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Author Topic: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!  (Read 8398 times)

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Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2013, 08:21:14 PM »
yes^.  :)
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2013, 08:57:55 PM »
If I have extra pills left over from my spanish supply then I am donating my pills. Yes.

Mike, I dont have the kind of money to buy pills like you're saying. I just lost my house and my car and everything in spain to the bank last month because I couldn't make mortgage payments and payments on my loans anymore.

Strangelove I really am grateful for your message. You're right.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 09:03:21 PM by spiderfromspain »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2013, 09:19:35 PM »
I hope you enjoy your time here in the states ... if I had extra meds I would have gladly sent them to you but I didn't  .... I'm sure happy you got what you needed in the end .



I have several month's worth of prezista, isentress, and a little bit of Norvir. Sent my last surplus of Truvada to someone who needed it last week.  Whatever someone thinks of the people on this forum, we do every last bit that we can for anyone we can help, without hesitation and without a thought. I only made sure I had enough to do me until my insurance allowed a refill.

I completely agree with Joe on this issue.  That having been said, where our healthcare system fails, I hope it flies under no one's radar that we - the people suffering from this disease - risk huge legal ramifications including prosecution and homelessness to take care of people we can, when we can.



"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2013, 08:27:34 AM »

I suppose that I should let it alone, but.....  your comment about saving a life is a little over the top for your situation.  You don't want to spend any additional money to go home and get your FREE meds, so if there is anyone unwilling to do something to "save a life" -- look in the mirror.


I have to admit that I've been wondering if the cost of the trip back home to get additional meds is greater than, equal to, or less than the cost of the meds he's trying to obtain?

I don't mean the cost to Spider, I mean the cost to ADAP.

If Spider had to buy them outright in the US, I'm betting that would be a far greater expense than flying home to Spain.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2013, 09:37:23 AM »
I have to admit that I've been wondering if the cost of the trip back home to get additional meds is greater than, equal to, or less than the cost of the meds he's trying to obtain?

I don't mean the cost to Spider, I mean the cost to ADAP.

If Spider had to buy them outright in the US, I'm betting that would be a far greater expense than flying home to Spain.

Not sure what the retail price is today, but back in 2010 (I no longer can see the actual $$ amounts on my pharmacy claims) the cost to my insurance company (including my co-pay) for Atripla was around $4,600 for a 90 day supply.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
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Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2013, 09:53:41 AM »
Not sure what the retail price is today, but back in 2010 (I no longer can see the actual $$ amounts on my pharmacy claims) the cost to my insurance company (including my co-pay) for Atripla was around $4,600 for a 90 day supply.

Mike

Yikes. That would pay for around six flights.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2013, 10:06:16 AM »
Of COURSE the drugs are costing someone more than the price of a plane ticket...

The ironies of this story... 

Spain as you know, adopted an austerity budget, has massive unemployment for everyone and at least 50% of young people.  The young are moving abroad to find possibilities.

But Spain has national health service since 1986. 

With a EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card), a European can access health care in other European countries -- mostly its for tourist emergencies, but you can often use your EHIC or your home country often covers you in your new country, until you are resident / employed in your new European country. 

Also - USA culture versus most other rich countries.  Even before the European Union, some countries have long dealt with health care in fundamentally different ways to the US.  Therefore Europeans do have different strategies and make decisions, based on their cultural experiences, that seem striking to people from another culture.

Any one of us Americans could easily "feel" that Spider's experience might show nonchalance, or naiveté, or self-entitlement - or combinations... (Besides just a tight spot for a fellow HIV+ person.)  Nobody here knows the full story, we are just getting glimpses.

Anyway Spider you have lucked out landing in NYC if New York state is flush enough to support ADAP to meet all need.  Wish you well remaking your life --- wherever...


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2013, 11:29:28 AM »
Of COURSE the drugs are costing someone more than the price of a plane ticket...


That's what has me so freaked out - that pharmaceutical companies are getting away with charging that much for meds. You can cross the ocean six times for what it costs to buy three months of meds.

I don't understand how they get away with their prices when they're making record profits and getting huge bonuses. I don't understand why people aren't revolting in the streets over this kind of thing. It boggles my mind.

I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money - I object to them making obscene amounts of profit, perks and bonuses on the backs of people with life-sustaining medical/pharmaceutical needs.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2013, 11:35:38 AM »

I don't understand why people aren't revolting in the streets over this kind of thing. It boggles my mind.

3 reasons, I think.

