In a recent post I lamented about how all the politicians seem to be convinced that the way to change Medicare is to basically eliminate it and put senior out on their own to face the drug companies and private insurers. After studying this some more I did discover that some are actually looking to control costs instead of reducing benefits. I don’t necessarily agree with their solution but at least they are trying to attack the spiraling medical costs instead of reducing the availability.
The crux of this article is that when people don’t take their medications they often end up in the emergency room with troubles and that costs us about $250 billion annually. Since the politicians like to quote ten-year costs that is $2.5 trillion in ten years.
Here is the explanation for missed medication at least according to this article:
People don’t take their medications because they forget to refill their prescriptions, forget to take them, feel they don’t need them or find them too expensive, said Edith Rosato, senior vice president of pharmacy affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
I know from personal conversations with many the primary reason seems to be the costs involved instead of just forgetfulness. Even with the Social Security Part D plan many seniors end up paying more than they can afford for medication. Sometimes it comes down to either eating or taking medication. In this age of deficit reduction this is something that needs to be seriously addressed. I guess I need to update an old saying but a $trillion here and a $trillion there and before long you are talking about real money 🙂
We will never solve our deficits in one chunk except by taking an ax to our bloated defense budgets but that is another post. It must be done a piece at a time and this is a pretty big piece. President Obama, like many of his predecessors seems to always want to throw a commission at studying the problem instead of taking action to solve it. Maybe there is a gumption pill around that will stir him into action unless he forgets to take it?
But what do I know….