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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 12, 2018

Texas Teacher Dies From Flu, Delayed Getting $116 in Meds

A second grade Texas teacher has died from the flu because she was unable or unwilling to pick up her prescription, which was $116 with copay. Her delay may be because she was frugal, was unable to afford the medication or simply hates taking pills. I fall in all three of those categories myself. Unfortunately, this will continue no matter whether Obamacare, single payer or some other form of health insurance is in place.

Ultimately, staying healthy is a losing battle.

The Pa. Department of Health reports that, as of February 3, flu is widespread throughout the state, with the highest activity in the southeast. Statewide, there have been 91 deaths so far, including one in Northampton County.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

This weekend I read about Clown45's desire to eliminate any requiremeents for mandatory vaccinations. Another rejection of science that has real life consequences.

Anonymous said...

I have some questions about this story Not all of the particulars are being presented, it seems. If she taught in a public school, wasn't she in a union, or does Texas allow non-union teachers.

But presumably she was in a union. Do not most teacher unions have insurance that covers prescription drugs? In most cases, co-payments, even for "name" drugs is no more than $20. Unless her doctor prescribed her a very exotic drug, and we do not know which drug she was prescribed, most medications for the flu simply do not carry that high of a co-payment. Some things seem quite odd about this story that you are either unaware of or simply not writing about.

I do have some experience in this matter. I was unemployed for about a year without any kind of health insurance coverage, and I am a type-2 diabetic on insulin. When I was on health insurance, I was on two types of insulin, a long-term insulin called Toujeo, which is injected once daily. Then there is a short-term insulin called Humalog, which is taken at mealtime. In addition, there are blood test strips which you use 3 or 4 times a day, and the needle tips for the injector pens for the insulin. All of these are normally covered under insurance.

Now when you're laid off and you don't have money for COBRA, all of these life-saving items are unaffordable. Toujeo costs about $600/month, and Humalog about $500/month. Now, you can go to E I Lilly (Humalog), and Sandofi (Toujeo) and apply for their special programs for those who can't afford their drugs due to unemployment. This takes time, however, normally about two months, but most people are unaware of these and die due to their lack of insulin; normally due to a heart attack, which is brought on my high blood sugar counts. Then there are the blood testing strips, which tell you what your sugar level is. These are also horrendously expensive, and if you can't afford them, you have to guess at your sugar count, which means if you have insulin, you don[t know how much to take.

Yes, being a diabetic is a bitch and it's expensive and the cause of many deaths for those who don't have insurance. Also I was ill when I was unemployed and the cost of medicine was obscene expensive, but again, I was without insurance, but fortunately I didnm't die from it.

So getting back to this story, I can understand if her co-payment was un-affordable. However, she wasn't unemployed and likely in a union, so I do wonder if all of the facts are presented and what is not being told to us.

Anonymous said...

12:54. It's the parent's responsibility, not the President's to get your children vaccinated.

If you are too stupid or "opposed" to vaccinations, and your children die, then you should be arrested for murder. Also you should be sterilized because you're not responsible and too stupid to have any more children.

Anonymous said...

try
https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21736102-low-teacher-pay-and-severe-budget-cuts-are-driving-schools-brink-whats-matter

" In Catoosa, a school district not far from Tulsa, an elementary-school secretary tells of an aide with four children whose premiums were so large that she paid the district $200 a month to work there. A recently hired special-education teacher worries that she will not be able to afford a flat for herself and her two children without a housing voucher and food stamps, says Julie Phillips, a speech pathologist with Tulsa Public Schools. After a school drive to raise food for poor families unexpectedly had some left over, needy teachers divided the remaining bags of apples and potatoes among themselves."

Anonymous said...

First there is Texas, now someone else says Oklahoma So where did this occur, IF it actually occurred, or is this an urban legend dreamed up by the Democrats ?

Anonymous said...

The cost of health care is ridicules. At least a one payer universal plan would curb the costs.

Anonymous said...

Is the flu rampant in NORCO prison? I see a guard passed away this past Friday, allegedly by the flu.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:25, I imagine that at a place like the jail, it is rampant. But I have heard nothing about a CO passing away. I am sorry if that is so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:59, I linked to the story. I did not slant it. I did not say she was unable to afford the copay. I said she was either unable or unwilling to fill it right away. She could just have had an aversion to medicine, as I do. I specifically say that. We don't know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"First there is Texas, now someone else says Oklahoma So where did this occur, IF it actually occurred, or is this an urban legend dreamed up by the Democrats ?"

