prescription drug costs


Healthcare and Health Insurance are not the same thing, but for some reason, people use them interchangeably. The assertion most often heard is that a change or removal in the ACA/Obamacare, even though it’s imploding all on its own since every insurance company ditched it, will mean people will DIE. The problem with that assertion is that you can get healthcare without insurance. Kind of like how you can go to a Dentist or an Optometrist without a dental or vision plan from your employer. 

But it’s so expensive and people will have to chose between food or medicine! Well fuck! Good thing there are payment plan, debt consolidation agencies, and other services where you can have your costs forgiven if you happen to be that damned poor… But they don’t tell you about that do they? They don’t make it easy, either. In fact, it’s almost like hospitals and doctors and pharmaceutical companies are actively antagonistic towards citizens.

All insurance does, in a really simply reductive sense, is take little bits of money from you in advance, and on a regular basis, adds them to one large pool, and then allows you to use a bit of that money to pay off otherwise insanely high costs that a hospital visit or prescription drug will cost you, assuming you meet some specific criteria, and even then it’s only going to pay for some of the treatment, regardless of how much or how little you’ve paid into your insurance policy. 

The reason people believe they will die without Obamacare comes from a misguided belief that they won’t be able to afford their medications or treatments without insurance.. But let’s back the fuck up and identify the real problem. It’s not that people need insurance. The problem is that healthcare is grossly overpriced. It’s that a single ambulance ride and one night a hospital where they’ll give you some aspirin, a saline drip, and a shitty bed to sleep on can cost $10,000 or more. It’s that some medications can cost hundreds of dollars per pill. 

While insurance companies do create a wide variety of problems that need to be addressed and rectified, there’s a more concerning issue to be addressed in the reality that we’ve become complacent with the idea that the healthcare industry is fucking broken, overpriced, and just plain fucked up, and now we’re squabbling over what kind of band-aid we want to put on it.

The reality is that strict Government regulations and licensing systems have contributed to the hyperinflation of the healthcare system. It’s become infinitely harder for people to become Doctors and it’s arbitrary limitations that keep Doctors from other countries to practice medicine in the United States. Likewise, pharmaceutical companies apply absurd costs in part because of heavy regulatory restrictions hindering the research and production of certain medications, and partly because they know that they can drain huge amounts of money from insurance companies if they overprice their medication.

This isn’t entirely unlike the problem with the minimum wage.People have begun demanding more money, but they aren’t backing up and asking why everything is so goddamned expensive in the first place. They don’t ask why so much of their paycheck is going to taxes, or why there’s so many different fees and licenses and stickers and tolls and more taxes. Why are homes so overpriced, even when the buildings are half a century old and haven’t been renovated once since they were built? Why are landlords overcharging for shitty one-room apartments? 

People have given up and accepted that this is just how things have to be, but at the same time, they go ahead and complain that the city isn’t using their money right. They tax and tax and tax, but the schools are always underfunded, the roads are always falling apart, the underlying infrastructure of the entire city is fucking toxic, and the solution people have been tricked into obsessing over is that they just need more money from other people so they can afford to throw away their money to a broken system that made them poor in the first place.

Perhaps it’s just that people don’t know any better. “Fight for 15″ is just so much catchier, and saying “Trump is literally killing me!” carries so much more weight and impact than saying, “We’ve let bureaucratic corruption and wide-ranging regulatory incompetence deeply damage our economy, our housing market, and our healthcare system!” but none of that changes the fact that the current discussions being had and being promoted by the same politicians who helped fuck everything up in the first place, and regardless of which side scores the most imaginary victory points, the problems of hyperinflated costs, taxes, and fees will persist.

anonymous asked:

what’s it like living in germany? what are the pros and cons?

