For-profit health care system will never be about patients
To the Editor:
Eric Olson’s thoughtful column last weekend on the high cost of prescription drugs provided local illustrations to an issue affecting all Americans.
However, I believe Olson’s solution of “collaboration between the parties” was off the mark. How do you collaborate with gangsters, extortionists and killers?
The Canadian doctors who invented insulin in 1922 sold the patent for $1 so that the drug would be available to everyone. Today, Eli Lilly charges $300 a dose and documented cases of individuals dying because they couldn’t afford their insulin are on the rise.
About 250,000 Americans have died in the opioid epidemic even as the drug dealers long knew the murderous effects of their profitable pain-killers. Another 30,000 Americans die annually because they don’t see a doctor when they should to avoid bills they can’t pay.
Meanwhile, 500,000 Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical costs. While Olson is to be commended for putting the voices of real people in our community into the broader conversation, a for-profit health care system will always emphasize profit over health care.
Eliminating the wasteful middlemen in health insurance with Medicare for All is a good first step in moving toward a system of health care for people not profits. Then we need to deal harshly with the pharmaceutical profiteers.