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First, let's kill the sick people.

"Let's kill all the lawyers" is a line from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. The full quote is "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". It is among Shakespeare's most famous lines. It's been used as a snarky joke for centuries.

The point of the line is to infer that lawyers make the task of abusing the king's subjects difficult. A dictatorship or monarchy is hassled by lawyers who question the ruling elite.

Recent policy changes and tactics by healthcare companies leads me to question whether there is a "First, let's kill all the sick people" scheme in play.

The other day I went to my local doctor for my annual checkup. I've known them for years, so I had a moment to chat with both my doctor and his head nurse. They expressed to me their fear that the Trump administration's tinkering with healthcare was going to allow the drug companies and insurance industry to leave sick people without treatment -- so that these costly sick people could die.

I was struck by this concept.

The nurse said, "Did you know there's a shortage of affordable generic drugs?" I said no.

"Did you know the shortage is caused by the major drug companies who are paying the generic companies to keep their products off the market?" I, again, said no.

"Did you know that these companies are willingly letting the name brand drug companies buy up their stocks of cheap generics for sheer profit while our patients are going without medicine because they can't afford the name brand?"

I hadn't heard this. Sure enough I did some research and this was proven to be true!

Both my doctor and his head nurse were of the belief that insurance companies and drug companies were trying to weed out sick people by letting them die -- solely in the name of bigger profits.

The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress gutted Obamacare's mandate recently, and in doing so removed the incentive for healthy people to pay into the system. That means only sick people use insurance. This drives up costs. Insurance companies have begun to tinker with their policies in hopes of returning to the days when they could deny coverage. It's working.

Trump and the GOP have enacted policies that allow insurance companies to sell fraudulent insurance policies that are cheap and virtually cover nothing. Those policies were kept in check by Obamacare, but now that Obamacare is gutted the profit hungry insurers are able to sell bogus policies that are marketed as cheap alternatives to Obamacare policies. The only problem is when you get sick these policies don't pay. The result is massive profits.

The drug companies also want outrageous profits, so they neuter competition from generics by using a Mafia-style tactic of buying up the competition. They are keeping the low-cost drugs people can afford off the market. So, people on fixed incomes, the sick and elderly, simply go without their medicine. They get sick and die. Sadly, there is no law banning this practice.

So, it poses the question: Are the drug companies and insurance companies both hoping to deny enough people healthcare so that the sick die, thus lowering the risk of costly care?

This is why we must all pay attention to politics and public policy issues. We must be vigilant to prevent the companies who lust for profit from letting sick people die.

(Required by Alabama law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services is greater than other lawyers.)

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