Co-Pays, Elective Treatments, And Insulin

The Best Healthcare System In The World™ (boldface mine):

Mallory Lorge, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, is forced to ration her insulin and look at her possessions to decide what she can sell to pay down her bills because she isn’t receiving a paycheck during the record-long government shutdown.

Lorge, who lives in the small town of River Falls, Wisconsin, said she has two vials of insulin left in her fridge, but she is rationing them because she can no longer afford the $300 copay.

Her blood sugar rose to a high level last week, but she said she felt forced to ignore it. Instead, she went to bed.

When it gets that high you can go into diabetic ketoacidosis, you can go into a coma,” she said. “I can’t afford to go to the ER. I can’t afford anything. I just went to bed and hoped I’d wake up.”

Let’s, for now, ignore that the cost of insulin is too damn high. This also shows just how stupid the co-pay system is (boldface added):

Which brings us back to the rationale for copayments. No one takes too much insulin because they feel like it (that actually could lead to brain damage if not dealt with). There’s no potential for waste involved here. Quite simply, a juvenile diabetic must have the insulin he or she needs to treat this chronic condition. If he or she takes too little, they get sick and eventually have to be hospitalized (which is expensive).

Yet, in the case of insulin, the copayment is large, and for people of modest means who are not poor, it is too much.

There is no reason whatsoever for a co-pay for something one can’t do without. Then again, if we had a civilized healthcare insurance system, co-pays would be trivial or non-existent. Future generations will wonder how we were so barbarous and cruel.

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