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.