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The Lake News Online
  • Lake view: Effects of healthcare change

  • An open letter to Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill:

    In 2009, we exchanged correspondence regarding my concerns with various aspects of the proposed Affordable Care Act.
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  • An open letter to Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill:
    In 2009, we exchanged correspondence regarding my concerns with various aspects of the proposed Affordable Care Act. I wish to say you were quite gracious and charitable at all times, and I truly believe you were sincere in your responses — including the report you so proudly presented that contained the statement, “Congress will preserve your ability to choose your health insurance plan, your doctor, and your hospital.”
    I wish to detail for you, Senator, how your efforts have impacted this particular constituent. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, my health insurance premiums increased; albeit nominally to date, but an increase nevertheless.
    My prescription medication program also increased, raising the annual deductible from $250 to $2,500 by discontinuing the separate prescription program entirely, lumping and combining it with general medical coverage. BCBS is the insurance provider supplied by my employer, not exactly one of the “inferior” carriers or policies for that matter, which you so loathed and decided to legislate out of existence. But what I consider to be most abhorrent is the horrendous increase in costs for prescription meds.
    I am not a physician, but I do wish to inform you that some people’s health and, in some instances very life, is contingent upon prescription medication. My wife suffers from an extreme condition of fibromyalgia, coupled with osteoarthritis. After five years of trial and error, her doctor determined the proper strength and dosage of medication needed to control her pain and quality of life.
    She currently is prescribed nine different meds taken daily. But allow me the time to highlight just one. In December 2013, we were paying $84.56 for a monthly prescription of Lyrica. In January, the cost for this medicine alone jumped to $370.06. I have obtained quotations from various pharmacies and have found none that are less expensive than the pharmacy we normally use. Our monthly out-of-pocket expenditures for prescription meds prior to Jan. 1 was approximately $150. It is now in excess of $600 per month!
    We cannot afford this. Who can? And all answers to my inquiries regarding the reason for these increases in cost have been unanimous — the new mandates of the Affordable Care Act.
    So now, Senator, thanks to your pursuits to reform healthcare, my wife has been forced to stop taking her physician-prescribed medication.
    You keep emphasizing accessibility to healthcare. All Americans had that prior to Jan. 1, 2014. Accessibility is not the most important aspect of healthcare, affordability is. If you can’t afford it then accessibility means nothing.
    The turmoil in our lives is attributed completely and totally to the Affordable Care Act, and your support for it. It is difficult not to take it personally when I see my wife spend her day sitting in her chair, weeping and writhing from the pain she now endures, capable of only the smallest of tasks.
    Page 2 of 3 - Affordability is actually an integral ingredient of the formula for accessibility, which we had prior to Jan. 1, 2014 — and now no longer have.
    I simply do not understand this “transfer of health” that is currently transpiring. Yes, I agree with you, as a majority of Missourians do, it was unconscionable there were fellow Americans without health insurance, but to take it away wholesale from those who did merely to then shift it to those who didn’t seems to defy logic and common sense. It’s still a zero-sum game.
    The travesty of the Affordable Care Act, and your involvement with it becoming law, is the deceitful pretense of the stated purpose — to provide a benefit for those without healthcare. To accomplish this upon the backs of our young people and families just beginning their adult lives, and to further burden the sickliest and infirmed among us, is deplorable beyond explanation.
    I am not acquainted with anyone in my community who would ever entertain the thought of helping another person by harming someone else in order to do so. It is the epitome of elitist arrogance to purport that you know best who is, and who is not, to receive the medication and/or treatment prescribed by their doctor.
    Please provide an explanation to my wife why she must now suffer so that others can have relief, especially since her relief was already attained and realized only to be taken away.
    Eighteen states currently have recall provisions for their federal legislators. I would like to see Missouri become the 19th. I have contacted my state representatives and requested that they give thought to introducing some type of recall measure that would allow the people of this state to dismiss those we send to Washington and replace them. The actual prospects of a possible recall may well give a serving U.S. senator or representative a reason to temper their vote and influence with the better interests of Missouri in mind, rather than the will of a national political party. It is not my intent to disparage you or your office, which I absolutely know you occupy with a great sense of responsibility and character.
    The issue at hand is that the state of Missouri seems to have no statutory recourse available to its citizens regarding an elected federal official that has become a danger or threat to their welfare and/or well-being, other than trying to survive and persevere through the remainder of their term and await the next election. I have witnessed and experienced enough misery in these first two months of 2014 that we, as citizens of Missouri, must do what we can to strengthen the political will and leverage of its common inhabitants. We must obtain the tools and mechanisms whereby we can assure protection and freedom from those chosen among us that would ignore and neglect the wishes of this state in order to satisfy the desires or demands of a political party.
    Page 3 of 3 - Or, we can continue to remain helpless as our unique way of life in Missouri continues to be assaulted and eroded.
    It may be healthcare today, but what will be next?

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