When business is evil …

When the business you’re involved in is evil, you know it’s time to get out and start doing something else. Otherwise you will inevitably become evil as well. There are plenty of examples of that in the US health care system, which Sicko is highlighting right now.

Here’s just one of them …

Palmer still owes more than $7,000 for an eight-hour hospital visit that involved, by his estimate, only about 15 minutes of actual care.

That’s after getting more than $4K reduced for the “trauma activation charge,” which is a page to doctors and nurses that are presumably either already at the hospital or on call.

15 minutes of care? $7000?

His room was $2000. His CT scans were $3500. Sucks to be him, obviously … according to the administrator.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s in the situation he’s in,” Nazeeri-Simmons said. “But what is an individual hospital to do? Are we supposed to eat the costs?”

She know’s it’s wrong … but does she take any personal responsibility?

“It’s not us,” she said. “It’s the whole system, and the system is broken. We need to look closely at making changes and at how we can deliver care in a rational way.”

Rational health care? Here’s a couple of clues:

The United States spent an average of $6,102 per person on health care in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available), according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Canada spent $3,165 per person, France $3,159, Australia $3,120 and Britain a mere $2,508. At the same time, life expectancy in the United States was lower than in each of these other countries and infant mortality was higher.

I live in Canada, and the health care system is not always perfect. You usually have to wait … I guess sort of like Palmer.

But though I’ve had multiple broken bones, several car accidents, and various other incidents requiring stitches etc., I’ve never had to fear that an accident or an illness would wipe me out financially.

Spending an average of $6K/person and only actually covering about half of the people? That’s evil. I’m a pretty conservative guy, but there can be no better argument against the free enterprise system than American health care.

Theft, larceny, and even murder: that’s what it is.