By: James Boyne
There are two immense, goliath forces in a constant state of collision and collusion that are presently working to destroy the health care system in America. Corporate and personal greed are the motives. The American health care consumer is caught in the middle, being financial obliterated; quickly and silently being relieved of their life savings, retirement funds, and a good portion of their salaries and incomes. Tens of thousands are declaring bankruptcy due to enormous, crushing medical bills. Forty million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever.
The two destructive, deceitful, and deceptive forces at work are the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance industry. There are a half dozen other groups that operate on the fringes of this nucleus, that nibble away for any remaining money to be scooped up from the sick, the injured, the disabled, and the dying. It is a multi trillion-dollar system of extortion, price gouging, bribes, special interests, blackmail, greed, and local and national politics, in its worst form.
The pharmaceutical industry exists for the sole purpose of preying upon Americans who are sick, unhealthy, in discomfort and injured. Their goal is to insure that only your symptoms are treated. Your symptoms may be pain, weakness, dizziness, headaches, itchiness, constipation, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, or any number of other maladies. It 's strange that most of the prescription drugs often cause the very symptoms that the drug is trying to alleviate, which then necessitates additional prescription drugs.
In various studies, and in reality, prescription drugs are often of dubious value and are astronomically overpriced. In many clinical trials, a significant percentage of people are helped by a placebo. And often the human body and the passage of time is the real healer.
Once your condition improves or disappears you are no longer a customer of the pharmaceutical company and of no value to them until you become sick or injured again. The sicker you are, and the more often you are sick, the more money the pharmaceutical companies make. It is in the best interests of the pharmaceutical company to never actually cure you of anything. Their goal to go keep your underlying problems at bay, but to keep the symptoms marginally improved or lurking in your body to reappear at a later time.
Smoking, drinking, divorce, getting fired from your job, driving fast and recklessly, gambling, eating all the wrong foods, sun bathing and potentially dangerous sports are all activities that make the pharmaceutical companies hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The obvious reason is that all these activities can lead to things like cancer, liver disease, heart attacks, depression, anxiety, broken limbs and bodily trauma, strokes, head and spine injuries, and finally death.
Death is not in the best interest of the drug companies. There is no treatment and no prescription drug for death. The drug companies just want you to "live sickly " and live long.
The health insurance industry strategy on the other hand is a constant opposing force from the drug company strategy. Insurance companies only make money if you stay as healthy as possible. Their quandary is that they don 't want to pay claims (their revenue) to see that you stay healthy, or keep healthy, or get healthy, in the event that you become sick, injured, or disabled. Insurance companies will do anything to delay, deny and obstruct your claims that are submitted.
They will set up obstacles to confuse you, your physician, your pharmacist, and themselves. After denying your claim, they will make you appeal it and after appealing it they will deny it again. If they approve it, they will pay only a portion of it as "reasonable and customary ", which is way below the rate you may have been charged.
The financial health of the health insurance industry is based on discrimination. It is one of the few industries that is Federally permitted to discriminate against you based upon your age, your gender, your geographical location, your occupation, your activities, and your health. They regularly discriminate against policyholders based upon race (since your race may be an indication of certain diseases you may be prone to).
The goal of the insurance company is to insure only healthy people, people who never get sick, and never file claims. If you need medication, they will fight against giving you what you need, in the doctor 's office, at the pharmacist 's counter, in the fields and in the trenches. Of course, this assumes you have coverage of medication in the first place.
The insurance companies only think for the short term, for the bottom line of the next quarter, or the next year. They really have no interest in your health, your pain, your disability, or your life. Death, your death, is the ultimate way out for the insurance companies. Once you get so sickly, or in ill health, you become a tremendous liability to the insurance company. Death, your death that is, relieves them of this tremendous financial burden that you have caused them. Of course, when you die slowly, the pharmaceutical companies make millions, and the drug companies truly grieve when you pass, because you are no longer a good customer.
The drug companies want you to "live sickly " while the health insurance companies want you to "die quickly ".