1.  Americans hate change -- and this requires massive change in not only providing healthcare, but in thinking about healthcare in general.
2.  MOST Americans do have insurance and have no real idea of the cost of meds (even when they know the $$, it's not coming from "their" wallet, so.......)
3.  MOST of the uninsured don't really have the political power and are easily ignored.

Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline wolfter

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2013, 11:36:42 AM »
Who will decide what the obscene profit margin should be?  I don't know the answers, but I'm sure huge profits is what drives these companies to research new drugs and provide people with life saving meds.

I doubt many of them do it strictly for altruistic reasons.

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2013, 12:01:07 PM »

I doubt many of them do it strictly for altruistic reasons.


I didn't say they should. I said, I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money.

Do you  think Big Pharma executives need to have more money than they could sensibly spend in a lifetime?

Surely there's a middle-ground where meds are affordable and the execs still had a comfortable lifestyle.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2013, 02:09:43 PM »
I didn't say they should. I said, I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money.

Do you  think Big Pharma executives need to have more money than they could sensibly spend in a lifetime?

Surely there's a middle-ground where meds are affordable and the execs still had a comfortable lifestyle.

It seems that the pharma industry is alive and well in Canada.  We restrict drug prices and so my Truvada is $780 per month and my generic Viramune is $86.60 per month.  I pay $85.60 co-pay, each month, no matter how many drugs I require.  My HIV cocktail for a year costs the Provence of Quebec $10,399 - $1,027 (co-pay) = $9,372. 

How do we fund all of this, you might ask?  On top of our co-pays, we also pay a PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and a GST (General Sales Tax) that combined equals 12.5% on almost everything we purchase, excluding food, rent and some other essentials.  We even pay it on our utilities.  Yet, even with the heavy "tax" hit, I still spend thousands less each year on my medications, than I did when I lived in the States.

Joe

Offline buginme2

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2013, 03:53:02 PM »
3 reasons, I think.

1.  Americans hate change -- and this requires massive change in not only providing healthcare, but in thinking about healthcare in general.
2.  MOST Americans do have insurance and have no real idea of the cost of meds (even when they know the $$, it's not coming from "their" wallet, so.......)
3.  MOST of the uninsured don't really have the political power and are easily ignored.

In addition there is also a concern or fear about change.

If you have insurance it can be rather frightening imagining a change to your health insurance.  I have insurance through my work. I pay $50 a month for my insurance.  My medication is then provided to me at no charge (my $25 Copay is covered by Copay assist through Gilead) so my medication costs me nothing.

Even thou this is great for me, it's also paralyzingly.   I fear losing my job, changing jobs, or some circumstance that may change the insurance system.  I'm sure there are many others like me (either with HIV or some other illness who rely on their insurance) that are scared of a change.  The status quo it's what you know.

You end up with a half of America who has insurance being scared of any changes to the system.  You end up with the haves and the have nots.  It's a scary system all around.

 

Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2013, 05:08:04 PM »
I fear losing my job, changing jobs, or some circumstance that may change the insurance system.

Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 

I actually considered driving across the border and seeing a doctor in Mexico because getting care was becoming so complicated in the US.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2013, 05:26:57 PM »
Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 

I actually considered driving across the border and seeing a doctor in Mexico because getting care was becoming so complicated in the US.

This is yet another example of why we need major health care reform.
Those of us that pay 100% of our own health insurance see the ENTIRE cost come out of our pocket.
That would be $24,000.00 per year for my partner and I!!!

The cost and inequity of health care in this country is pathetic.
Again, haves and have nots.
And liberty and justice for all... :(

ps- and I guess that I should be feeling grateful that my Truvada/Isentress costs $27,000.00 per year let alone the thousands of $$ of my other medical annual expenses.
(did I hear another Yikes??)
sorry, but I am with Ann in not understanding why we allow this to continue.
the insurance/healthcare industry is designed to divide and conquer.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:42:25 PM by mitch777 »
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2013, 05:42:20 PM »
This is yet another example of why we need major health care reform.
Those of us that pay 100% of our own health insurance see the ENTIRE cost come out of our pocket.
That would be $24,000.00 per year for my partner and I!!!

