Monday, November 4, 2013

Social costs of too-expensive anti-bacterials

When the cost of live-saving anti-bacterial medicines (or anti-viral vaccines) are too expensive for a poor person and their family to buy, they die.

The family's grief goes far beyond mere "social cost".

But let us consider how "social cost" of too-expensive medicine against contagious diseases can translate into grief for another family.

Say the family of a Tea Party Republican whose mean-spirited ideology of demanding that "the user pay all" ensured that this life saver remained too costly for the weak and the small.

When people with virulent strains of bacterial or viral diseases aren't promptly and thoroughly treated, they and their families remain reserve pools of that virulent strain that ensures it remains endemic or epidemic.

That means it can be transmitted at some point to the granddaughter of the selfish Tea Party zealot.

If she isn't treated right and treated right promptly (because that disease has been rarely seen by younger doctors in America while remaining endemic in parts of Asia and Africa) , she could die.

When society no longer wants to pay for lighthouses and the crews of container ships die on the rocks, society still have to pay for their loss and the loss of the ship itself and its containers.

Beyond the grief of the dead crews' families, the lack of a social willingness to make a one time payment for a simple automated lighthouse adds up to the permanent higher cost of subsequently imported goods for all.

And permanently higher insurance premiums for all.

Martin "Henry" Dawson's wartime call of "penicillin for ALL humanity" might have seemed fiscally extravagant to Allied conservatives at the time, but it actually wasn't.

The fact that the self-fixated Tea Party is here alive and mouthy and not rotting in a grave from Rheumatic Fever is proof of that.

It would be totally, totally un-Christian of me to add "unfortunately" ...

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