• By Erin Chandler Erinchandlerauthor.com.

What Today Brings

“The simple truth is that you can understand a town. You can know and love and hate it. You can blame it, resent it, and nothing changes. In the end, you’re just another part of it.” – Brenna Yovanoff This universal sentiment is different for everyone. Our towns make us who we are through rebellion or conformity. My first touchstones were Versailles’s gems, symbols that formed ideas conjuring who I am and where I came from. The C&D Market, our tree-lined street and the Corner drugstore, are all landmarks that will stay in my subconscious and conscious for the rest of my days. For those of us who tend to romanticize our past, present and future, Target, Rite Aid and Whole Foods doesn’t pack as much of a sentimental punch. There is no face attached to those big conglomerates and it’s hard to feel emotional about such a business. Cornerstone Pharmacy is easy to feel sentimental about. It’s still the same sweet shop where we once had cheeseburgers before our little legs could touch the floor. None of the charm has left; you still get the feeling it is a gathering place where every neighbor cares if you are having a good or bad day. They want to know if your mom is well and if your cousin still has a cold. Much of the atmosphere is due to the warm laughter of the woman at the helm. Robin Reed is the proprietor and face of Cornerstone Pharmacy. She refuses to bend to the hustle and bustle of a world insistent on picking up the pace. July is the time for insurance renewal and Woodford County Fiscal Court recently decided to switch from Humana to United Health Care. It represented a price cut and what appeared to be other perks. That choice, while it looked good on paper, had negative repercussions for Robin’s pharmacy. “It’s not just me,” Robin said. “This town is lucky; we have three independent pharmacies and everyone should be able to be a preferred pharmacy.” With a preferred pharmacy like CVS, you can get a 90-day prescription but with Cornerstone and any pharmacy not preferred, you can only get a 30-day supply, for two months, then you have to “opt out” of mail order. Basically, we have three local independent pharmacies in network that are bullied out of the marketplace by not being preferred. “I am in contact with United and our Broker and I am trying to get this resolved. I am trying to bridge this divide and make sure you all are treated the same,” said Judge-Executive James Kay. “I just want people to be aware of what the big corporations are doing to us,” Robin said. Kay explained what he could plainly see, “Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies collude to essentially maximize their profits, limit options and then force products. … They create relationships with big pharmaceutical companies, and you have to use them or they create little hurdles or loopholes. Hopefully, we can work through this, but at the end of the day it’s designed so you don’t work through it. It’s designed so the customer doesn’t work through it. They throw their hands up and say, ‘I don’t want to make the phone call to opt out, I don’t want to get 30 days, I’m just going to CVS.’ That’s how they push you a lot more forcefully than you think.” “You are exactly right.” Robin nodded. “That’s the bottom line.” “It is a business relationship where they mutually benefit each other to the detriment particularly of local businesses.” James told us. “Potentially, state legislation could fix this particular problem, but ultimately (the federal government) needs to fix the overall problem.” How it all shakes out, only time will tell, but I don’t want to live in a pretend small town where the façade is left on the buildings because it is illegal to change but everything else is fake small-town living. What I love about Versailles, I don’t want to go away. What Kris Kristofferson says about his home is what I want to continue in ours, “I live in a small town,” he says, “where everybody is very protective of me.”

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