Part 4 of The Battle for Justice: 'Sickcare' vs. 'Health-Owners' Series.
The 6-part blog series reflects on one patient’s experience and unravels the complex and mind-boggling factors surrounding American patients. I aim to shed light on the extent of US healthcare troubles, explore the reasons behind the current state, and, ultimately, challenge you to rethink healthcare and consider doing things differently.
The Profit-Driven Agenda
(Continuing from Part 3)
Why on earth are there so many forces against patients?
Why can’t most providers spend enough time with their patients, and why are they dissatisfied with their jobs?
The simple answer is MONEY. US healthcare is highly capitalistic, and its primary goal is to maximize its profits. Sadly, taking care of patients is not the top priority (despite what they may say!).
This profit-maximizing approach thrives when patients are left confused, become sicker, and require more expensive treatments. The industry also favors poorly coordinated services from providers, charging high fees without necessarily improving overall patient health – a cycle that perpetuates financial gains.
At this point, I honestly believe US healthcare should be called the “$ickcare System,” or “$ickcare Industrial Complex.” Their focus is often to deliver health-related services at a cost the market can bear rather than actively contributing to people's well-being.
Patients as Cash Cows
Here's something important to keep in mind: if patients aren't actively involved in their care, the system decides what treatment they get, whether it's the right choice for them or not!
For instance, a lot of really sick or old patients agree to risky treatments like chemotherapy or surgery without questioning it, end up with a poor quality of life, and sadly, pass away shortly afterward. 😭 Every day!
Now, I hope you see that the US Sickcare system has no incentive to help people take the right action early and stay healthy (except for some preventative measures that are required by law, which they tend to overdo). This is the unfortunate reality of US ‘healthcare.’
When patients let the system decide everything for them, they become easy cash cows – essentially, they're just getting milked!
The Global Picture: Spending vs. Lifespan
Here is proof from a global perspective.
No surprises here – the US spends more than double the average of other developed countries, yet Americans live over six years less. Our life expectancy hit its peak in 2014 and has been going down, while other countries are getting better. Yep, US $ickcare is taking its toll on us all.
Warren Buffett has famously said, “The US healthcare system is a ‘tapeworm’ destroying our economy.” Concerned about the situation, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, joined forces with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase in 2018 and attempted to improve the quality and lower the healthcare costs for their employees but quickly gave up in 2021.
The $ickcare industry is just too powerful, with loads of money and lobbyists. It seems like not even the government or smart business folks like Buffett can do much about this tricky, complicated Sickcare system.
As the baby boomer generation gets older and needs more healthcare, they likely end up being treated like cash cows. And it’s not just older folks who need more care – even more than 50% of young people (17-35 years old) have at least one chronic condition these days and can be just as confused about their healthcare...
America's Uncertain Future
Is America doomed?
Well, it sure looks that way if the Sickcare system doesn’t change.
Americans will keep getting ripped off, stacking up more medical debt, and maybe even going bankrupt.
The US government struggles to keep up with Medicare, Social Security, and important investments in things like the climate crisis. Many experts are worried that the US will go downhill unless we can rein in our healthcare.
I’ve been very concerned about our future for a while… until one day, an epiphany came to me.
There is one way to change all that… (To be continued to Part 5)
Stay tuned next Wednesday for a solution to this madness!
Here are some questions for reflection until next time.
How has your personal experience with the healthcare system aligned with or differed from the challenges highlighted in the blog post?
In your opinion, what role should profit play in a healthcare system, and how might it impact patient care?
Are you actively involved in decisions about your healthcare, or do you typically rely on the guidance of healthcare professionals?
Considering the global perspective presented in the blog, were you surprised the US is the lone outlier against all the countries?
Are you concerned about the impact of our out-of-control healthcare spending on our society? If not, why not?
About Kayoko Corbet, RN, BCPA
Hi, I’m Ky! I assist people in navigating the healthcare maze and complexities to get the care they need and deserve with full benefit. I also help people better manage their health to have a better future.
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