Eugenics is most often associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi desire to create a “master race,” but it has a long and ongoing history here in America as well. The goal of Eugenics is to eliminate the feeble-minded, the inferior and the infirm from the gene pool, thereby cleansing humanity of its weakest links. While Nazi Eugenics took a much more direct and brutal approach, American Eugenics has been much more subtle and wrapped in “good intentions.”
Planned Parenthood is a prime example that has been in the news quite a lot here recently. Founded by Margaret Sanger, a renowned racist and eugenicist, the goal of Planned Parenthood, Then and Now, was/is to control the breeding of inferiors.
From her paper,
The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda
By Margaret Sanger
“As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit”, admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.”
How does this relate to health insurance in general or Obamacare? The central tenets of Obamacare are to get the poor uninsured on health insurance, increase access to birth control and cover those who are uninsured with “pre-existing conditions.” That’s a good thing right? If you are like me and have ever had to actually USE your health insurance for more than a physical, flu shot or annual mammograms then you know the maniacal torture device that health insurance really has become.
Unlike the relatively quick manner in which the Nazi gas chambers and ovens eliminated those they deemed “inferior,” American health insurance “cleanses” humanity by subjecting the “inferior” to a slow, painful, frustrating and nerve-wracking death. I have lived in the belly of the beast for the last 16 years, fighting insurance companies over the care of my disabled wife. If you have a car wreck, break your leg or come down with a CURABLE disease, but are otherwise healthy, productive and worth the effort, only then is insurance a great deal (for the insurance company). However, if you have a long-term or permanent disability, are financially limited or not quite “sharp” enough to navigate all the red tape and hoops to jump through, then it is a very different story.
Health insurance, much like the VA Hospital scandals of late, are geared to deny services whenever possible. They are needlessly complex, intentionally vague and often contradictory. I have personally filed bankruptcy TWICE due to burdensome medical bills WITH INSURANCE. Yet, health insurance is sold on the precept that it supposedly reduces your out-of-pocket expenses related to health care. For the record, health CARE and health INSURANCE are very different things and more often than not, insurance interferes with your health care.
Case In Point:
Female patient, late 40s, suffering from RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome). It is not a life threatening condition, but rather a chronic pain condition with pain levels that compare to full-blown labor pains during childbirth that are persistent 24/7/365. There is no cure, but there are a variety of pain management options ranging from oral medications to nerve blocks to implantable devices like infusion pumps or spinal stimulation.
She has been permanently disabled for 20 years and as her condition deteriorates, her treatments have progressed up the scale to the point that she has tried just about every treatment available. Along the way there has been a constant battle with insurance to approve the more drastic procedures, often denied repeatedly, but with near constant prodding, pushing and a mountain of paperwork the insurance companies have grudgingly been dragged kicking and screaming to approval.
Once a procedure or medical device is approved, then comes the billing issues. This patient had an infusion pump implanted 14 years ago, it pumps medication directly into the spinal column to treat the pain without high doses of narcotics or opiates taken orally. It has to be refilled regularly, an insurance covered and approved procedure, but when the physician tries to bill the insurance company for their portion of the cost, after the patient has already paid her premiums and co-pays, the insurance company denies the physicians claim and refuses to pay their share claiming “improper invoicing.” A very large part of the cost of health care is the physicians employment of Billing Specialists whose sole purpose in life is to submit insurance claims properly for payment.
In this particular case, the finger-pointing between the insurance company and physician has gone on for over a year and a half. The insurance company claims “improper invoicing” to den the claim and the physician claims they are invoicing properly as well as re-submitting multiple times in response to repeated requests for additional information. Meanwhile, the physician continues to serve the patient and refill the pump despite lack of payment for their services until the cost becomes so great that they can no longer provide the treatment for free without fear of losing their entire practice financially. For the record, this pump refill procedure is done roughly every 45 days at a cost of over $2000 a pop. However, the “negotiated” price that insurance pays is less than $400, if and when they pay it. At that “negotiated price” the physician’s profit margin is a mere 1-2% and is dependent upon the claims being paid in a timely manner without additional man-hours being invested responding to denials.
This patient now sits in excruciating pain, because her pump is empty and no amount of oral medications can touch her pain levels. The physician and insurance company are “working to resolve the invoicing discrepancies” which has been an ongoing process for a year and a half now. Despite the medical necessity of the pump medications, she is being denied. Despite the life threatening nature of coming off the medications she was previously on and despite the high suicide rates of chronic pain patients, she is being denied. Has her treatment exceeded some unwritten profit/loss equation? Eugenics! Imagine the elderly, infirm, uneducated or those who are heavily medicated or of diminished capacity due to treatment or illness trying to navigate such a gauntlet.
I know this case intimately, because this patient is my wife. She is the most amazing woman I have ever met, hardly inferior by any definition of the word even given her physical limitations. She is a loving and wonderful wife, a great mother in spite of her disability and a beautiful, intelligent and caring person. If not for my ability to speak and act on her behalf, tilting at the proverbial windmill that is the health insurance industry, I dare say that this wonderful woman would have been gone from this world long ago. Her blood would have been, and may yet be, on the hands of the health insurers that have made every effort to discourage, obstruct or deny her care while sitting atop the Fortune 500 List. Just a quick glance at the 2015 Fortune 500 will reveal four major health insurers in the top 100, one of those four being the antagonist in this current scenario.
Some might say that my experiences with health insurance and my wife are an isolated occurrence. To those I would say that I know of at least five other patients of my wife’s doctor who are going through the same issues, some having gone to the extent of retaining a lawyer to assist in their efforts to fight the health insurance company. When you can identify a handful of cases in a single doctor’s office through casual observation, it tends to indicate a widespread practice, especially when it encompasses multiple insurers and multiple medical providers.
It has been said many times and many ways that you can judge a society, a nation or a people by how they treat the least or weakest among them. Eugenics is the antithesis of that moral judgement. Couching the perverse goals of Eugenics in “good intentions” or shrouding the intent in red tape and legalese are as heinous as forced sterilization and rail cars full of people bound for ovens, if not more so with their added level of deception and prolonged cruelty.