A tradgedy in three parts

Scene one: An unassuming engineer (The Old Goat) leaves his job and hires on with a local hospital. He's still an engineer, but instead of doing his engineering gig with bread ovens and furnaces, he now flirts with fire systems and central air units. In the process, he's lost his previous insurance and is waiting for his new insurance to kick in. He and his lovely wife (an unsuspecting asthmatic) pondered Cobra, but truly cannot afford the 1000.00 per month. At the same time, the asthmatic's non profit changed insurance because they could not afford the 20% hike the broker wanted to keep their old insurance. In summary, the unsuspecting asthmatic is currently the only one in the family with insurance.

Scene two: Our unsuspecting asthmatic enters the pharmacy to get the exotic antibiotics for her dumb leg. The air is blue with her cursing. Enter the pharmacy tech. The UA (unsuspecting asthmatic) tells the PT (pharmacy tech) that the old insurance is not valid and they should put this on her new insurance. They do so and call her to the register. Then they tell her it will cost $60. The UA is outraged (not at the PT). She hasn't paid more than $25 for a prescription in 8 years. She asks if her insurance paid anything. Oh yes, says the PT, it covered 60%. The UA goes home and promptly sends an email to HR telling her they need to make sure everyone at work asks for generic meds. $150 for antibiotics?

Scene three: HR and the UA (unsuspecting asthmatic) are discussing said email. Concern all around for those employees that cannot afford a $60 prescription. HR ponders a memo to staff to remind them of generics. A fellow manager overhears this conversation and follows the UA back to her office, shutting the door behind them. The first words she utters are "I can't afford to take my medications anymore". Apparently with the cost of gas and food rising, she has had to quit buying her meds. She has high blood pressure, early diabetes and thyroid condition. Our unsuspecting asthmatic promptly becomes thankful that a $60 prescription isn't going to affect dinner on the table or gas in her tank. Inconvenient, yes. Life and death, no. Plus, she'll have better coverage in November when our unassuming engineer gets his insurance back.

But she's angry that an employee with tenure (15 years) is faced with cutting pills in half and not filling some prescriptions altogether. She angry with the whole 20 year patent on medications so they can't go generic. She's frustrated that insuring the employees of a non profit is such a dollars and cents issue that each year the insurance gets worse and worse and the staff is reduced to only buying the meds they can afford.

She's also saving her money, because she doesn't have enough asthma meds to make it to the unassuming engineer's insurance renewal. And one of her inhalers is $200 per month.  Sigh...

Thus ends our story...