What would Jesus charge?

Agricultural scientist Quentin Colgan writes the local blog The Uncomfortable Truth.

By now, we have all heard about the tragic case of Nataline Sarkisyan.

In case you haven’t, she is the young lady who died recently after her father’s insurance company refused to pay for a liver transplant. The company, CIGNA, said the transplant was experimental. After a flurry of protests, the company relented, but by then it was too late.

Enter Mark Geragos: The fame-seeking attorney of Michael Jackson has filed suit against CIGNA and has tried to get the L.A. district attorney to file manslaughter charges.

It is one thing to file a suit for a breach of contract, but the way this story—and all stories similar to this one—is being portrayed, it’s as if CIGNA denied health care to this young woman.

Let’s be clear here: CIGNA is an insurance company—it doesn’t provide health care. The hospital denied health care to Nataline. For them, money was more precious than her life.

That is the problem with health care.

There is no incentive to control profits. Of course not. We live in a capitalist society. However, that doesn’t mean that “socialized” medicine would be any less expensive—in this country, anyway.

On the other hand, what would be so wrong with nonprofit medicine? I have never had a doctor tell me he or she was in it for the money. I have never heard a nurse say that either. It seems, though, that everyone else associated with the field is.

Have you ever thought about that?

Have you ever pondered the idea of making billions of dollars off the pain and suffering of others? Think about it: If pain and suffering are profitable, then where is the incentive to reduce either? I’m just spit-balling here, but if diabetes is a $350-million-a-year business, could that be why “Big Pharma” and its minions in Congress do nothing to outlaw diabetes-causing high-fructose corn syrup?

Are profits the reason the AMA opposes using marijuana as medicine? A ton of money would not be made if this easy-to-grow medicine were allowed to compete on a level playing field.

We will never solve the health-care “crisis” in America until we change the paradigm. When we, as a society, decide that human life is more precious than money, we will have true health-care reform.