Warehouse B
Not For Everybody
Page Two
Page 3

Amazing Medical Discoveries – But Who Will Benefit?


By James Donahue


The news has been filled with interesting new discoveries in the field of medicine.


--Clinical trials are now going on to test a newly developed artificial pancreas that may offer new hope for Type 1 Diabetes patients.


--A genetically produced vaccine against the dreaded disease malaria is now being tested.


--A new mouthwash that reportedly will kill the bacteria known to cause tooth decay is about to be introduced to the market.


These are three of a long list of new discoveries and potential cures for the long list of deadly and crippling diseases that have plagued mankind as long as there has been recorded history.


We also are hearing about new medical discoveries that may cure certain types of cancer, improved treatments for AIDS patients, and robotic computerized arms and legs to assist the many soldiers wounded in warfare.


From the sounds of these uplifting news reports, the human race may be on the very cusp of entering an exciting new world where medical science can cure just about anything that ails us and most humans can expect to live long, healthy and productive lives.


But is this reality?


With the world financial system plunging into chaos, with most of the wealth now in the hands of a few and the rest of mankind locked in a form of slavery at the workplace . . . if jobs can be had at all . . . the possibility of enjoying any of these new medical discoveries remains out of reach for just about everybody.


Only citizens living under socialist government systems that provide free health care for everybody have any chance of receiving the benefits of the new world of medicine. Under the present failed health care system in the United States, most Americans will never have a crack at them. Even if they have the means to pay for their own limited health insurance their out-of-pocket expenses for most procedures . . . especially the new experimental ones . . . are prohibitive.


The vast number of unemployed or underemployed Americans living without any insurance cannot afford a doctor visit. When costly medical prescriptions are needed, the choice becomes critical. Do they buy the medicine and starve, or do they eat and die?


We have been watching all of the promotional advertisements urging senior citizens to buy supplemental health insurance to help offset the things Medicare will not pay for. This is a critical and necessary decision for many seniors because under the new federal health plan, doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare patients must also accept the amount that Medicare agrees to pay for approved services.


What most people may not yet know, but many seniors are quickly finding out, is that very few doctors or hospitals in the United States are accepting the Medicare payment. They are expecting the patient to cough up the difference. And that can sometimes add up to thousands of dollars.


This writer, who luckily enjoys the benefits of Medicare and a back-up health policy provided by a former employer, recently needed critical heart surgery. When checking insurance options we received some excellent advice from a helpful insurance agent representing the back-up insurance. This woman said that all hospitals and doctors will say they accept Medicare patients. But what is important to know is if they accept the payment by Medicare as payment in full.


My back-up insurance picked up the cost over and above a certain level of debt. There was going to be a large gap between what this insurance agreed to pay and where Medicare was going to leave off.


We called hospitals in our area and learned that they did not accept Medicare payments as payment in full. I ended up paying the cost of a flight across the country to get to a hospital that agreed to accept the Medicare payment in full. The trip cost a few hundred dollars. In the long run I received excellent hospital care and saved thousands of dollars in medical bills.


I was one of the lucky ones. What is available out there for all the people left without health insurance, or an adequate medical service other than a quick examination in a hospital emergency room before getting tossed back onto the street.


Oh yes, hospitals by law are required to treat everybody that enters their emergency room doors. But when the patient doesn’t have insurance, the treatment is minimal if he or she receives any help at all.


Medicine like just about everything else is big business in America.