The debate about health-care reform should include a discussion of what capitalism is and what it is not.
It seems that health-care insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies pay their executives large bonuses and have extravagant parties because they can -- and not because they should.
They have forgotten that they are primarily in the business to serve people. In that regard, they are more akin to educators who work in public education than to tycoons who work on Wall Street. Giving a bonus to any of the aforementioned executives should sound as bizarre as granting a bonus to a high school principal because the school's chess team had a successful season.
Advertisements for pharmaceuticals that can be purchased only by prescription appear almost every evening on television. Drugs should be suggested by doctors and not by Madison Avenue executives. The ads cannot be defended; they have seemingly lowered the industry to the level of a snake oil salesman whose sole interest is to make money. The ads should go the way of the ads for tobacco products.
That an industry must make a profit and the employees must be paid well is a given. But the health-care industry needs to answer the following: "When is enough, enough?"
STEPHEN J. VEROTSKY