The real heath-care issues

Apr 19 2013 - 5:51pm


Costs continue to rise, wages decrease, and uncertainties about Obamacare mount as it becomes effective. Many questions remain about the care that will be delivered, and the price that will ultimately be paid. We have little assurance in the way insurance companies pick and choose, always favoring the cheaper "repair." What about uninsured people waiting until their health problems are so serious they end up costing a fortune that is later written off to the taxpayers through bankruptcy? Pharmacy companies run a monopoly on prescription drugs that ultimately get marked up.

Without getting conspiratorial, it's well established that profit is the foremost objective of all businesses. Even our own representatives tend to protect and advance their own interests over ours. The more money involved, the more sheltered the industry. The more necessary the products and services, the more legally protected. 

We would do well to evaluate and anticipate where conflicting interests may arise and adopt preventative/protective measures. For example, are pharmaceuticals more profitable for long-term treatments, with side affects that will likely lead to more prescriptions, or are the cures? Should drug companies be marketing their drugs on television, or should doctors be using the most effective and safest treatments available? Is it in our best interest to let the insurance provider pick and choose what they will cover, or even the doctors? Should doctors be paid regardless of results (I don't know of any other business that can get away with that)?

Recognizing the need for profitability, I am still concerned that items and procedures covered by insurance companies are rarely the best treatments available. Doctors often prescribe costly or unnecessary treatments. This raises concerns that money is all they are in for.

Should pharmaceutical companies be able to "incentivize" the doctors to use their products? Let's face it, the medical industry is big business, the insurance companies are big business, the pharmaceutical and medical supply industry is big business. All of these make billions of dollars every year, all of these charge far above the average international rates, while nearly every other nation surpasses us in health and longevity. 

Shane Shurtz




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