There was a sadness to my visit to my primary physician today for a general physical. It was not for me, but for an elderly couple who came into the waiting room and then sat beside me.

As in most medical offices, the patient went to the window to check in. His voice was loud and distinct as he pulled out his wallet to do his co-pay.

“What! He exclaimed, fifty dollars? I do this every week and the co-pay is twenty-five dollars.

I couldn’t hear the response of the person behind the open glass, but it must have been like – the insurance company upped the co-pay.

The elderly man‘s shoulders slumped as he said,  “I can’t afford that.” “you’d better schedule me for every two weeks”.

I watched him write a check and then dejectedly shuffle to a seat next to his wife, and next to me.

He tried to keep his comments to his wife, “sotto voce,” but I could still hear him clearly.

“We can’t afford that increase.” “Hopefully we can get by.”

This goes on too much in America. No, we can’t blame one or two reasons and even though politics is certainly part of it, it is not the fault or responsibility of one party.

It is the singular consideration of our collective national ethic. If we, the citizenry, of our republic define national safety as bombs and guns, congressional PORK and walls to keep out, we will not have the funds to care for those in need in the December of their lives.

It is as simple as that!

3 thoughts on “Co-Pay”

  1. It happens all the time. A choice between paying a bill or paying for healthcare, and the bill usually wins out. The health care system in the United States is broken. It is a shame that a country with our great abundance cannot provide quality healthcare for all who need it. I personally have put off a needed procedure for two years because my share of the cost is $1,500.

  2. Well said Rolland. It made me ask, is it because we value less those persons who have attained a greater age, that we believe are lesser contributors to society, have nothing to offer? Is this yet another example of how we value humans in a throw away society, that may include those who we deem as having little or no value. In a small community in western Austria, they decided to put the assisted living building in the center of the village. The reason, explained to me by a member of the Office of Future Questions, was older citizens had a collective wisdom that was valued and necessary. Having them as part of the center of that town was an important way to show how these people were valued. An interesting contrast to the American culture.

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