Greed and the Health Care Problem

December 2, 2007
By Stella Benezra, New York, NY

It’s all about money. It’s sad but true. In this day and age, our country has come to people virtually killing other people to make a quick buck. A prime example is the health care system in the United States of America. We are the worlds wealthiest country and yet, the only industrialized nation that does not have universal free health care. The United States must share the wealth with those who need it most, otherwise people will continue to die in result of us being a greedy country.

The greediness is in the hands of major health care companies such as Humana, Aetna, and the Health Maintenance Organization ( who all work to ensure that everyone is NOT insured. Employees are rewarded for finding reasons why people in need should not receive health care, and for denying their appeal for it. Needless to say, these denials result in serious conditions and often death of patients who were in desperate need and who were denied coverage. Linda Peeno, a former medical reviewer for Humana, made a public announcement after leaving that company, exposing the injustices she experienced and took part in while worker for them. She expressed in a court room how she denied a man his right to free health care, and in turn caused his death. This behavior was praised back at Humana and she was granted a huge promotion, landing her a multi million dollar deal, and a much higher position in the health care field. ( )When you deny health care to a patient, you are provided with a bonus, because you are saving money for the company. But that money NEVER goes towards the dying patients! No, that would be unheard of.

Many people don’t even pay much attention to the problem, and they too contribute to the greediness of the country. People who have health care, and have had it all their lives, don’t have to deal with it, so they don’t necessarily care. My family has never had an issue with it namely because my dad works in a hospital and we have always been covered. Those who are privileged enough to have it provided for them can’t even fathom what it would be like not to have it, but it means everything to those who don’t. Literally, health care is the difference between life and death, treatment and no treatment, the rich and the poor, the sick, and the healthy. The sad thing is that there is treatment ! There are cures, and the sick can be helped in most instances, if only those who are sick were not being denied their humane right of receiving that which is fully available.

It is not impossible either. Plenty of developed nations have proved the reality of health care for all of their citizens ( Great Britain, Canada, and France have all established a successful universal free health care system and laugh at the thought of paying for a visit to the doctor. It is not even heard of. We are ridiculed because our government is not willing to help those in desperate need. It’s ridiculous how it isn’t a given system in our country, but now we have to look beyond the stupidity of it. We have to act upon the injustice. It’s not a difficult law to pass on the part of our federal government, and perhaps The Bush Administration needs to get out of office before action is taken, but as for us, we can speak too. Go online, send letters, petition for congress to pass laws promoting universal heath care. Although it is ultimately up to those in higher power, we too have the voice to protest the greediness, and the inactivity of the government.

Michael Moore:

Freudenheim, Milt and Klaussmann, Liza. May 22, 2007

3. Department of Health:

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