The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 12, 2014

Health system needs work

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Dr. Jesse Fuchs wrote an excellent letter in The Norman Transcript Jan. 30 covering extensively the problems with our health care systems in the United States.

I can only add a family experience as an illustration of how horrible this problem is.

A number of years ago, my wife had cancer surgery and chemotherapy and was prescribed two preventative medicines, one effective for five years at $200 a month and one afterward at $300.

At support group meetings, she met young, working women with children, some of the children’s only parent and sole supporter, who told her they were prescribed these medications but could not afford them.

What mental anguish these women must have undergone, knowing that they might die, yet have to gamble that they might not. No one should have to suffer financially, physically and mentally this way.

As Dr. Fuchs said the Affordable Care Act is “a timid step,” but it corrects some issues, such as preventing insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions to refuse cancer coverage to clients and force them to insure these people.

However, it will probably evolve to a profit-driven system, as systems have in the past, and continue to allow companies to make their obscene profits for their rich owners and shareholders.

Insurance health plans must now cover chemo prevention medications. However, in Oklahoma and other states where the governors refused the Medicaid expansion, many women still will not have medical insurance and can’t afford these medications.

As Dr. Fuchs said, we will still have 30 percent of Oklahomans without health care coverage. This is cruel and criminal.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

Hugo

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