Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
FOR EMPHASIS & CLARITY
In my previous writings (which follow this entry according to my format) I have mentioned two important facts that the members of the government and media of the United States seem to have overlooked.
First, the costs of health care / medicine are rising because we are using so much more every year. My distant cousin whose name I share died of cystic fibrosis at age seven nearly a hundred fifty years ago. The total cost of his medical care was probably less than $25.
In 1982 my daughter Abigail died of cystic fibrosis at the age of nineteen years. We and the insurance companies spent more than $50,000 for the additional, wonderful years she was with us. Without modern medicine she might also have died at the age of seven.
Every year new medical knowledge, treatments, and therapies are discovered and developed to treat and cure diseases old and new. Whereas my cousin was treated for a month or so by one doctor, my daughter was treated for over a dozen years by many, many doctors nurses, and family members. Every year we spend more money for more care to save many more people.
Just three score years go televisions cost two months' wages, but today a television can be built in less than a tenth of the time and sold for less than a week's wages.
Second is the government. New mandates, directives, and requirements of federal, state, county, municipal and legal advisors all add to the rising cost of medical care. Just this summer Gov. M. Jodie Rell required that all health insurance written in Connecticut must cover the care of the autistic.
There is a third major factor in the rapid rise in health care costs, but this one has been addressed in the media and in Texas. President Obama announced that he would deal with it, but then he changed his mind. Now in Texas the new law limits the amount of money that can be awarded in medical malpractice suits to $150,000. By comparison Senator John Edwards collected tens of millions of dollars by suing hospitals and doctors for allowing babies to be born with cerebral palsy. In the history of the world only one man has ever cured cerebral palsy, and that man was Jesus of Nazareth. Still, John Edwards convinced many juries that it was the fault of doctors and hospitals to protect these babies from a disease or condition about which there is no known information.
Insurance companies are not the villains here. Their rates are governed by regulatory agencies in each state. They are allowed a fair but not exorbitant profit. Drug companies are not the villains either. The drugs which they discover, patent, develop, test, get approved, and manufacture are protected for seventeen years from the date of patent. If an individual or company goes to all the trouble of inventing, patenting,developing, testing, manufacturing, and marketing a product; I believe that the founders of our nation were very wise to allow inventors seventeen years of protection for their work.
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.