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Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

June 27th, 2013 5:45 PM

It's Murder By Greed in the US Health Care System

US Health Care Deaths 123 each day

If you know someone is in danger of death or grave bodily harm, you have the means to save the person, and you purposely do not do what you can do to save that life, is that murder? It sure seems like it to me.

Every day in America, 123 people die of causes for which the US health care system has a way to save the lives. And there are human beings making these life-ending decisions every day. Those killers are provider CEOs and boards, insurance company BEOs and shareholders, and even elected officials who have the power to change the profit-driven system and do not do so.

Some would argue, well at worst it might be manslaughter, but I don't think so. Here's the definition of manslaughter, "The crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or otherwise in circumstances not amounting to murder." Well, that doesn't fit here because these killings in the US health care system happen over and over again with significant aforethought and even some malice aimed at those unfortunates who don't have enough money or the public or private insurance coverage to pay for their life-saving care.

The definition of murder is, “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice."

When someone sees the impending deaths of thousands of Americans, is it mass murder? Some will think I am being too harsh and understanding the realities of American business. Some will think it is a different thing to let someone die due to another person's greed than to kill them outright by some more traditionally identified and violent means. But please trust me when I tell you it is plenty violent to die of cancer or some other illness while the treatment stands at the ready with only money standing between life and death.

It's murder to be broke or un-or-under-insured in America. It should be punished as a crime, in my view. But instead, we would punish with lawsuits, garnishments, bankruptcy and worse someone who failed to pay a medical bill but let a person who profited off the death of another slide. That's one sick society.

If we want to get well, we could actually create an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life system and save 45,000 lives every year and keep more than 700,000 people from going bankrupt. Then we could decide whether to pardon the real criminals who keep the current system running and even came up with more ways to profit off the suffering of others. I’d be inclined to let a few serve as examples and rot in prison taking full responsibility for bartering human life for money.

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