Pay Up or Die! No Money No Transplant
Posted by Bob Aronson
I’m angry!!!. Many of our citizens are sick and dying because they can’t afford healthcare and our government is throwing money down ratholes wherever you look. In the last quarter of a century, thousands of people needing transplants have died because they could not pay for the procedure. Many of these good people were organ donors but when the time came for them to become recipients, they could not even get on the waiting list. Is that what America is about? Do we really want to say, “Sorry but no money no organ, you’ll just have to go home and die.” Actually, our nation says much the same thing to anyone who can’t afford health care. That is inexcusable! Did you know that the United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee healthcare as a citizen’s right? Do I sound as though I am in favor of a one-payer system – well, I am.
When suggestions are made that would end this disgraceful situation the response usually is, “It’s a raw deal but we just can’t afford to pay for everyone’s health care.” Really? How is it that we can’t afford to pay for transplants and other health care but we can pay for stupid “pork barrel” projects like Boston’s Big Dig.? According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_barrel):
The Big Dig in Boston cost $14.6 billion (over $4 billion a mile) to place a freeway underground.” The boondoggle project resulted in criminal arrests, escalating costs, death, leaks and charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials. You can read the Wikipedia explanation to get the full story but the Big Dig is not an isolated instance. Each year we spend billions on so-called “Earmark” projects.
If we can grease the pockets of construction companies we can certainly make sure that anyone who needs a new organ can get it. Why can’t people afford transplants? The estimated costs for a heart transplant during the first post-operative year are $478,900, according to the health-care consulting firm Milliman USA. Additionally there is the enormous cost of immunosuppressant medications that organ recipients have to take for the rest of their lives. (More on transplantation costs at http://www.smu.edu/newsinfo/excerpts/cardiac-donation-ethics.html Southern Methodist University news). If you don’t have insurance or cash you will likely be sent home to die, and that’s not the hospital’s fault. Most of them spend millions each year for indigent care but they can’t pay for everyone’s treatment. This is not a hospital problem rather, it is a societal issue.
At the very least our nation should provide catastrophic insurance for its citizens so whether the catastrophe is cancer, a heart attack or an organ transplant the ability to pay would no longer be a requirement for treatment.
Please read and comment on my World Wide Issues blogs on http://blogsbybob.wordpress.com. Also…visit my Facebook site, Organ Transplant Patients, Friends and You at http://tinyurl.com/225cfh OR — my Facebook home page http://www.facebook.com/home.php