Anyone who lives in the United States understands the growing concern of healthcare pricing and coverage. We see millions struggle for coverage and those with coverage usually have high deductibles, unfeasible coinsurance, and their prescription costs for some medications are impractical. There’s a huge push by Democratic presidential candidates to provide universal healthcare or medicare for all. We consistently see large pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers take the blame for these prices. Why are healthcare prices so exorbitantly high in the United States?
One of the major reasons is as simple as it appears. Many of us directly accuse drug companies and insurance providers of charging ridiculous rates. You’re right but that’s only scratching the surface of the issue. We used to see events called gas wars many decades ago. Neighboring gas stations would drop their price to beat the others in hopes to take them out of business. Those days are long gone and industries take to lobbying together to create a monopoly over everyone. Competition and lobbying are the keywords in our nation’s healthcare problem. We have little competition and massive amounts of lobbying.
What exactly is lobbying? We often hear it talked about in politics and companies spend billions a year doing it. Lobbying is a corporation spending money to influence a politician’s decision. The money being spent may not be used for the benefit of citizens and often is done to undermine your vote. (Lobbying, 2018) We saw pharmaceutical companies alone spent $3,937,356,877 and insurance companies spent another $2,704,636,807 on lobbying government officials. (Note part of insurance money includes property insurance. Frankenfield, 2020) Let’s look from a companies perspective. These corporations who are spending money lobbying need to make a profit for their shareholders. Do you believe this lobbying money is being spent to lower drug prices and lower your insurance costs? No, these corporations are lobbying for regulations that allow themselves to become monopolies and raise drug prices to all-time highs. Doesn’t this make the drug and insurance companies awful? Congress is willingly accepting their lobbying money and are regularly creating more regulations which have turned our healthcare system into the monopoly we see. We have a government who has taken money and handed some of the largest corporations in the world the ability to have a monopoly on their product or service. The same government now has a debt of $23,246,514,948,154. Now these government officials want to forcibly collect a tax they determine the rate of and provide these funds to the same pharmaceutical and insurance companies who are now monopolies. By choosing to give the government our healthcare, we will make them the sole determiner of pricing and care quality. The Federal government has a proven track record of deficit spending, improper spending, and massive debt. Imagine you’re in a coma and the most irresponsible person you know is now in charge of your medical decisions. That’s universal healthcare with our federal government. We need to remove lobbying and create competition in our pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The government is the ultimate monopoly and that’s the next step on the path we’ve been taking as a nation towards universal healthcare.
Frankenfield, Jake. “Which Industry Spends the Most on Lobbying?” Investopedia, Investopedia, 29 Jan. 2020, www.investopedia.com/investing/which-industry-spends-most-lobbying-antm-so/.
“Lobbying.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Sept. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/lobbying.