Friday, 10 January 2020

Profit From Illness.

        We keep hearing our prancing political ballerinas spouting about how the National Health Service is safe in their hands, and that there are no plans to privatise the NHS. What utter bullshit, the NHS has been getting privatised slice by slice for years and it is still continuing.
From Kings Fund:
         The Department of Health and Social Care’s accounts also show that NHS providers spent £1.3 billion2 on services from non-NHS organisations in 2018/19. Data from NHS Improvement shows that NHS providers spent £271 million on outsourcing services to other providers, including the private sector, in 2018/19 – up from £221 million in 2017/18. This includes outsourcing elective hospital treatment in order to deliver waiting times targets.
         If spending on primary care services – including GPs, pharmacy, optical and dental services – is included, some have estimated that approximately 25 per cent of NHS spending goes on the private sector.
        Anybody that holds any illusions that this creeping privatising of the NHS will some how be reversed under a capitalist system is naive in the extreme. With the engineered problems in the NHS it is likely to become a galloping privatisation, with governments seeing private capital as the white knight that will rescue our struggling NHS, but also making lots of money from people's health problems, for the financial Mafia. A system of profit governing your treatment, not your needs.
       Then there is this talk of opening up the NHS to the American market, which of course will lead to an American style Health Service. The following is just one example of how the American Health Service works.
 'I live on the street now': how Americans fall into medical bankruptcy 

        It’s been over a dozen years since Susanne LeClair of West Palm Beach, Florida was first diagnosed with cancer and she’s been fighting ever since. Now she, like many other Americans facing life-threatening illness, is bankrupt despite having health insurance.
       Before her first cancer-related surgery, LeClair was told by the hospital they accepted her employer-based health insurance.
      “I paid my $300 copay. After the surgery, I started receiving all these invoices and came to find out the only thing covered was my bed because the hospital was out of network,” said LeClair. “My bills were hundreds of thousands of dollars, so I had no choice but to file bankruptcy.”
        LeClair is on the verge of having to file for bankruptcy a second time due to the mounting medical debt she has accrued for additional cancer-related surgeries, regular appointments, medications and supplies related to her recovery, despite having health insurance and paying as much as she can out of pocket for copays, deductibles and premiums to maintain insurance.
       “My medical bills are at $52,000. I’ve done everything from credit cards to consolidation loans, I just keep simply paying one credit card with another interest-free one until I can pay the next one,” LeClair added. “It’s the side of cancer most people don’t understand or know about and it’s never-ending. It just keeps adding up and adding up and before you know it you’re back in debt that you can’t believe again.”
       Bankruptcy can also make it difficult to find employment given that many employers will disqualify a candidate with a bankruptcy filing found from a background check.
        According to a study published in February 2019, about 530,000 bankruptcies filed annually are because of debt accrued due to a medical illness. The study found that even the Obama administration’s landmark Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) has failed to change the proportion of bankruptcies caused by medical debts, with poor health insurance cited as one of the main culprits.
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