Industries which profit from misery should not be profit seeking.
Here’s an ugly thought, and although it would never be stated as true, is true none-the-less:
• If every person on the planet became diabetic, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Mannkind (among others) share holders and board members would be thrilled (they make insulin).
• If every person on earth contracted cancer, Genentech (the leading cancer drug company) and its shareholders and board members would be equally energized (despite having cancer and diabetes).
• If you STOPPED getting sick, were healthy all your days until you died of old age these pharmaceutical companies would all collapse and die AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson and many others (representing nearly $500Billion in annual revenue – they MAKE that much money off of our misery every year).
There are other industries, like the entire health care system, HMOs and insurance industry. The healthcare system only makes money when you are sick or dying. The insurance industry only makes money when you THINK you are going to be sick or dying.
Lawyers who specialize in malpractice litigation are another foul industry — they only make money when you’re ill or dying AND you claim your doctor or hospital made you sicker or killed you.
For them your misery = their livelihood.
This is EVIL.
How do you fix it? It’s obvious I’m afraid. Many progressive countries have made the switch over to cure this egregious misanthropy: socialized medicine.
What entity does NOT want you to get sick, or be unhealthy causing you to be unproductive and becoming a costly burden on society? Society of course! And what is the central representation of society in every country on the planet? Government.
In a socialized healthcare system government loses money when you’re sick and can’t work, when you can’t be productive in society. So, government and the offices they create will try and make sure you are cured as quickly and effectively as possible. They’ll advance medicine and care systems to try and keep you healthy and reduce costs not increase them.
Society wants its citizens to be healthy and productive. Corporations want citizens to be sickly and profitable. Novo Nordisk does NOT want your diabetes cured — they want you to be forced to buy insulin for the rest of your life. Novo Nordisk loves the booming trend of obesity – get fat and get sick is their mantra.
That is EVIL!
Industries that make money off of our misery should be severely regulated and taxed or better yet – nationalized.
10 thoughts on “Misery != Profit”
Three topics I’d like you to address, if you would.
1# What incentive do the drug companies have to actually make us well? Are not Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Mannkind, et al not becoming filthy rich due to the explosion of diabetes and their production of Insulin? The pharma industry’s profit motive is at direct odds with its directive. Imagine a drug that cures all ills. That drug would destroy that huge mega-billion profit engine. Yet that is exactly what we would hope that some young pharm-corp actually does. The fact is, Corp-Pharma wants us to be ill; they would’t want it any other way.
2# Healthcare information inefficiencies seem a problem that a “top down” single payer system could optimize and all would benefit from. Competition for my health needs would tend to make the information about my health a resource to be coveted. It’s rather like Intellectual Property, protected and sequestered for specific providers’ eyes only.
3# No doubt much of the cost of our healthcare goes to fund litigation. What do you have to say regarding tort reform and how to both support honest legal action while reining in gold-digger type lawsuits?
Bonus: In my mind, if there is a negative aspect in the business model, then free or open markets fail to provide adequate or cost effective solutions. At is stands, the sicker we are, the more injury we receive, the greater misery we live under?—?the better it is for the corporation driven health care system. The best way to envision this scenario is to picture the following options:
A magic pill is discovered that cures us all and leaves us all healthy until the day we drop from very old age. Who benefits? Who suffers?
A systemic illness invades us all forcing us all to dole out 1/3 of our income to healthcare and pharma to keep us barely able to work. Who benefits? Who suffers?
Lastly, in these scenarios, are not the benefits of the people aligned with government? If we’re all healthy doesn’t government (composed of we the citizens) win too?
“Welcome to the future…a bad future. In September 2016, a female in her 70’s died from an infection caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), bacteria that was resistant to all available antibiotics. Yes, resistant to all available antibiotics. Yes, doctors could do nothing to stop her infection. Yes, a bad infection from such bacteria can kill you no matter how rich or famous you are, what apps you have on your phone or social media sites you frequent, what kind of walls you build, how many nuclear weapons you have, or how many other medications, procedures, herbs, supplements, chiropractic adjustments, face lifts, cupping sessions, urine drinks, leech treatments, cryotherapy sessions, or massages you get. This is the first appearance in the U.S. of such an uber-resistant bacteria (meaning resistant to all antibiotics and not to drivers and cars for hire.) Yes, more and more will appear in the future. No, this is not trending on Twitter or Facebook. No, this is not getting nearly as much attention as the seemingly science-resistant anti-vaccine talk. Why then aren’t more people taking this seriously and making the urgent changes needed?
Nevada health officials Lei Chen, PhD, Randall Todd, DrPH, and Julia Kiehlbauch, PhD and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials Maroya Walters, PhD and Alexander Kallen, MD described the case and events in a recent issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The woman had broken her right leg during a trip to India, struggled with repeated right hip infections while there, and then after her return to the U.S. was admitted to a hospital in the Reno, Nevada, area on August 18 when her infection had progressed to affect her entire body. The CRE bacteria found to be causing in the infection was resistant to 26 antibiotics, including all aminoglycosides and polymyxins tested. With no effective antibiotics available, she eventually went into septic shock and died.
Consider this latest case yet another warning to society. Scientists and public health officials have been trying to get the attention of policy makers, investors, pharmaceutical companies, and the public. Many public health officials, including CDC Director Tom Frieden, have called CRE the “phantom menace.” Our RHEA computational modeling work published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has shown how CRE will continue to spread more and more throughout hospitals and nursing homes, unless something changes.