oh man you could write a whole essay about this also you gotta keep in mind i’ve never lived anywhere else but here so i don’t have direct personal experiences i can judge and draw comparisons from, but i’d say a big pro is definitely the affordable and accessible healthcare and education system. you can also get financial support as in support money from the state in a lot of cases, like unemployment, maternity leave, monthly child support, support in paying rent money and housing assistance, support in case of sickness (may it be physical or mental) that helps covering for example therapy costs, emergency costs in case of an accident or acute illness, or prescription drug costs (for example you only have to pay 5€ of your own money in a pharmacy if you get a prescription from your doctor, the rest is covered by your insurance if you are with a statutory health insurance like i am and most other people are; they charge monthly insurance fees but still they are affordable), support in case of legal matters, support for paying your higher education which is what a lot of students here do (its called “bafög”)… there’s a lot of options. the downside is, to be able to have all these things provided, there will be up to 40% deducted in taxes and social contributions from your monthly salary. obviously the more you earn, the more will be subtracted. for example, when i am booked as an extra somewhere which is just a daily mini job, i do sign an official work contract for every single day and get paid for every single day, but eventually one third of what i would earn is subtracted from me again before i am paid (like, if i’d earn 120 bucks in a day as an extra, there will be around 75 bucks left in the end after all the deductions, and that’s what will be transfered to my bank account). it sucks, but then again is necessary to have the benefit of all those support options and the good healthcare and education system. this is something i can only evaluate from my life in the capital of germany, berlin, but even though it always causes me a lot of stress and anger cause it isn’t always on time and there’s regular cancellations because of some occuring troubles, but the public transport system is all in all probably better than in a lot of other places. and most importantly (and even though the prices keep rising every year by a couple of cents) it still is affordable (i pay 3,40€ for a 2 hour ticket with which i can go anywhere and can use any public transport device from trains to subway to trams and buses in berlin, potsdam and the close suburbs. you can easily reach most places with public transport and aren’t in need of car). another pro to me is the strict gun law. sure, shooting incidents still happen here; but in comparison to other countries, it’s rare. you can’t just go out and buy a gun. you’re not even allowed to own a gun without a permit and you really have to have a valid reason to get such permit (mostly for work). a con may be the extreme bureaucracy going on here. if you wanna apply for anything like financial support, there’s like a bunch of forms you’ve gotta fill out and hand in first. they wanna know everything and see evidence for everything. it’s complicated but eventually it’s manageable. a personal (and actually in the big picture silly) con to me is the weather, i hate the cold and the rain and potential snow you’re definitely getting in autumn and winter. also places like malls and supermarkets etc. are all closed on regular sundays, and usually the opening hours aren’t as long as for example in the states. but i feel this is something that you can easily work around, i mean it’s just a day of the week. wow i just scrolled up and noticed how long this already is so i need to make a stop here before this gets out of hand. of course theres much more that can be said from an objective and subjective point of view about living in germany.

Universal Healthcare

Why is it that we are the only major country on earth to not guarantee healthcare to evrey man woman and child? Do you know how much these private insurance company’s are making by putting profit over people, greed over need. According to a 2016 survey by The Kaiser Family Foundation, 20% of working age people have tremendous trouble paying there healthcare bills. While 53% of people without insurance reported the same situation. Do you know how many people die in this country, simply because they cannot pay there medical bills? Its insane!! While we have the CEO of Johnson and Johnson taking home 23.8m a year, and his salary is on the low end too.

Why is it that on average our prescription drugs cost on average 10x more than canadian drugs? The answer is simple, we have people in our goverment that simply dont care about the American People. They care about there money and stockholders. For example a drug called Celebrex costs 51$ in Canada and 330$ in the USA. Its absurd.

Its not like we dont have the money to pay for a complete health care reform either, we spend more on healthcare per person than any other country on earth.

What we need??

We need a national Medicare for all single payer system where evreyone is guaranteed healthcare for free. The fact of this plan is that it will also cut the overall spending of healthcare in this country.

Please, call your senators and express your feelings on healthcare in this country.

I hope evreyone has a good day!!😀

Source: Guide to Political Revolution: Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders - Getting It Done

The big attack being levelled at Bernie Sanders by the Hillary campaign (and Republicans) right now is that his ideas are “pie-in-the-sky” fantasies that we simply can’t achieve.

While I question the merits of an argument that basically says “America can’t achieve big things anymore, so stop dreaming”, the fact is that Bernie’s record here is clear. While Senator Sanders has always advocated for big steps forward, he’s also worked hard to take concrete action to move us forward for his entire career. Here’s just a sampling of some of what he’s achieved:

As chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, Bernie acted decisively after he learned that veterans were on long waiting lists and were not getting the care they needed on time. During that time, he worked with the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans, on a comprehensive bill to provide $21 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire more doctors and nurses and make sure that veterans were getting the benefits they were entitled to.

But Republicans blocked the bill. They said it was too expensive and it lost by 4 votes. Instead of backing down, Sanders worked with McCain on a compromise – $5 billion for more doctors and nurses at the VA; $10 billion to allow veterans to get care outside of the VA. The bill passed the Senate 93-3.
As a result of this bill, the VA has hired 14,000 new doctors, nurses, and medical staff. The backlog in disability claims has been reduced by nearly 90 percent.

Community Health Centers
During the debate over the Affordable Care Act, Sanders fought for a single-payer health care bill to guarantee health care as a right. The Republicans refused to allow a vote on the bill.

Instead of backing down, he worked with Congressman Jim Clyburn to dramatically expand access to community health centers which provide primary care, dental care, low-cost prescription drugs and mental health counseling to more than 24 million Americans.

Social Security
Just a few years ago, virtually every Republican and too many Democrats were talking about cutting cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and disabled veterans.

Sanders formed the Defending Social Security Caucus in the Senate and worked to form a grassroots coalition representing senior citizens, veterans, the disabled, women and labor to fight against these cuts.

He offered an amendment in opposition to cutting Social Security. It passed the Senate unanimously.

AARP hailed the vote: “With the adoption of Senator Sanders’ amendment, the Senate makes clear the need to protect retirees, veterans and others from an unwarranted cut to their benefits. Much more than a mere technical adjustment or a ‘tweak,’ the chained CPI would, over the next ten years, take a combined $146 billion out of the pockets of America’s veterans and seniors who are already living on tight budgets.”

Today, the momentum has shifted away from cutting Social Security to expanding Social Security.

Minimum Wage
Sanders believes we need to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Republicans are opposed to that. Instead of backing down, he worked with President Barack Obama on an executive order to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.

