I just finished reading the most recent Health Wonk Review, hosted by our friend Hank at InsureBlog. It’s a great collection of articles, but my favorite comes from Dr. Roy Poses of Health Care Renewal. Dr. Poses tackles a controversial subject – the Occupy Wall Street movement – and illustrates the strong parallels between some of what’s wrong with Wall Street and some of what’s wrong with healthcare.
Obviously his point isn’t going to be accepted by everyone. The OWS movement has been quite divisive, and there are many who defend the rights of the “one percent” to earn (and keep) as much money as they do. But I wonder if the mood would be any different if we shine the spotlight directly on the healthcare industry the way Roy has done? Should hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical executives be earning millions of dollars while millions of Americans have no health insurance and no realistic access to healthcare? Should those executives earn their millions regardless of how their company has performed? Or regardless of the overall state of healthcare in this country? Should decision-making at healthcare companies (hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance carriers, device makers, etc.) be based more on the best interests of shareholders and executives, or on what is best for the health of Americans? Do healthcare companies need to be held to a different standard than other corporations, simply because of the importance of the product they provide?
“To whom much has been given, much will be expected.” – Jesus. I think that sentiment is applicable in all walks of life, but perhaps more so in the healthcare arena, simply because we’re all reliant on healthcare at one point or another, and because it truly can be a matter of life and death.
What do you think?