It is one story that can be repeated all over the US – and, still, for the life in me I cannot understand why – in the most wealthy nation on this planet people still have to chose between life and death because they have no coverage.
“Two or three hundred dollars goes a long way,” Pegram said. Especially when you are living on unemployment benefits.
Simple math, and a huge gamble: Pegram has a rare disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, that in some patients can be life-threatening.
“If anything happens, that’s another story,” Pegram told us. “But you have to do what you have to do sometimes, and you just hope for the best. And do it.”
But for the love of God why?
His monthly visit costs $150 — and patients like Pegram who are without insurance are asked to pay up front. His medications run about $126 at a discount pharmacy. Pegram has old bills showing that when he was at Hanes and insured, the same medication cost the insurance company $68 because of its discount. His doctor also accepted a lower negotiated rate from the insurer.
“So everything is inflated,” he said of his medical costs now.
He could have signed up for the COBRA health coverage available to workers as they lose their jobs. It was that policy Pegram said would have cost him $550 or “almost half of what you get every month” in jobless benefits and leave him “not able to pay for a place to live, and food, and all that.”
If the US government, and not the insurer, made that kind of discount for all the population – can you just imagine how far health costs would come down. It is a matter that the insurer can get these kinds of discounts that they can – and do – make such profits. If the government ran the show they wouldn’t need to make profit so the cost saving would automatically be passed, via lower payments by the tax payer, to the tax payer themselves.
Why is it that even the most Conservative of Republicans are against such a cost saving to the very people they are supposed to represent?