep her MS "in check".  As we have described in earlier blog entries, the cost of medical care and pharmaceuticals, in particular, is beginning to impact the well-being of insureds as well as the uninsured.

  The whole concept of insurance is to share risks among a large population, in order to alleviate the burden of the few people who suffer catastrophic loss.  All other first-world nations accomplish this task in the field of health care by one form or another of universal health care.  Unfortunately, in our nation at this time, the prevailing philosophy appears to be that no one should be forced to contribute to any expense that does not carry a direct, immediate, tangible benefit to that person.  The corollary of that position is, of course, that any person who has suffered catastrophic illness or injury should get only the protection and assistance that he or she has purchased [at a higher price, because of the smaller pool of purchasers] in advance.  What a harsh, undemocratic, unChristian, selfish, and ultimately short-sighted philosophy for a people who pride themselves on their egalitarianism and compassion.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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