We all encounter death and many of us interface with hospitals, hospices or others who handle end of life matters. Here we are in the throes of loosing someone we love and faced with a system that makes one question whether it is more profit than people friendly. My sister is now on hospice. It is not the first time I deal with such an organization, or would it be more accurate to say business. There was the hospice which was there when my father died and the dealings I have had with the hospice of friends’ parents. Each time I’ve been so aware of confronting a well oiled machinery. They come very quickly and set things in place very fast. And if one has ever seen the bills Medicare pays for these services, one is astounded, for they easily are several thousands dollars a month. Some of the services are needed, some less so. A cardiologist was ordered for my father when none was called for, a dietician was called in for my sister when to me his services were not necessary. And along with the grief of losing someone and the heartache of making sure they have everything they need that their passing will be as painless and fearless as possible, there is the realization that hospice services are now an industry, money making businesses throughout the country. I may be sad because of my impending loss, but I’m still aware of greater issues, that there are those still concerned about the role of government in healthcare. I, for one, am concerned about private concerns placing profits first and driving up costs for everyone. And to think that what I am witnessing is a very small piece of a large pie scares me.