Thanks to America’s extreme imbalance between capitalism and socialism where capitalism has been allowed to run amuck there is zero check on the America medical community’s — heath insurance companies, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry — ability to charge whatever it wishes. In fact it is on the verge of swallowing up the entire American economy. And since through its massive economic leverage it fully controls Congress there is no stopping this runaway train of poverty creation for most while generating untold wealth for a select few.
America is the only developed nation on earth (as Bernie Sanders might say) that allows one segment of the economy to prey on and devastate its citizens at will. Indeed, we Americans have been taken hostage by the medical community. If your life depends on a drug that suddenly jumps from a dollar a pill to a hundred dollars a pill, what are you going to do? Or what if in between jobs you lose medical insurance coverage and you get into a serious accident whereby your hit with hospital bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even a million plus, just because they can charge whatever they want, what are you going to do? It is goodbye house, goodbye family, goodbye life. Welcome to the mean streets of America.
Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.
Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.
“One expert in the book joked to me … that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio we would never have a polio vaccine,” Rosenthal says. “Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps.”
Yes, the game today is expensive procedures and treatments. What silly person would actually expect cures that would curtail profits? “If you’re a pharmaceutical manufacturer and you have a problem like diabetes, for example, if I invented a pill tomorrow that would cure diabetes — that would kill a multi-billion dollar business market. It’s far better to have treatments, sometimes really great treatments … [that] go on for life. That’s much better than something that will make the disease go away overnight.”
Deep down most of us suspect these sorts of practices to be the case, but we are up against a giant industry that repeatedly tells us just how lucky we Americans are to live under such a great medical system, while it robs us blind.
Sure the medical system is full of dedicated doctors and others who work their asses off trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately because the medical system has become a license to print money and legally steal, the sea of rip-off artists in which they are forced to work is overwhelming them.
But, alas, short of an enormous political upheaval that would put America on a similar footing, concerning the medical industry, as the rest of the world’s developed nations, I see no possibility for a significant fix. There are only at present three choices: pay up if you can, move to another country or die.