I have a dear longtime friend who recently learned he has lymphoma. He managed to get an appointment at the Mayo Clinic, and their oncology department told him that, with quick treatment, he stands a good chance for a complete recovery. They went on to design a chemotherapy regimen to begin ASAP. A couple of weeks later, he returned for treatment, only to learn that his health insurance provider (Molina Healthcare) will not pay Mayo to treat him. Despite repeated appeals, he finally returned home to Dallas to find an oncologist there who can administer Mayo’s planned treatment. Once he found one, he was stunned to learn that Molina also won’t pay them. He is in the process of appealing once again.
Molina’s FOR-PROFIT approach to health care is typical. My friend has been at the point of simply giving up, which, I suppose, is the most profitable route for the insurance company. If he simply dies without them having to pay his treatment they get to keep 100 percent of his premiums and pay them out to their multimillionaire CEO and their stockholders.
This system is WRONG to the point of being evil. My friend is at the point of being evicted. His partner’s car was repossessed as they have been fighting to save his life. This story is being repeated again and again across the country. I recently talked to someone who does not have the strength or access to fight to get treatment for what might have been a simple matter, but now is endangering their life. This person might well die simply because it is more profitable than treating them.
Can you imagine Jesus healing only those who could pay him? Why, then, would a so-called “Christian nation” tolerate making health a product to be sold AT A VERY HIGH PROFIT? Study after study has proven that America does NOT have the best health care in the world, only the most expensive. Of course, it is expensive because we are paying insurance executives multi-million dollar salaries. Pharmaceutical companies always are among the businesses with the highest margin of profit. Our own government banned competitive bidding for no other reason than to line the pockets of their wealthy donors.
This list of grievances could go on and on, but none of it will save my friend’s life. I just can’t figure out what it will take for Americans to rise up and say “ENOUGH. You cannot PROFIT from our illness.” It doesn’t have to be this way. It isn’t this way in the 20 nations that have better health care than the United States.
People are dying because we accept what the rest of the world finds wrong and evil: profiting on the suffering of God’s children.
Rev. Michael Piazza