Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

On the DRA

I took a walk on my treadmill yesterday, and meanwhile afforded myself the opportunity to read a report on the DRA.

No. Not the NRA. The DRA.

I’m sure you’ve heard mention of the DRA here and there, and I’m sure the mention had all sorts of positive connotations. DRA = Deficit Reduction Act.
In this time of war, reducing deficits caused by a less-than-thrifty-in-regards-to-war-giddy President (notice I still use a CAPITAL “P”) is understandably a hot topic. We’ve borrowed our children’s and grandchildren’s futures to fund this war on “something but we aren’t quite sure what” so it makes sense that in an attempt to remedy this we create ways to reduce this deficit one way or another.

One way or another.

Back on Topic. So I was reading this Congressional Study on the DRA and I started to sweat. Not necessarily from my aerobic walking pace but more from a gut-wrenching rising fear.

Ever hear of cost-sharing? How about cost-sharing in regards to health insurance? (Certainly a hot topic among Republicans who seem to assume that all poor people are irrefutably irresponsible with their funds as evidenced by our poverty!) So how would you figure on cost-sharing for health insurance in the Medicaid sphere? As in shoving additional expenses on our most impoverished and vulnerable citizens and breaking their bank account (or more accurately lack of bank account) all for the benefit of a savings in the “several billion dollars” area for the good ‘ol Federal G’.

That extra $3 co-pay for their prescription drug will go a long way to save the government money namely why? Because many will “opt out” of their prescription because they do not know (nor is it a priority to have it be known) that they “DON’T HAVE TO PAY” the co-pay to receive the prescription. If they do pay, they literally are only paying back a portion of the federal welfare they are already receiving because they are either poor or disabled. How fucked up is that? Nothing screams USA quite like welfare charge-backs!

Of course, if you are a Medicaid recipient and you are not under the age of 21 or pregnant (sorry guys), you know this cost-sharing is already in effect. Did you also know that future plans in the DRA would remove that “DON’T HAVE TO PAY” clause, meaning that providers can REFUSE service or medication if the patient does not have the $3 to pay the co-pay? Perhaps, you say, this is no big deal. What is $3? Really?

If you are a recipient of SSI, $3 is a portion of your $637 monthly income which is expected to pay for:
1. Housing
2. Utilities
3. Transportation
4. Clothing
5. Food (in some cases)
6. Anything else you require to live and function independently

Work your budget on $637 a month and THEN you will begin to realize the importance of that $3 and the ridiculousness and inhumanity that this imposes.

This doesn’t even begin to address how the DRA will really “get you where it hurts” when you are elderly. Don’t even think about the repercussions if you are elderly AND disabled.

I am going to see about scanning in this report and posting it up here for review by loyal readers who are in for some dry yet frightening reading.

Ever feel like someone has pulled the wool over your eyes?

I do.

Want to read the report I read? I found it online. Go here and read it for yourself.

No comments: