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Op-Ed: Medicine and Politics are a Dangerous Combination

By Richard Ivan Cronkhite     Oct 7, 2009 in Politics
The current health care reform initiative of the Obama administration may be unethical and will help those who are currently enfranchised in the "neo-system" of the "neoconservatives" and "neoliberals" the most.
There are many problems with the health care overhaul initiated by the Obama administration. You don't need to be a 4.0 student in economics to see the problems.
First of all, forcing all United States' citizens into some type of health program would not decrease the price health care. Instead, it most likely will lead to an increase in the price of health care as more money flows into the current system.
Secondly, pharmaceutical firms claim that they will provide a 50% discount in the price of drugs, but only if this health care reform is passed. How can they afford to do this? One possible answer is that there will be an increased demand for some of their high profit drugs with this reform.
If people are forced to pay into the current health care system, then the pharmaceutical companies will be selling more drugs. However, it could also cause many of these newly created payers to be coerced into taking some medications.
While one can claim that "no one is forcing you to take the new drugs", there is no doubt that there will be a tremendous pressure for you to do so and it would not suit you as much to question their efficacy. Clearly, many of these drugs would most often not be considered efficacious or we would already be buying them.
Look at the abuse of prescription drugs now. It can only get worse. Is the current thinking in Washington that doctors will become more ethical with health care reform? Where if everyone is paying them, they will not have to look for "sucker patients" like Michael Jackson?
That is unlikely without significant reform, like true socialized medicine. On this note, it is very disturbing, that the current reform is suggesting a new impetus on Living Wills and possibly paying for "counseling on hospice care". Could that also be intended to make their organs more available to those who can afford them? Would those with premium health care packages, packages that "they do not have to give up", reap the benefits of those organs?
It is probably no coincidence that the very successful lobbying group, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) had successfully lobbied for health care benefits for their janitors in New Jersey before reform began in Washington. This union of security professionals, nurses, and janitors was strategically formed by Andy Stern after breaking from the AFL-CIO. "Yes, We Can", or "Si, Se Puede" is also the motto of this union that wears purple and gold as its colors and uses the methods of the Chicago organizer, Saul Alinsky. They are deeply entrenched in medical areas, and like Saul Alinsky, they use non-confrontational methods that support the "Haves" and then the union members reap the benefits of that support.
These non-confrontational methods include lobbying for government payments that support their employers. However, that union support can also include the destruction of carefully chosen "targets". These "targets" are selected for based upon the ability of the union to easily defeat them.
These especially include those that are would be considered "Have-a-littles, Want Mores", by Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals. Those that may be struggling to pay health care costs now would be a good defeatable target now, for example.
Are they set to reap benefits from a package of health care reform that "taxes" those who are not enfranchised with the SEIU and do not have health care benefits? - Probably. Perhaps more disturbing has been China's consultation with the SEIU on how to handle corporations like Walmart that are not union-friendly.
This is despite the fact that the SEIU has repeatedly failed to make any inroads into the unionization of Walmart. Andy Stern, the President of the SEIU, admits this in his book, A Country That Works. China, a country criticized for human rights violations, including the questionable use of prisoners as organ donors, has only one union.
That is an organization that is used in China as a communication device between the Communist politburo and the workers. So, what does China want from the SEIU? Perhaps a more important question to answer for Citizens of the United States is what other non-confrontational methods could the SEIU use to get concessions from medical centers and offices in the New Jersey and New York area?
Medicine and politics do not mix. So let's socialize medicine properly so that doctors can do what they love and are trained to do: treat people. We can't have organizations such as the SEIU and their employers running a society that forces payments from other ambitious, yet vulnerable people.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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