The Supreme Court will decide in a day or two on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However they decide, is their ruling really going to be a game-changer or will it be another 4-to-5 vote that gives witness to the partisan divide in the court? Mitt Romney has promised his supporters that upon his election to the presidency of the United States, he intends to get rid of "Obamacare" on day one. In fact, this statement continues to gain favor among his camp and it speaks directly to Mr. Romney's corporate supporters -- pharmaceutical and health insurance companies. What about the people? Why is our health up for sale and out for bid? Have any of you wondered whether we have a health care or a "sick care" industry? Does this system benefit when we are kept healthy or laugh all the way to the bank when we are sick?
It seems as though the greatest profits for health insurance companies, big pharma, and hospitals come from American citizens who are chronically ill, just alive enough to continue reaching their hands into their pockets and paying out to the purported "health care" providers. Taxpayers cover the exorbitant costs of Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance companies, and the dismal, but expensive, system of "old-age" homes, and, as a result, our citizens are being burdened with increased out-of-pocket expenses, taxes, and a budget deficit of over $1 trillion. Whatever our unfortunately politicized and partisan Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate, or any other aspect of the ACA, the for-profit health care system will be the winner to various degrees and we the people will be the loser to various degrees.
Our "sick care" system is sick and morally bankrupt. We should wake up and realize the real culprit -- profit. The "for profit" health care industry is using us as their guinea pigs for greed. I have addressed these issues with extensive background research in my previous articles on the Huffington Post and in my two books on the issues regarding the state of the health care system in the United States, Universal Health Care System for the United States of America: A Disruptive Innovation and Health and the Economy: A New One-Step Solution.
My writings outline how we could improve the health of our people and how, concomitantly, we would lighten up the load on the federal budget by $1 trillion per year. We would do this by opting for a nonprofit, voluntary, private health insurance agency. This system would be people-funded and privately managed and it would reward doctors who improve the level of care for their patients. They would be freed up from filling out endless forms that doctors now must fill out for multiple insurance agencies. Doctors would be able to spend more time with their patients, not behind a desk pushing papers and being small merchants of "sickness" for the benefit of big health care corporations. This non-profit health care agency invites the present health insurance system to compete with it in the free market.
The Supreme Court, President Obama, and Mr. Romney are all under qualified to fix a system that they cannot understand in all its convoluted detail. The very basis of this system is fundamentally flawed. It operates on the wrong moral imperative -- profit. A system that should be devoted to protecting the health our citizens is instead profiting off of their chronic illnesses.
As consumers with our lives on the line, we need to pay close attention to how the health care system works, or rather how it doesn't work. I too was once in need of more information and found my inspiration, and my call to action, in the findings of Dr. Marcia Angell of Harvard. In her book, The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It (2005), Dr. Angell exposes the medical industry, especially big pharma, as the greedy, profit-driven organizations that they are. Furthermore, I have learned from Maggie Mahar, another knowledgeable author, who has written a comprehensive book on the pervasiveness of the profit-motive in medicine today -- Money-Driven Medicine (2006).
It is our responsibility as American and civic-minded citizens to learn about the moral predicament that we have been put in by for-profit medicine. We need to support a system that is truly designed to improve the health of our nation and the health of our economy. Your participation in this discussion and your comments are heartily welcomed.
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