GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

And we thought we had it good

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The NZ Government is set to increase the cost of prescriptions from January 2013, Health Minister Tony Ryall said in a pre-Budget announcement today.

Most New Zealanders now pay $3 per prescription item up to a maximum of 20 items per family per year, after which items are free.

The charge will be raised to $5 per item up to a maximum 20 items from January 1, next year.

“The change means no person or family need pay more than an extra $40 per year for their prescription items,” Ryall said.

Here in Australia, we have a Safety Net program.  For the general public, the cost of prescriptions is up to $35.40 each – for health card holders, it is $5.80 (2012).  After a family has 60 prescriptions filled, the cost is reduced to $5.80 whilst those on the safety net get theirs for no cost until the end of the calendar year.

With Prostate Cancer, many medications are very expensive – up to $1,100 for a hormone implant that needs replacing every 12 weeks … and it will not cure you.  Morphine medications, and many others, cost some hundreds of dollars.  As a pensioner, we could not afford that.  I am grateful that we have an affordable system for everyone.

As for the US system …

In the US, the right to proper healthcare is mainly linked to having a job with a corporation.
I am originally from the UK – where I never had to worry about what might happen if I got sick or injured – because healthcare costs are paid by tax – and it ends up being a MUCH more efficient and affordable system for EVERYONE.

I have lived and worked in the US for over around 12 years. In most of that time I was employed by large corporations – who use their block buying power to demand that their workers get covered no matter how ill they may be, may have been, or how self-defeating their lifestyle or addictions.

However, recently I left a large corporation to start my own company. Suddenly I found out what people mean when they say that US healthcare system is broken.  It is virtually impossible to insure oneself at an affordable rate – as you have no block buying power. Some trade organizations do have their own group plans – but this is by no means guaranteed or available. (snip)

Why can’t the US get over its socialism phobia and realize that if you are going to use tax payers’ dollars to distort the playing field – you could just as easily use it to level the playing field.As it is – US healthcare system works nicely to keep the poor and middle class down – and the rich free from worry.

Read more …

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Written by Greg Naylor

8 June 2012 at 12:00 am

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