Climate Change
Sanders believes we need a tax on carbon to combat climate change. But until we successfully build a political movement for that to happen, he has not backed down. Instead, Sanders worked to pass $3.2 billion in energy efficiency grants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The program has made over 86,000 buildings energy efficient, installed more than 9,500 solar energy systems and created thousands of good-paying jobs.

Audit the Fed
In 2010, Sanders worked with Rep. Ron Paul to audit the Federal Reserve. They wanted a full and independent audit, but didn’t have the votes in the Senate to pass it. Instead of backing down, Sanders worked with Sen. Chris Dodd on a compromise that passed the Senate 96-0. As a result of that amendment we learned that the Fed provided over $16 trillion in virtually zero interest loans to every major financial institution in this country, corporations, foreign banks, and foreign central banks during the financial crisis. That information would have been kept secret if Sanders did not compromise.

Free Credit Reports
When Sanders was in the House, he introduced legislation to allow consumers to receive free credit reports and free credit scores.

The Republicans refused to go along with free credit scores, but Sanders did not back down. He compromised and today everyone in America can get their credit reports free of charge once a year.

Protected the Postal Service
A few years ago, the Postal Service announced a 5-year plan to shut down 15,000 post offices. Sanders formed an ad hoc committee of more than two dozen senators against the cuts and worked to find a compromise. Instead of shutting down these post offices, the Postal Service reduced their hours of operation. Was he happy with this move? No. Was it lot better than shutting them all down? Yes.

Dairy Farms
In 2009, Vermont’s farmers had been experiencing some of the lowest wholesale prices in history, threatening the viability of hundreds of Vermont’s farms.

Few thought that there was any chance the Senate could help them. But during that time, Sanders garnered the 60 votes needed to pass his amendment to provide $350 million in direct support to dairy farmers throughout the country.

In 2003, Sanders passed an amendment to stop the Bush Administration from implementing a rule that would have allowed companies to cut the pensions of older workers by as much as 50 percent. Sanders also passed an amendment that helped 130,000 IBM workers regain $320 million in pension benefits that had been taken away from them. It was not everything Sanders wanted, but it was an important victory.

Prescription Drugs
In 1999, Sanders was the first member of Congress to take constituents across the border to Canada to buy low-cost prescription drugs. Many of these constituents were breast cancer patients who were able to purchase their medications in Canada for almost one-tenth the price charged in the U.S. While the prescription drug companies have 1,321 lobbyists and have spent over $190 million on campaign contributions and lobbying so far in this election cycle, that does not stop Sanders from doing everything he can to lower the price of prescription drugs.
Clinton proposing $250 monthly cap on prescription drug costs for patients
The proposal is part of Clinton’s program to alter and expand the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing a $250 monthly cap on the amount patients with chronic and serious medical problems would have to pay out of pocket for prescription drugs as a way to reduce the effect of skyrocketing drug prices on consumers.

via Washington Post.

Hillary Clinton Proposes $250 Monthly Cap on Prescription Drug Costs

Hillary Clinton Proposes $250 Monthly Cap on Prescription Drug Costs

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks on ”Face the Nation” with John Dickerson, in Washington, D.C., in this picture provided by CBS News, September 20, 2015.REUTERS/CBS NEWS/CHRIS USHER/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed on Tuesday a $250 monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and other measures to stop what she…

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Hillary Rodham Clinton thrashes Martin Shkreli, the man who purchased the rights of Daraprim, an AIDS drug, for $55 million dollars. 

Martin Shkreli raised the price of the drug form $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. 

Hillary called out Martin Shkreli’s behavior and proposed a $250 monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to stop what she called “price gouging” by pharmaceutical companies. 

When all of Hillary’s proposals on every issue are taken into consideration, they are the most comprehensive and progressive of any candidate to date. Sorry Bernie. 

Yet everyone just wants to talk about her e-mails.
Our media is scary.

Thank You Hillary!!

Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton.

You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward.

Hillary Clinton released a debt free college plan that we developed together which now includes free tuition at public colleges and universities for working families. This was a major part of our campaign’s agenda and a proposal that, if enacted into law, would revolutionize higher education in this country.

Secretary Clinton has also publicly committed to massive investments in health care for communities across this country that will increase primary care, including mental health care, dental care, and low-cost prescription drug access for an additional 25 million people. Importantly, she has also endorsed the enactment of a so-called public option to allow everyone in this country to participate in a public insurance program. This idea was killed by the insurance industry during consideration of President Obama’s health care program.

During the Democratic platform proceedings in St. Louis and Orlando, we were victorious in including amendments to make it a clear priority of the Democratic Party to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, expand Social Security, abolish the death penalty, put a price on carbon, establish a path toward the legalization of marijuana, enact major criminal justice reforms, pass comprehensive immigration reform, end for-profit prisons and detention facilities, break up too-big-to-fail banks and create a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, close loopholes that allow big companies to avoid taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens and use that revenue to rebuild America, approve the most expansive agenda ever for protecting Native American rights and so much more.

All of these progressive policies were at the heart of our campaign. The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months.

But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance.