Ah wealth disparity. The bane (one of many) of today’s world. A few get super rich. While tens (hundreds?) of millions aren’t.
In the future, people are still going to get rich. Far beyond what’s possible today. The difference between the future and today is, everyone gets rich. “Rich” in the future includes having healthcare. Having everything else too. Without paying for any of it.
Sounds crazy, I know. The future often looks crazy at first.
Remember pre-internet, pre-airplane, pre-steam engine? The future that’s coming looks nothing like today, where people pay for everything. And, in that future where people aren’t paying for everything, everyone still gets rich.
But in that future, you can’t get rich if doing so costs people. Especially if it costs them their lives. Indeed, in the future, everyone’s life gets better. And no one pays for it. It’s just part of our planetary prosperity. It’s a planetary wealth that’s totally possible.
What is this future that sounds too good to be true, you ask? Is this some socialist New World Order scheme ? Is it a “libtard” undoing of “American Freedom”?
I’ll get to that.
But first, look at why we need a free-healthcare future.
The Weirdest Story Hardly Told
Here’s an example showing how some people are getting massively rich today. But that wealth costs everyone else. Including you and me. How much? Tens of millions, if not billions each year. It doesn’t have to happen this way. But it is this way today.
Our example comes from America’s healthcare system. It’s about “Orphan Drugs”.
Orphan Drugs are important. They cure or treat some of the weirdest diseases. Like Tourette’s Syndrome. Before the Orphan Drug Act, Pharma wasn’t willing to make a drug that treats Tourette’s. Even though they had a successful drug treatment.
There aren’t enough people with Tourette’s. Pharma couldn’t recover the cost of a Tourette’s drug. Nor could they profit.
Such drugs, no matter how life-saving or life improving, would be shelf-bound. Or not made at all were it not for the Orphan Drug Act.
Through a crazy circuitous path, government passed the Orphan Drug Act in 1983. Like many laws, this law made things worse than better. It told Pharma that, if you make these drugs, you can have monopolies on those markets for several years.
That meant, a company could charge whatever it wanted. With no price competition.
It was an entrepreneurs’ money machine. No surprise: entrepreneurs went crazy.
One company priced an approved rare disease treatment at $150,000 a year. Another company was making $400 million a year. And it made only one drug. One!
The company that made that one drug sold for over $400 million. It sold again, to a bigger company, for…hold your breath…$4.2 billion.
So far so good, right? After all, this is capitalism working. Drugs being made. People getting treatments and cures. Others getting rich.
What’s the problem, you ask?
Well, it’s not really capitalism “working”. Rather, it is capitalism working. But not working well. For one, capitalism didn’t make this possible. Government did through the Orphan Drug Act. Regulating capitalism is what did it. Not capitalism itself.
That’s the first thing. And, as I said earlier, when a law solves a problem, it creates more problems needing solving. Sometimes it solves nothing.
The Orphan Drug Act made some people rich. It also caused a big problem*.
A person central to the Orphan Drug Act puts it succinctly:
“Thirty to thirty-five years later, the Orphan Drug Act has been responsible for the most miraculous treatments in many diseases. But it’s also been a major economic problem, because some of the companies that make these drugs have put a price on them that make the drugs absolutely unaffordable.”
Those are the words of Abbey Meyers. She has a son with Tourette’s. Over decades of her life, she proved instrumental in the Orphan Drug Act becoming law.
In a strange twist, The Orphan Drug Act holds desperately ill people and America’s economy at ransom. Look at a list of the most-expensive drugs. Two things stand out. One, they’re expensive (some are tens of thousands of dollars a month). Two, they’re generally for rare conditions.
In every case, someone pays. Whether insurance companies or patients, these drugs contribute to unaffordable health care costs. For individuals and for America.
Pharma will argue, it’s tough getting drug research money. This is true. So Pharma says they need huge price tags. They help companies absorb the costs. That part is not true.
Well, it’s true today.
It’s not true at all in the future.
Even today, it’s possible to get this research and the drugs produced at no cost to anyone. That’s right. It can cost nothing.
That requires changing our economy. Capitalism doesn’t allow what’s possible. But that doesn’t mean Americans must settle for what capitalism doesn’t allow.
I know it’s possible to have cake and eat it too. People wanting to get rich, can get rich. And, they can do it while not costing anyone anything. It doesn’t even have to cost the person who wants to get rich. Yes, those people pay, in the form of returns to shareholders or repaying loans to banks.
While they’re getting rich, everyone else can too.
I know, it sounds “too good to be true”. But we’re in the future! Put away the pessimism and break out “everything is possible”-ism!
Let’s look at healthcare for a glimpse at the future.
How to make healthcare cost no one
This is possible. And by “cost no one” I mean that. No one has to pay for it. So the answer to conservative’s favorite question “who’s gonna pay for it?” is: no one is.
Check out this video I created explaining how this can happen. Pardon the watermark. It’s in draft. So you’re getting a sneak peek 😀
Algorithms aren’t new. They’re everywhere these days. As you can see, using an algorithm, anyone making a drug that cures or treats disease can get rich. Without that costing anyone. Including patients, the government or insurance companies. These institutions disappear, or are a figment of what they are today.
This algorithmic solution works for everything in healthcare. Band aids, surgeries, the works. It can work for any act a human takes. Anything we’re paying people to do. Anything costing people to do. It is a total economic solution.
Of course, this solution is more complex than an algorithm. But the algorithm is core to its function.
I used to believe everyone on the planet can be wealthy. Now I know it. And, along with that, everyone on the planet can be freed. not only from having to pay for what they want and need, they can be freed from their debt too.
It’s time to embrace the future! A future where everyone is rich.
It’s perfectly ok for a company, or a person to get rich. It’s not ok when that wealth costs other people. Especially when it “costs” people’s lives.
The Orphan Drug story is beautiful. It shows how America’s future will be devoid of such Rube Goldberg solutions. Instead cajoling companies to do things they don’t want to do because it costs too much, let’s end cost as a problem.
In the process, everyone gets rich. Not only companies.
That’s the future I want. Who would want anything different?
*If you like podcasts, this 30-minute podcast covers the Orphan Drug Act story. It’s really good.