… maybe for the better? Or probably not.
OK — so this is the second time in a week I’ve disclaimed my interest in politics. Please bear with me here. Food for thought mostly, but only one good answer.
Announcements are out this week on the bazillions of dollars being raised by the 2008 presidential contenders. Don’t forget — we are still a year away from the primaries!! But here are some questions we need to continue to ask. (And these are just about healthcare — you can expand this list to any issue of interest.)
Questions for all presidential hopefuls, regardless of party, about the money you have raised. Note: these questions are not about the promises you will make or are making. These are the reality questions that regard where all that money is coming from:
1. Where does your money come from?
2. How much money has come from big Pharma, its investors, or its executives and employees?
3. How much of your money has come from health insurance companies, investors, executives and employees?
4. How much of your money has come from other individuals or corporations interested in the profits they make off the backs of sick Americans — including physicians?
5. How interested are your healthcare-profit-related contributors interested in retaining the status quo which provides them with those large profits?
6. What promises will you have to make, which will ultimately compromise the interests of sick Americans, to be sure the money continues to flow from the above-mentioned corporations and individuals?
I hope there will be an opportunity for candidates to disclose the answers to these questions. This money is being raised so early, that it will not be subject to the disclosures that were mandated years ago.
And I can’t help but think that true healthcare reform — whether public or private — cannot come when undisclosed financial interests play such a huge role in the election of our country’s leadership.
Candidates: Please remember that sick Americans are voters, too — unless they are too sick, or dead — both possible outcomes from this very dysfunctional healthcare system we now suffer.
Patients: This is just one more reminder that if we don’t take responsibility for our own healthcare decisions, by empowering ourselves with knowledge and partnering with our doctors, then our chances of good medical outcomes will continue to erode.
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