The cost and inequity of health care in this country is pathetic.
Again, haves and have nots.
And liberty and justice for all... :(

I wish we had a "LIKE" button.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2013, 05:44:02 PM »
you just pushed it.
thank you. :)
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2013, 08:15:31 PM »
5 of the 20 highest paid executives in Europe are heads of Swiss companies.  This place is extremely capitalistic but there are grumblings. Started with the bankruptcy of original Swiss Air which many considered a soaking of shareholders and then a massive soaking of the federal government.  Golden parachutes and excessive retirement packages start to seem embarrassingly luxurious, showy, not Protestant, not "Swiss" feeling. The bailout of UBS pissed off many...

in February, Daniel Vasella, head of Novartis, was denied a 78 million retirement package which included payments for 6 years to not work for competitor Big Pharma.   This was a couple of days before the annual meeting.
http://news.yahoo.com/novartis-scraps-78-million-pay-outgoing-chairman-vasella-140543905--finance.html

Everyone was talking about this. I saw a biography on a current event news program, that showed his career from strict boys' school, through med school, and his brief career as a doctor before he earned a Harvard MBA and decided to chase the big bucks in Big Pharma.

Even capitalists were uncomfortable with this payout, not least because the Swiss were pushing for a national Referendum on excessive executive compensation...  In fact, golden hellos and golden parachutes are outright banned, in the referendum March 3 (direct democracy - everyone votes on this stuff).

Its a fascinating referendum because it also calls for the government to do more for "work-life balance" (Swiss have the longest work week in Europe).

Its all about accommodating socialist goals within a capitalist, stupendously rich economy. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_executive_pay_referendum,_2013

The referendum has other things that now must be done to increase corporate transparency and accountability to shareholders - meaning AGAINST executive control over where the enormous profits are going!  Also - protecting pension funds.

Sounds like something many capitalist countries could use...

There are other limits on the ".01%" in Europe, already voted in or on the agenda...

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130304/curbing-executive-pay-europe

"This is a summary of some efforts in Europe to cut down on "golden parachutes" and very high remuneration, after Swiss voters backed moves to curb executive pay in a referendum on Sunday.

On Monday, the European Union's executive commission welcomed the Swiss vote as "very positive", and highlighted the 27-member EU's plans for legislation this year to give shareholders more control over corporate pay."

________

Moral of the story??  Dunno. Where there is a will, there is a way. ???

Also its not just governments who need to regulate.  How much can Elizabeth Warren deliver, really, in the current US climate?   Its also shareholders who need to have some power how to divide the spoils.  So maybe its governments that must make the laws that guarantee shareholder power AND protecting pension funds from being drained, and thus lost to the workers, all poured into the super rich's bank accounts through compensation, bonuses, parachutes, stock options sold out before everyone knows the ship is sinking, the list goes on....

If a government doesn't have the stomach to be, well, Denmark or Sweden, well it can at least give some rights to workers and shareholders to fight the robber barons.
____

I think there's some discourse in London and New York about limiting the rewards to "excessive risk takers" in international finance but will that fly???  Doubtful...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 08:22:17 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #68 on: April 06, 2013, 08:34:49 PM »
Maybe another  moral is that direct democracy has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Its pretty awesome when the country has a voting majority feeling "progressive" and can make things happen. 

Doesn't always work out though - does it - for example California Prop 8.

I guess most Americans on this forum have pretty progressive politics and so we're all frustrated when these seem to be lost in the shuffle in Washington...

For example, I wonder if a national "referendum" on the the Iraq War would have passed a popular vote, in 2003, even considering the climate of fear and the successes of the Bush propaganda machine..  I bet the overall feeling of the population was - no, thanks, wrong war...   It was a bunch of senators and an executive branch playing politics....

A national referendum on gay equal rights would probably pass over 50% these days, don't you think?

Limits on excessive executive compensation, I bet that could get more than 50% of a popular vote too, these days, in the USA. 

All hypothetical of course.... Since this isn't the US system.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2013, 09:27:57 AM »

Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 


That practice should be illegal. At the very least they should have to make five or ten-year well-negotiated contracts.

Continuity of care is very important when one is dealing with a chronic, possibly terminal illness.

Continuity of care is also important for families with young children. Ageing populations as well.

This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

There is so much about America's healthcare system that is broken. It's heartbreaking.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2013, 10:41:09 AM »
That practice should be illegal. At the very least they should have to make five or ten-year well-negotiated contracts.

Continuity of care is very important when one is dealing with a chronic, possibly terminal illness.

Continuity of care is also important for families with young children. Ageing populations as well.

This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

There is so much about America's healthcare system that is broken. It's heartbreaking.

