Pay or Die

Posted on 11/15/2023 in misc

Pay or Die is a documentary available on Paramount+ the follows the efforts of some families in MN to pass legislation to ensure nobody dies because they can't afford insulin. Unfortunately, the reason these families are so adamant about this issue is that they all lost young adult kids that died from trying to ration their insulin when they could not afford to resupply.

I'm sure those of you reading from civilized countries like (insert just anywhere that is not the US) are wondering how this can be a thing. We are too. Capitalism and regulatory capture is the answer. Companies like Eli Lilly spend tens of millions every year influencing government to not do anything about the high cost of life saving medication.

I'll make my point-of-view very clear. Any medication necessary to stay alive should be free. Period.

A vial of insulin runs $300-$400 retail. The average type 1 diabetic will use 4 vials a month. If that diabetic is using an insulin pump you can add another $1000 or so a month for disposable medical supplies attached to the pump and blood sugar sensors. So a person with type 1 diabetes needs $2000 a month (or more) just to stay alive. And they still have to eat, pay rent, etc.

A vial of insulin cost about $10 to make.

I have good health insurance. And by good I mean a high-deductible plan where the first $4500 each every year is out of my pocket, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $6500. So from a budgeting standpoint, I need $4500 in Q1 each year to pay for insulin and pump supplies, then we will hit the out-of-pocket max for my wife at about month 6 or 7. I haven't accounted for myself in the above numbers. If I have any serious issues or even routine stuff like x-rays or a colonoscopy (due next year!) that is also all coming out of cash flow, at least until I hit $4500 spent. Add in the premium and on Jan 1 I'm down $9000 for the year at a bare minimum. More if I need any healthcare.

How many people do you know that have $9000 minimum each year for healthcare? This is the best health plan I've had in a while. I had been spending more like $14k+ every year for the previous 5 or 6 years. My health insurance helpfully promotes what I would have spent without them. It will come in right at $42,000 for the year. How many people do you know that have $42,000 for healthcare over the next decade, let alone next year?

The US Defense budget is almost $1 trillion dollars.

The next time somebody (a Republican) tells you there isn't enough money to keep people alive, I need you to remember something.

They are lying.

The United States is still the wealthiest country in the world. People dying from lack of healthcare, people freezing in the streets from lack of a home, and all the rest could easily be handled for a fraction of the defense budget.

We simply choose to not do anything about it. I wish I believed in an afterlife, because the thought of all those fuckers burning in hell for failing to give a shit actually makes me smile.

Oh, and watch Pay or Die. Paramount+ has a free 7-day trial, and when you try to cancel, they'll offer you 2 months free.

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