Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Medical Question

Rarely do I hear enter into the political arena, but with the latest Obama administration decision, I just can't keep silent.

For more than twenty years as a priest and child of working class parents,I have watched the elderly and the poor on a monthly basis be forced to choose between their medications and groceries. The co-pays can often add up to huge sums.

My own mother died of the complications of diabetes and congestive heart failure and until the very end there were "out of pocket costs."

Now we will have a class of drugs which insurance companies are required by federal law to provide free of charge, no co-pays. Are they for cancer, HIV, or even diabetes or depression? No. They are contraceptives. Really?

Should insurance companies be required by law to provide some drugs absolutely free of charge to some populations? Perhaps. But is this really where we should start?

Perhaps I am misinformed. Perhaps the law already requires insurers to provide their poorer subscribers with free medicines for life threatening illness. But to my knowledge this will be a first.

As you read this there are people with insurance all over the country who will not fill their prescriptions because the don't have the money, and with this compromise the only drug they would be able to walk into the drugstore and get absolutely free is a contraceptive.

I'm confused by our priorities.