Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Local Girl Hits The Big Time

My friend, Lori Stewart, also known as Good Night Girl is quoted and has her picture in today's New York Times. Lori wrote a very moving post on October 14 titled Tough Decisions about trying to decide whether to spend one-fifth of her mother's monthly income on Rayzadyne for her mother's Alzheimer's Disease, when even the doctor can't tell her if it will do any good or use the money for other quality of life expenses. Somehow the blog entry got to a New York Times reporter doing a story about how the economy and the high cost of drugs is causing consumers to try to get by on fewer prescription drugs. Lori isn't quoted until near the end of the story, but there is a nice picture of Lori and her mother taking her mother's dog for a walk.

The New York Times headline writer, though, doesn't get it. The headline is "In Sour Economy, Some Scale Back on Medications." The "sour economy" has nothing to do with it. Lori's mother is on a fixed income, which isn't affected by the economy. The problem is that the supposedly richest country on earth has a health care system that doesn't work for ordinary citizens. When you have to decide between medication for Alzheimer's or Meals on Wheels, the system is out of whack.

I don't know whether either of the presidential candidates' health care proposals will make it easier for Lori's mother to get the care she needs. As I understand it, Obama's plan is to give everyone access to health insurance. But Lori's mother has health insurance, it just doesn't pay for what she needs. McCain's plan is to tax you on one hand for the value of the health insurance your employer buys for you (thus causing fewer employers to offer health insurance) and then giving you a credit on your tax return for the health insurance you buy. So, how exactly is someone trying to get back on less than $1,000 a month going to afford to pay for insurance now when they don't get the credit until next April?

I do know one thing. Given a choice between a candidate worth $100 million and owning seven houses and one whose mother died of cancer and had a hard time paying for the medication she needs, I'm going to go with the one whose experience more closely matches the experience of ordinary people. I think he is more likely to "get it" than the rich guy. But that's just my opinion.


Catch Her in the Wry said...

There you go implying that wealthy people have no compassion just to further push the election of your candidate. Besides, I believe it is Cindy McCain who has the wealth and the homes, not her husband, and she has actively participated in world health programs.

Tough choices are made everyday regarding health care. I am not sure that I would continue giving a loved one any medication, regardless of cost, that is possibly doing nothing to help (but that would be my choice). Medications are not the only quality of life issues confronting ailing relatives.

Why do you think it is the government's responsibility to take care of our elderly and sick? Family members need to be pitching in financially and with care giving. Past generations did that without running to the government. Multiple generations lived together and helped one another with caring for infants and older/sick family members. Families gave up parts of their own lives to help each other.

The NY Times article was way off topic from Lori's post. People face health care decisions every day that affect the quality of life of their loved ones. Instead of pushing a political agenda, you should be using your lawyer expertise posting about the necessity of health care powers of attorney, written end of life instructions, and the importance of family taking care of each other.

Crockhead said...

There you go, being a Libertarian! Lawyers can't fix this problem; the government can. And should.

rdl said...

Yes! Crockhead you are So right!!
Go Obama!

catch her in the wry said...

That's libertarian with a small "l," crock. Please don't affiliate me with the Libertarian political party.

forsythia said...

LOTS of people are taking care of aging parents, seriously ill relatives, and grandchildren. No one is asking for the government to assume full responsibility, but the burden of caring for the old and infirm can be devastating for family members. Another thing: lots of the frail elderly have no children and are truly on their own.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to say that families can take care of one another at a time when you're either not in those circumstances nor faced with the costs. The reality is that all too many do not have the means or space to take in family members. Lucky for those who can easily do so.

Shame on the wealthiest nation with the BEST health care in the world that can let unfortunate old & sick citizens do without care.