It just doesn’t end!

Every year American consumers must pay more for their health care and pharmaceutical needs and every year health care providers and the pharmaceutical industry — with the help of our Congress — figure-out new ways to cut their costs and increase ours.

There are many ways Americans are being ‘ripped-off’. I will focus on a few ways this is occurring and how we pay more every year for our prescription medications and health care plans.

1. Before anyone requiring medication purchases a health care plan they check to see whether the medicines they need as per directed by a physician are included in and covered by that plan. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a provider to decide to drop a drug at any given time, usually it occurs annually or every 6 months. Therefore, a person may be able to receive their prescription medication for the 1st year on the plan, but the provider may discontinue covering that medication the next year.

The only option for the consumer is to pay a large out-of-pocket expense or to search for another plan that may still cover the needed medication. Many prescription medications are being discontinued by providers every year in this manner, but the cost of the plan continues to increase annually even though fewer Rx drugs are being covered.

2. One of the slickest ways we are forced to pay more for our prescription medications is when the health care providers determine to cut the quantity per month for certain medications without decreasing the cost.

For example, in 2007 in certain Rx plans you could purchase 30 doses (pills) of Levitra for a co-pay of $25.00, while in 2008 those plans charged the same cost for only 12 doses (pills). Now, in 2009, most plans will NOT cover a Levitra prescription at all. The total out-of-pocket expense for 12 Levitra pills is over $100.00 per month. Rx health plans are doing the same maneuvering with various medications.

3. Every year U.S. health care providers escalate their plan premiums whether or not these increases are justified. Furthermore, it is accomplished with the help of our U.S. Congress, who approves the laws and provisions that govern these requested cost increases.

Consequently, every year Americans get “conned and ripped-off” by health providers and pharmaceutical companies. Every year we pay more for our prescription medication and for the cost of our health care plans. This occurs apparently “with the blessings” of our Congress and due to the greedy nature of the pharmaceutical industry in search of greater profiteering. Health care providers and the pharmaceutical industry are big “players” in government, providing large campaign contributions and maintaining lobbyists to ensure that decisions are made in their best interests.

When you consider the manipulation of health care and pharmaceutical costs, not only is it reprehensible but it also it is absurd because in a matter of years few will be able to afford the astronomical costs of health care premiums nor will many be able to pay the sky-rocketing costs of out-of-pocket expenses for their prescription medication.

Sometime very soon the new administration of President Barack Obama and our Congress will need to engage in a massive investigation and revision of our inadequate system of health care and pharmaceutical programs and policies before these companies crumble and apply for government bail-outs as the financial sector and auto industries already have.

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