Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Support Obama on Healthcare Stuff

Here's why:

*The people who benefit most from the current system are lawyers, lobbyists, and pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

*Their benefit comes at our loss, because they get richer the more expensive and less efficient health care becomes.

*They HATE Obama's plan.

So, if Obama's plan is hated by lawyers, lobbyists, and pharmaceutical and insurance companies, it's probably GOOD for the rest us. I.e. it should do what Obama says it will do: make health care cheaper and more efficient.

That's the end of my main point. Now I'm going to digress a little bit to illustrate the expensive inefficiency of the current system.

Exhibit A. This humongous, shiny box contains mostly empty space. Along with the empty space it contains three, identical, small boxes. Each small box contains mostly empty space, plus a manual, plus two aluminum sheets of pills. Each aluminum sheet of pills contains mostly aluminum sheet, plus seven tiny pills. All 42 pills in the humongous, shiny box would easily onto one of the aluminum sheets, or in one tiny pillbox.

The only reason I can think of for the absurd over-packaging is to disguise the even-absurder price that you pay for just over a month's worth of pills.

(In case anyone is curious about my personal medical history, I take this stuff on Dr.'s orders to treat my eosinophilic esophagitis. Eosinophilic esophagitis is a weird combo of allergies and heartburn that makes your throat get small so you choke on food. I didn't know I had it until a couple years ago when it got bad and I started choking embarrassingly at every meal. They gave me an operation where they put a balloon down my throat and blew it up to stretch it back to normal diameter, then they prescribed an allergy inhaler plus heartburn pills to keep my throat from shrinking again. I stopped using the allergy inhaler because it was like, over $100 a month and not covered by insurance- I guess choking and dying is not considered a serious health risk. I still take the heartburn medicine, though. Seems to work because I haven't choked in the last couple years.)


Johnny Douglass said...

Amen! Yesterday I had to pay $160.55 for 2 oz. of Clobex spray for my aggressive case of hand eczema that prevents me from doing gripping stuff like windsurfing. This product patented by a wonderful free enterprise pharmacuetical company would have cost $221.09 were it not for the generous contribution of my private medical insurance company. If anyone thinks this and other excesses isn't a reason to try some public health care options, they have their head in the sand up to their ankles.

JSW225 said...

You do realize that Pharmaceutical companies pay billions (not an overstatement) to develop drugs that may or may not work in the end? And that to even begin to recoup these costs they have to charge a lot of money?

Either way this reform goes, the companies (who are on board with Obama's plans) will STILL charge a lot of money, and rightfully so. If they can't at least break even, then they wouldn't be in the business. And if they weren't in the business, you'd still be choking on your food.

James Douglass said...

JSW- I'm ok with pharmaceutical companies spending billions to develop drugs. It's the money they spend advertising drugs and lobbying the government that I think is sketchy.

Johnny Douglass said...

I too agree with the principle put forth by JSW. However, I still contend that when 2 oz. of yet another ineffective steroid cream is priced for me at $221.09, there is a problem with the industry. There is good reason to believe that what the pharmaceutical industry develops, how it markets, and how it allocates and recovers costs, is way out of whack and excessively costly to the American consumer. I remain convinced that a little more public oversight and some public competition in this business would be good for all.

Waterturtle said...

tort reform - lawyers hate it but it will help reduce health care cost. doctors are so nervous about getting sued in todays litigous society they will issue unnecessary procedures and tests and that drives up the cost.

take away the silly mandates issued by federal & state gov't so that insurance companies can go across states lines. This will increase competition and henceforth reduce costs.

no matter what the pharmas will lobby gov't (as does virtually every other industry known to man) and advertise (as does virtually every other industry known to man). That will continue to go on with any form of health care reform.

Frank said...

Well if the bills in Congress reflected what The Pres said on TV I might for the health care plan to. But what he says and the bills that are going to make it happen are not the same.

If you don't like the price of the spray Johnny put aloe on your hands and boycout big pharma. Those PHD's don't need the big pay checks for doing research. They should do it for the good of mankind. You can eat red rice instead of taking statins for colesterol.

Congress can't run anything. SS, Medicare ,medicade should prove that.

JSW225 said...

You can't agree with me, yet find a problem with the industry due to the cost of a medicine.

What Pharmaceuticals lobby government for is maintaining current, or extending Patent rights. That is they want to keep the sole ability to manufacture a drug for as long as possible before it can be made as a generic.

Compare this to your own research. After spending months, maybe even years researching something, you'll want to keep the rights to the discoveries as long as possible. At the successful conclusion of your research, if it isn't yours to do with what you will, what was the point of doing it at all? If you can't recover the costs of all your research in your successful ventures, you wouldn't be doing it.

But no matter what we discuss here, Pharmaceutical reform is NOT part of the health care discussion. The only thing that could possibly change is that some drugs could be covered under the subsidized public plan. But even then, we aren't alleviating the costs, we are just pawning the price off on someone else.