The American medical system is an obscenity. Many people depend on a drug called Revlimid. Wikipedia lists the cost as $163,381 per year for an average patient. In India this same dose costs less than $1,600. Many believe the difference in price goes into research on new drugs. However, the company just authorized a $3 billion stock buyback. They have recently bought back additional billions of their stock. Where does this money come from? You figure it out.

Insurance companies are no better. For a cruise in Europe I need a vacation override for an early prescription. The drug company gave that override. However, my insurance company denied payment without reason. My doctor and pharmacy tried to determine why. Finally, a conference call among the pharmacy, my insurance company, and myself determined that the company wanted an itinerary. How many people were paid to find a reason?

I receive care at The Alfond Center, Dana-Farber, and MD Anderson — among the best places in the world. These places depend heavily on the National Institutes of Health and other government support (the best in American medicine is socialist … horrors). I have also lived in Australia, England, Germany, and New Zealand, where I also received significant medical care. This foreign care equaled that offered here in the U.S. An emergency room visit in the U.S. cost 10 times a three-night hospital stay in New Zealand. Our governor, the president, and Congress think this is just fine.

Most Americans have only lived in and know one state, but, wow, do they have opinions. So I guess “no progress” and “continuous rip-offs” are the norm for us.

Tom Berger


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