At the annual stroke conference (every disease has it’s conference) it was reported that some patients are not getting optimal care because they are uninsured and/or can’t afford the necessary medications.
The issue of the coverage of health care costs is intensified by the large vocal organized minority (I think) who believe sickness is just another moral hazard for which to hold people accountable. Their view is that the individual bears responsiblity for their illnesses and therefore it’s all right that they should suffer the indignation of having no insurance. These health care untouchables in their view deserve relegation to limited access to care–“they can go to ER’s.” This tough luck attitude is held whether the problem is lack of job, access to insurance, high cost of insurance, “pre-existing” illness clauses, accidents, hereditary disease, bad luck……whatever.
This report on strokes is the tip of the 50 million uninsured iceberg that affects health care quality and outcomes in the self proclaimed wealthiest country in the world.
Some stroke survivors skip prescribed medications because the cost is too high — a situation that may be worsening, particularly among young and uninsured patients, researchers found. According to a national survey of stroke survivors conducted from 2006 to 2009, 30% of those ages 45 to 54 and 60% of those who were uninsured reported that they were nonadherent because they could not afford to buy the medication
The current situation, not surpisingly, is worse than reported previously:
Both figures were greater than those reported in a similar survey conducted from 1998 to 2002, when cost-related nonadherence was 18% among those 45 to 54 and 39% among the uninsured,
Medicynical note: Sad but true. It is also a fact that the problem is getting worse with many states in the process of cutting subsidized health insurance programs, access to medicaid and working to undermine health care reform. Only in America, literally.