Give me your tired, your poor, your… no, wait a minute…

Make no bones about it – I’m not a well man. Comes with increased age, I guess.

But at least I’m an ill man in the UK.

I just looked up my current medications (pretty much those I will need to take every day going forwards, not counting some that may be coming up soon), and discovered what they would cost if I was living in the US. A three month supply would cost me close on a thousand dollars. Here in the UK: zero.

I will admit, free prescriptions are the only benefit of having life-long conditions, and I’d far rather not need the drugs. However, I really can’t get inside the heads of those who appear determined to oppress and subjugate those people in the US who need medication to survive, and who can barely afford the cost of that medicine.

Former President Obama took his election pledge, and the words on the Statue of Liberty, seriously.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Obama  provided assistance through the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) that provided health insurance and coverage for millions of Americans who simply could not afford the price they were being charged for necessary, life-sustaining medication.

The ‘new and improved’ AHCA will, if passed into law, wipe away this ability to survive for millions of poor, elderly and infirm Americans, whilst providing massive hikes in profitability through tax breaks to the pharmaceutical companies, many of whom will have contributed directly and financially towards getting Trump into the White House.

The price of medication in the US is, to use the most appropriate and fashionable term, obscene. It is kept artificially inflated through the misuse of patents and copyright agreements held by the pharmaceutical companies and their associates, so that even for such simple conditions as insomnia, the very same drug can cost $70 US, compared to $11 US just across the northern border in Canada. A cancer drug, Campath, costs $570 US for a patient here in the UK, but an American suffering from the same terrible disease would need to pay $2,400 US for exactly the same drugs.

Every single industrialised country has some form of price controls on patented medications, except the United States. There, it appears, all that matters is how much they can make you pay – not for things you’d like to have (we all know Apple products are far cheaper) but for things you need or you could die.

America. You talk about making your country great again. To me, it looks as if there’s a long, long way to go, and increased military spending shows you’re walking in the wrong direction.

Republicans. You declare yourselves a Christian party, a movement founded on moral and ethical standards driven by scripture.

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth,
when you refused to help the least of these
my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Matthew 25:45

Are you really about doing the right thing? Are you really looking to welcome the poor, the wretched, those yearning to be free? Are you really looking to help the least in your communities, in the world? Or is it all about money and power?

Your actions will tell us, and we’re all watching…


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