Each day in this country, thousands of people die of drug overdoses from prescription drugs but we don’t hear about it. Each day in this country, thousands of people suffer from illness because they can’t afford health insurance. (My health insurance went up a whopping 30% in the last six months). Each day in this country someone dies from drugs or due to a lack of health care. It’s endemic to our broken system and a society which condones over-medication. Yet a star like Michael Jackson dies and the world goes mad. Seriously, mad!
As a society we should be mad that the upper echelons of the obscenely wealthy are treated with such reverence; yet manage to still get it wrong because in the end they are just people who screw up their lives……..in the spotlight. The death of Michael Jackson has focused attention on the inner workings of the filthy rich who can afford the so-called “concierge doctors.” They are the doctors who drop everything, no matter the time of day, no matter the day of the week, to run off catering to the alleged “health needs” of this elite group. (hhhhm, I know attorneys who work their buns off at all hours of the day and night and are struggling with the cost of health care; maybe they should form a union with the concierge docs)
The point is this has made me wonder why Americans are not damn angry over this. For example, if a wealthy person is paying a concierge doc $5,000 to $10,000 a month to be “on call” for Percoset and late-night nips and tucks in discreet locations, do they get a write off of $50,000 to $100,000 on their Schedule A, subject to that 7.5% limitation of their adjusted gross income? It makes you wonder. Oooh, oooh, and if they’re self-employed, is this concierge plan treated as health insurance so they can write off the entire amount without limitation on the deduction
as long as the premiums don’t exceed their net profits? Rest assured there are billionaires in the Hamptons and celebrities in Hollywood doing this very thing – paying concierge doctors to kill them, slowly, so they can write off the expenses. All this while Mom and Pop at the grocery store in the ‘hood are wondering how they can afford their high blood pressure meds; how working doctors are trying to paying sky-rocketing malpractice premiums; and even how lawyers are managing to stay in practice with medical insurance at $8,000 – $10,000 a year.
This season, the USA network has made light of the subject with a new show called “Royal Pains,” about a doctor who had a conscience fighting for a patient……lost his job……and now hangs on to the thread of what is left of his ethics as a concierge doc in the Hamptons. It’s a funny, yet sad show. The world has gone mad……or maybe not mad enough. Instead of spending a week’s worth of news headlines touring an empty mansion; standing watch in a hospital driveway; or taking pictures of people dancing in the street; maybe, just maybe, some real journalists should get out there and start screaming – ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’