Essay on Sociology of Medicine

Today many people who suffer from chronic diseases still face considerable problems because they often cannot afford

healthcare. ”Between 2001 and 2009, the number of uninsured Americans rose from 40 million to 50.7 million.”(Weitzs, Pg. 191). Some experience bankruptcy, as a result of covering or compensating for expenses that their health insurance refuse to cover. The high costs of health care services makes it unaffordable for many people and they need Medicare and other programs that cover their health insurance and health care costs.  “A concern about millions of Americans who lack health insurance or who face devastating medical bills even though they have insurance came to head with passage in 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”(Weitz, Pg.195). However, if the financial position of patients is stable, as is the case of Pamela’s interviewee #2 they may not need the financial support. Interviewee #2 had medical insurance. Medicaid supplemented his medical insurance and paid for his nutritional therapy, he therefore did not pay for care out of pocket. According to Pamela’s Interviewee #2, No, I don’t require any financial assistance. I earn money myself, but its’ for me and my family. Financial support is crucial for patients with chronic diseases because they need to spend considerable funds on their treatment and medication and they cannot stop medication as they exhaust finances. In these such cases, the health maintenance organizations (HMOs), have assisted with the provision of making health care more affordable”. (Weitz, Pg. 179). According to the severity of the illness they have, this could mean death. Laureen’s Interviewee #2,was very please with PPO through Aetna. PPO covered all of medications, with minimal co-pay,”unreimbursable fees paid out of pocket each time one sees a doctor”. (Weitz, Pg. 194).  Interviewee was also pleased with the fact that PPO covered all doctor visits.

There are programs as such as Medicaid and Medicare which can provide people in need with coverage of health insurance and health care services.”Medicaid is the government-funded program for poor persons. (Weitz, Pg.34)  These measures are often sometimes insufficient and patients have to spend a large part of their earnings on medication and treatment of their health problems, as is the case of Pamela’s interviewee #1.  Interviewee’s #1 chronic condition required that she buy pills and injections, but also special creams, gels, lotions and balms in order to reduce inflammation and pain.  She is classified as disabled and was able to receive assistance from medicare,”the federally funded program for elderly and permanently disabled individuals”. (Weitz, Pg.36).

Today, the cost of health care services keeps growing and this trend is particularly dangerous for people with chronic diseases. Subject #1 of Evan Nobles’ interviewee’s responded to the question of finances, “Oh yeah, I am affected financially. My Dialysis is expensive, about $3000-4000 a day. Medicare pays 80% the patient is responsible for 20%. I get iron shots that are about 800-900 dollars and I get one every time I go. I’m in debt.” For instance, many people could not afford health insurance anymore since the beginning of the economic recession because their financial position has deteriorated while costs of health care services have increased substantially.  Additionally, as their physical condition deteriorates, they have to spend more and more financial resources on the treatment of their health problems. Therefore, their financial position deteriorates even more and they seek financial assistance to ease the pressures on their family budget.

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