This one’s personal. I’ve known about a particularly grotesque Medicare regulation for awhile, and there’s a small chance it could impact me someday. See, Medicare would become my health insurance if I were ever to go on disability. With any luck, if and when I get a kidney transplant someday, I’ll find myself in relatively decent health. However, I’ll still need to take lots of expensive anti-rejection medications for the rest of my life (or the life of the new kidney). But let’s say I come down with a different ailment that causes disability, and for whatever reason, I have to rely on Medicare instead of an employer’s plan. One day, as the law is written now, Medicare would stop paying for those drugs after 3 years. My body would likely reject the new kidney, and I’d be back on dialysis. This scenario might be unlikely for me, but it has happened to others, as this NYT story details.
Although the government regularly pays $100,000 or more for kidney transplants, it stops paying for anti-rejection drugs after only 36 months.
So I hope that one part of the healthcare reform that passes is an elimination of the 36 months expiration for anti-rejection drugs.
On a related note, I would like to just flatly state for the record that, at least as of now, I’m getting more healthcare than I’ve ever paid in insurance premiums, and this will probably continue for the rest of my life, barring some miraculous new artificial kidney or influx of personal wealth. Therefore, I think it safe to say that I have no kindred spirits amongst those who, like the angry mobs who marched in D.C. this weekend, are fully against healthcare reform and are disgusted that their taxes might ever go towards paying for someone else’s care. I have friends from different parts of the political spectrum, but I think I need to draw a line in the sand. If you’re against any legitimate healthcare reform and don’t have logical arguments to support your opposition other than a misguided hatred of Obama and ridiculous labels of communism and non-citizen, then you are not my friend.