Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Right To Live Depends On Whether You Can Afford Medical Treatment

Unlike most other Western societies, whether a person lives or dies depends on their ability to afford medical treatment in the U.S. Most other Western societies have some form of socialized medicine or other similar arrangement to provide health care to their populations. And while the current for profit system of health care in the U.S. inspires new innovation, it nonetheless cretes some useless new drugs that really meet little need with dangerous side effects as well. A popular sleeping aid drug involved in some instances of "sleep driving", sleepwalking and user blackouts has received some new bad publicity in the Rep. Kennedy incident. But in other cases the ability to pay determines whether a person lives or dies.

In 2001 the number of Americans who were employed that were sometimes without health care was at 27%. Last year that number increased to over 40%. And some health care insurance programs refuse to pay for many services. Some services such as Kaiser work with a recommendation system meant to reduce costs where a person cannot directly go to a specialist within the system themselves, although often if a real need exists, the needed specialist services will be supplied. Many other health care insurance programs cut costs in various ways. But those on public health care programs may find many vital services such as some specialists or even dental services not provided.

In Portland, a recent case of a 7 year old girl, Victoria Roberts, who suffers from a rare blood disorder, aplastic anemia, was reported. Unless this girl receives a $325,000 bone marrow transplant she will die. Some like Portland Trailblazers center, Theo Ratliff recently met with the girl and gave her some gifts and a check for $30,000 to help with the surgery costs. Much more money needs yet to be raised. But in other cases where a person's story is not very well known due to a lack of news coverage, then they simply die.

A better system of medical care cost coverage needs to be implimented. A system of whether a person lives or dies based on their ability to pay is unfair and dehumanizing.


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