Medicare’s Mission Statement: “To ensure effective, up-to-date health care coverage and to promote quality care for beneficiaries.”
This mission statement has fallen short in its delivery.
Tom, a decorated war veteran of World War II had a heart transplant. Medicare covered the transplant and paid for the first year of medications. However, neither his supplementary insurance nor Medicare covered any of the medications after the first year. He has struggled continuously paying for the medications since then and now can no longer afford them. Tom feels he proudly served his country in war; why isn’t it taking care of him?
Truth: The government does not want to pay for medications people need in order to live. In 1999, medications cost the government $213 billion, or 12 percent of the federal budget.
Prescription Drug Coverage
“Sometimes we do share drugs because I can’t get the samples or it’s just too costly.”
The security of prescription drug coverage significantly affects whether or not people are able to take their medication as prescribed. Some people are just not able to afford the medication they need.
Truth: We live in America, yet we are not able to see a doctor unless we have insurance that covers and if we cannot afford to pay for our expensive medications, we might just die and well… that’s just tough.
For the past several years, out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs has been on the rise.
In 1999, Medicare recipients spent approximately $400 out-of-pocket on drugs. That number is only increasing. The seniors who can’t afford to pay for their medications often don’t fill necessary prescriptions, or they take their medicine irregularly which can be dangerous and deadly.
Also, what is known as “Original” Medicare, does not cover the cost of prescription drugs outside the hospital which means that more than a third of Medicare receivers lack coverage for outpatient prescription drugs.
People paying for their medications as individuals cannot take advantage of discounted rates. If their insurance policy does not cover medications they are required to take, most go without taking the medications because, let’s face it, it’s just too expensive, especially if refills are mandatory.