When Business Meets Medicine and Politics: A Recipe for Disaster

When Business Meets Medicine and Politics: A Recipe for Disaster

30 Days to Die, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Digital Mixed Media

30 Days to Die, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Digital Mixed Media

 

In a world where everything seems to have a price tag, the intrusion of business into the realms of medicine and politics isn’t just like mixing oil and water; it’s more like mixing nitroglycerin with a bumpy road. It's a classic tale of what happens when profit meets public service, and spoiler alert: it’s not a heartwarming story.

Let’s start with medicine, a field traditionally dedicated to the Hippocratic Oath, which apparently now includes a hidden clause about maximizing shareholder value. Remember the time when life-saving drugs were sold at reasonable prices? Yeah, me neither. Thanks to the involvement of business, we’ve seen drug prices soar faster than a rocket, making it clear that the ‘care’ in healthcare is often secondary to cash.

Take, for instance, the infamous EpiPen pricing scandal. A device that’s crucial for people with life-threatening allergies was suddenly priced like a luxury good. Because nothing says ‘we care about your health’ like charging a small fortune for something that can mean the difference between life and death. And let’s not forget the opioid crisis, fueled in part by pharmaceutical companies more interested in their bottom line than the catastrophic impact of their products.

Now, shimmy over to the political arena, where business involvement often turns governance into a game of Monopoly. The idea of a government by the people, for the people, seems quaint when you have enough cash to buy a few politicians. Democracy? More like Dollar-cracy, where the currency of influence is, well, currency.

Examples abound of how this can go wrong. Lobbying efforts by big businesses have led to environmental regulations being relaxed faster than a CEO’s morals at a shareholders meeting. Or how about the times when corporate interests have dictated foreign policy decisions? Nothing quite says 'conflict of interest' like a defense contractor lobbying for war - it's like a cat lobbying for Meow Mix.

The intersection of business, medicine, and politics is like a bad traffic junction where accidents are waiting to happen. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance. It showcased a litany of blunders where profit motives clashed horribly with public health needs. From the scramble for PPE to the controversies over vaccine distribution, it was clear that when business takes the wheel, the public good often gets shoved into the backseat.

And let's not forget the times when businessmen turned politicians have tried their hands at governing with the finesse of a bull in a china shop. The results? A mix of cringe-worthy gaffes and policies that often seemed more focused on the stock market than the supermarket. It's as if some of these business moguls believed running a country was just like running a corporation, except with nukes.

In conclusion, while business acumen can be valuable, its role in medicine and politics should come with giant warning labels. Mixing profit motives with public service sectors leads to a cocktail that’s often toxic for the average Joe or Jane. When businesses dictate healthcare and political agendas, it’s usually a story of profits over people, dollars over decency.

In a perfect world, medicine would heal, politics would govern, and businesses would stick to, well, business. But in the meantime, we’ll keep watching this tragi-comedy unfold, popcorn in hand, hoping the next episode isn’t set in a dystopian future where your voting booth is sponsored by the highest bidder and your doctor’s prescription is influenced by stock prices.

Thanks for reading,
Mike

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