Category Archives: Affordable Healthcare

Backgrounder on Diabetes Drug Avandia Controversy

I’ve been tracking the various developments and commentaries on the controversy surrounding diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline). For those of you interested in background information and commentaries relating to the use of Avandia and increased risk for heart disease, as well as the affordability of chronic medications like diabetes drugs, I’ve compiled a short reading list including abstracts to the original research articles to help you get started. Please read my conflict of interest disclosure at the end of this article. Continue reading

Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance Law for Young People

I don’t know what your finances looked like when you were when you were 18 or in your early twenties, but I was a starving graduate student barely able to afford rent. If now I have to pay at least $100 each month on top of my expenses, I’d sink deeper into debt unless I move out of that state. Now, MA is requiring all taxpayers to prove that they have health insurance, which would include young adults who are still either in school or starting to chip away at student loans with their first jobs.

Of course, the politicians are going to espouse the wonders of early prevention and encouraging young people to take better care of their health so that they could lead long, healthy lives. One of the reason why HMOs love healthy adults and young people is because the number crunchers have found that they are less likely to use health care simply because statistics show that this population is healthier than an older age group. This means the HMOs will come out ahead in their business of covering for treatment and cost of care. The truth is, the Massachusetts bureaucrats want the young to pay and subsidize health care utilization by the aging population. We’ve seen how well this concept of “taxing one generation to pay for the other generation” has worked for social security; health care is a hegemonic burden that is finding its expenses to all segments of the population (except for illegal immigrants, but that’s another unwieldy topic).

I’m glad I’m not a young person living in Massachusetts.

Medical Malpractice Makes Unaffordable Healthcare

Philip K. Howard is a lawyer, author, and chair of an organization that aims to “restore common sense to American Law” called Common Good. In a recent issue of Wall Street Journal, Mr. Howard suggested that our aims for safer and affordable American healthcare can only come true when we change our current legal system. This legal system has become bloated with administrative costs and malpractice concerns that burden the overall healthcare system. (WSJ original article…)

Truth in Healthcare Sits Between Extremes

A friend sent me an article called, “Drugged out of our minds“, written by Larry M. Jones, a retired Navy Commander and aviator in Texas. Mr. Jones thought the reasons given by drug companies for high drug costs smelled fishy and didn’t appreciate having to fight for a parking space or waiting room seat with pharmaceutical “reps waiting to peddle their wares to the physicians.” Mr. Jones said it was a shame that some American citizens had to skip or split pills because they could not afford their treatment.

I can’t argue with how this “stinks” and how nice it would be if we could get free or affordable medications. I have a chronic condition for which I need to take daily course of prescription strength medication and I have to consider the cost in my budget. I may also have some sympathy toward the pharmaceutical industry because I have worked in pharma companies for most of my professional life and I have some insight into how much research, development, and marketing costs.

Healthcare and medicine strike highly emotional cords in all of us. We – not just the seniors – are becoming victims of “poorly managed healthcare”. Working professionals are fighting a different battle in healthcare – employer healthcare coverage – than elderly or retired citizens, but we all eventually progress to the same question of affordability and healthcare cost. Continue reading