As a Physician Assistant in rural southwestern VA, working with the area’s ONLY board certified Gastroenterologist in the surrounding 5 counties, we see countless folks who come to us sick sick sick, only to find out the medicines they need are completely unaffordable. Many procedures the need to diagnose and/or treat their problems are just out of the question financially. The time I spend – on my days off usually- trying to get over rides or patient assistance programs approved, it’s just heartbreaking. But I cannot just not help these folks.
To then go to my physician to be diagnosed for the Flu (yes I got my shot last Sept) $70 office copay, $45 Flu test, $125 in blood work (to check HOW sick I was? Idk) then Tamiflu another $125….so hopefully I’d be up to only missing a few days at work and not a week, meaning 50-75 of *my* patients would need to be rescheduled…I would think “being in the business” I’d have one of the b”better” Medical insurances….but I don’t think there is any such thing anymore. Deductibles are in the $1000’s, even $10,000. I’m sure if I had a cataclysmic hospitalization I’d be very grateful I had insurance. But as for my basic health care? Even with my very very good job, it’s still extremely expensive.
It’s OK, I’ll get tires next month….ask the orthodontist to cut me some slack for a month….I can do that. How someone with minimum wage gets by? I have no idea.