Monday, January 14, 2019

The U.S. For-Profit Healthcare System is Collapsing

I'm pretty sure. I googled 'American healthcare system collapsing" and there are several articles from last year expressing the same thing so I don't think I'm out of line here. The reason I'm talking about this now is because this shit is trending on Twitter right now:

One second.


All joking aside, this is a serious problem that is already killing people are is poised to kill a whole lot more. Our healthcare system has been in serious trouble for many years now. Spiking drug prices, reduced quality of care, rushing people out of the hospital and doctors' offices, continuing lack of affordable health insurance resulting in a fucked up situation where a single aspirin given to you at a hospital costs you $30 because hospitals have to make up for massive losses created by resources spent on people who can't pay, it's all combining into a complete clusterfuck that is unsustainable. A lot of those "the U.S. healthcare system is collapsing" articles came out around the same time as this news:

The US was once a leader for healthcare and education — now it ranks 27th in the world

So there goes the last coherent argument that capitalists can use to defend our healthcare system. It's now ranked worse than pretty much every other Western nation, and all of those countries have a universal healthcare system. Including Canada.

The ACA could have prevented this collapse if it hadn't been hobbled from the beginning by Republicans and their corporate masters and then sabotaged as much as possible since then. Instead it may have only been a stall. Of course, said Republicans will probably blame all of this on the ACA, ignoring the fact that nearly every other nation on Earth uses a universal healthcare system.

But the point is that we are facing a serious crisis in healthcare. This combined with the spiking cost of secondary education is resulting in a fucking doctor shortage.

U.S. health care's biggest problem: a doctor shortage

As the Salon article points out, most new doctors right now are either going into specialties, which are more lucrative than staying in primary care, or looking to serve affluent, largely white communities. This is definitely partially greed but also, new doctors face a serious problem when they have $200,000+ in student loan debt and primary care doctors don't get paid as much as they used to, plus they have to pay for things like malpractice insurance.

Unless they come from a wealthy family, doctors may not be able to afford to stay in general medicine. Yet primary care doctors are the ones we all see. They're the people who need to figure out what's wrong with us and then refer us to specialists. You can't just jump to seeing a specialist because our shitty insurance won't cover that. We're already seeing the result of this doctor shortage as wait times just to see a primary care physician increase. It's becoming more difficult to get to a doctor when you need it, like when you have the flu and maybe need a doctor's note to miss work and not get fired.

And despite the rapid enshittening of our healthcare system, the U.S. is still a big asshole about doctors from other countries trying to practice here. These doctors are often required to go back to school here for some amount of time, which of course costs them money. Put all of this together and it's like we want a doctor shortage.

I'd love to see increased interest in a single payer healthcare system here as a sign of a shift to the left, but at this point it's simply necessary to avoid a horrific crisis. We need socialized medicine yesterday. This is not a radical leftist position. This is just basic reality. Please make more articles about this. Hell, steal and re-publish this post under your name if it helps. I'll be annoyed but it's better than thousands or millions of people dying unnecessarily because we slept on this shit.

No comments: