The first thing most people do in hard economic times is cut out the big ticket items. We have all heard about people forgoing the new car or spending money on those major expenses for the house. Unnecessary items are put on the back burner for as long as it takes. It would appear that the idea that we can have it now, no matter what it is, is finally beginning to fade off into the sunset only to be replace with the cold reality that buying on time is too expensive not matter how much time we are offered. I recently received a letter from one of my (x) credit cards announcing that the rate for cash advance will be going to 29% and the rate for any delinquent payments will now be 30%. Given the fact of universal default, which means if I am late with one card they can all charge me the delinquent rate, one might see the need to be careful!
This morning on one of the news shows they did a story on how to tell the children you are going through tough financial times and just maybe little Bobby can’t have that eighty dollar hamster he saw at Pets Plus last weekend. Hmm. We all like to give things to our kids, but that Hamster could end up for dinner if we are not careful. And superficial purchases are just the first things to go and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
Many seniors are cutting back on their medications as well as those who consider themselves healthy enough to for go preventive care. Over the counter sales are going through the roof and sites like Web MD, are seeing a great influx of hits as people scale back spending on their most important asset; themselves. Granted the prices insurance companies pay for medicines set the prices high for all of us causing those without plans are going more and more with out. Who is worrying about their cholesterol when they don’t have enough food to eat or when you are facing foreclosure? The giant drug company that makes Lipitor is seeing a decline in sales. Not because patients don’t need the mediators or because Doctors aren’t prescribing it; but flatly because people can’t afford it.
Both candidates have pretty much danced around the issue of medicine and prescription coverage. Both have plans to both enhance and tweak the system we now use. But nothing short of a full scale operation is needed to save a health crisis that will make the current financial dilemma seems small by comparison. While Wall Street ges handed billions, Americans in need of care sit in emergency rooms instead of going to Doctors offices for everything from the flu to splinters.
Once all of the election clamor and excitement settled down and who ever it is wins, we must hold them to addressing this issue first and foremost. We cannot settle for more of the same when it comes to our health care. Our present system is a pre-existing condition we can not afford to ignore any longer!