Wealth Inequality & 335,000 Preventable US Covid Related Deaths Caused by our Market Driven Healthcare System (REPLAY from 7/4/22)
Tonight, we replay our show from last week that did not broadcast correctly last week due to technical difficulties. The show focus is on how and why our healthcare system, a system that was unmasked by its response to the Covid 19 pandemic, demonstrated an inability, related to other affluent countries, to reasonably protect our US population from the hard edge of the corona virus pandemic.
Joining Bringing Light Into Darkness tonight is Dr James G. Kahn, emeritus professor of health policy, University of California San Francisco. Leading researcher in the cost and effectiveness of health intervention programs, and in US health care financing reform. He is the Editor and primary blogger, Health Justice Monitor. A new study (June 2022) co authored by our guest, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, has found that between the beginning of the pandemic until mid-March 2022, universal health care could have saved more than 338,000 US lives from Covid-19. The study also calculated that $105.6 billion could have been saved in health care costs associated with Covid hospitalizations. The study demonstrates that a significant share of Covid mortality in the U.S. is “due to our reliance on a system of market-driven health care.” Our healthcare is underperforming in every measurable except one – profiteering- a result of a health system that prioritizes profits over people, particularly poor people. Skipping and delaying seeking healthcare for financial reasons is a feature of our system while we reveal that other developed nations pay less some 50% less yet their population lives longer.
Medical debt afflicts 40% of US adults in the US while 25-30 million are uninsured and our number of underinsured is growing each year. This is a problem that that can be fixed as evidenced by dozens of advanced countries that have.