After bartending for over 20 years, a woman we will be referring too as Kay, suffers of shooting pains up and down her arms, pinching in her wrists, and numbness in her hands; she suffers from severe arthritis. Due to not having medical insurance, Kay took matters into her own hands by smuggling Oxycodone in her bags after a trip to Mexico.
This shows the lengths United States citizens will go to find treatment or care if they are without healthcare. Those that cannot afford health care
“Look, I am a bartender and I will be for the rest of my life. It is just too easy not to do! My child gets sick all of the time and I have this issue with my hands. We go down there [Mexico] every year, it’s just too easy to pass up”, Kay said.
The main reason for the smuggling was because of the prices of Oxycodone, or any other non-over-the-counter medications in the States.
If healthcare were to be more affordable for the single mother of three she would consider getting a plan. She does not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
Kay told reporters, “They [Doctors] tried charging me 70-80 bucks a bottle? I buy 20 dollars’ worth in Mexico and I’m set for the year”.
According to HealthCare.gov, the lowest premium rate in the state of Iowa costs $429.69 if you are over the age of the 50. That is without monthly costs and deductibles.
Kay’s daughter is a student at NICC. After graduating at Senior High, she planned on attending Clarke University and wanted to continue her bowling career to the collegiate level.
“They [Clarke] told me I was not able to compete or attend because we didn’t have health insurance to cover for any accidents or injuries… Yeah, it was upsetting but I got over it quick”, Kay’s daughter said.
According to the Clarke University website, “All Clarke students must be covered by health insurance… Clarke University does not endorse a specific student insurance plan”. This is due to the Affordable Care Act.
However, the website does list a number of options and suggestions of different health insurance company’s students can contact.
According to Clarke Health Services Nurse, Tammy Moore, states, “The complicated part about health care is that everyone’s situation is different. But, all students are able to be seen here. We are limited to what we can do, so usually if they [students] need further care and have issues with parents’ plans or they are out of network, we send them to Hillcrest or Crescent Community Health Center”.
Although all situations are different, health insurance is something that is supposed to help us, not harm us. Some benefit, while others actually struggle more because of their lack in coverage.
“It wasn’t always this way”, Moore says, “We used to accept students onto campus whether they were insured or not. But it all falls back on liability”.
For now, campuses like Clarke University are doing their best to provide quality healthcare to all students, despite economic differences regarding health insurance opportunities.
By: Cassidy Derus