Category Archives: Obamacare

MS and How Drug Companies Can Profit from Outdated Counts

     

A Fairy holding a Wolf puppy

My kind of Tooth Fairy!

     Visa recently commissioned a study to find out just how much parents where giving their young children for each baby tooth that they lost? It turns out, quite a bit. On average each child was receiving $3.19 per tooth. That in it self kind of blew me away because I think fifty some odd years ago I was getting a dime to maybe a quarter per tooth. Times certainly have changed.

     Now you’re probably asking yourself, what does the Tooth Fairy have to do with multiple sclerosis? And truth be told, very darn little actually. However there is one big irony that I have discussed before in a couple of my posts here regarding, MS by the numbers, and how these numbers just do not add up. 

     It seems strange to me that Visa would spend money commissioning a survey, or study about baby teeth, but large corporate drug companies seem to have little if any interest in finding out just how many people in America and around the globe really have multiple sclerosis? Let’s face it, these corporate drug giants are raking in hundreds of millions, perhaps billons, of dollars on these horrifically expensive drugs so you would think it would be to their advantage to know just where the incidence and higher numbers of MS patients are around the world and where their future profits might lie?

     Apparently though, they are satisfied in using numbers that were collected some twenty to thirty years ago, and they are still quoting those numbers today, as I have read recent drug company pamphlets where these very same numbers are still being used. If you don’t recall, those numbers were something like 450,000 people in the U.S with perhaps two to three million people worldwide having multiple sclerosis, which I believe to be a huge undercount of what the real numbers truly are. But since these numbers were taken so long ago, who knows what they actually are today?

     It makes one wonder why drug companies would not want to update these numbers in light of the possible increased sales potential around the world? Unfortunately, there is a possible financial motive for drug companies to stay with these decades old smaller numbers. If they used larger numbers they fear that this would actually decrease their profits on these drugs because they would have to produce larger batches driving down the overall cost because of the larger patient base that might use them. And because most industrialized nations outside of the U.S. control drug costs at much lower prices then what these drug behemoths want to sell them for. But by keeping the smaller numbers, remember it’s a supply and demand kind of thing, and because of how ridiculously expensive these drugs are, especially in America, drug companies can actually justify making more of these drugs then are really needed and then letting them reach their expiration dates so they can destroy whole batches and claim large tax write offs against what they do sell, increasing their profits on the back end as well.

     Greed in its truest form, they got you coming, and going. And the saddest part of all, the insurance industry probably knows that they do this and says nothing about it to protect their own bottom line, because drug companies are probably heavily invested in them as well!  

MS and Single Payer Obamacare

100_0420

Sunset in the Pacific Northwest

Many people have complained about Obamacare and how it adversely affected their current healthcare coverage. It’s unfortunate, in my opinion, the one thing that could have saved a great deal of grief and made the entire system cheaper and fairer for everyone was a single-payer program for all. And yes, I’ve heard about the people who fly to the US from Europe or come from Canada for their operations, but you have to remember that these are the richest, the top one percent, of people who can afford to pay cash for their procedures because they don’t want to wait for their procedure to be scheduled in the future. It’s not that our healthcare system is so much better, it’s because they just don’t feel that they should have to wait if it’s not an emergency procedure. A single-payer healthcare system is fair for everyone!

     SINGLE PAYER BEATS WASTE AND FRAUD

     Healthcare in America is a $2.6 trillion dollar a year industry. Of that, $750 billion is estimated to be spent on procedures, medicine, and equipment that was unnecessary to begin with and only done to avoid law suits or increase the bottom line of a greed based medical and insurance industry. And another $60 billion is lost thru Medicare and Medicaid annually because of fraud nationally.

     Until the Affordable Care Act, the average administrative cost to provide you with insurance was 37 percent of your personal or employer based  insurance policy. Under the new law that drops to 20 percent. But in the cases of Medicare and Medicaid they cost only three percent for the government to administer your coverage.

     O.K., let’s do the math: 37 percent of $2.6 trillion dollars is roughly $957 billion for administrative costs and profit for insurance companies and their investors otherwise known as Wall Street. At 20 percent, the amount is roughly $520 billion dollars for the same administrative bottom lines. Now if we had a single-payer system that cost only 3 percent for administrative costs, then cost would drop to roughly 72 billion dollars.

     The Obama Administration currently has budgeted $250 million dollars a year to reign in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. My question, why not a billion dollars in an effort to reduce $60 billion dollars a year in fraud, down to maybe $5 billion or more?

     Even without reducing the unnecessary costs mentioned above, that leaves almost a trillion dollars to cover all of the Americans who don’t have insurance under the old way of doing things. It saves money, and covers more people, so why not single-payer coverage? 

     Think about it and feel free to comment. As Pat Benatar once sang, “Hit me with your best shot!”