Dear Editor:

A small saga of the elusive eye drops. I went to the drugstore to renew my prescription of my eye drops, which I use for glaucoma. The pharmacy informed me that they weren’t able to be renewed yet. I asked why and they told me that the insurance company refused to fill it until next week. The folks there at Hannaford were as helpful as they could be and called the insurance people to explain that I was out of the drops. I went home and called these people myself and asked who was in charge of these decisions. I was informed that it was one of their pharmacists. I then asked them why he was practicing medicine without a license. Actually, I was really mad as hell and let them know it. A very nice young woman on the other end spent two hours trying to get them to override it and fill the prescription.

After about two hours, she said I had 24 hours to pick it up. By this time it was dark and beginning to snow. At 89 years old, I hesitated to make the trip back into town, 15 miles away. The next day I did get back to the folks at the pharmacy, but they knew nothing of this so-called override. Once more, another nice young technician tried to deal with these crooks. Finally, after many hours they got an override, but by this time I was back home after getting a few samples from my doctor.

What is happening to our medical system? The insurance companies have us all in a stranglehold, as well as the criminal pharmaceutical companies. Family doctors are becoming as scarce as hen’s teeth as they are being told how to practice medicine by these huge profit-making machines, so are opting out of the profession. Who can blame them? They have to pay huge amounts of money to protect themselves from being sued. Oh, yes, we live in a litigious society. Some people make a good living suing organizations and medicine is a mother lode. Years ago, an attorney neighbor back in New Jersey, when told that the state had put in a no-fault program for automobile insurance, said, “Well, I guess I’ll have to go for the medical field to make a living.” So, OK, then we have the lawyers with their claws in the whole mess. Meanwhile, I finally did get my eye drops thanks to some very nice, persistent people, but how many other folks out there have similar stories to tell? And now just today I heard that the insurance companies are starting to plan to insure automobile mechanics. Look, they have got health insurance, veterinary, dental and god knows what else and now the Republican Congress wants to do away with Medicare and Medicaid. What’s to become of the poor, the sick and the elderly? How free is our country anyway? I wonder.

Mary Welsh
Letter to the Editor – Ellsworth American – January 12, 2017