“There’s a threat on the horizon. In terms of lives lost this threat will dwarf 9/11 and the war in
Let me let you in on one of the basic facts of life, and no, you don’t have to be a doctor to know this one, everybody wants more- more money, more fulfillment from their lives, more love. If you need proof, look in the self-improvement section of any bookstore, or just turn on your television during the day and flip through the channels.
Why do we need more? Well, we need more money so we can get more stuff. Our society and our economy are based on a simple principle…consume, consume, consume. I hate to admit it, but I’m no different from anybody else, I need the newest two terabyte MP3 player, my crummy eighty gig is way too small, it only holds a thousand or so CDs. Who can put up with that? Unfortunately, as much as I delude myself to believe it is, my need isn’t a real need, I don’t have time to download a hundred CDs, much less a thousand. I have about thirty-seven CDs on my player, and yet I believe I need a newer, more technically sophisticated model. With the rapidity of technological evolution in the modern world, this cycle of need and fulfillment is never ending, as soon as I buy the new “two-T”, within weeks of the purchase of this technical marvel, they’ll begin to advertise a newer model, one that comes with a cell phone in it, and as soon as I get that, there’ll be an even newer model with both a cell phone and a miniature computer in it, and so it goes ad infinitum.
In a lot of ways medicine is the same way, but instead of ego and vanity being the only driving forces, it may truly be that our lives are at stake. We want more and we want better, the heck with better, we want the best. Who doesn’t feel that they deserve the best health care?
This isn’t a medical decision, medically, the answer is obvious. From a risk-benefit standpoint the drug is amazingly effective, so it’s all benefit with no risk. The only risk is to the solvency of the largest health care provider in the
Do you know which segment of the population is the fastest growing pool of the uninsured? Poor people, right? Perhaps, the unemployed? Nope, on either count. That distinction goes to working males over fifty, that make over seventy-five thousand dollars a year. That can’t be right. That’s what I thought, until it happened to me. When a misrouted bill went unpaid, my insurance was cancelled without notification until sixty days after the action. And once you find out your policy has been cancelled, if you’ve gone more than thirty days without a bridge policy, you have to jump through hoops and throw around a good deal of loot to get any type of coverage. After several rounds of denials, and a total inability to get a private policy to cover either myself or my wife (every company was happy to cover our perfectly healthy children, for the same price we had been paying as a family). Thankfully, I have a good income and the cost of establishing a group policy and hiring my wife wasn’t an undue hardship, but it cost twice what I had been paying. Most families can’t absorb this.
In my opinion, any, health care reform has to deal with both of the issues we’ve dealt with. Until there’s some type of controls on drug pricing and insurance reform that actually reforms the practices of private insurers, any health-care policy we undertake is a mere band-aid.