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health insurance
Jan 20, 2007

Hi

How are people who dont have any health insurance supposed to afford HIV medication. I have read that it comes out to something like 2,100 dollars a month. That is basically an entire yearly salary for most people. Why are these drugs so expensive and do you ever think the price will come down so that normal people can afford them.

Even if you have health insurance, wont your premium skyrocket as soon as you start taking HIV meds? How can insurance companies justify this? Isent it an infrigement on ones civil liberty to deny them medical coverage that could save their life just because they dont have enough money?

In countries where HIV meds are free, like GB and Canada, is it hard to get meds because of waiting lists?

If someone from the US becomes HIV positive can they move to Canada to get free meds?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

1. You ask how are people without health insurance supposed to afford HIV medication. Good question! It should be expanded to how are people without health insurance supposed to afford any type of significant medical problem broken bone, pregnancy, diabetes, cancer etc., etc., etc.! There are currently over 46,000,000 Americans with no health insurance! Dubya and his Republican cronies continue to believe tax cuts for the wealthy are apparently more important than something as trivial as health care for the needy.

2. If you have health insurance, your premiums should not skyrocket simply because you become ill and require care (HIV, cancer, etc.).

3. Health care may not be a "civil liberty" by definition, but it is certainly a moral issue and the U.S. should be ashamed that we have HIV-positive folks on waiting lists to get life-sustaining HIV meds, due to lack of funding of ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program). Perhaps if we had listened to Hillary's plan to provide health care for all way back when, we wouldn't be in such a mess now. Who knows, she just might get another chance in 2008 if she's elected President!

4. In countries that provide HIV medications, like Brazil, Canada, etc., no, there are no waiting lists. You get the medications as soon as you need them.

5. No, Canada is not interested in having folks move there just to get free HIV meds.

If you're concerned about the appalling number of uninsured Americans, advocate for change! Vote for change.

Dr. Bob



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