Run on Health

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Run On Health – from the government to the large pharmaceutical companies to the insurance company to the patient and drugstore – it’s a jogging event that changes every month.

It was in the early 90’s when people knew things were changing quickly in health care but our country was in great shape, no one listened then – who is listening now? Remember the battles against the HMO’s – and the doctors themselves were afraid of being ruled by a leader of business not medicine.

Healthcare-runThis was the beginning of change in the system, it would not let doctors prescribe what they believed in their heart a patient needed, because of rules. It would be the beginning of a board of non- medical people, who were dictating to the doctors who should receive care, and who should not.

Doctors were beginning to give up on practicing, they thought why did becoming a doctor mean so much then, and now, so little. The cost alone for insurance, covering them for malpractice, turns heads. But then, when someone has the right to sue, the groups cling together like fruit on a tree, and join hands with the lawyers – I guess America is a fraternal order.

Within this post, you will hear about Medicare Fraud by Doctors – and Greed by large Drug Companies – those who lie about your personal health records, but even far more devastating the Pharmaceutical Companies who are pulling the wool over your eyes.

We know health care is failing for those insured or uninsured, for the poor or the working class. One thing we know – those we have placed in office are not going without proper care. They are not waiting weeks for pre-approval for an expensive test diagnosing perhaps a life threatening illness.

The MRI or other expensive test to rule out disease – blood clot – damage to a spinal cord, and the list goes on. They won’t be turned away at a doctor’s office because they have no insurance or are on Medicare or State run Medicaid. Then, on the other side of the coin – we do have some unhealthy doctors who are happy to accept those on Medicare, (a few – or more thousand fined last year) but with open arms they were the main culprit to take advantage of fraud in the system of Medicare. Sure, we have good doctors, but the rotten apples spoil the pack

Last year, I wrote an article about Medicare Fraud, and being one of 15,000 people on a conference call concerning Medicare (speaking out as an advocate for the people) I was asked what I believed was the main problem with Medicare and could it be fixed? Eighty percent of fifteen thousand people noted fraud from a doctor they used – by charging for services never received.

I understand people also take advantage of the system, but this isn’t the case with Seniors who paid their fair share, or the sick who have no other type of health care and were working at the time of their illness – or the children who ran out of regular insurance due to the disaster they face, the cost of a simple test with expensive machines, but they are worth it, every penny.

Recently, a quick blurb came across the television, national news, informing the public of doctors caught and arrested for fraud, billing Medicare for services never received – the cost of over 459 million dollars. The cost, only the tip of the iceberg.

Why do important matters receive a couple of minutes during an hour newscast but we hear over and over about what the dress will look like when so and so gets married… I have respect, and love the press – but something is wrong when certain things are shoved under the rug. I don’t blame the reporters, they have to do what they are told – remember when President G.W. Bush told the press no photos of coffins when the boys come home, but he forgot the women in his statement.

Read the initial article on Medicare fraud and you will see why I am pleased, something was done, and a great deal more has to follow. Someone listened – people must become aware of their own health care providers, and ask for a print out of each visit. A nice doctor can still be someone different behind his or her desk.

This week the news brought back an issue I was extremely concerned over, children with cancer going without medication because our great country, placed limits on a lifesaving drug. Imagine that, children going without lifesaving cancer drugs. Right before Christmas I heard the news mention there was some hope for those without drugs, but no other details. It all sprang from the pharmaceutical company limiting supply regardless of demand.

Hard to believe, I know, and it was not just one drug but many drugs given to patients with many disorders. Those who are doing without the help of familiar, helpful and drugs known to cure cancer are suffering, or dying because of greed – and greed travels down a long pathway. Several large pharmaceutical companies will not see an expensive drug fall in price, losing profit due to a patent. Instead, the drug is now placed into a team of people who find a slight change in its’ compound and they have a new generic.

If a brand name drug works, leave it be, if you want to try a generic, do so. Don’t force someone to change medications because of a new generic, no matter what is said, it is different from the first drug. If it doesn’t work the first time it won’t the second.

Note: Many generics work fine, but after learning about the cancer curing drugs for children, and drugs I use being turned over to different companies, I have talked until blue in the face, they are not the same.

These expensive name brand sought after drugs are curing a problem, perhaps giving someone a life, and if the patient who knows a body better than your own, tells the doctor it does not work – that is when the drug company socks it to you. Generics – mean adding something new or taking something away, a little change makes a lot of money. Some people cannot tolerate the generic, others can.

So major drug companies hop on another drug, keep the price high while generics are made, and the patient pays through the nose. How do you make the drug company understand the patients are not using the same medication, so they are not receiving proper care?

Think about it, when there are four generations of the same drug, someone is making a great deal of money. Top executives are not thinking of you, only themselves when it comes to profit – they are not thinking of the children in a hospital with parents praying for the drug to keep their child alive.

New generic drugs are taking their place – placing our children and our lives at odds while the Pharmaceutical companies are making more and more, and placing a cap on production, limiting the amount of the brand name drug manufactured each year could be harmful to your health.

Greed, the main reason the original company who manufactured the brand name links with other companies and selling some of the rights, but not all. There was a time when the brand name would drop in price, and the generic would be half the cost or less of the name brand, but this has changed, and so has the coverage regarding insurance payouts for these drugs. One month it’s forty dollars for thirty tablets, and another month it is two hundred dollars for thirty tablets. And the increase in price is covering the manufacturer selling part of the interest of the drug which was first placed on the market. How can insurance keep up with the drug companies, when the change in cost varies from month to month? Who is left to help the people?

When you know the generics are not the same, and do not work for you, would you continue with the generic and suffer – I hope not, I would be on the phone immediately.

A few days later a patient receives a script from a doctor, if does not say daw. (Dispense as written.) Only the generic is given. Be sure to let your doctor know you need the real thing, if this is the case, call for a new script and tell them why. The generic you receive maybe in the fourth generation. It may even work opposite. Sometimes it’s better to go without then taking something to make you worse.

Generic number two they say is the same, but the patient finds additional side effects, it comes from a different company – and right on down the line, third generic to the fourth, the drug gets weaker or doesn’t work at all. The druggist keeps telling the people it is the same drug when it is not.

After questioning several druggists, no one gave the same answer as to why the cost is different within a thirty day period, and why drug companies limit the use of a drug, as if they are playing doctor.

“The manufacturer has made a limited supply of the brand name drug, as it runs out it is substituted with a generic. You did notice “a” generic. Another druggist told a different story – I think they can’t keep up with the companies and changes either.

If a patient has a drug that works and worked for years why change the apple cart? Why not think of the patient first. I guess this is why they bombard us with commercials about drugs and remind us of the side effects during the five to seven o’clock hour on television, to protect their own skin, and it scares you to hear of the side effects, sometimes worse than the illness itself.

I am tired of the closet meetings, closed mouths, secrets, and untold stories. We vote, pay our dues, and deserve the government to get to the issues not push them aside.

I have heard the stories of people who do without when they pay nine thousand dollars for three month supply of an injectable drug – and this woman’s husband is self-employed. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I can’t take the medication, we don’t have that kind of money.”

A generic I can swear too, costs almost identical to some brand names and why make yourself sick? Why should the government place a cap on manufacturing certain drugs? Think of it like a loaf of bread, you may find the same, not the brand name, but when you open the bag it’s like a clump of yeast. You may find out the brand name changed so often its counterparts have different reactions.

If this is Health Care in America today, imagine Health Care in America tomorrow. Nothing is perfect, but no one took the time to talk to congress about the system since the 90’s when Hillary Clinton brought the problem to the frontline.

Don’t let the people suffer needlessly.

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