Anything less than universal healthcare for all its citizens and residents is unacceptable in the world’s richest country.
America is the only developed nation without some form of universal coverage. Healthcare is the most fundamental of all rights, along with food, shelter and clothing.
Countries offering universal coverage date from Norway in 1912. Even imperial Japan and Nazi Germany mandated employer or individually purchased health insurance, supplemented by national coverage.
After its 1959 revolution, liberating the country from US-supported fascist tyranny, Cuba provided constitutionally mandated, state-of-the-art healthcare for all its people.
Good will, education, and healthcare are the country’s leading exports—not militarism, weapons, war making, and state terrorism—the way Washington and its imperial partners operate.
The cost of healthcare in America is double the annual per capita amount in other developed countries because corporate profits matter more than social justice—insurer middlemen costing US households half a trillion dollars annually.
Insurers extract their pound of flesh from doctors and patients for overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing practices, excessive executive pay, and huge profits.
Yet, no one visits their corporate or branch offices for treatment when ill or injured.
Polls show most Americans favor universal healthcare. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed 70% of respondents support Medicare for all—85% of undemocratic Dems, a surprising 52% of Republicans.
By eliminating unneeded insurer middlemen, hundreds of billions of dollars can be saved annually. The world’s most expensive healthcare system by far delivers worse outcomes than other developed nations where costs are around half as much.
Doctors are frustrated with a system costing them dearly, along with diverting valued time needed to treat patients.
An earlier 2018 New England Journal of Medicine poll showed a majority of US physicians favor universal single-payer healthcare coverage.
A University of California/Riverside School of Medicine study found doctors are increasingly unhappy about America’s bureaucratic system—fostering burnout for lack of accomplishments, cynicism, and loss of enthusiasm from work.
According to researcher Kenneth Ballou, “the doctor-patient relationship has been morphed into an insurance company-client relationship that imposes limitations upon the treatment doctors can provide to the insurance company’s members.”
Preferred medical treatment can be rejected by insurers with the power to refuse coverage, giving them final say over what’s administered, notably when dealing with costly diseases and illnesses.
Doctors and patients prioritize proper healthcare and positive outcomes. Insurers want maximum profits—achieved by rigorous cost control.
Polls show only 1% of patients trust insurers over judgments of their doctors. Yet corporate bureaucracy has final say, hindering the ability of doctors to practice medicine the way it’s supposed to be—doing no harm by delivering proper care to patients, especially ones in greatest need, going all-out to help them regain full health.
Marketplace medicine treats patients as consumers, Big Pharma, insurers and large hospital chains charging what the market will bear.
Insurer power overrides traditional doctor/patient relationships. The mandated Electronic Health Records (EHRs) system is a key reason for physicians’ burnout, too much time spent on EHRs and related work at the expense of clinical time with patients.
A standardized system under universal single-payer coverage would eliminate today’s nightmarish procedures, unrelated to what healthcare is supposed to be all about—restoring patients to full productive health, not helping insurers, drug companies, and large hospital chains achieve maximum profits.
Healthcare is a fundamental human right, not a commodity to be sold like toothpaste. Unlike other developed countries, America treats it this way.
Millions of Americans are uninsured, most others way underinsured—why universal single-payer coverage is an idea whose time has come, focusing solely on healing the sick and injured, benefitting doctors and patients alike.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.