New Hampshire voters are leaving the polls. The issue of healthcare is at the top of their minds because they are looking forward to who is going to make their prescription drugs more affordable.
Insulin Crisis: A Major Healthcare Factor in the Presidential Race for 2020
The insulin price crisis has given a hard hit, which is a life-saving drug for more than 7.5 million Americans that have diabetes.
In the foothills of New Hampshire snowy white mountains, the live free or die model has become a rally in crime for change.
It is insulin or death, there is no other cure for Type 1 diabetes, and there is nothing anyone can do, and if it is a $1000 medical bill for insulin, then the person has to pay it.
Considering the case of Stacy Patterson, who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 37 needs a daily dose of prescribed insulin to survive.
“Insulin affects everything including your sleep, activities, work, and most of all your finances!”
- Stacy Patterson
Stacy has to work 50 hours every week at a local eye care chain, where she gets the insurance from her employer, but with a high deductible that she is barely getting by!
Insulin prices have jumped for 300% during the last decade when the drug has been around for the last 100 years, but still lacks regulation and market pressure that led to the skyrocketing prices!
The 30-year-old Britney O Donald, Chichester, New Hampshire runs a social network of people who are struggling to get their doses of insulin.
“Everyone is dependent on each other for tips and tricks on how to afford these things. and how to obtain insulin, and there are thousands of people doing this in New Hampshire itself!”
- Britney O Donald
One more case is Amanda Bowen, a freelance photographer and divorced mother of two teenagers. She has been a diabetic for the last 8 years.
“My medical bills far exceed my income, where she is capped at $1300 to qualify for medical aid.”
- Amanda Bowen
Now, Medicaid is a lifeline for Amanda, but it is not a solution.
“The options for me are limited, and I feel trapped. My son is 14 years old, and he is also a type 1 diabetic, and I hate to think that he has to go through this if this problem is not addressed.”
- Amanda added
Diabetes can be crushing, even for those with private insurance. A recent study found that one in four Americans with diabetes rationed doses of insulin because of the increasing cost. It is a dangerous practice that Amanda, Britney, and Stacy quoted that they tried.
Now everybody remembers the Alec Smith story, and it made the national headlines. A 26-year-old diabetic from Minnesota, who was a young restaurant manager who just started his career.
Alec’s mother Nicole said that he had just aged out of her health insurance.
“He was asked to pay $1300 for his monthly supply of insulin, and he did not have $1300 in his bank account. So, he left without his insulin supply, and his body was found a few days later, he died!”
- Alec’s Mother Nicole
“In true words, it is heart-breaking because if you knew what it is like to feel yourself slowly dying, it makes me so sad to think that when you live in the greatest country in the world, people have to go to sites like gofundme or make a trip to Canada, which I tried doing as well!”
- Stacy Patterson
Is the trip to Canada really beneficial?
A trip to Canada is something that a lot of Americans are making these days because the price of insulin in Canada is nearly 1/10th of the price in America.
There have been trips, where a group of diabetics led by the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the bus trip through the north of the border to stock up on cheap insulin. When just by traveling a few minutes from the border, a person has to pay 1/10th of the price of insulin in the United States.
Now, Ray Clement of Manchester who is Amanda Bowen’s father voted for Donald Trump, whereas his daughter is a Bernie Sanders fan.
“When I voted, I thought that they are taking care of this insulin problem because a lot of people in this country are diabetics.”
- Ray clement
As the healthcare debate continues, the stakes for insulin-dependent diabetics in 2020 could not be higher!
“I think the politicians are listening to us, at least I hope so! I have heard a lot of great talks and, a lot of people are talking about Medicare for all or who have offered to put caps on the whole drug companies responsible! I would like to see a little less pointing fingers and a lot of more definitive answers. I want a candidate to step up and say that I want to address this issue for you right now!”
- Britney O Donald
So, what is the reason behind the price gap of Insulin in the US and Canada?
The simple answer to this is that there are price controls in Canada for insulin. They have a government or review board for the prescription that would set the prices.
Now, it is one of the ideas that the number of Democratic candidates has put on the table, and of course, it faces stiff opposition from a lot of the drug companies, and the Republicans are opposing this as well.
So, the issue of healthcare is on a lot of American minds. And, there’s a lot of hope for this issue as a lot of democrats, republicans support the government to intervene and set the prices of drugs.
Several proposals are on the table that talk about allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices and expanding the use of generic drugs and it all comes down to who is president and who has the control over the congress!