Testimony to the Dysfunctional US Healthcare System
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The US is the world's only developed country without some form of universal healthcare — a fundamental human right ignored.
In cahoots with both right wings of the US one-party state, healthcare in America is run by Big Pharma, insurance companies, and large hospital chains — focused on maximizing profits.
Healthcare in the US is increasingly unaffordable. It's why tens of millions of households in the country are uninsured, most others way underinsured.
The numbers are rising exponentially because of state-sponsored main street economic collapse — an agenda that's all about transferring maximum wealth from ordinary people to its super-rich, along with eliminating competition for dominant corporate giants.
On June 12, the Seattle Times headlined: "Coronavirus survival comes with a $1.1 million, 181-page price tag," explaining the following:
Seventy-year-old Michael Flor nearly died from COVID-19 infection.
Hospitalized on March 4, his treatment continued for 62 days.
He survived and was discharged on May 5, then received a 181-page bill that totaled an astonishing $1,122,000.04.
It included the following:
$9,736 per day for intensive care.
$409,000 for 42 days of sterilizing his room.
$82,000 for 29 days of ventilator use.
$100,000 for two days when his prognosis appeared terminal.
Few people anywhere could pay the bill Flor received, only the super-rich.
At age-70, he's covered by Medicare. The Seattle Times quoted him saying the following:
"It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I'd say that's money well-spent…But I also know I might be the only one saying that."
Billing paid by Medicare was far less than the amount Flor received through his book-length statement.
His charges likely included the cost of preparing it, perhaps a financial or accounting team needed for the task that likely took days.
If vitally needed Medicare for all was US policy — everyone covered, no one left out — ordinary Americans wouldn't have to choose between medical care when needed or paying for other essential services like rent, heat in winter, and other expenses.
The unacceptable American way is all about assuring its people can have whatever they want — based on the ability to pay.
Notably since the neoliberal 90s, social justice greatly eroded.
It's heading toward elimination altogether, privileged interests increasingly served exclusively at the expense of governance of, by, and for everyone equitably.
The way it should be doesn't exist in the "land of the free and home of the brave (sic)."
Mass unemployment, underemployment, institutionalized inequity and injustice, military Keynesianism and a permanent state of war, along with growing social injustice highlighted by a dysfunctional healthcare system made the US unsafe and unfit to live in.
The nation I grew up in long ago wasn't beautiful. Today it's an unparalleled threat to the lives and welfare of ordinary people everywhere.
If nations had bios or resumes, the above is how the US one would read.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"