Imagine buying a liter of saline solution in Wal-Mart for less than $11. Then imagine selling it for $700 in less than 24 hours to someone who desperately needs it. Is that unethical? Is that moral? Is it right? Or is this just capitalism?
These questions are beginning to surface as more and more people visit emergency rooms. Healthcare systems argue the costs to support emergency staff require these costs. The proponents say it has nothing to do with materials. The excessively high payment is for the staff to administer the materials.
Where does the line get drawn? Where do we say what is too much and what is too little? Who comes in to regulate this environment? Where is our government in all of it?
Let’s analyze the real life story of Cameron Fisher. A man reported on Kaiser Health News of Colorado.
A typical night out on the town before a man’s wedding day is filled with celebration. A man thinks he is going to marry the woman of his dreams. He gets together with his close friends, family, and the groomsmen.
Naturally a little alcohol is involved.
People have a great time celebrating the day to come. Drinks are passed around, the groom drinks a little too much, passes out and wakes the next day. The normal sobering activities are not working. The typical big breakfast with gallons of water is not doing the job. Electrolytes, vitamins and over the counter medical items can’t shake his feeling. During dinner rehearsal his soon to be wife begs him to go get checked.
Cameron thinks, “There is no way I’m showing up to my wedding like this.”
Cameron looks around for an emergency room to get re-hydrated. There are no mysteries. There is no guess work. There are no complications of acute alcohol poisoning. There is simply Cameron looking to find a way to not look like s*** on his big day.
Cameron drives himself to the ER room. Cameron explains what’s happening. The ER is a ghost town with little activity. Cameron gets administered saline solution, some zophran, some anti-nausea medication, and gets on an IV.
Cameron checks out in less than 45 minutes feeling much better.
Cameron sees a $12,460 health care bill. Cost basis less than $2,000 including the staff’s efforts.
At the heart of everyone’s argument is how these actions are moral. How do people wake up in the morning bankrupting people for health care? How do these people look themselves in the mirror when pain is caused by their financial policies? These questions should provoke deep self-reflection. Time is time. Billing by the hour is acceptable. Professionals warrant compensation. No one should work for free. The argument is not to become a socialist state. The argument is to address the central issue of this problem.
The central issue is not employee wages, acceptable corporate margins, cost basis for insurance or material cost.
The central issue for health care is Amoral Capitalism — the idea that corporations should make as much money as possible without regard for social accountability.
A similar awakening is going through the legal community. How can justice only be served (in civil court) to those that have at least $50,000 to see the legal process to its end? Is it moral to deprive people of justice because they cannot afford it?
The same moral argument exists with healthcare. Is it moral to charge someone over $10,000 to make sure they are in good health?
The right to a healthy life is a human right not a class privilege. The right to a healthy life is not a product to be paid for.
In the wake of these uncontrollable cost polices new conversations surface. Let’s take a look at new legislation that is spawning (domestically and around the world) to address social issues. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is transitioning from an “option” to a “compliance requirement”. Regulations broadly (with some overlap) fall into three buckets: (1) disclosure-only, requires companies to discuss whether and how they address a particular issue; (2) rules requiring companies to put in place compliance programs to address particular CSR issues; and (3) trade-based regulations.
U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation anti-human trafficking provisions: Prohibits specified human trafficking conduct in connection with U.S. federal contracts and, under certain circumstances, requires a compliance plan to be adopted and certifications to be provided.
U.K. Modern Slavery Act: Requires subject companies to annually prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement. This statement explains steps taken to ensure modern slavery is not occurring in the supply chain or business.
U.S. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act: Repealed the “consumptive demand exception” to the Tariff Act. This exception allowed the importation into the United States of goods made using forced labor.
Welsh Code of Practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains: The goal of the Code — which covers procurement, supplier selection, tendering contract and supplier management — is to ensure workers in public sector supply chains are employed ethically. Although not binding legislation, the Welsh government indicated businesses involved in Welsh public sector supply chains adhere to the Code.
French Duty of Vigilance Law: Requires subject companies to establish a vigilance plan to identify and prevent severe violations of human rights in its business and at certain subcontractors and suppliers.
EU Conflict Minerals Regulation: Requires EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in mineral or metallic form to conduct due diligence on source of product (to prevent conflict party involvement, child labor and forced labor). Also makes companies make certain disclosures concerning the 3TG imported into the European Union. The regulation also creates a voluntary reporting mechanism for downstream companies to encourage them to responsibly source 3TG.
U.S. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act: Creates a presumption goods, wares, articles and merchandise mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in part by the labor of North Korean nationals or citizens, wherever located, is forced labor. As a result, under the Tariff Act, these goods will be denied U.S. entry absent clear and convincing evidence that they were not produced using forced labor.
. . . And more regulation I am sure are on the horizon…
CORPORATE PROFIT WITH MORALLITY CHECKS
The bottom line is corporations need to address the issue of right or wrong. Often I encounter “amoral” behavior in business. This is not acceptable. It is important to be culturally sensitive in business.
Wake up to health care system — There exist no acceptable cultures on Earth that accept bankrupting people for health care.
It is time for corporate entities to begin addressing facts. Facts are morality is reality. Immoral behaviors or grey areas are not acceptable in businesses that address human rights. Having access to health care is a human right. Either the private health care wakes up to this fact or we the people must elect officials that will force compliance. Gain prospective on the real issue driving corporate profit demands. Follow me on Medium or subscribe to my newsletter to learn more insightful advice.
To your knowledge success!
About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM), Master Financial Planner (MFP) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com