Posted by Robert, a resident of Stanford, on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm
There ought to be a law prohibiting any member of the Assembly from voting for this High Speed Rail project if they have gotten donations from labor unions, construction companies, or transport consultants, or if they've gotten perks or benefits or favors from Gov. Moonbeam in return for which they promise to give him their vote on this unnecessary financial albatross that puts CA further into debt for decades to come.
Posted by some laws are necessary, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm
No more laws?
How about a law that says I can return my medication for a refund if I have a reaction or it doesn't work? I filled a prescription with a $400 copay, took two pills, and my doctor said stop. Then what? I couldn't get my money back! Another prescription I'd had before, but the generic I tried wasn't working, in fact caused some problems, so the pharmacy ordered a different generic, which worked the way it was supposed to. But I couldn't return the one with problems even though it was almost the full prescription. Another drug for an eye infection proved to be subpotent and the infection came roaring back -- we even found published papers then on generics from a particular country being a problem, so we asked for the name brand in this case, and it worked fine. We couldn't get our money back for the generic that didn't work.
Since most negative drug trials are never published, and postmarket surveillance is usually where manufacturers find out the side effects (ever hear the doctors' joke about new drugs, "Quick, take it before it develops side effects"?), making them give a refund would serve many purposes: giving them fast market-based feedback on whether their drugs are really working and when there are problems, ensuring a greater percentage of patients actually bring back the drugs when they don't work or are causing severe effects, keeping drugs out of the landfills and our water, etc, and reducing costs for patients by not saddling them with the cost of medications that don't work.
The other law we should enact is to ensure that patients are able to know the cost of their medical care, under their insurance contract, in a timely and accurate way PRIOR to the care (and I don't mean when they are sitting on the gurney ready to go into surgery). There should be penalties for inaccurate (such as to discourage the patient from seeking the care) or late quotes.
I'm tired of not even knowing who is going to bill me or for how much when I get out of the hospital. My doctor keeps recommending surgery, but the best I can nail anyone down is that my copay will be in the $6,000 to $20,000 range, but they can't really say (so it's likely to be more). I should be given a timely and accurate quote, and a schedule of everything "optional" should be provided. Other countries do this. We put a man on the moon, we can too.
Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 12, 2012 at 9:17 am
I feel for you, s.l.a.r.! I have an $800 copay on meds for ankylosing spondylitis, and if they don't work, I cannot return them or even get a credit. Not only that, the meds increase in price every three months, so my copay goes up accordingly.
The reasons I have been given for non-refunding are the risks of adulteration or spoilage (these are perishable biologics). However, I can donate unused meds to my rheumatolgist's office so that someone else can try them and maybe get some benefit from the ones that did not work for me.
I can understand the lack of refunds, but a credit with the drug company or insurance company or pharmacy would be helpful, yes.
Posted by Robert, a resident of Stanford, on Dec 12, 2012 at 10:36 am
@Kim S: Kim, I know he is and that's why I proposed my utopian "law." If Jerry Hill had to choose between being in the pocket of labor unions and construction companies and other mega-campaign donors and going to jail, then, maybe he'd start thinking of the public good instead of returning the favor of his largest donors, even if doing so means devastating Peninsula communities (and small neighborhoods) through which the unneeded HSR boondoggle is supposed to run. I do salute Joe Simitian for his courageous vote against HSR. Joe is a rarity in the Assembly. He actually thinks for himself, listens to his constituents, and votes for what he believes to be in the public interest.
Posted by SuperD, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Dec 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm
I couldn't agree more with Robert's comments! Jerry Hill was critical of high speed rail for quite some time - at least until he was given money for electrified Cal-Train. Then, all of a sudden, the high speed choo choo seemed like a good idea. Jerry threw the entire state under the bus. This high speed rail will become a huge burden on the taxpayers if it gets built. The cost has already more than doubled. Just wait - I bet the final cost is 3 or 4 times the original estimates. Jerry, I like you until you flip flopped. You didn't get my vote in the last election. There outa be a law against flip floppin'!