The other day, I was in the pharmacy at my local HMO facility picking up a prescription. I know you aren’t supposed to listen to what the people up at the window are saying, but this one guy was virtually shouting and was quite hard to ignore. He was upset with the staff member who was trying to talk him through something that was obviously terribly upsetting. Again, it really wasn’t appropriate to eavesdrop, so please don’t pass this along.
It seems that he was picking up a refill on some meds (my thought was that I hoped they were chill pills of some sort) and he was distressed that a previous prescription of 150 pills was refilled with only 75. Now, it wasn’t the capsule-count that bothered him – he just didn’t want to have to pay the same $10.00 co-pay for the 75 that he did for the 150. Never mind that the co-pay scale is pretty well set and that $10.00 is the bottom-line fee. Nope. He thought he should pay less. Or nothing.
The flustered, yet knowledgeable lady at the window then proceeded to show him how much the medicine would cost if he were to purchase it out of the system. Needless to say it wasn’t 10 bucks, but rather several multiples of it. Yet the guy who was buying medicine at a paid-down price still thought he was paying too much.
It’s a mindset – one that seems to be pervasive.
In fact, I suspect he may be one of millions of Americans who seem to think that medicine and medical care should not really cost them personally much of anything. Let the rich people pay for all of us – or the employer, or the government, it’s too expensive for me. Because it costs so much, goes the thinking, I really shouldn’t have to pay. God forbid that any American should have too many out of pocket health care expenses.
The logic is: Nobody can afford it; somebody else should pay. Why does that remind me of something Yogi Berra might have once said?