$3.00!!!  PROGRESS!

There are so many of Obama’s policies I detest, particularly his spying, promotion of transmission lines, stumping for coal gasification, but for the Affordable Care Act, I say, THANK YOU!!!  Thanks to the Obama administration, to the elected Representatives and Senators who voted for it, to all of us who pay taxes that provide for basic economic services… Thanks to all those who made it happen.  This is what taxes are for, not war, not drones, not subsidizing coal gasification plants, not rescuing billion dollar bankers, not enforcing the “Patriot Act,” but for health and medical care, public education, higher education, highways and transportation infrastructure, veterans benefits, social security, this is what it’s about.

This is progress.  But the success and impact of access to health care should also increase the urgency to shift to single-payer health care, as a “civilized” country it’s time we take care of everyone, as other “civilized” countries do.  This is an issue that I’m dedicating some time every month to advocate for, and to help people navigate this frustrating MNsure mess to get coverage.  We need fundamental change in our health care system.  This is a step, but just a step, and it needs to be more than placating the insurance companies — we need to get them out of the picture, but that’s another rant for another day.  This is a happy day, one filled with relief.

Alan and I now have regular, reasonable, and reliable access to health care for the first time in 30 years or more, and it makes such a difference, particularly where we’re at the age where things come up that require treatment.  We’ve been going to the Care Clinic, open only on Tuesdays, for urgent care and keeping an eye on our blood chemistry.  I’ve got allergy problems that put me out of commission for a couple weeks every year or two, Alan’s got eye issues that we’ll have to deal with in the foreseeable future and borderline high cholesterol, and then there’s my ADHD, diagnosed as an adult, for which I take Ritalin (speed slows us down, provides mental traction).  Alan can start on Medicare next year, but I’ve got a while, 7 1/2 years, so with this, maybe I won’t die of a sinus infection before then!  The monthly price is affordable, just right, and the plan seems a lot like the CUHCC Clinic, which I went to when I cooked at Seward Cafe, available preventative care through the U of M.  And it’s such a relief to have this, and know that if something dreadful does happen, if Alan keels over of a heart attack while shoveling the roof, if I stroke out reading a particularly egregious Xcel Energy Filing, we won’t lose everything to cover the bill (I know from my mother’s last hospital bills that those without “INSURANCE” are charged more than twice as much as the insurance companies pay, and hundreds of times more than the $100 co-pay that she paid as an insured.).

So what happened today?

$3.  THREE DOLLARS!  I just picked my ADHD drugs.  Since I was diagnosed in 1997 (what a DUH!  A “so that’s it” moment!) it’s been a constant struggle to be on them, to find and pay for a doctor at $100-200 a pop  every 3 months, to have the prescriptions sent (they don’t hand prescriptions to people, has to go in mail to Pharmacy), and then to pay for Ritalin Extended Release, at $43 (42.xx) every month.  But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I can go to a doctor, and I can get my prescription filled for $3 co-pay.  THREE DOLLARS!  That’s $40 a month less, or $480 a year, just for ADHD drugs.  There will be a nominal co-pay for the doctor, so a savings of $90-180 every 3 months, $30-60/month, so for something as simple as treating Attention Deficit (and believe me, the world is a much better place for all of you when I’m calm and collected), it’s now $13/mo. and not $133-223/mo.

$133-223 month?  WOW!  For someone like me who is self-employed, living modestly and doing public interest advocacy work, with lots of volunteer projects like the PUC Minn. R. Ch. 7849 and 7850 rulemaking, and silica sand activities, saving that much every month means there’s that much more time and money for agitating and advocacy.  $133 buys a lot of flyers.  $233 almost covers gas and hotel for a week of transmission road show.  This makes a significant difference in our lives.


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