Imagine a struggling family with a sick child. Now imagine a very wealthy corporation that has hired a muscle bound brute to stand at the door of the local clinic and prevent the parents from taking their sick child inside to get medical treatment. The child gradually gets worse, and sadly passes away. The grieving parents are distraught. What to make of that wealthy corporation which denied treatment?
This isn’t a movie, or an experience from a 3rd world developing country. This is today’s experience in the USA. Now, if you are a US citizen and your reaction to this is denial, then guess what, you’ve been bought by the lies from that wealthy corporation.
The crazy thing is, the fact that the US healthcare system is unfair, expensive and corrupt (as it is manipulated via the huge profits to the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries) is well researched, documented and published. About a decade ago I did a research paper for an MBA, comparing the US healthcare system with other healthcare systems, and I was amazed then at the amount of data on just how bad the US healthcare system is. Nothing has changed. I then read an article a couple of days ago about yet another study:
“A study of 13 industrialized countries released Thursday showed Japan spends the least on health care, while the United States spends the most without providing superior care for the money.”
To someone with a scientific, logical mind, the facts are startling.
“When added to the population of uninsured (approximately 16% of the U.S. population), a total of 40% of Americans ages 18–64 have inadequate access to health care, according to the Consumer Reports study”
Now all the other first world countries have a version of a universal healthcare system, which basically guarantees healthcare for everyone. For a good summary of the issues between the US system and a universal system, read this blog. It is buried down in the article, however the author pinpoints the crux of the issue, succinctly stating:
American democracy runs on money. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies have the fuel.
To put it bluntly, pharmaceutical and insurance companies pay huge dollars to influence the government to maintain the present system. They are the “wealthy corporation” blocking the door for the ‘40% of Americans aged 18-64’ who cannot get adequate access to healthcare.
Still in denial? How about another quote from the study:
“Common prescription drugs cost one third more in the United States compared to Canada and Germany, and were more than double that paid for the same drugs in Australia, Britain, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand.”
That’s right US Citizens, in the ‘world pharmacy’ every time you walk in that door the owner rubs his hands in glee and brazenly charges you double what the Aussie, Brit, or Kiwi just paid. And you bend over and take it saying “thank you sir, may I have another?”
So why are these pharmaceutical and insurance companies able to effectively get away with murder in the US? They have beaten David Copperfield at his own game, and managed to deceive a huge portion of the public through deceit. Firstly, they lobby government for favorable laws and regulations, through the billions of dollars at their disposal. Secondly they do a wonderful job of using the best public relations company money can buy to deceive the public. What are the weapons of propaganda they use?
They know that Americans are fiercely proud of their victory of democracy over communism, so they link universal healthcare to communism. “Universal healthcare is socialist” they cry. “We aren’t communists!” they cry. Then they laugh as the US public fall in line and continue to pay double prices.
They use their public relations company to find and promote “outliers”. What are outliers? These are isolated incidents that happen outside of normal practice. Typically they will find a Canadian (or anyone from a universal healthcare system) who died while waiting for a surgery and bleat “see, their healthcare system isn’t better – you will die while waiting for treatment”. Naturally they don’t address the millions who get much better treatment in comparison to those in the US, or the millions in the US who die or are bankrupted through not being able to afford treatment. They pay big money to the public relations company to make sure you don’t get those facts.
And the third reason is they appeal to every human’s fear of failure. They turn the healthcare system into some kind of competition, implying that if Americans change the system then they are somehow “losing” and have personally “failed”. And no one wants to be a failure! The best example of this is how they portray the comparison with the Canadian system. Many studies of the US system look at it compared to their neighbors. This is because both healthcare systems were similar in the 1960s and then took different paths. Actually the Canadian system is just one example of a universal healthcare system, and any type of universal healthcare system is going to be better than what the US currently has. However the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies know that they are going to lose huge profits if the system changes, therefore they imply rather strongly that somehow if the US discards the current system in favor of a better universal healthcare system, then somehow they have “lost” some kind of competition to Canada. Smart eh! Those public relation companies really know how to manipulate the emotions. No countryman in the world wants to lose to their neighbor, and by turning the decision on a healthcare system into some kind of national competition the pharmaceutical and insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank.
How does all this relate to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis? Well, in the UK, Australia, NZ, Canada and every country with some type of universal healthcare system, if one is diagnosed with PsA then one will be reviewed by a rheumatologist, and if appropriate will be put on some kind of biologic treatment. Taxes will provide for the treatment, so it isn’t dependent on whether you have money or not. It is fair. It is universal treatment, i.e. the same conditions are applied to everyone. In the US, if you are one of the millions without insurance or with inadequate insurance, then you will have to either suffer while the muscle bound brute laughs, or use your life savings / mortgage your house to pay for your treatment.
The bottom line – everyone in the US would not only get better access to treatment but also it would cost the government much much less if some kind of universal treatment was adopted.