Saturday, 15 July 2017

How Much Profit Can Be Made From Your Child's Illnes?


         Our political ballerinas who all worship at the alter of the God "The Market" are hell bent on taking every fibre of our society into the magic world of "The Market". That land of deregulated greed where profit is the only acceptable criteria. We are already well down the road to total immersion in the mysterious and whimsical world of "The Market", our health service is quivering on the brink of conversion to the faith of "The Market".
 Peter Radford explains it thus:
       “Markets, you see, are wonderlands that always and inevitably lead to efficient outcomes. And it is no good any starry eyed liberal tinkering with those outcomes. They are magically correct. By correct we mean that they cannot be improved upon. Economists have this vice like attachment to certain core beliefs. One of those is that, if left unfettered, markets will zero in on an allocation of stuff that can never be improved, especially by meddlesome governments.
       The way you get to this particular promised land is by letting the great forces of supply and demand batter away at individual preferences and budgets until all the trading and so on ends with no one able to make another trade without such a trade making someone else worse off. It sounds wonderful. Now to make this all work we have to believe in magic. We have to suspend our intelligence and imagine a world where everyone knows exactly what everyone else is doing, where no one cheats, where everyone is marvelously rational, where they don’t suddenly change their minds, where they can calculate at the speed of light, absorb vast amounts of data, and always — yes always — arrive at precisely that combination of stuff they wanted. Within the constraints of their budget of course.”
         This magical system is how the American health care works, and it is the desired aim of of our political ballerinas, to make our health service a replica of the American market controlled health care system. Only idiots who are blind to everything in the world except profit, would contemplate such a disaster being foisted on the people of any country.
 From Pete Dolack:
       You could not devise a worse health care system than that of the United States if you tried. By far the most expensive, with among the worst results.
       Perhaps saying “among” the worst results is being too kind. That is an accurate statement if we are simply measuring metrics such as mortality rates and other medical outcomes. But if we consider that tens of millions of United Statesians go without health insurance while none do in any advanced capitalist country (or most any other) — and that tens of thousands annually die because of that lack — then we must reasonably assess the U.S. health care system as the worst.
       This is the high cost of private profit in health care. How much? The United States spends more than $1.4 trillion per year than it would otherwise if it had a single-payer system. Such is what happens when a service is left in the hands of the private sector, and allowed to be bent toward profit rather than human need.
       To calculate that figure, I took the average per capita health care spending of the three largest EU countries — France, Germany and the United Kingdom — and the neighbor of the U.S., Canada, and compared that average to U.S. per capita spending. The composite average for Britain, Canada, France and Germany for the years 2011 to 2016 is $4,392 per capita per year, converted to U.S. dollars adjusted to create purchasing power parity as reported by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Per capital health care spending in the U.S. for 2011 to 2016 averaged $8,924 — more than twice as much! Taking that difference and multiplying by 317 million, the average U.S. population for the five-year period, and the total annual excess comes to $1.44 trillion.
      That excess has been steadily increasing. Doing these same calculations for earlier periods found that for the period of 2001 to 2010, the annual average of excess spending was $1.15 trillion. The annual average for the period of 1990 to 2000 was $685 billion.
       For 2016, the OECD reports that only nine of the 35 countries surveyed spent more than half of what the U.S. spent on health care, and the second highest spender, Switzerland, spent $2,000 less per capita than did the United States.
        Can this astounding amount of spending be accounted for by more health care? Nope. The average length of a hospital stay in U.S. in 2014 was 5.5 days, seventh shortest of 35 countries surveyed by the OECD. The average hospital stay in each of the four core comparison countries (Britain, Canada, France and Germany) was longer — a composite average of 7.6 days.
      Paying more for less
      So it really comes down to inferior results. The U.S. does well in combating cancer, but poorly in almost every other category of health care measurement. And people in the U.S. pay dearly for the privilege of health care, if they are lucky enough to have access to it. The cost of health insurance continues to rise, and the amount a patient must pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in (the “deductible” in U.S. lingo) is also steadily rising as employers push more of the cost of health insurance on to their employees.

From Pillip Longman, another comment on "The Martket" controlled American health care system.
       “Indeed, the inflating cost of health care is the overwhelming reason why most Americans haven’t received a raise in years, and why employers increasingly make use of contract workers rather than taking on new employees that would receive benefits. This year, the total annual cost of health care for a typical family of four covered by a typical employer-sponsored plan surpassed $25,000, according to the actuarial research firm Milliman. Such a family will typically pay more than $11,000 of this cost directly out of its own pockets, through payroll deductions, copayments, and deductibles. They will also pay much more indirectly in foregone wages and other forms of compensation, and quite possibly more yet in the form of unemployment, as employers seek to escape their share of the mounting cost of providing health care for their employees.”
         Is this the health service you wish for, is this in any way acceptable to you? If you think you can preserve our National Health Service by appealing to our political ballerinas, many who have shares in health care companies, or receive payments from health care companies, you are naive in the extreme. The political machine is in the pocket of the corporate juggernaut and it is driving at breakneck speed to total conversion to the faith of "The Market". Our only hope of every having health care and social services that are desired and required, is by the total demolition of this insane system of capitalism. Not tinkering with its inners in an attempt to make it a more humane and compassionate system, it is a greed driven profit oriented ruthless system, that cannot function other than it does.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

No comments:

Post a comment