So I’m busy packing up the remnants of my old store and one of my customers tells me this story.
He has COPD and his lung capacity is below 25%. This makes mobility a real issue.
I suggest he apply for a scooter as I have before. His issue is that the doctors held off until his lung capacity is where it is now and now he’s being told that they changed the program so that the Government will only pay for a scooter if you need it in your home!
That’s insane and cruel. People can get by with walkers, canes, even wheelchairs in their house.
If they can’t get around outside to go to the bank, or the grocery store they are either going to be shut in more or have to use Handicap bus service. This impacts the quality of their lives dramatically.
Do you know how many scooters you can buy with the amount of money our governments are giving to Chrysler and GM? An awful lot.
Medicare is predicated on the concept (at least to my understanding) of basic medical care being given universally.
So if my Doc says I need a device, drug, or treatment for my basic survival it should be provided by the system. And because the system is purchasing for the Province, or country it should cost LESS.
What we now have is a difficulty to get a doctor. If you’re lucky enough to get a doctor and the doctor says you need a drug or device the government is now failing its duty in providing it or providing it at market cost.
This man may only have a few years left. Why should he not be able to enjoy his life as it is with a bit of mobility and dignity?
Another example of our system failing is Sleep Apnea.
Sleep Apnea is one of the hottest conditions. If diagnosed the common remedy is to use a sleep (CPAP) machine. This is basically an air pump that attaches a mask to your face and pumps air through your passages.
I use one and I can tell you that it changes your life. It’s not terribly invasive and shouldn’t be expensive as it’s basically a glorified aquarium pump.
In Cornwall there are three or four companies that supply people with this equipment and supplies.
The way the Government has it set up is that the user is responsible for 25% of the cost.
What they don’t tell you is that they allow the companies to set the bar at a certain price; in other words PRICE FIXING.
When I purchased my most recent machine here the bar was set at about $1100.00 – all the companies were priced within pennies of each other because as one person from a company explained, that’s where the government sets the price.
Why is it then that without any favors or discounts I could go online and order the exact same machine for $600 at the time? And that included shipping? Where is our Government incurring the discounts that purchasing for a Province should incur?
So my 25% of this inflated price is actually almost 50% of what I should be paying for the item; which if my doctor has prescribed for me I shouldn’t be paying for in the first place.
The mask I use is even a bigger farce. Here in Cornwall at that time, $380. Online $100 and you generally need two masks per year.
I feel bad for my friend who now basically has no way of getting a scooter. It’s just plain wrong. I feel worse for people who are being off loaded from the medicare system and are being forced to pay for drugs and devices they need to survive while we bail out failed companies whose only claim to fame is ripping off the consumer to the point that they en masse purchase from other companies.
There really is a need for The Medicare Party of Canada. There is a need for we Canadians to make a choice about saving Medicare before there’s no Medicare system to save, and that would be very very sad indeed.
This editorial is the opinion of the writer only. It doesn’t represent anyone affiliated or owning this newspaper.
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