Monday, July 25, 2016

Health for Sale

I know it's probably something you've all heard before. That medicine and Healthcare costs are way too extreme (at least here in the US, I can only speak to my experience).

You can't go a day without seeing someone post a fundraiser to help someone with medical costs. Usually it's someone who experienced a sudden illness or trauma, and people seem okay with donating to help. Which is awesome.

But I've seen something a little bit different when it comes to a person with a chronic illness asking for help paying medical bills. You may have seen different, and this is just my observations.

It stands to reason that people with chronic health problems will also chronically have to pay for the treatments of said health problems which means they may ask for money more than a person with the one off health incident. When this happens I've noticed on certain social media platforms that the person with a chronic illness gets met with anger or harassment if they've had to ask for help more than once or twice.

I wonder if it has to do with the general attitudes about chronic illnesses from outsiders being that the I'll person just isn't doing enough to "get better". I've seen comments towards people asking for help paying for a medication be told that they should just work harder, or economize and budget better to outright telling the person to just suck it up and make do without.

It's almost like these people don't realize how a chronic conditions works. I'm pretty lucky, I was approved to be placed on SSI and Medicaid. Unfortunately, not many people with chronic illness are so lucky. They may be unable to work, or can only work minimally, and are expected to be able to afford all the necessities (food, shelter, what have you) and their medications.

Just to give some idea I've got a bill from my latest series of infusions

This is just for a series of 2 infusions that I'm supposed to have every 6 months, this doesn't include the medications I take every day which range in price from about $10 US (managable) to $800 US. Per month. I take 10 different ones that each need to be refilled every month. 

Being chronically ill is expensive. Impossibly so if you are poor or don't have decent insurance. If you don't like seeing chronically ill people post about needing money, we need to work to fix the costs of medicine. It's a shame that people have to choose between debt and needed medications or a roof over their head or food. 

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