In our capitalistic, market-driven society, it is seldom the provider or consumer who gets rich, but rather the middle person or agencies.
It is not the people who do the work of producing what Walmart sells or the shopper at its stores who benefit from the system, except for low prices, often at the expense of low wages in the sweatshops around the world. It is the Walton family and others in the middle position of distribution who become wealthy.
That is also true in the health care system. Between the customer or patient and the providers, which includes the hospitals and people who work in them, the physicians and their helpers, is a vast array of various kinds of insurances with large bureaucracies that run up the cost of care and supplies such as drugs.
The Medicare drug plans and Advantage plans are another step in having insurance companies manage our delivery system, and the main beneficiaries are the executives and stockholders in the companies.
That could all change with a well-planned publicly funded and administered health care for all program. If you would like to know more about that or be part of a movement in that direction, find and get involved in the Health Care for All chapter in your area. And look up Senate Bill 770, which has an active task force working on possible plans for health care for everyone in Oregon.
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Lawrence S. Eby, M.D.