These two industries are not only sucking the life savings out of Americans, they have now turned their sights on small businesses and large corporations. In turn, small business are refusing to pay for insurance coverage, and large corporations are sending as many jobs overseas where people will gladly work for 35 cents an hour without any health benefits, just for the sake of any work whatsoever.
This system has destroyed the patient-doctor relationship that has existed for hundreds of years. The current system has turned hospitals into institutions whose main goal is to either not to admit you as a patient, or if you are admitted, to see to it that you are whisked out as soon as possible, sick or not, cured or not, recovered or not.
Doctor 's purposely overcharge patients, knowing that the more they charge, the more likely they will get some reasonable reimbursement from the insurance provider.
Pharmaceutical companies charge stratospheric prices for medications because they know that certain drugs are on the formulary list and must be approved because the drug company still has a patent on the drug. The drug companies routinely employ a staff of hundreds upon hundreds of attorneys to challenge, delay, disrupt, and ultimately to attempt to have the patent laws perverted into a scheme that perpetuates their extraordinary profits.
American 's have become hypnotized into a trance from the bombardment of TV and news ads for prescription drugs. On the nightly news alone there are usually a dozen commercials for drugs that only a doctor can prescribe and ones that have extremely serious side affects. The commercialization of drugs tends to give the public a mindset that they are sick, and getting sicker, and that only a prescription drug can help.
The one and only answer to the entire problem is to enact single payer, universal, health care for all Americans. In effect, it would be Medicare for all, with prescription drug coverage for all. Direct payment to health care providers by this system would save billions by eliminated the hundreds of insurance companies and their lust for revenue and profits. People would become healthier because they would be able to seek the treatment they need. More people would be able to work and be productive.
The price of prescription drugs should be regulated by the Federal Government. If a CEO is making $50 million a year but a particular drug was developed over a ten year period with only a total of $5 million on R&D, one would have to ask "what is the high price of the drug really being diverted too.
TV ads for prescription drugs should be banned from the airwaves, just as alcohol and tobacco are prohibited. Comparative testing of all drugs should be required.
A recent New Times article revealed that top executives of the drug manufacturers were instructing their staff to donate large sums of money to the Bush campaign. The total came to $50 million dollars. Campaign finance laws insure that the system we have now where wealthy, monopolistic corporations will determine the future of the health care industry, will go on forever.
There is one candidate and one candidate only that has the integrity, the honesty, the common sense, the straightforwardness, and the courage to solve this enormous problem.
Rep-Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a progressive, populist Democrat with an independent streak is the only candidate that has a well thought out plan to eliminate the insurance companies from the health care system, and to rein in the flagrant greed of the pharmaceutical companies.
Howard Dean who advocates universal health care has a plan that will minimally affect the health care system by including children and poor people. Most Americans don 't fall into this category. The health insurance and pharmaceutical industry would love Howard Dean 's plan, because it would still leave those industries in the "driver 's seat ". Rep. Kucinich is the only candidate with a logical, comprehensive, pragmatic plan based on common sense, economics, and financial considerations.
I urge anyone who wants to learn more about Rep. Kucinich 's stand of the various issues of our day to learn for yourself at www.kucinich.us. I used to be a staunch conservative Republican. I now consider myself a progressive, populist who would just like to see a President with integrity, honesty, intelligence, and common sense. I would like to see a President who is pragmatic, who can think for himself and is not lead by "special interest groups " controlled by large corporate monopolies. I would like to see a President who writes his own speeches and can verbally articulate his views before an audience. Rep. Kucinich is the only candidate that can save America from itself.
Rep. Kucinich has a plan where the doctor-patient relationship will be restored to physicians and their patients and where insurance companies are not making both routine and critical medical decisions for doctors and patients. He has a plan on how to pay for it that will actually relieve small businesses as well as large corporations of the outlandish and outrageous amounts they are now paying for employee health care.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
James Boyne is a computer trainer, and former sales executive for IBM, Sony and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a former staunch conservative Republican who after becoming of victim of the health care industry, has researched, studied, and written about the health care industry as a freelance writer. He has made a 180 degree turnabout an now supports Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) for President. Mr. Boyne has a B.S degree in Marketing, and MBA in Marketing/Economics, and a degree in Certified Financial Planning.