Having spent the last two years arguing with insurance companies over my dad’s life saving respiratory medication, I know the feeling. The medication he needed was not as prohibitively expensive as cancer medication, but it was still unaffordably inaccessible to us.

We were at the mercy of the insurance companies who basically got to decide whether Dad died or lived for a while longer.

He did eventually pass this last August, and I believe he lived as long a lifespan as he could with his illness.

But I know he only lived as long as he did because I was there advocating for him every day. I pushed the doctors, the insurance companies, and even the pharmacy.

If I hadn’t, he would have simply stopped breathing, and nobody would have noticed it was because he couldn’t afford medication to keep him alive.

We have to have a better system. The pharmaceuticals and the insurance companies need to be checked. There must be balance. Right now patients have no power, and that should not be so. This is a situation where the market cannot be trusted to make its own rules.