Here is a great example of why we pay more than any other country in the world for healthcare and yet don’t have the best healthcare.
“My company’s responsibility is to its shareholders, not the customers who rely on our drugs to live. My primary responsibility is to Valeant shareholders. We can do anything we want to do.”
-J. Michael Pearson, the CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals
Now before you get upset, realize he is right. A for-profit publicly-traded corporation is a kind of machine built to make money, not save people’s lives. We don’t have to come up with some elaborate conspiracy theory to figure out why things are so messed up when it comes to healthcare in this country. The real answer is staring us right in the face and it does not involve people being evil or conspiring to keep others down. It just involves people doing their jobs within an inherently flawed system where the individuals within the healthcare industry are not rewarded for providing healthcare, but for making profits for shareholders. This is part of the reason why healthcare probably does not belong in the private sector as the private sector creates the wrong kind of incentives.
This is one reason why I encourage you to take personal responsibility for your health. No one is more concerned with your health than you are. The good news is it make take less than you think to actually take care of your health. Humans have lived for four million years on this planet without giant pharmaceutical corporations. Whole foods, movement, and dealing with excess mental and emotional stress take you a long way toward taking care of your health.
-Douglas Johnson E-RYT 500, YACEP