Sunday, November 06, 2011

I'm a writer not an activist

I do not consider myself to be a health activist.  I am a blogger and that's it.  I share my opinions.  I like to consider myself a person who thinks of ideas that other people can act on.  I would consider myself a philosopher if anything. 

If I was an activist, however, I would change the health care industry to where the costs were lower and health care was affordable to everyone, including those -- especially those -- who do not work.

I hate it when an asthmatic comes to me and say he can't afford his asthma medicine, and therefore he ends up with unfortunate asthma, which is asthma as a result of not being able to afford asthma medicine. 

Advair is one of the best asthma medicines in the world (and Symbicort and Dulera). These medicines work to prevent asthma, yet they cost over $100 if you don't have insurance.  They cost over $30 with insurance.

The reason medicine like Advair cost so much has nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industry, so I hate it when people come up with solutions that involve fixing prices.  That's not the solution.  Al that will do is punish the people who create the medicine that we so much need. 

If we consider pure economics 101, if the demand of a product goes up, and the supply stays the same, the price will go up.  This is what has happened to the healthcare industry.  In the 1960s when there were no government regulations on the healthcare industry people could see a doctor and pay for it out of pocket.

Yet since then many government regulations have been made, and welfare has been created.  What this did is make health care free for many people.  When something is free what do people do?  They take advantage of it.  So, instead of staying home and dealing with a simple cold on their own, these folks inundate emergency rooms.

Yet what's free to one person someone still has to pay for, and the people who pay for it are the rest of us who use health care services.  Every time we go to the ER, for example, we not only pay for our visit but we pay for those who got it for free.  Thus, we are paying more than what should be the market price.

Likewise, as the supply of patients increases due to government programs and regulations (hospitals aren't allowed to turn any patient down), and the number of nurses and doctors stays the same, the price of this care will go up to those who pay. It's simple economics 101.

I would like to create a health care system where everyone can go to the hospital and be able to at least somewhat afford it.  Surely we should take care of the people who truly need medical services -- including those who can't afford it.  But government involvement in the health care industry has resulted in skyrocketing prices.  I would like to stop this.

No comments:

Post a Comment