I am retired. I retired from working for the North Slope Borough starting in 1975, which means I am part of the Tier 1 PERS retirement system. And that means that when a doctor tells me I need a medication, I bring the prescription to the pharmacy without hesitation. I don’t have to hesitate because I have a retiree health plan that provides drug coverage. And that provides a peace of mind that simply cannot be quantified in any meaningful way.
I remember going to the pharmacy with my mother to get her blood pressure pills. She had Medicare by then but no drug coverage. She’d negotiate with the pharmacist to get half her prescription filled and then go back when she could afford the second half. That is not the path to peace of mind.
Given my challenging health circumstances, I realize on a daily basis just how lucky I am that I can afford health care. I can afford medications. I can afford to stay as healthy as possible. That puts me ahead of way too many Americans who can’t afford to be healthy because they can’t afford health care.
And for all the snots in the reading audience who are muttering under their breath while in a spin class about how we should just take responsibility for our lives and get healthy, you can’t spin away cancer or hypertension or diabetes or so many other health challenges that face us as we age. So get off your high horse. This will happen to you too.
Meanwhile, I need to go get my prescription refilled at the pharmacy and then get a flu shot because I have the peace of mind that comes with knowing I can afford it.