Private gain must no longer be allowed to elbow out the public good | Aeon Ideas – by Dirk Philipsen – Apr 2020
This country has been operating on the richly arrogant and simplistic idea that “market forces” can manage our economy and society better (more efficiently) than “government”. For our healthcare, this has been a total disaster.
Adam Smith had an elegant idea when addressing the notorious difficulty that humans face in trying to be smart, efficient and moral. In TheWealth of Nations (1776), he maintained that the baker bakes bread not out of benevolence, but out of self-interest.
No doubt, public benefits can result when people pursue what comes easiest: self-interest.
And yet:the logic of private interest – the notion that we should just ‘let the market handle it’ – has serious limitations. Continue reading →
The Role of the Health Insurance Industry in Perpetuating Suboptimal Pain Management – Mar 2011
The author concludes that the outlook for chronic pain sufferers is not particularly bright, until such time that a not-for-profit single-payer system replaces the current treatment/reimbursement paradigm.
Unlike pain practitioners, health care insurers in the United States are not expected to function according to a system of medical ethics.
Rather, they are permitted to function under the business “ethic” of cost-containment and profitability.
This capitalist principle is a problem for all social services because they serve a sector of society that often cannot pay; either their jobs don’t pay enough or they are too disabled to work. Continue reading →
Tech companies are using AI to mine our digital traces – STAT – By Mason Marks – Sep 2019
Companies routinely collect the digital traces we leave behind as we go about our daily lives.
Whether we’re buying books on Amazon (AMZN), watching clips on YouTube, or communicating with friends online, evidence of nearly everything we do is compiled by technologies that surround us: messaging apps record our conversations, smartphones track our movements, social media monitors our interests, and surveillance cameras scrutinize our faces.
What happens with all that data? Continue reading →
The Most Important Problem in the World – Medium – by James Gamble – Mar 2019
The most important problem in the world is a reasonable sounding provision of the corporate law that governs most major U.S. companies.
The rule: corporate management and Boards of directors are obligated by law to make decisions that maximize the economic value of the company.
This is how you end up with absurdities like this: 400% price hike for drugs is ‘moral requirement’. It’s frightening to be at the mercy of such ruthless entities making our health unaffordable, yet this is what corporations were created to do. Continue reading →
Ex-Corporate Lawyer’s Idea: Rein In ‘Sociopaths’ in the Boardroom – NY Times – By Andrew Ross Sorkin – July 2019
This “reformed” lawyer points out a fundamental flaw of our capitalist system that is responsible for increasing income inequality (rich getting richer, poor getting poorer), dysfunctional government (gridlock), and social decay (deaths of despair).
These troubles stem from a particular aspect of corporate law, and he proposes a relatively simple solution to change how corporations operate.
Jamie Gamble, a retired corporate lawyer, has had an epiphany in recent years: The executives who hired him and that his firm sought to protect, he said, “are legally obligated to act like sociopaths.” Continue reading →
‘Business decision’: Former DEA official works for opioid lawyers but set standards for how many pills were made – By John O’Brien | Sep 3, 2019
The DEA knew more about what quantities of opioids went where than anyone else, so I’m baffled why they didn’t stop the excessive orders that everyone is complaining about now.
Asked what would’ve happened if a pharmaceutical distributor wanted advice on whether a large order of opioids was suspicious, the man in charge of federal regulation of those pills for 10 years said he wouldn’t have helped.
Instead, Joe Rannazzisi, who set always-increasing opioid quotas for theindustry while he headed a Drug Enforcement Agency department from 2005-15, said the company would be left on its own to figure it out. Continue reading →
Health-Care CEOs Made an Infuriating Amount of Money Last Year – by Luke Darby – Apr 2019
While I know that CEOs are ridiculously overpaid these days, I’m disgusted by the amount of money, much of it from taxpayers, that’s sloshing around in the healthcare industry.
Last year, 62 CEOs of health-care companies made a combined total of $1.1 billion in compensation.
That’s according to a new report out from Axios, which coincidentally notes that CEO compensation eclipses what the Centers for Disease Control spent on chronic disease prevention by $157 million. Continue reading →
Drug company CEO calls 400 percent price hike ‘moral requirement’ – By Jessie Hellmann – 09/11/18
Nostrum Laboratories, based in Missouri, raised the price of nitrofurantoin last month from $474.74 a bottle to $2,393, according to the Financial Times newspaper. The drug treats urinary tract and bladder infections.
CEO Nirmal Mulye said the price hike was based on market dynamics, according to the newspaper. “I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can … to sell the product for the highest price,” he said.
And here we doctors and patients are, powerless, with our capitalist system and its primary directive of profit-seeking controlling much of our healthcare. Continue reading →