The whipping boy

Are health costs too high? Yes! Are the pharmaceutical industry-types to blame? Not so much. The "cost" of health care that includes drugs is only a small fraction of what we spend. The far greatest cost, from knowing a number of doictors, is the "cost of doing business." The reason we are losing OBY-GYNs in this country is that, no matter how much a pregnant mother smokes, drinks, uses drugs, and makes other unhealthy life choices, whan her child is born with any type of infirmity, there is a lawsuit against the doctor who delivered the baby. Insurance is so high, trauma  to the doctors' families so bad, most either opt out of the practice or forego entering it, in the first place. In so many cases, when a patient dies during an operation, there are "ambulance-chasers" there to sue the anethesiologist. Insurance for anethesiologists was over $100,000 a year in 2000. Lord knows what it is up to now. To avoid lawsuits or be given cover in the inevitable ones, doctors order many, many more tests than are warrented for all patients. The appearance that "we did all we could" needs to be maintained...for the inevitable court appearance. Do doctors, nurses (underpaid and understaffed), and pharmacists make mistakes? Of course. Last time I looked they were still human. Part of the problem is that hospitals are overcrowded because the "Emergency Rooms" are the only place many millions of (uninsured) people can get any type of care. The result? Crowded hospitals, stretched personnel, pressure on facilities and equipment. The end result? And mistakes by harried health care personnel. We don't seem to care that the massive American embassy in Iraq will cost $2+ billion a year to maintain or that the war has cost (directly) $400 Billion (so far... plus the rehab costs for Vets in the future and replacement of all the equipment left behind), why should we fight so hard not to spend a few hundred million to insure all Americans? If all people had access to yearly exams and preventative medical care, there would be fewer "emergencies." If we get dental check-ups and fillings, there would be fewer emergency extractions with resultant complications. Remember the old commercial: "Pay me now or pay me later"?  The "whipping boy" in the title is the pharmaceutical industry. They make a profit, so they are bad! Hey! Could we start with "Big Oil" who is, after all, merely "passing along costs" and scraping by with $40 billion/quarter profits? Whatever the faults of Big Pharma, they are still saving millions of lives. Or, have we forgotten Malaria, Small Pox, Polio, etc. already?