December 4, 2012
Oui, les miserables des modernes democratique.
We knew it would come to this. The administration, set to administer plutocratic Big Capital’s austerity for others – not for themselves, who really need it. The GOP House, administering rascist, misogynist, homophobic, and of course, plutocratic – lunacy, wherever they can get away with it. And then there’s the Senate, administering oligarchic red tape and inertia. It’s their ancient tradition. Plan?
There’s a loose one.
As serious as a drone attack, first there will be the shepherding of healthcare trinkets for middle and lower America. The travesty of ACA is the sense of equitable moral closure that it purveys, but does not deliver, regarding the US healthcare crisis. People will still go uncovered. Illness will still go unchecked. Health care costs will still break the bank. And moral and ethical outrage will continue.
The reason? Still, far too much profiteering in US healthcare. Here’s a nice graphic that really shows the disparity, between us and much of the rest of the world, when it comes to healthcare costs and outcomes:
The profiteering spike at which the US rests on the graph is caused by a very simple problem, that most other countries have already solved. Figures vary, but in general, administrative costs (e.g. multi-million dollar medical CEOs are less numerous, for example), are far less in other countries, because medical profiteering is discouraged.
For example, medical insurance advertising, a huge cash cow – costs nothing in Japan, because its illegal. In the US, medical profiteering vis-a-vis advertising is rewarded, with high financial instrument share prices.
But there are many other built in differences internationally, that are ideological and structural.
In Sweden, physicians may average around $100,000/yr and they pay virtually nothing for malpractice insurance, and are educated by a publically-funded, ‘free’ educational system. In the US, physicians easily average >$200,000 per year, but medical education is outrageously expensive >$100,000, as is malpractice insurance. And the time it takes to become an American physician is radically lengthened because of our serial K-12, baccalaureate, and professional degree educational path. In Sweden, after the approximate ‘K-12′ sequence, a medical degree is a professional degree that takes about 5 years to complete, right out of the K-12 sequence. After the medical degree, comes internship training, specialist training, etc. So the Swedish sequence probably shaves about 4 years off the American process, for less money, and better healthcare outcomes for their citizens.
Variances as described above for Japan and Sweden, in contrast with the US are abundant for virtually every position in the healthcare chain (e.g. nursing, pharmacy, etc.).
And then there’s the drugs. In the US, we pay 20-60% more for pharmaceuticals, in general – as compared with the international community. And it’s for the obvious reason of pharmaceutical profiteering, through advertising, monopolization via patents, and lack of price regulation and competition. In short, because the political shills we elect, let drug corporations price gouge Americans every single day, when it comes to drug prices.