I realize your reading skills are challenged, but to normal people, the reader was citing an example from OK of miserly wages paid to the people we pay to educate our youth. Instead of being outraged at how little we spend on our most important asset, you attack Dems.

Cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

It's true, one passed and another was just removed from a respirator. Pretty somber day here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm terribly sorry. I will find out.

Anonymous said...

One passed away, one was or is on a respirator, and another out sick. It’s horrible. The one that passed away was very young. My heart goes out to his family.

Monkey Momma said...

"Holland fell ill about a week ago and planned to pick up flu medication but felt the $116 copay was too high, her husband said.

Frank Holland bought the prescription himself when he found out, but things worsened."

(cut and paste from the original article, which is linked in the article Bernie links to in his blog post.)

A $116 copay is certainly possible - there are many different RX plans out there, and just because 3:59 AM had exposure to $20 copays, that isn't as common as it used to be. It could be that this teacher had a deductable to meet, and being that it's still the beginning of the year, she probably hadn't met it, so she had to pay full (cash) price for Tamiflu. I'm thinking it was Tamiflu she was prescribed, which is a little over $100 if you have no insurance.

If it was Tamiflu, it needed to be started within 48 hours of her getting sick, in which case, it would be completely ineffective a week after getting sick.

This year's flu vaccine is only about 20% effective. So, even those who took the precaution of getting the shot are still (mostly) unprotected.

Side note: health insurance rates went up, again, astronomically this year for everyone, including employers and those in unions. We just got hit with a 30% increase in premiums, along with higher deductibles. (We're currently debating how to handle this expense - pass it along to employees? Cut staff? Something has got to give.) Our health care system and its excessive cost is unsustainable, and this poor teacher's death is just one example of many of how the cost of medication and treatment directly affects outcomes.

Anonymous said...

People are beginning to discover that having access to health insurance, and having access to healthcare, are two very different things.

This person was not killed by the flu, this person was killed by health insurance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I feel badly for this women and for the person who passed away at the jail. I believe that, left or right, we all agree that these drug companies and pharmacies are gouging people.

Anonymous said...

"gouging people" Bless you Bernie

They're killing people.

Anonymous said...

Those who say in our free market all have access to quality healthcare is like saying in our free marketplace all have access to a mansion or a Ferrari.

Time to think it through.

Anonymous said...

3:00pm
It has been thought through, and it has been determine that some people are expendable useless eaters. This has intelligent design written all over it.

The goal seems to be to kill as many people as you can without anyone realizing they're being written off.

Meanwhile oxycodone is readily available on the street, opioid addiction is rampant and no charges have been filed against the main suppliers.

There is a clear plan here.

Anonymous said...

Obama broke our healthcare.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Our health care system was broken long before Obama.

Anonymous said...

the US is a global superpower.we have put men on the moon.
yet we have citizens who want for medical care,food and other things.
JFK in a speech stated
" We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

so as to healthcare,food and the other things--- yes because they are hard.

Anonymous said...

The system is broken but the players are rich and powerful. Don't hold your breath. They have convinced half the population that healthcare should only exist for profit and if you can afford it. They have bought and paid for your elected officials.
so where exactly do you plan to go from here?

Anonymous said...

Though there are millions of other examples, this is not a good example to use against the medical business, particularly since there is so little known about this particular situation. We have all avoided taking care of our illnesses in some way, at some time. We can seldom know when we are in a life threatening situation when it comes to virus or illness. Plus we all have the right to determine how we deal with the evils of the medical business, what risks we take therein, and how we might prefer to die. I feel certain that everyone dies sooner then they had to, due to neglect, stupidity, our economic status, the lack of enough money, and/or medical treatment just not able to be implemented soon enough. Being dead will always a surprise and just a matter of circumstances, after all is said and done!

Anonymous said...

Wow anon 8:12. That is an interesting way to tell people if you get sick you did something wrong and you are all going to die anyway. so as far as readily available and affordable healthcare, F@#K off!

Anonymous said...

"Plus we all have the right to determine how we deal with the evils of the medical business, what risks we take therein,"

Seriously? Who wrote this big Pharma or the Health Insurance Industry?