March 1, 2015 by David K. Sutton
Rick Scott, And Amassing Personal Wealth In Health Care
Should someone, let’s say for example, Florida Governor Rick Scott, be able to amass great personal wealth working in the field of health care?
Because that’s exactly why Rick Scott is a wealthy person. That’s exactly why Rick Scott had the name recognition required to be elected governor of Florida. Without the wealth he amassed as CEO of Columbia/Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA), a position he resigned amid a Medicare fraud scandal, he would not have had the power and influence to become governor.
Now, I know this line of questioning is antithetical to the belief system of many conservatives, but it’s a serious question. After all, whatever money someone makes in the health care field is money that you and I have paid in the form of health care services. And maybe that works well when you are selling an iPhone, or a television, or any other kind of discretionary consumer product, but should health care “purchases” conform to this standard?
Health care is not a product in the traditional sense. Everyone at some point in their life is going to need health care services whether it be for something routine, or for something life or death. Should a service so existential to our very being have the same for-profit financial motive as exists for selling movie tickets, or cable TV subscriptions?
I recognize many people believe in our capitalist system, and that they believe it is perfectly fine for small (even large) personal wealth to be accumulated as the result of selling a successful product. But should that model extend to health care services? Who wrote that into law? Where is it stated that we must conform to this profit-taking standard when it comes to the health care services of an entire nation? To date, we have accepted this as the norm, but should we continue to believe this is the way it must be?
We can demand true universal health care for all, we can demand Medicare for all, if only we consider that health care is not a product or service to be subjected to the profit-taking standard that the discretionary economy is built upon. If only we could recognize health care as a right, we would not feel obligated to subject health care services to a profit-taking standard. If only more people could feel empathy for those who do not have access to quality health care, we might finally have a paradigm shift in thinking on how we finance health care services.