Bill Frist Wants To Ban Prescription Drug Marketing
During my first year at Michigan State I took a really interesting biology class through the honors college. We didn’t have any lab work, no bunsen burners or glass tubes, just two books and several hours of weekly discussion. Our texts were simple: A one-pager covering a certain issue, followed by a pro article and a con article.
One of the major topics I took an interest in was health care, and the things I learned in that class have stayed with me to this day (note to self: I’m told that’s the point of college). The biggest point to impress itself on my mind is that the U.S. is the first culture to treat old age as a disease rather than a natural part of life. One third of the technologies used to keep people “on life support” (a very generic term) were NEVER intended for that purpose. And the worst part is how this fear of death by natural causes works its way into the minds of almost everyone.
Simple fact: Politicians habitually avoid the topic of health care reform. Why?
Simple answer: Old people vote more than any other age group. Any politician who raises medicare costs or who even talks about reforming elderly health care is committing political seppuku. No more public office for you, no siree.
I’m not trying to pin our rising health care costs on senior citizens. All I’m saying is our country has some really stupid reasons for not discussing very important issues.
My paycheck covers health insurance costs for both me and my wife. Over the course of the last year this cost has gone up over five hundred dollars, and our co-pays have increased about five dollars each. I dare you to find an american who hasn’t heard the term “The Rising Cost Of Healthcare” over and over again. And yet the whole time we listen to health care companies complain about the rising cost they still spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns every year.
We’ve all seen ads for drugs where you honestly can’t tell what the drug is supposed to do. A lot of these ads seem to have no other point then to make you walk into your doctor’s office and ask “Hey I saw an ad for Viapercoamaltan, what does it do?” (Note: The names of drugs have been changed to protect the innocent and stupid)
Why is this ok? If a cellular carrier jacked up their prices 50% in less than a decade, complained to no end about how their business is getting more expensive to run, testified to congress about the problems they’re facing, and then followed it up with a brand new campaign costing $10 million NOBODY WOULD BE OK WITH THAT. Their customers would churn (fancy biz speak for “Cancel my account”) to new carriers overnight.
But for those of us who have health insurance we don’t get a choice. Our employer chooses a provider and that’s who we’re stuck with.
I don’t claim to know the answers to this problem. All I can do is point out the ridiculous state we’ve let it come to.