Once again, we are losing the war against bacteria. New antibiotic development is just not keeping pace with the emergence of new antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Once again, a Pew Charitable Trust report found that too few antibiotics are under development and a majority of antibiotics are being developed by small companies, not big pharmaceutical companies. Many big pharmaceutical companies are just not stepping up to the challenge. Many doctors, dentists, farmers, and animal caretakers continue to overuse antibiotics, leading to more and more antibiotic bacteria. Infections are very, very, very common. You will in all likelihood get an infection that requires antibiotics at some point in your life. What if the next time you get an infection, nothing works against it…and thus out of luck?
Will the efforts of Robert Kennedy Jr. consume time, effort, and taxpayer money that could have been directed to developing more antibiotics and controlling the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
Why isn’t there more urgency and action? Where was the mention about the lack of antibiotic development during the Presidential election? Where are the tweets? We hear about the possibility of a vaccine and autism panel led by Robert Kennedy, Jr., who as Seth Mnookin describes in Scientific American, has promoted anti-vaccine propaganda for more than a decade, when there is no scientific evidence linking vaccines to autism. Yet, there’s no talk among the incoming administration about forming a similar panel to address antibiotic resistant bacteria and the lack of antibiotic development. Will a vaccine and autism panel waste tax-payers’ money and time while antibiotic resistant bacteria continue to spread and gain strength?
Taking on vaccines in an unscientific manner when antibiotic-resistant bacteria is spreading would be like fighting against your coaching staff and cheerleaders when you really should be worrying about your opponent on the football field. Remember the first three Star Wars prequels, Episodes I though III (I know, you may not want to remember them), which started with the Phantom Menace, when everyone fought the wrong opponents while the Emperor and the Dark Side quietly took control? Well, folks, that’s what may be happening now.”
Here’s a sickly ironic trend: Western society continues to be swayed by corporate promises that a market system is better for society. This fallacious belief continues to have counter evidence piled against it. Is there really any money in *curing* the ill? Imagine if all of humanity were to instantly develop immunity to every disease – hurray! The entire pharma-health-insurance industry would collapse. Boo! The truth is, incurable diseases are big money.
Now, here’s the ironic part; who will the poor, the lower and middle class, those who have been swayed by right leaning efforts to shrink social systems, e.g. government support, cry out for when they get sick? When natural or climate disaster destroys their homes, communities and livelihoods. When epidemics or calamity of any kind strikes down upon them?
You guessed it: a shrunken, starving and anemic set of government agencies crippled by “big business” in the name of capitalism vs socialism.
Spread the word, government IS society. Corporations are not.
““The starkest indicator of mounting middle-class distress has been the sharp rise in personal bankruptcies, now an integral feature of the new economy,” explains Smith. The #1 reason homes are foreclosed in this country is because of bankruptcy. The #1 reason for bankruptcy is because of rising healthcare costs (62% of bankruptcies). And 78% of those bankrupted people actually had health insurance, demonstrating just how ineffective the American insurance industry is.
Insurance providers were formerly nonprofits, which meant they just passed on the actual cost of health insurance to employers. But Reagan deregulated the healthcare industry, so insurance providers could now earn profits from denying coverage to the sick and dying. Within a decade, the entire industry fell apart for everyone but the super wealthy.
Hospitals became for profit and started charging higher rates. Drug companies realized they could raise prices exponentially if they bought out their competitors with Reagan’s lax merger-and-regulations laws. And pharmaceutical companies became the most profitable business in the U.S.”
WellCare / SickCare
Here is a possible alternative system which might be palatable to a fairly large percentage of participants (people, insurance, drug, government).
Split health care into two parts:
WellCare and SickCare
WellCare will be government sponsored and available without question to ALL US citizens.
SickCare will be insurance controlled and available only to those under premium/deductible payment systems.
WellCare will provide checkups, immunizations, mammograms, health screening, cancer screening, nutrition counseling, influenza shots, treatment and medication for temporary ailments. Essentially all care which keeps you healthy and/or get you back to health within a month’s time. Productivity of a society is the key here. Keeping society healthy should be the government’s only health related goal. Beyond that is the responsibility of the individual.
SickCare takes over where WellCare leaves off – and is NOT free. Severe and/or lasting injury, long term ailments, chronic diseases should all be covered under SickCare. Society as a whole should not be held responsible for an individual’s genetic, accidental or situational conditions. Individuals must plan for extending health beyond society’s capacity for general populace care. The existing insurance based system should be the starting point for SickCare.
Where to place the dividing line between the two care systems is the critical question. If it keeps you healthy or returns you to health within one month then it is WellCare. Otherwise it is SickCare.
Society has a responsibility – to a point – of taking care of its own. This is good economic sense. Care beyond this point however, is bad economic sense. And if a society cannot be economically viable then it will die.
“At first, the researchers who discovered insulin agonized about whether to patent the drug at all. It was 1921, and the team of biochemists and physicians based in Toronto was troubled by the idea of profiting from a medicine that had such widespread human value, one that could transform diabetes from a death sentence into a manageable disease.
Ultimately, they decided to file for a patent — and promptly sold it to the University of Toronto for $3, or $1 for each person listed. It was the best way, they believed, to ensure that no company would have a monopoly and patients would have affordable access to a safe, effective drug.
“Above all, these were discoverers who were trying to do a great humanitarian thing,” said historian Michael Bliss, “and they hoped their discovery was a kind of gift to humanity.””
“They are able to pretty much call the shots,” Potter said, referring to the drug industry along with its allies in the insurance industry. “It doesn’t matter what the public will is or what public opinion polls are showing. As long as we have a system that enables industries, big corporations, to spend pretty much whatever it takes to influence the elections and public policy, we’re going to wind up with this situation.”
“Pharmaceutical companies may not be fans of more affordable generic versions of their products, but consumers love them—in 2009,”
“Will generic insulins become an option in the future? Only time will tell, but with global insulin sales of $16.7 billion in 2011—a number expected to grow—companies have a financial incentive to give it a shot.”