had MS for ten years. And my kind is progressive. So I just get
worse. I really can't do anything. I don't leave my house. You know,
it's hard for me to get out. There's steps in the back. My kids,
they're young and they really help me. But it's hard for them. Noelle,
she turned two when they said I had MS." - Alicia Facchino
suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is uninsured. She has
two children (ages 10 & 12) who take care of her at home. She is
confined to a wheelchair and can't afford home care.
"I had my heart transplant in '91. Medicare paid me for my operation
on my heart and, also paid for one year of my medication. And after
that one year, I was on my own to get, medication."
- Tom Giardina
is a decorated war veteran of WWII. Nine years ago, when he was
66 years of age, he had a heart transplant. Medicare covered the
transplant and paid for the first year of medications. Neither his
supplementary insurance nor Medicare covered any of the medications
after the first year. He has struggled to pay for the medications
since then and is now no longer able to pay for them. Tom feels
he served his country and wants to know -- why isn't it taking care
ideal would be the chart I was handed when I first started working
that said, 'If, you get sick, we're gonna pay this and we're gonna
respond quickly and we're a wonderful company that has cradled you
in our arms and whatever happens, we'll take care of it."
Gilberts' daughter is 13 years old and is finishing a 2 and 1/2-year
protocol for the successful treatment of leukemia. The insurer paid
most of the bills but refused some when prior authorizations weren't
properly secured. The family argues that many times during her lengthy
treatment there wasn't time to get the authorization, such as when
she was admitted to the hospital with high fever. They are currently
being contacted by some debt collection agencies and have had their
credit rating significantly lowered. They feel they must take time
off from work so they can try to resolve the issues with their insurance
carrier. Though most of the bills were eventually paid, the process
was a year-long ordeal of referrals and forms.
it's all HMOs because that's what everybody can afford. You can't
afford total coverage, no matter where you go."-
is the owner of the B & M Machine Company. To provide health
insurance for his employees, he has joined a leasing program but
still has difficulty offering the coverage and remaining competitive.
Charlie has worked at B &M Machine Company for 42 years and has
seen a lot of change in the way employers provide health care coverage.
we do share drugs because I can't get the samples or it's
just too costly, but he's gone as long as a month without medication."-
Val, a retired truck driver, has diabetes. His wife Dottie has high
blood pressure. They can't afford their medications and often take
less than the full dose or just go without. They don't want charity
but do feel there should be some sort of subsidy for people like
themselves in the middle-class.
"If she had kept regular Medicare, she would have been able to get
at least six weeks of service if the visiting nurse had deemed it
so…the HMO…they're saying, 'no, she doesn't need it."
- Grace Hixon