Posted on January 29, 2020 by Diana Roberts
“I’ve had MS for ten years. And my kind is like progressive. So I just get worse. I really can’t do anything. I don’t leave my house. You know, it’s hard for me to get out. There are steps in the back. My kids, they’re young and they really help me. But it’s hard for them. Noelle, she turned two when they said I had MS.”
Alicia Facchino’s Story
Alicia is uninsured. She is confined to a wheelchair and can’t afford home care. This is a common situation in America, so often met with a turned head by the public. But it is real and getting worse every year. 44 million Americans are uninsured, and eight out of ten of these are workers or their dependents. While we attack our most vulnerable with administrative mandates or legislative red-tape (Last week the administration kicked 700,000 people off their food stamps just weeks before Christmas), the problem for the 44 million grows.
Across the pond, British voters who are voting today are terrified of U.S. companies coming in to privatize their National Health Service in order to rape and reap Trump type profits as in America. If the Trump-like Brit conservatives win (and they will because of Brexit), they will privatize the British health system. Most Brits love their National Health System and see it as more democratic than the for-profit American system. They look to America and its health mess with horror. Let’s look at how they view us.
Many see the biggest threat of decimating the British National Health System is the way it limits peoples’ freedom to challenge powerful interests. The potential privatization of British healthcare is not only a grab for money and profit, but it is also a grab for power.
A deep pathology of the American for-profit healthcare model is it gives bosses a tremendous advantage since millions of people get medical coverage through their employers. It limits people’s life options, binding them to jobs they literally can’t leave or live without. They are owned by their employer by way of the need for health care.
Do you dislike your degrading boss or mandatory overtime? Do you dream of taking time off to pursue your passion for art or activism? What if you want to quit in order to start a new business? Too bad, because if you stand up for yourself or quit to follow your dreams you will be uninsured, and if there is an emergency you will end up ill and destitute. Want to divorce your partner? Best you reconsider, because you only have coverage through their job, and that coverage might mean the difference between life and death if you have a chronic condition.
Brits see this dependence as incredibly disempowering. The American for-profit health care system raked in over $100bn in profits last year. That’s the profit that cost the American people and prohibited many from accessing health care when needed, as Brits see it. Costs that diluted access to health care. Costs that made some people very rich.
They see it as plutocrats aren’t only after wealth; they also want control. For-profit medical coverage is a form of domination. It puts regular people in a precarious position, and the result has devastating implications for any country that calls itself a democracy.
In America, what do those 44 million uninsured do? They wait on health issues until they have to go to the ER, then they can’t pay the bill. The hospital takes it on the chin, and the patient’s credit is ruined as the infamous downward spiral begins. Today, 44 million. Tomorrow, how many more?
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