Say whatever you want about Martin Shkreli, but his achievements can’t be denied -- he has already gone down in history as the gold standard for capitalistic douchebaggery. The day science finally devises a shithead-o-meter, the unit used for most people will be the milliShkreli. But Shkreli isn’t a freak of nature, or a bug in the system. He didn’t fall to Earth in a meteorite made of bullcrap -- the rot that spawned the Shkrellimaggot was already here, in the form of a broken, profit-driven health care industry.

And to underline how wrecked the whole thing is, the non-profit Lown Institute has created the Shkreli Awards, which they describe as a "top ten list of the worst examples of profiteering and dysfunction in health care." Let’s start with a few dishonorable mentions first, and then move on to the winners...

Dishonorable mention in the SHKRELI AWARDS The Center for Disease Control for telling doctors to wear bandanas as surgical masks. In March 2020, the CDC guidelines stated that medical professionals might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. Doctors were alarmed

Dishonorable mention in the SHKRELI AWARDS Physicians Premier ER for charging one of their doctors $11,000 for a test. COVID-19 After a Texas ER doctor got a COVID test in the facility where he worked, his insurance got a bill for $10,984. No, it wasn't some ultra-high-tech scan for individual

Dishonorable mention in the SHKRELI AWARDS Lovelace Women's Hospital for assuming that all Native American mothers have COVID. The Albuquerque, NM hospital treated all pregnant Native American women as suspect COVID cases, regardless of anything else. As a result, mothers were separated from their newborns for days until the test

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Dishonorable mention in the SHKRELI AWARDS The Department of Health and Human Services for giving the most bailout money to the richest hospitals. In the first round of bailout for health care providers, relief was allocated on the basis of billings to Medicare, not COVID cases.

9th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS 9th Jim Bakker and place Mike Lindell for peddling harmful cures. Televangelist Bakker pushed colloidal silver as a COVID medicine, while the MyPillow guy favored plant product oleandrin. Both concoctions are equally effective (that is, not at all), not to mention highly toxic. CRACKED COM

8th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS Dr. Steven Murphy for being overly 8th cautious (in a very place profitable way). Insisting that testing only for coronavirus wasn't enough, the Connecticut internist would test for over 20 pathogens every time. Then he would bill insurers for all the tests, and throw

7th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS 7th place American hospitals for firing sensible doctors. During the first COVID wave, clinicians at several hospitals across the U.S. were fired for sticking to their masks, or speaking out on safety issues. Hospitals defended their actions by saying the doctors were scaring patients.

6th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS 6th place Dr. Elizabeth Nabel for forgetting to mention that she stood to become filthy rich. Dr. Nabel, CEO of Brigham and Women's Hospital, penned an op-ed explaining that high drug prices were needed to foster medical innovation. All through the piece, she didn't

5th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS Pharma companies for poo-pooing 5th a collaborative place approach to treating COVID. Astrazeneca, GlaxoSmithkline, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson all roundly condemned the World Health Organization's C-TAP scheme, aimed at freely sharing information to develop treatments and vaccines. Sure, it might save countless lives,

4th place in the SHKRELI AWARDS Nursing homes for being veritable death traps. 4th place Nursing homes are responsible for the well-being of vulnerable people - but when COVID struck, they sucked at it big time. As of November 2020, over 100,000 residents and staff had died as a result of

3rd place in the SHKRELI AWARDS 3rd place California hospitals for saving their beds for paying customers. The Wall Street Journal found that several major California hospitals turned down COVID patients for financial reasons, such as being uninsured, or on Medicaid. The lack of resources wasn't a factor, as some

2nd place in the SHKRELI AWARDS Moderna for double dipping into the public's 2nd pockets. place moderna COVID-19 VACCINE Moderna's development of a COVID vaccine was bankrolled by the U.S. government, to the tune of $1 billion - and yet, they set a higher price per dose than any other vaccine.

1st place in the SHKRELI AWARDS Jared Kushner's task force for turning lst a life- saving initiative place into a bidding war. FEMA'S Project Airbridge, led by Kushner, was intended to quickly bring personal protective equipment to the U.S. during the pandemic. Except that the supplies didn't go where they
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