Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Okay If You Die. I Made Money.

I've often made the argument recently that profit should not be the motivating factor in caring for the health of our society. Case in point: Insurance giant WellPoint made a policy of dropping customers who were unfortunate enough to come down with breast cancer.

The largest health insurance company in the United States used a computer algorithm to target premium-paying customers who were diagnosed with breast cancer, immediately starting a fraud investigation even with no cause to suspect fraud - looking for any reason whatsoever to drop these customers so the company didn't have to actually pay for their health care.

Who could blame them? WellPoint's purpose isn't to care for people's well-being. The raison d'etre of a health insurance company is to make as much money as possible. A corporation can't do that if it's shelling out to pay exhorbitant amounts on cancer treatment.

This is why for-profit companies have zero business being in the business of caring for the health of our society. The ONLY reason to keep profit-seeking corporations involved in caring for our well-being would be if we switched the profit trigger to fire when people are well. Scratch that. People would still have to pay out the ass on premiums for good health care.

Profit has NO place in health care. Zero. Zilch.

We should completely drop the current system in favor of a single-payer system that promotes wellness and prevention. The government - that we're all paying for - would then have incentive to push us all to stay healthy and treat those of us who aren't so as to save money.

The current system isn't flawed. It's fucked. We should completely scrap it and start over.

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