One small aspect of the craptastic state of health care in the US is the incredible power held by insurance companies. My mail order prescription drug insurer has been a thorn in my side for years, culminating in all-out war in the second half of 2013. Besides their travesty of a billing department and their customer service reps who range from incompetent to belligerent to downright liars, I’m furious over the fact that this company is allowed to decide what medications we can take (if we still want to be able to pay our bills and eat occasionally).
Two of many examples:
+One daughter takes a time-released prescription med for debilitating menstrual cramps. The other daughter was never allowed (after four attempts) to receive that same prescription, even though her symptoms also include migraines, a symptom for which I am allowed to have this medication. ?????
+Most recently, I was informed that the daily steroid inhaler I’ve used for years to combat asthma will no longer be covered. I had to ask my doc to change me to one of the daily meds the “benefit” company chose. Oh, joy – I got to have my first dose of that daily inhaler yesterday. IT’S REPULSIVE! Absolutely counterintuitive that this is something you should ever introduce into your body, especially by mouth.
And that, my friends, is U.S. health care in a nutshell. The insurance company’s pursuit of the almighty dollar rules the day. The ACA is a big step in the right direction, but I’m hoping to reach a day when money-grubbing doesn’t negate my doctor’s expertise.