I’m not going to pretend that I know an awful lot about US Politics and so forth, but thanks to talking with a number of people with Still’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis over there, I do know enough to feel that Barack Obama winning the election was the best result. Especially if it means that Obama Care ie. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act comes through as promised.
From what I understand, many people with chronic illnesses such as Still’s and RA will benefit from this Act. I hear sooo many stories of people not getting the medication or treatment that they require because they are uninsured or their finances / insurance doesn’t cover the cost; of people rationing out the much-needed pain relief or sleeping tablets they have and suffering instead… and it breaks my heart.
I know the NHS isn’t perfect and that many people have complaints against it, but I for one have been very lucky in my own treatment of Still’s Disease. I have never had to fight for a medication; when one didn’t work, we moved on to another and that includes the biologic drugs that need to be approved by the PCT. My treatment plan doesn’t depend on what myself or my partner earns and even when I did have to pay for my prescriptions, at least there is the annual pre-pay option that makes it affordable. Then there are the doctors and care itself – I can’t imagine having to sign cheque every time I visit the doctor, have a blood test, an Xray or scan… which is how it works in the USA right? I’m watching ‘The Big C’ at the moment and that too highlights the stresses of financing medical treatment and she is dying.
So many people must go undiagnosed and untreated because they simply can’t afford it. Surely that can’t be right?
But Obama has signed this statute and with his re-election can put it into action. And it sounds like an improvement to me. It aims to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and to make the cost of healthcare more affordable for everyone, requiring insurance companies to offer the same rates to all, regardless of pre-existing illness and so on. This is only my very basic understanding of the situation, but I hope that it means many of the people I hear such horror stories from will benefit from the changes and receive a better quality of care in the future.
If any of our American readers want to correct / add to this explanation to help the rest of us understand better, please feel free to comment.
Here’s to another four years of Obama as President.