While I agree this is a horrible situation -- I think there is not enough focus on the COST of health care (outside of big pharma on this forum).  Folks tend to focus on the cost of insurance.  While there is plenty of waste there, hospital costs are absolutely out of control and have no basis on what the care actually costs to deliver.  When you read that a similar procedure can cost between $15,000 and $100,000 in the same state, it just screams to be looked at and fixed.
This company was probably trying to figure out a way to keep health insurance benefits as an option for their employees.  Why a doctor accepts or does not accept a particular insurance is not the companies fault -- you could have the same insurance for years and still have to switch docs because they stop accepting it (it's happened to me).
Hospitals are buying up doctor's practices all over in order to strengthen their position against insurers -- meaning -- not allowing them to negotiate down from the non-sensical charges they want to get.  Things like charging each patient for the cost of a sharpie that is used to mark their IV's -- even though they are reusable.  Charging $5.00 for a bandage, that I can go out and buy a box of 50 for that price.  These are the things that need to be addressed NOW.  They won't be, because the hospital lobby has bought our politicians at every level.   They have also done great PR on their "charitable care" -- which I've read amounts to 1% or so of their income.  Every hospital in the Richmond area has spent millions of dollars making these grand entrances to their facilities.  Who gives a flying fuck about the nice water feature in the lobby.  Oh yeah -- one of the big ones here is run by a religious organization....  charity, my ass.
One can't even find out what something actually will cost prior to going -- so if I'd like to "save" some money by having a colonoscopy at facility A or B -- I can't -- because neither will tell me the true cost.  AND.....  most states don't mandate that they do.
Again -- we must stop focusing on the cost of insurance -- that isn't the real problem at all.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline james3000

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2013, 10:58:57 AM »
The problem here in Canada is there is no national prescription policy so each Province
has their own drug Plan. This leads to a confusing system and higher drug prices as each province negotiates with the drug companies.
In BC my drugs would be covered but here in Ontario if you are not on Ontario disability or covered with private insurance we have a catastrophic drug plan the co-pay is 3% of total household income. If I cant afford to pay for it I am shit out of luck. Not only is it another tax on the sick it also leads to stress and anxiety.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2013, 11:02:44 AM »
There are many culprits in our healthcare system and they all have political power.
My top 4 would be (not in any order):

Insurance Companies
Big Pharma
Hospitals
Medical Equipment Companies

The reason I get more aggravated with the health insurance industry is that they are middlemen that drive up costs to line their pockets and provide nothing
other than processing paperwork.
The government processes claims from Medicare and Medicaid FAR more efficiently
than insurance companies.
If we get insurance out of the way, we might be able to tackle the other 3 legs of the stool.

And as Mecch stated, Switzerland is even getting fed up with the crazy salaries of CEO's.
It is hard to imagine that happening here but the inequity is building at a rabid rapid pace.

Our elected "leaders" are laughable.

32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2013, 11:09:03 AM »
This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

I guess I should clarify.  The company I worked for was actually very concerned about the health of its employees.  The yearly changes were due to insurance carriers raising rates by outrageous amounts (70% one year).  We had several employees with VERY sick family members (cancer, leukemia and at least two cases  - besides me - of HIV that I know of) so we were considered high-risk.  All in a company of roughly 1,000 employees.  The changes had to be made in order to keep the costs to employees low and not bankrupt the company (I was peripherally involved in the decision to change insurance carriers each time)

Online bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2013, 11:10:28 AM »
Well, I am not sure I'd say insurance companies provide nothing. They are, IMO, the ONLY ones that are trying to lower the cost of health care charges.  They actually negotiate down drug prices -- something the gov't refuses to do.
Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.
I'm not here saying the insurance companies are all good -- they are looking to make profits like any other company.  Profits are DEMANDED by their shareholders though -- Wall St. insists on short-term gains, over longer term visions.
Personally, I don't lose a ton of sleep over CEO pay -- it makes for great soundbites and headlines, but don't amount to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar company.  Yes it is obscene and over the top, but, again -- it's focusing on the wrong thing.  You won't squeeze out any meaningful savings there.

M
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Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2013, 11:34:59 AM »
Well, I am not sure I'd say insurance companies provide nothing. They are, IMO, the ONLY ones that are trying to lower the cost of health care charges.  They actually negotiate down drug prices -- something the gov't refuses to do.
Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.
I'm not here saying the insurance companies are all good -- they are looking to make profits like any other company.  Profits are DEMANDED by their shareholders though -- Wall St. insists on short-term gains, over longer term visions.
Personally, I don't lose a ton of sleep over CEO pay -- it makes for great soundbites and headlines, but don't amount to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar company.  Yes it is obscene and over the top, but, again -- it's focusing on the wrong thing.  You won't squeeze out any meaningful savings there.

