Zero: Dr. Ann Troy, a Terra Linda pediatrician, recognizes the heroes trying to save our healthcare system, but notes that many zeros exist in the industry. Pharmaceutical company Mylan is one of the worst for increasing the price of a box of EpiPens to $600, although it costs less than $10 to produce. This simple device saves lives by reversing allergy symptoms, and some users can no longer afford it. Then there are insurance companies that won’t pay for necessary drugs. Troy spent an hour arguing with one and slogged through five pages of paperwork to get an EpiPen for a child with a life-threatening nut allergy.
Hero: Enter the heroes working to change the broken system. Troy identifies Senator Kamala Harris, Representative Jared Huffman, Ellen Karel and her colleagues at the Marin chapter of Health Care for All. “They are fighting for a single-payer system which would provide healthcare for all Americans (for less than we are currently spending on our fragmented, dysfunctional and very unfair system), result in better health outcomes, and finally give Americans what citizens of every other developed nation take for granted: Access to health care without having to worry about how they are going to pay for it,” Troy says.
Correction: In a recent Hero & Zero column, we referred to the San Rafael Yacht Club as the location where a litter of abandoned kittens was found. It was actually the San Rafael Yacht Harbor. We regret the error.