There’s a terrific post over on BusinessPundit titled, Are Drug Companies Evil When They Lose Money Too? The post questions the attitudes toward increasing health care costs and our unwillingness (as a society) to make trade-offs for the sake of our own health care. The author’s main point is about the wide-spread distaste we have for drug companies making money from what they do.
Here’s a section from the post that really hits home for me:
“Arguments about health care always seem to include several assumptions that never get questioned. For instance:
- That people are not responsible for their own health.
- That health care should be provided based on need, or on desire, but not on ability to pay.
- That people shouldn’t have to cut back in other areas of their lives to afford health care.
- That good health care is a basic right, regardless of how well (or poorly) a person has practiced healthy living.
For instance, how many people can’t afford health care, but have cable tv, cell phones, multiple cars, etc.? Americans spend so much on health care because we our keep-up-with-the-Joneses lifestyle is so damn unhealthy to begin with. I’m not criticizing people’s life choices. If smoking makes you happy, I say this is America, land of the free, so go ahead and light up, but don’t complain when you have to buy expensive drugs to fight your lung cancer in 30 years. All I am saying is yes, your health care is expensive, but what did you expect?”
The current health care system is broken in so many ways (see Stanley Feld’s Repairing the Healthcare System), but to me, our attitudes and our unwillingness to invest in our own, individual healthcare have got to be close to the top of the list of things wrong with it. Why is it someone else’s responsibility to make sure that I’m healthy and will live a long life? If I choose to relegate my own healthcare to a low priority, that’s no one’s business but my own. I shouldn’t then expect someone else to treat it as a higher priority when something needs to be fixed, though.
Good post, excellent points.