M

Gilead CEO pay: $90 million
USA Budget for ADAP/Ryan White: $900 million

One man's salary= 10 %

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

I also read recently (forget where) that it costs the insurance companies $25 to process a claim while the federal government can process a claim for $2.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Add up the billions and billions of PROFIT that all of these companies generate.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Our elected officials can lead by changing the laws in order to negotiate better drug prices if they had the guts.

Seems like a no brainer to me.

Healthcare should be a human right in this country and as much as I think capitalism has many benefits, the healthcare system fails too many too often the way it is designed.

I agree that the insurance companies try to keep costs down to some extent, but it really isn't solving the cost issue enough to put a dent in the outlandish GDP to Healthcare ratio.

We have got to attack ALL of the greed involved and I for one don't feel comfortable in defending ANY of the culprits.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:38:23 AM by mitch777 »
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #76 on: April 07, 2013, 11:37:36 AM »

Again -- we must stop focusing on the cost of insurance -- that isn't the real problem at all.


I hope we can agree that it is a large (not the largest) part of a very big, complicated problem. It's one broken cog in a damaged, fuel-inefficient machine. Insurance companies are an out-for-himself-only middle-man where health care is concerned.

Let me re-phrase that. Health insurance companies are a necessary evil within the current American healthcare system.  There are other healthcare models that make health insurance companies unnecessary, and people don't go without healthcare if they don't have a good health insurance policy.


The yearly changes were due to insurance carriers raising rates by outrageous amounts (70% one year). 


Thanks for the clarification. If that's the case, then the insurance companies should only be permitted to make contracts for five or ten years - during which time they cannot raise their prices - instead of yearly contracts where they hope they have you by the short and curlies when it's time to renegotiate.


Our elected "leaders" are laughable.


A large part of the problem is that the elected leaders are bought and sold by corporations - who, remember, are "people" too. Campaign donations should be capped.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #77 on: April 07, 2013, 11:42:57 AM »
Agreed ^!

now that the problem is solved, I can rest easy. ;D

(I hope to live to see the day... :P.)
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #78 on: April 07, 2013, 11:47:25 AM »
The classic example is prescription plan b which was passed in 2006. This bill was written and pushed through congress by the pharmaceutical industry virtually eliminating the ability to negotiate drug costs. We all know the system is rigged.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #79 on: April 07, 2013, 12:03:24 PM »
The classic example is prescription plan b which was passed in 2006. This bill was written and pushed through congress by the pharmaceutical industry virtually eliminating the ability to negotiate drug costs. We all know the system is rigged.
yup, and the baby boomers are just entering the pipeline.
$ kaching $
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2013, 12:37:31 PM »

Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.


In both government and private sector (insurance companies) health care models, the patient is still the ultimate payer - just at fairer rates that aren't at the whim of corporate executives looking to buy another yacht or a fifth home.

The big difference is a government isn't looking to make billions in profit at the health expense of the poor.

Health outcomes in poverty stricken areas are poor regardless of what country we're talking about - and this effect is amplified when people don't have access to affordable healthcare.

A fundamental, life-sustaining need such as healthcare should not be thought of as a privlege or a commodity to be bought and sold. It should be a human right our governments uphold.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2013, 01:04:37 PM »
Gilead CEO pay: $90 million
USA Budget for ADAP/Ryan White: $900 million

One man's salary= 10 %

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Agreed -- but if Gilead cuts CEO pay, that money does not flow to ADAP, so while this would a wonderful thing, it is a meaningless comparison in the current model.  Not to mention that I would guess a large chunk (perhaps the majority??) of this money came from stock option sales, not from the company profits.  i could be wrong, but knowing how the CEO of my company is paid, I'm probably right.



Add up the billions and billions of PROFIT that all of these companies generate.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Perhaps -- but in this country, you aren't going to get the government to be able to limit the profit of one industry.  What about all the profit of food companies -- yet people go hungry?  Housing companies, yet people can't afford homes?  Energy companies, yet people go cold in the winter?
I'm not saying that we shouldn't advocate for change -- we absolutely do need to change.  Until the US decides to fundamentally change how healthcare is delivered, we are going to have these companies making profit.  Perhaps we could do something about the "profits" made by all these non-profit hospitals.  That seems to be something far more achievable in the short term, but it won't happen and I hear very few complaining about it. 

