Alec Smith died of diabetic ketoacidosis, though it is probably fairer to say that he died from high healthcare costs. The 26-year-old from Rochester, Minnesota, had just moved out of his parents home and didnt have enough money to afford his insulin. He decided to ration his remaining supply until his next paycheck, a week later. Alas, he was not able to make it. Alec died alone in his apartment, vomiting and having difficulty breathing, from a condition that never should have occurred.
Alecs story is extreme in its outcome, but not in its outlines. Nearly half of Americans say they have delayed or skipped medical care because of the cost. People who face higher costs for medical care are diagnosed with cancer at later stages of the disease and take fewer medications. Even the very sick use less care when their out-of-pocket costs rise. Health suffers.
Allowing the makers of life-saving medications to price their products without constraint is a recipe for premature death. But the issue is more complex than just greed. Even if the United States cut every pharmaceutical price in half and eliminated all profits on health insurance, the gap between U.S. medical spending and that of other rich countries would fall by less than a quarter. Health care is more than just rapacious profits in drugs and insurance.
The reality is that the healthcare problem is multifaceted. But that is not the same as saying nothing can be done. On the contrary, it means there is even more to do. Three areas are essential to tackle if we want to reduce health spending to near the level in other countries.
Medical bills should not be dreaded in a great healthcare system
Ginni Thomas and Conservative Activists Worked Together to Exploit Citizens United Ruling: Report
As the Supreme Court prepared to decide the Citizens United case that designated money as political speech, Ginni Thomas wife of Justice Clarence Thomas along with conservative activists quickly and quietly filed to create exactly the type of non-profit group that would benefit from the decision, Politico reports.
In the ensuing years, according to Politico, Thomas worked closely with Federalist Society leader Leonard Leo to build a conservative movement that would fuel changes to the judiciary and help overturn laws regarding abortion, affirmative action, and other issues important to the right wing.
Ginni really wanted to build an organization and be a movement leader, a source familiar with her thinking at that time told Politico. Leonard (Leo) was going to be the conduit of that.
Much of this was made possible through funding from Nazi-obsessed billionaire Harlan Crow. Crow, who infamously collects Hitler paintings and Nazi memorabilia, has been in the news recently for giving grandiose favors to the Thomases, including footing the bill for their grand-nephews tuition, purchasing the house where Clarence Thomas mother lived, and paying for lavish vacations that the Thomases enjoyed. The justice has been under scrutiny for his relationship with Crow due to his failure to report the vacations and other gifts in his financial disclosures to the court.
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