America Is About to Get a Godawful Lesson in Why Health Care Should Never Be a For-Profit Business
It’s a system that maximizes profit. But it’s also a system that assumes that everything can be stripped to the bare bones; that business can make do with minimal staffing, minimal supplies, minimal alternatives. Nothing is there that makes the system in the least unprofitable. The system stands like a house of glass, waiting for something to challenge its fragility.
And in the United States, health care is just that kind of system.
Like every other system in America, we now have a super-lean, infinite-sigma healthcare system, absolutely dependent on every cog remaining in place. It’s one in which there are fewer than a million hospital beds for the entire nation; one in which many, many rural counties have no hospital at all. Because that’s the most profitable way of running the system, and that’s what happens when health care is subjected to the winnowing of the marketplace—just barely enough health care, at the highest possible prices people will tolerate without demanding a change.
It’s exactly where a nation does not want to be when encountering a health crisis. And it’s why America is, unfortunately, about to get a lesson in why there is much more to a national health system than whether you pay for it in taxes or with checks to an insurance company.
A market-based approach in this country is the failed altruism of corporate welfare capitalism which for decades has trumpeted the idea that the market could and WOULD take care of society’s poor.
That by definition is an impossibility given the formal constitutional definition for a “corporation.” That definition literally justifies – even encourages – a single-prioritized bottom-line profit-based approach to funding enterprises created to meet a community need. It’s an approach that has everything to do with some sort of corporate right (a la a human citizen/person’s right) to the pursuit of happiness – precisely because corporate pursuit of happiness is pursuit of profit, not public good.
It would be like giving a giant leech a constitutionally guaranteed right and protection to suck up the life blood of every citizen and community.
… unless of course one uses Kindergarten Konservatism and it’s discredited punchline of “trickle down” to define the overall public good as equated to what’s good for business.
Our objective should not be that the highest priority is what’s good for business in this regard. That’s the attitude immediately and transparently revealed as harmful and inadequate when ideologically, a thin-skinned and dishonest American president publically worries more about the Stock Market than actual human well-being; attempts to take credit when the news is good and blame someone else or a straw man when the news is negative.
What Mr. Trump suggests is that the public good is best served if profits are prioritized first; which possibly prepares the public for special charges and denials when profit loses out to public good.
It borders on oxymoron to even suggest that government should be run as a business first and foremost. Trumpco is only the latest publicity agent to demonstrate the failure of corporate capitalism to successfully care for its citizens or even to wage war (as if waging war were a constitutional obligation rather than national expediency) in the most economically wise and efficient manner.
The Medicare D Supplement in reality was a massive act of corporate capitalist foolishness birthed by greed and lobby payments – not honest public discourse on the highest public good.
Speaking “capitalistically” and “market-basedly” we do not – when our house catches fire – call the fire department and make arrangements to pay a deductible before they will come. Our taxes have already paid for that.
… or if we hear an intruder in the house, we do not call the police and negotiate a deductible or co-pay term before they come out to keep us safe. Our taxes pay for that.
… Why the hell do we do that to ourselves regarding our most precious personal asset – health?
“Because taxes could go up,” defenders of the market-based capitalist religion declare. To which even non-MBA’s like me who have spent hundreds of hours at the kitchen table working out budgets reply,
“So it’s all in the budget priorities. We must be spending too much somewhere else, eh? Like perhaps on a paranoid and insecure but profit-driven wide-eyed defense and weapons industry?”
Same answer for Congressional hypocrites who pretend that Medicare and Social Security costs are bleeding us dry at the same time we budget obscene amounts of money to support supposed “defense” needs that are already being paid for by more than the next 15 countries combined. Global bullies do that. We do not need to do that and don’t let any wide-eyed lobby-sponsored hack in either party tell you otherwise.
The assumptions are false and we are asleep. Market-based corporatists want us to stay that way.
It is all about bull shit …the selling of bull shit … the buying of bull shit … the lying about bull shit … and the harming of an entire society by overdosing on bull shit.
When a wild-eyed angry old white man my age starts repeating what he heard on Fox News and saying that he’s heard terrible horror stories about socialized medicine in Canada I’m ready to throw up or throw my hands in the air.
Think about it.
Great Britain apparently launched their version of socialized medicine right after WW II when they were not far removed from financial insolvency. They ain’t even come close to scrapping it.
Well hell, because maybe what they’ve got – what Canada, Norway, Sweden and how many others works fine enough that their national public good and well-being far outweighs whatever problems come up.
Yet here we are buying into corporate welfare lies, never being told that those problems certainly are not the nightmares our lobbied-and-prompted politicians, insurers and care providers constantly try to scare us with.
How do THEY pay for it? With taxes of course.
Why couldn’t WE pay for it with taxes?
We could, of course. We might have to give up or cut back to reasonable levels some other kind of spending – like defense. Of course we could and of course we should.
Those opposed to cutting back military spending are not driven by fear of a massively global military monolith with resources approaching a trillion dollars and planning an all-out attack and invasion of our homeland.
They are driven by a fear of loss of profits.
Get the terrorists yes … but with honest police work and funded actions appropriate to legitimate need as a wise economic response. But do we really need full-monte massive military assaults with nukes, 37 divisions plus the 4th, 5th , 6th, 7th, and 8th Fleets and the 98th, 99th and 100th Bomber Wings … hell no!!
But of course that’s another story to debate elsewhere whenever we get serious about sourcing and budgeting much more important issues, like being 37th in global health effectiveness.
Besides, that attack and invasion has already occurred.
It began years ago when we naively swallowed corporate bait-and-switch philosophy – without any critical thinking or understanding that lobbyists were serious (they always MEANT business) – hook, line and sinker.
We were attacked and invaded by corporate sharks who only got more openly savage about it after 2000 when Dirty Dingus McBush open the trapdoors and helped the corporate Trojan Horse drop a massive pile of stinking biscuits smack dab in every living room and homeless shelter in America.
Then we watched while morally-challenged politicians blocked and made nearly impossible any constructive legislation not sponsored by themselves – all the while telling us what a poor job the opposing party was doing.
Now we have the ultimate mental and moral midget out there dissing anyone with whom he disagrees or who hurts his feelings, as if his hurt feelings constituted a national security crisis.
So in terms of market-based medicine for America, our medicine-based marketing sharks would be the ones in ICU if we ever woke up if we ever narrowed our wide-eyed naïveté
and went shopping for a better system.
Whatever we thought we had to prove to the rest of the world, we haven’t. Trump was not the first to start digging the hole we are in. He is now only digging it deeper and he has a choir and congregation of spineless and ignorant believers who scream his praises and look the other way when he farts.
“We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging portion of our own vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit
— all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose
— and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:
that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury, had at last achieved the most tractable, malleable — let’s face it, spineless — people to walk the face of the earth.”
-Aptly described by Oliver Lange in Vandenberg – The Journals, 1971
Lange’s Cold War novel concerned a fictional lone American holdout against a Soviet occupation of America – hardly a liberal theme by today’s standards.
Yet the description still appears to fit this society to a Tee.
The current expanding medical crises as monitored and manipulated by partisan government fumblers is the proof in the pudding.