Friday, June 29, 2007

I can't wait to see SiCKO.

I saw Michael Moore on the Daily Show yesterday, and caught him at 11 on Tavis Smiley, where he had more time to talk, and they showed a different clip.

I also like the latest commercial, casting him as Shaft - "Shut yo mouth!"

However, it naturally terrifies me due to my health problems. Even if nothing goes wrong, I'm still on plenty of medication and will be for the rest of my life (thyroid, calcium, vitamin D, allergy meds - NEVER stop those because your allergies have improved, what an idiot - and god knows what else.)

On PBS, he said he asked people to send him healthcare horror stories, expecting a few hundred, and getting 20 thousand, which does not surprise me.

I agree with what he has said so far (without seeing the film), we do not need the middle man of the insurance company. Human life should not be treated like a business product.

Working at the crisis center scares me, seeing people derailed financially by health problems, even when the care is free. St Jude's patients, for example. Free care for your kid, but you still miss work, and if your kid's in St Jude's, you're going to eat up your paid off days fast. I'm nowhere near as sick as a St Jude's patient, and my mom has no sick days. My dad can't watch us when we're sick because he'll "get fired" if he misses work. He says he has a lot of sick days, but he's saving them in case something terrible happens to himself, my sister, myself, or even my mom. Me staying in the hospital? "Best [I] ever looked!" Himself injured on the job? Nope.

Anyways, something I've been meaning to write about is prescription drug commercials, and I was finally spurred by the movie and his appearances on the Daily Show and Tavis Smiley.

Prescription drug commercials are fucked up.

Let me repeat that, to anybody with any knowledge of prescribing medication, these commercials are bizarre, useless, bullshit.

The only medication that I am on because of commercials is Singulair. I needed to be on an allergy med, and I'd never been on it, but I knew it's name, so we went with it. It's done all right.

I'm on another drug that is featured in commercials on TV - my birth control, Yaz. However, the commercials did not play a part in the decision at all, this was the one my OB-GYN thought best for me right now.

The other allergy medications I've been on since we stopped with the weekly shots have also been in commercials, but I didn't walk in and say, "I'm itchy. This commercial says this medication will make me stop itching. Prescribe it."

Same with the antidepressants. When I was put on Cymbalta, that was a decision my doctor made. After I got home, I started seeing commercials for it and continue to this day.

Everything else is not common enough to warrant commercials, except for the calcium supplement and the Lyrica, but I've only seen print ads, and they're aimed at a different nerve problem. (Or the same - just nerve damage and pain in a different part of the body.)

But commercials never entered my mind, when I get prescribed a new drug, we look it up online and ask the pharmacy about it. Locally owned independent drugstore - one reason I can't leave, they know my history, my medical allergies, everything. They pissed off my dad by not filling something because of insurance or it was too soon or somebody working at the pick-up section pissed him off, but I still depend on them. My insurance gives me uniform copays, unlike my poor mom.

Back to the ads.

Here are 2 things that bug me the most about the ads:

"Talk to your doctor." - Are you a doctor? No, you saw a commercial and knew you had this problem, this brand new problem that your doctor either didn't know about or didn't want to treat. Which is insane, because even if your doc is new, you can have your records faxed from your old one, you fill out info sheets on current meds, past and current health problems, everything. Your doctor knows you have high cholesterol, if you go in for your checkup and say, "Doc, put me on Expensrol, because the commercial said it was better than what you have me on," I don't think it will go well. No body reacts the same way to medication, and your doc generally has you on what he or she feels is best and what has not caused horrible side effects.

"Tell your doctor if you have XYZ, people with XYZ should not take ABC." - Your doctor should already know everything about your health and medical history. If not, get a new one and tell him or her everything! Sheesh.

They just bug me. I understand commercials for OTC drugs - they're not prescribed, and they're used by a lot of people. Your doc may recommend one, but not actually prescribe it.

I do have an OTC drug because of the commercials - Alavert. It really is good.

I think the ads for prescription medication are part of the reason they cost so damn much.

I don't know much about the business side of health care, and I don't want to.

My biggest worry about getting a job is not the pay, it's the health insurance. I can't expect the same thing I have now (unless I join the military, then my copays are zero), but I hope to get affordable copays and the treatment I need, not the treatment that saves the most money.

That's the problem - they can't turn a profit without denying operations, procedures, and medications. That's not right.

Our current president is a Christian, a very public one. Which makes me question his faith, sure he believes in God, but I thought religion was a private matter?

Would Jesus deny you afforable health care because of a pre-existing condition?

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