I Don't Know Why This Bothers Me...
By Four Walls
May 26, 2016 7:09am CST
....But it does.. A lot. I fell asleep with the TV on last night (yeah, the "social hour" of the conference was just that good ). I woke this morning to an infomercial, which isn't all that shocking. Many TV stations show infomercials overnight. This one, however, I found quite troubling. It was a 30-minute infomercial for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. There are a lot of people out there who believe that scientists found the cure to cancer a long time ago; however, due to the billions of dollars raised in the name of "cancer research" they're keeping it more closely guarded than Colonel Sander's 11 secret herbs and spices. By and large, I'm not a conspiracy theorist; however, given that Jonas Salk, the man who eradicated polio from the planet, didn't die a multi-gazillionaire, there's something to be said about that notion. To me, this just adds more fuel to the fire. Okay, you've been diagnosed with cancer (God forbid that happen in real life!). What are you going to do? Oh, I know! Watch an infomercial, then tell your doctor! Seriously? The rich and famous can afford to travel from New York to Atlanta (the Cancer Treatment Centers have five locations across the U.S., none closer than Philadelphia to "the Big Apple"). The rest of the world is going to go to the cancer center in or near where they live. Of course, the kicker is that are admittedly a FOR PROFIT organization. That means that the $10,000 treatment at the J. Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville (non-profit) will cost you about $100,000 there. Hey, someone has to pay for those infomercials! It's also a thought that they won't write off the gulf between what insurance pays and what they charge. (To illustrate: my mom's ICU bill was about $110,000 for the last days of her life, most of which was "written off" or "adjusted" after Medicare and her supplemental insurance paid the hospital. That's a problem in US healthcare to me: if a doctor will accept $40 from the insurance company and a $20 copay, then he/she should be charging $60 and not $150! But, that's for another discussion.) Yes, it troubles me considerably that some people got together and said, "Hey, I know how to make LOTS of money. Let's start a cancer treatment facility!" These places have a lot of controversy surrounding them (homeopathy [sheesh, you can do that for free at home!], for instance, and their trumped-up claims of a high survival rate [I knew a doctor who went there...and she didn't survive two months after she returned]), but none of these issues seem to be raised from a red flag that should set off warning bells when a place exists primarily to make money off the most dreaded disease plaguing us -- cancer. On second thought, I do know why it bothers me: to me, it's just wrong. For my song, here's Steve Goodman singing about the plight of falling asleep when the infomercials are on (no, this didn't happen to me!):
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