Obamacare News Blog

Are expensive prescriptions the cause of skyrocketing health care cost?

We got the following message from Anthem Blue Cross today in a section called “Getting to the bottom of your health care costs.”   

“Did you know: 10-year study indicates spending for prescription drug use in America is on the rise? U.S. spending for prescription drugs more than doubled to $234.1 billion over the 10 years covered by a study released by the Centers for Disease Control in September 2010 as part of its National Center for Health Statistics data brief. Among those ages 60 or older, 37% used five or more prescriptions per month.”

Obviously, Anthem has an agenda to show America that there is a reason for their raising health insurance premiums.  What do you think? Are high cost prescriptions and our over reliance on them the cause of our health insurance problems?

Let us know what you think about insurance costs and its relation to prescription drug cost.

Comments and Questions

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Comment from Suzanne on June 27, 2013

Paying for prescriptions can be hard, especially when you are tight for money anyway. Too many doctors are over perscribing drugs just to make the pharmaceutical giants millions!

Comment from SammyD on July 14, 2011

You are lucky to live somewhere where you can purchase special pills for your medical situation. In a single payer program there would be no such thing!

Comment from Ashley on July 14, 2011

This is a joke. Corporate america is screwing us on health care. I paid $80 for my 4 migraine pills

Comment from Tired of Excuses on December 23, 2010

“Americans as a whole are overweight and over-medicated. We need to eat well, eat less, work out, quit smoking and most of all, quit relying on a pill to solve all our problems.”

I agree with this comment from Martin. Our health care system is sick because we are sick. We eat too much and then get some procedure to suck the fat out. then we go and blame McDonalds for making us fat.

Ruiz you are just looking for excuses. Health insurance should be priced based on your health. You should have to get a physical before you can apply for health insurance. Out of shape, overweight, smokers should pay more than healthy people. If you can do 100 push ups then you should pay less than the guy who cannot do any. 

I have heard of guys at my gym being turned down for health insurance because there body mass index was outside the guidelines. This is ridiculous. Muscle weighs more than fat and muscle is better for you than fat. The strong should be paying less than the weak.

Comment from Suzie Gronton on December 17, 2010

Insurance prices are too high.

Comment from Miguel Ruiz on December 17, 2010

Martin, Thanks for sharing that you are healthy but your math is off. Just because prescription cost have doubled in the last 10 years, it doesn’t explain why insurance cost have skyrocketed.

1)Insurance companies often time don’t cover expensive drugs and have a separate deductible. So they are not bearing the full weight of the increased cost.

2) Drugs make up a small portion of total medical cost so if drug prices double, your entire premium should not double. It should go up a small portion.

3) Premium cost have gone up way more than the costs of drugs. Increases to insurance premiums have gone up 131% in the last 10 years so drugs cost cannot explain it even if the insurance companies really paid for expensive drugs (see point 1).

Insurance companies are making a fortune. If there was a public option I would go for it so they couldn’t have all my money. Since there isn’t a public option I have a high deductible plan that cost less than typical health plans.

Comment from Martin Fuller on December 17, 2010

Americans as a whole are overweight and over-medicated. We need to eat well, eat less, work out, quit smoking and most of all, quit relying on a pill to solve all our problems.

As a country you cannot take twice as many drugs and then complain when your health insurance bills have gone up twice as much.

As an individual I can complain about higher health insurance premiums because I’m healthy and at the age of 54 have never taking any prescription drugs beyond 10 day antibiotics. I’m paying more because the rest of you don’t take responsibility for your health.

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