William Thien

A General Observation on Health Care in America

Posted on: April 27, 2014

It is my opinion that one of the reasons for any drive whatsoever for socialized medicine in The United States is that there is a general consensus that perhaps the profit motive and health care don’t make for the most successful marriage.

As an example, I have heard people say they believe cures for certain diseases are not sought because it is more profitable to treat the disease as a condition in perpetuity rather than cure the disease with perhaps a vaccination.

I must admit, given the massive profits some portions of the health care industry obtain regularly, the pharmaceutical industry for example, that sentiment is not that outlandish. Furthermore, corporate law which governs the behavior of said corporations states explicitly that corporations must act always in the best interest of their shareholders. If a corporation knows that it has the cure for a disease and also has a drug which can treat a disease more profitably in perpetuity, the law says in effect that the corporation must suppress the cure for the sake of profit. Then, add human nature to that equation and it is almost certain some diseases will never see a cure. Do the math!

But am I focusing too thoroughly on the darker side of human nature?

Though government health care probably is not the best solution in all respects, it may be that if the government were responsible in certain circumstances such as it becomes during times of pandemic or worse, or if there were a drive throughout the nation to cure certain diseases which involved everyone, either through taxation or some other levy, such as a form of conscription for a time of service to the health care profession much like a draft to the military, you would at least see a common goal to cure certain diseases that could be orchestrated or directed at the national level instead of inside of some corporate board room where a cure could just as easily vanish with a vote by the most prominent shareholders, files from drug trials shredded with a phone call, samples of the vaccine incinerated, another cure vanished forever.

Greed is a driving force behind much of the business sector. But should greed be a component of the health care industry? Because the hand of greed is not a hand at all, often it is a clicking, clawing thing. Should the nation’s health then be always potentially subject to that claw of greed?

With so much potential in medical science and so many diseases going without cures, so many laws preventing self-treatment, so much regulation of life, regulation of life itself, you have to ask yourself if death AND discomfort have not themselves been incorporated into our health care system for the sake of profit? I think many would answer unequivocally that the answer is yes.

Though I do not truly favor socialized medicine, I see the reason for a belief in its potential.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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