Stephen Lendman

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The Deplorable State of Healthcare in America

The Deplorable State of Healthcare in America

by Stephen Lendman

Healthcare in America is the world's best - based on the ability to pay.

A fundamental human right is commodified, rationed to enrich insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains instead of providing vitally needed universal coverage.

Dr. John Geyman is University of Washington School of Medicine Professor Emeritus of family medicine. He's a former Physicians for a National Health Program president, an author and frequent writer on health issues.

His newest book, published in March, is titled "Crisis in US Health Care: Corporate Power vs. the Common Good."

His latest article discusses alternative US healthcare plans - Obamacare in current or revised form, Trumpcare in whatever final form emerges, and universal single-payer coverage for all, a simple choice which best serves the general welfare.

US healthcare is in "crisis mode," Geyman stresses, explaining the following:

Soaring marketplace medicine costs make care unaffordable for growing millions.

Coverage for a family of four on a typical "employer-sponsored PPO plan (costs) almost $27,000" annually - more than half of median yearly household income, "a major disconnect in any family budget," Geyman stresses.

"Almost two million Americans go through bankruptcy every year because of medical bills and illness, despite most having had insurance, owning their own homes, having attended college, and having held responsible jobs."

Years after Obamacare's enactment, insurers consolidated networks, restricting access to care.

Currently around 28 million Americans have no coverage. Numbers grow as costs increase annually.

"Many physicians refuse to see uninsured patients, even those with Medicaid coverage, and waiting times can be lengthy if they are to be seen," Geyman explained.

Widespread disparities in care exist, based on race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and other factors. 

Millions face an unacceptable choice between paying rent or making mortgage payments, buying food and other essentials, or seeking treatment for illnesses, diseases or injuries when occur.

Among the 11 most developed countries, America ranks last in healthcare equity for its citizens and residents.

Trump's budget calls for cutting Medicaid by $839 billion over the next decade. It proposes slashing all safety net/social justice programs by $3.6 trillion over the next 10 years.

He wants savings diverted to militarism, imperial wars, and enormous tax cuts for corporate America and high-net-worth households like his own - a bonanza for them, disaster for the nation's most vulnerable.

Single-payer, universal coverage alone works equitably for everyone. Trumpcare if enacted into law will leave over 50 million uninsured by 2026 - 28 million under Obamacare plus an another 23 million under the GOP plan.

Most other Americans will be way underinsured, an untenable situation worsening as costs continue rising, incomes failing to keep up.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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