When it comes to Healthcare, I’ve a little experiment to suggest. You can take the combined brain mass of the intellectuals around the world, and defy them to come up with a mess. I’ll bet the feather on my hat that they could not come up with a solution that matches the large scale bungling that capitalism has produced.
There are certain things that Doctors have to do to survive, and there are certain things that Insurance companies have to do to survive. What’s the wrong with that? Nothing *shrugs shoulders* Everyone could sing and admire sunrises, but for the minor blemish on the horizon: The things that Insurance companies and Doctors have to do to be healthy financially don’t always intersect with the fact that the patient has to healthy.
Let’s consider a chest congestion. If the same ailment were to befall me in my hometown in India a few years ago, I would walk up to the clinic across the street. Not in the mood for a clinic? No problem, I’ll settle for the pharmacy and refer lovingly to the “brother” who runs the store as “Anna”, and say I have a cough. If I could cough for him grossly, with the ringing sound of phlegm, he would prescribe me an anti-biotic in a jiffy. Two days later, I can breeze along the streets of Broadway and perform as the lead singer at the Italian Opera without anybody being any the wiser.
Not so here – uh uh! Nope! I have to get a minimum for 3 appointments before the anti-biotic, charging my insurance company I know not how much, and charging me my “co-pay” each time. Let’s say, the co-pay is $20. $60 and 10 days later, I am still no closer to getting a cure than a baboon coughing up phelgm without any access to health care in the Congo basin.(I don’t know whether baboons cough, but let’s assume they do) Then, it is prudent to have a meltdown in the Doctor office, at which point a nurse would stir in your direction, and touch you with her sympathy. By the time, the anti-biotics come along, the lung that’s been wheezing along fine thus far looks pneumonic, and a chest x-ray is in order, the bronchial tract that was hitherto clear has constricted making you whistle everytime you breathe. In short, you can forget the opera, and the coughing baboon in Congo is better off, because it did not lose $60.
I am not saying that walking to a pharmacy and having an anti-biotic prescribed has merits. But you must accept, it has ease and works for 80% of the minor ailments that befall a middle aged person.
Now, we come to Pricing. You can get the medications from an approved pharmacy for $160, whereas the same thing in Walmart costs something the common man can afford(like $10). It has happened to me, I got something for $4 in Walmart, while the same medication cost $100 in Walgreens after the co-pay of $20!
What is frightening is, where does this rip off stop?
Does it make older people feign health as long as they can possibly help it rather than get entangled in the quagmire of health care?
As if, the medical healthcare industry has not caused enough heart-ache, they are now becoming creative. Case in point: this lady’s depression treatment was denied because she put up photographs of herself in a bar on her birthday on Facebook!
(which incidentally lends credence to my previous post on Facebook)
Where does this long road lead?