Saturday, January 27, 2007

A question from Hilary Clinton

Based on your own family's experience, what do you think we should do to improve health care in America?

Yahoo! Answers Staff note: Yahoo! Answers is a forum for people from all over the world to engage with one another and to find information on topics that interest them. This is not an endorsement. We are not siding with any candidate or party -- in general or for the 2008 US elections. We’re hopeful that people from all perspectives will realize the great insights that the Answers community can have, and will turn to us for future discussions.

Your Answer:
The problem with health care in America is that it has become nothing more than a consumer product. And the pharmaceutical companies now play the role of the tobacco industry. Every advertisement on television is either for a prescription that will do more harm than good or for insurance companies which are nothing more than the modern day corporate version of the mafia. Not only are we forced into paying for a service that we "may" need one day, if we choose not to pay we face criminal charges. When the day arrives and just as you're about to make a sigh of relief because finally you feel like you weren't just throwing away your money...suddenly they're treating you like a debt they don't want to pay off and unlike you they suffer no consequences should they decide not to service their customer. And while the medical insurance companies are a major contributing factor to our health care woes there are two issues I really want to address. Firstly, there isn't solely one problem that if rectified will make everything better but there is one major defect that if resolved properly I believe will have a great effect on both the American health care system and the American people.

My grandmother moved in with my family when her diabetes worsened and was no longer able to care for herself. With everyone in my family working we juggled the responsibility of getting her to her doctor appointments which we were plenty and often. Though she didn't qualify for medicare my mother was able to obtain an affordable health plan. And with the help of good physicians my parents were able to manager her diabetes. But with so many different prescriptions, for diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, appetite stimulants and anti-depressants how could anyone stand a chance. Then came the dementia pills, the most expensive of all her medications and the one that wreaked the most havoc. My mother continually complained to her doctors about the ill effects from the pills but rather than take her off the prescription the "specialist" would just advise to cut her dosage in half even when my mother explained she was now only taking half of one pill.

What are our elderly citizens to do when they entrust their health concerns to doctors and "specialist" that work to fill sales quotas at the expense of the patient well being. What the pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyist fail to realize is that they are taking more than just money from these patients. And far worse than the "possible side-effects" of these "wonder drugs" is the toll it takes on the families who can do nothing more than endure the pain with their sick loved ones.

The other comment I'd like to make is regarding our society's overall dependency on drugs and I'm speaking of prescription and over the counter. Too often children are prescribed pills for behavioral problems instead of actually trying to figure out what the problem is. And of course the problems persists through out their life never to be resolved but only medicated. A tactic successfully used by tobacco companies.

What I am proposing in an effort to improve our health care qualms is less economic dependency on pharmaceutical companies. There needs to be stricter regulations on lobbyist and the pharmaceutical industry.

No comments: