Thursday, August 20, 2009
Why for profit medical is morally wrong
I haven't checked but I just wonder what the profit margin is on healthcare in this country? I know that the insurance industry just reported "earnings" of $146 billion dollars. Stop for a minute and think about that. Where exactly did those earnings come from? It wasn't because the insurance companies became so efficient that their balance sheets became bloated. No it was because they could stall and deny coverage and make a system so complex that only a Phd could understand it. Notice how there are pages of exclusions in coverage book but only a few of what is actually covered. I always find it interesting how when the bill comes that it doesn't really match up to what was in the book. And the excuse is that there were special circumstances in your case and therefore extra charges applied that aren't covered. And I'll venture to say that there are charges in there that shouldn't have been there but since hospitals are for profit as well they look for ways to slip the cost of one more cotton ball at $5 each. Yes I've experienced that myself when I was charged for a proceedure that wasn't done. But you can't expect the patient to weed out that kind of corruption as the bill is something even one with a degree in english can't understand. Why is it that usual and customary charges are rarely on the bill and when they are there's always some exception in your case?
So why is it immoral for medical care to be for profit. First you have the selfserving insurance companies. Their primary purpose is to amuse and confuse. You create confusion and you have an open door to someones' wallet. And the more confusion the higher potential profits. Then their's the oh what would you call him? I'll call him the hit man for lack of a better term. His job is to see how much profits he can squeeze out of a claim or better yet to deny the claim altogether. When you get a letter from this guy you feel like you've just been mugged. You'd have no less a feeling if he'd have hit you on the head with a metal pipe and stole your wallet. But he's more evil than that. So obsessed with making one more dollar for the bottom line he'll even resort to denying legit claims. He now comes in the form of the grim reaper and you won't get so much as an I'm sorry to inform you at the beginning of the letter. So with an emotionless cold (most are form letters) you get the news that instead of getting that needed cancer treatment that might have saved your life you're now on your own unless of course you can come up with the $100,000 to cover the costs which were jacked up by big pharma making mass profits.
And this profit incentive isn't just limited to insurance and hospitals but to private medical schools as well. If you can cut corners there you can up your bottom line. It's what they aren't taught that could fill volumes. There's little taught on end of life issues and nothing for geriatrics unless that is a choosen field. In watching a conference by those in the medical field today I got a real eye opener as to the motivation of doctors facing a dying patient. The doctor may order test and treatments for the patient knowing that it will do little or nothing for the patient. This may be profit motivated but more likely it is the only way a doctor can show his concern for the patient. The question for them is what do you do when you know that nothing do will benefit the patient at end of life? With no end of life directive the doctor has no choice but to continue a standard line of treatments and care even if that subjects the patient to pain and suffering. And here's a kicker. Doctors are not properly trained in pain management.
Again I've said it once and I'll say it again. How much is your life worth? How much is a the life of a son or daughter, aunt or uncle, mother, father or grandparent worth? $1000? $10,000? $100,000?