I just read a message on my instagram in response to the video above:
“My mother is rationing her insulin. The fear I have for her is immense. No 18-year-old should have to worry about this.”
I stared at her message, filled with heartbreak and fury. How absolutely disgusting that in the United States of America people are having to ration their insulin.
Coincidentally, a man came up to me after my talk in New York City today to tell me a similar story. He is a security guard at a hotel in Manhattan, having retired after a career as a detective in the NYPD. He had paid $12 a month for his insulin for years, then went to the pharmacy one day and was told that the price had gone up to $1200!
I asked him how old he was and he said he was 65. “But hasn’t insulin been capped at $35 for people 65 and older?” I asked him.
He said that he didn’t fall into that category because he makes too much money to qualify for it, yet that he doesn’t make enough to afford $1200 a month. Fortunately, his union was able to handle the situation and gain him coverage. (Yay unions, by the way.) The upset he expressed to me about all this was palpable.
To be very clear: in countries with universal health care – and that means every other advanced democracy – people are not rationing their insulin.
My mother died of diabetes, as did my uncle and my grandmother. The idea that anyone in this country is having to ration their insulin is a moral obscenity, and it is for no other reason than pharmaceutical company greed. It’s worth noting, of course, that the top five pharmaceutical companies made $80 billion in profits last year alone.
In addition to people rationing their insulin, one in four Americans live with medical debt. 68,000 Americans die every year from lack of health care. 18 million Americans cannot afford to pay for the prescriptions their doctors give to them. The total collective medical debt in America is $88 billion.
Unless someone brings such conversations as this to the table, they simply fall away. I am running for President to talk about such things and effectuate changes – the only candidate running for the Democratic nomination who is calling for universal, single payer health insurance. It is humanitarian values, not corporate profits, that should govern our society. I hope you will invest generously in something that could change people’s lives so much for the better.
Here is my Whole Health Plan. Let’s keep this going until we get there…