The Injustice of American Healthcare

Objects Are More Important Than People

“Of all the form of inequity, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane,” Martin Luther King said 50 years ago.

Healthcare is not a privilege. It is a right. Speak up. Don’t be a bystander.

Despite spending the most per-capita on healthcare, the USA shows the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rates.

In 1966 MLK said, "Of all the forms of inequity, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane."

We have the worst healthcare system in the first world because our country thinks an object (money) is more important than a person. Ask yourself if this is your personal value. I doubt anyone of us feels that money is more important than a person. It’s cruel and uncaring. So why is this a national value?

Our American social-programming tells us that winning at the cost of others (losers) is “life.” I call bullshit.

In fact, we all know winning at the cost of others is bullshit. Having more more money than others isn’t winning–waking up everyday and having the tools to shape our life in an honorable, ethical, and compassionate way, now that’s a win. Nobody loses in this way of living, AND we all still maintain our power to choose.

But, the choice isn’t superficial, like Coke or Pepsi; our choices become meaningful,  impacting your mood and the well-being of others. Now that’s altruism; that’s being a good neighbor.

Competition Now an Illusion

100, 200, or 1000 years ago, humans competed fiercely. Back then, most people lived to the age of 35 or 40. Up to fifty percent of children didn’t make it to adulthood. Resources (food, money, education) were limited and seasonal.

However today, with a global food production surplus, low infant mortality rates (i.e. healthcare), and any pleasure we desire available to us (coffee, Spotify, massage, all-wheel drive), competition for resources becomes an illusion. Competition, an illusion, is packaged as an essential. We call this “free-market capitalism.”

Free-market capitalism’s sole purpose is to control resources. It does this by creating illusionary needs (I have no time), then selling a consumable product to fill that need (Krueger single-serve pods).

We call it a consumable because after we finish it, we throw it away, our life accessories disposable, destined for the dump.

There are many forms of capitalism, many systems of economics. Don’t let some politician or newscaster tell you otherwise. They are politicians and news casters, not economists. Politicians and newscasters feed us a distorted, politicized version of Econ 101 (freshman Econ). It takes people years to earn a PhD in this deeply nuanced social science. Here we see one way anti-intellectualism destroys our cultural unity, but that is another essay.

Healthcare Bystander

We have reached a point in human civilization where we no longer need to horde resources at the expense of others, competition now an illusion. There is plenty of food, money, and healthcare for everyone. We have a cure and a pill for just about everything. Heath is not a consumable, something we throw away, and it should not be sold as such.

One’s health has an intangible value, meaning we cannot assess it as a commodity like lumber or toothpaste, its true price immeasurable. Such things, like health, happiness, and freedom, live beyond the petty scope of capitalism, beyond baser things like money and competition. Health should never have a “price” attached.

So, why do some of us not have access? Why do drug and insurance companies keep raking in record profits?  Why should others sacrifice saving accounts or go bankrupt for something as essential and fixable as our health? If people are healthy in mind and body, they are healthy in spirit. If our society increased its overall health, we would see a MASSIVE boost to our GDP.

So I ask again, if your personal values say that people are more important than things, why do you allow our American system to value the opposite, to value things over people?

We all have the power to make the change. Speak up. Don’t be a bystander while your American neighbors are denied healthcare.