Our elected officials can lead by changing the laws in order to negotiate better drug prices if they had the guts. 
Seems like a no brainer to me.

No argument from me at all.  How many of us voted for our present elected officials though?  If they can do as they please but still get reelected, that is on us.  Money rules only if they feel secure in their position -- if not, then the voters rule.



Healthcare should be a human right in this country and as much as I think capitalism has many benefits, the healthcare system fails too many too often the way it is designed.
Yes -- so to do a good many of our industries -- food, housing, and energy just to name three more.

I agree that the insurance companies try to keep costs down to some extent, but it really isn't solving the cost issue enough to put a dent in the outlandish GDP to Healthcare ratio.

We have got to attack ALL of the greed involved and I for one don't feel comfortable in defending ANY of the culprits.
I am NOT defending them -- I am merely pointing out that we aren't focused on the right area.  The high cost of health care does not start with insurance companies -- only the portion that WE PAY does.  The high cost of health care starts with the hospitals, the pharma companies, the medical equipement (FREE SCOOTERS FOR ALL....  except they ain't free).  It is VERY American to not care terribly about what someone else pays on our behalf, that is why, IMO, there is not any groundswell of complaints against what the hospitals charge -- they are paid by insurance companies, not us.

So -- I would love to end up in the same place you would -- I just see a need to push in a different spot at this point in time.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
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Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2013, 03:23:38 PM »
mike,

all I am saying is:

1) the current model doesn't work.

2) the insurance industry is part of the problem.
(IMO a large enough part of the problem to focus on)

3) the other culprits should not be ignored either.
(they are ALL part of the problem)

4) income inequality comes into play because it drives the cost of healthcare up for all of us due to SIMPLE GREED.
(I never said that the money saved by reducing the salary (stock options or not)would go to ADAP. But it DOES bring up the cost of healthcare.)

5) housing, food, energy?
it IS a problem.
again, income inequality related.

6) I vote. for those who don't, well, they are part of the problem. sad.

7) i'm sorry if you thought I implied that you were defending the insurance companies.
I quoted your post because I think the insurance companies deserve their fair share of the blame for healthcare costs.

8) I am in total agreement with you that hospitals, big pharm, and medical suppliers play a MAJOR part.
I am just putting the insurance companies into the same bag.

9) The ENTIRE system needs an overhaul.
Will we ever see it happen?
Should we stop caring?

My strong negative opinion about the ENTIRE system INCLUDING insurance companies stands.
Insurance companies are a huge burden on our system.
To minimize their role is IMO ignoring "part" of the problem.

I guess I just don't see the need or purpose for private insurance companies in our system. period.
Maybe we should simply agree that we disagree on this issue.

m.
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2013, 03:33:04 PM »
In both government and private sector (insurance companies) health care models, the patient is still the ultimate payer - just at fairer rates that aren't at the whim of corporate executives looking to buy another yacht or a fifth home.

The big difference is a government isn't looking to make billions in profit at the health expense of the poor.

Health outcomes in poverty stricken areas are poor regardless of what country we're talking about - and this effect is amplified when people don't have access to affordable healthcare.

A fundamental, life-sustaining need such as healthcare should not be thought of as a privlege or a commodity to be bought and sold. It should be a human right our governments uphold.

I think it would have been easier to just quoted you Ann. ::)

I am curious if anyone here knows what the grand total of ALL American private health insurance companies PROFIT amounted to last year.

My guess is that it would be staggering!
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #84 on: April 07, 2013, 04:22:16 PM »
 

 It is VERY American to not care terribly about what someone else pays on our behalf, that is why, IMO, there is not any groundswell of complaints against what the hospitals charge -- they are paid by insurance companies, not us.


Sorry, just one more observation.

I agree with the above statement but also think it applies to the cost of insurance.
If everyone had to pay the entire cost (like me) for health insurance, Americans would go nuts.
Unfortunately, since a majority of Americans get their insurance paid in part or in full by their employers, most have no idea what the true cost is and don't care.

Large companies get discounted rates because of the size of their particular "pool".

We are a "pool" of 2 people and pay $24,000.00 per year out of our pocket.

I get upset that my focus on insurance companies is considered misplaced.

The insurance company rates are designed to maximize profit and they get away with charging the little guy a fortune because they can.
I hate the insurance thieves and with good reason.

Divide and conquer the market is their plan and it's working like a charm. >:(

m.
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

 


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