The Business of Health within America

Over the past couple of  years a lot of things have changed in my life, but one of the biggest events has been the diagnosis of my fiancé with epilepsy. The scare of epilepsy doesn’t ever really affect you until someone close to you is diagnosed. Now the disease has its own health concerns and life-changing circumstances (no driving, no alcohol, etc.), but luckily there is treatment. The only issue with treatment though, is that it cost money; And not just a few bucks here or there, but it costs a TON of money. His medication alone, which he needs to take every day to avoid having an episode, costs 300 dollars a bottle. My heart goes out to the parents going through this Epi-Pen crisis. What can you do if your policy runs out and you can’t afford the increasing price of a new plan? What if you miss the enrollment period all together?

Healthcare masquerades as a way for people to get treatment, but its really a business. If you can’t afford healthcare you have 2 options: Pay out of pocket or don’t get treatment. Actually you have 3 if you include just incurring debt over your lifetime and having no intention of ever paying it back. Even now with the system of Obamacare in motion, 44 Million Americans go without healthcare every year and I understand why. Not only do policies cost as much as rent, but they’re not always easily obtainable either. Nick tried to enroll more than a few times for medicaid and after 6 months of going to the social services office and phone calls and paper work, before one generous soul informed him that he missed the enrollment period and would not be eligible for enrollment until November. So now we see first hand just how intangible having adequate care actually is.

Now with a vendetta in my mind against the lie of what accessible care was meant to be, I began researching. I figured out that healthcare is designed for the business’ behind the policy. If you can’t afford care, you’re worthless to the company thats pretending to care if you’re sick. And not only that, but in the US we aren’t even getting the best care, as we saw in class. So basically: You can’t afford a plan that you probably have to work very hard to obtain in the first place, and the care you eventually get isn’t even worth it? But wait, theres more! Now with all of that information in your mind, add to it the idea that if you’re healthy, you also don’t mean anything to the business holding your policy. If you’re poor you don’t get care, and if you’re healthy you won’t need treatment so that means: no surgeries, no medication, no copays for visits-which all means no money being spent.
Its pretty sad and depressing that this is the kind of society we are in and nothing is being done about it. I for one would LOVE to move to Japan right about now.

P.S. Something else to chew on: If healthcare is a business, driven by sick people, do you think its a coincident that 5 McDonalds are down the street from neighborhoods occupied by families that can’t afford treatment once they develop diabetes, obesity or cancer?

http://www.pbs.org/healthcarecrisis/uninsured.html

Carly Dovale

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6 thoughts on “The Business of Health within America

  1. I very much sympathize with you about this topic. Like with the issue of not being able to afford an Epi-Pen and people not wanting to buy it also because it expires, it seems hopeless to try to get any accessible health care. It does seem that the government does not care for common health, they are just concerned with common wealth.

    The capitalistic ideals in the country about businesses being able to be vile and only concerned with money is very wrong. Even with businesses outside of health care, there is so much advertisement for us to spend our remaining money after bills and necessities on stuff that we definitely don’t need. Furthermore, electronics and appliances are being made less durable so that you HAVE to re-buy things every few years because they are worn down or they have broken. Though this is not illegal because of the free market of this country, it allows for only a few people to get ahead and hold most of the wealth, while so many people are in poverty. This relates to health care, because people don’t care about those who need help, they just want money. You would think that wanting money, they would make it easier to sign up for health care but like you said, if it benefits the people more, then businesses will make it harder to access. I do think that the demographic of an area are taken into consideration when fast food restaurants are built or placed. The leftover money like I mentioned before is funneled into these places that are so convenient because of working parents and little time. This fuels a vicious circle of poverty, obesity, and need for health care.

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  2. The medical field is a wonderful place if you are rich and never get sick. That’s horrible that your fiance is not able to get proper care. You can really see the business of medicine and its effects if you consider Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug used by those with autoimmune diseases, by over 5000%. This goes to show that these institutions are not trying to help their patients, but merely make a profit.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/business/drug-makers-calculated-price-increases-with-profit-in-mind-memos-show.html?_r=0

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  3. This is why these huge pharmaceutical companies scare the hell out of me! The only way they can make money is by having people who are sick and are in need of there medicine. I once saw a documentary that had a CEO of one of these big pharmaceutical companies that quit because he morally couldn’t be in the business of selling medicine. He came across this moral dilemma when he saw that the only way he could increase profits was to increase the amount of sick people AND keep those who were on the medicine to keep needing/using the medicine. Now this CEO had the morals to get out of the business but how many other CEO would care as much as this man had. Scary stuff…

    -Tony Doll

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  4. This is only one of the many reasons why our financially motivated medical system scares me. It will be ideal for the main goal of our healthcare professionals to be to want to help people. While this may be a go more than likely the primary goal of our current and future medical professionals, especially at the doctoral leve, is to make a profit. This clouds not only the judgment of those we trust the most, but the quality of our care as well.
    My three-year-old son is scheduled for surgery next week and the thing that scares me the most is the fact that it may not be necessary. He has trouble breathing because the glands behind his nose are swollen. When I took him to see a specialist, he was diagnosed before the doctor had even had a chance to look at the problem. After hearing his symptoms after I told as much about his symptoms that I felt were significant, the doctor concluded that he would need three procedures that are commonly completed in one sitting. I went for a second opinion and they told me that only two of the procedures were absolutely necessary. However, his medical insurance isn’t excepted by the second physician. So now, I have a decision to make.

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