Letter to the Editor: Health care costs

I recently took my son to the emergency room after he suddenly became ill. Once the doctor completed his/her diagnosis, we returned home to get my boy in bed and resting.

I then went to the pharmacy for my son’s prescriptions. When it came my turn in line, I was shocked by the high cost so I asked the pharmacist to hold off on the purchase until I could call the doctor’s office and find out if there was a cheaper alternative. While waiting for the call back from the doctor’s office, I started talking with another person in line.

I said to him: “So, you in here filling a prescription? Are the prices ridiculous or what?” Not giving him a chance to respond, I just kept on complaining, “Insurance doesn’t cover hardly anything these days, even though it costs me $10,000 a year plus the $5,000 deductible.”

He looked at me, puzzled, and said: “Really? At least you have insurance. Most people I know don’t have any insurance; they can’t afford it.”

It took a second, and then I realized that I was complaining about something not everyone in this country has. We moved up in line and I stayed quiet the whole time, thinking how my wife and I would feel and wondering what we would do if my family could not afford health insurance. Just the thought turned my stomach.

It struck me there and then why each election is so important. Right now, too many of our politicians in Tallahassee and Washington are making decisions that protect the huge profits of insurance companies, drug makers and private hospitals but ignore the medical needs of regular people. Other modern countries have health systems that take care of everyone’s basic needs at reasonable costs, so why can’t the U.S.A. have a system like these other nations or even simply allow me to buy Medicare?

Politicians say they are trying to get medical and insurance prices lower, but I think they will only end up re-creating the low-end health policies with, like before, fine print that excludes pre-existing conditions and almost everything else from coverage.

A couple weeks ago at a meeting in LaBelle, I met candidates for the Florida Legislature who said they are running largely because of the health-care issue.

Catherine Price is running for the Florida Senate District 26 seat being vacated by Denise Grimsley. Catherine has both agriculture and nursing experience, so she seems perfect.

The other candidate running to represent Glades County is Audrey Asciutto. She is trying to replace Cary Pigman in Florida House District 55.

In Hendry County, candidates are Anisa Karim (Florida Senate District 28) and Jennifer Boddicker (Florida House District 80).

All four women share a concern for accessible, affordable health care. We need these women representing Hendry and Glades counties.

Ramon Rodriguez III

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