In the good old days of the 1950s and 1960s, U.S. healthcare was more localized, and the central state (federal government) wasn’t the Sugar Daddy for the cartels. Hospitals were community hospitals (what a quaint idea in today’s hyper-cartelized system) managed by physicians and administrators who saw their role as serving the community rather than arranging for $20 million annual salaries and millions of dollars in stock options.
This is why the cartels love Medicare For All proposals: the federal government–protector and funder of the cartels–will give the cartels a blank check not just for the 120 million people currently drawing benefits from Medicare/Medicaid but for all 325 million Americans.
Fast facts on Medicare and Medicaid (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
Medicare Beneficiaries: 57.7 million
Medicaid Beneficiaries: 72.3 million
estimated dual Beneficiaries (drawing benefits from both programs): 10 million
Total Beneficiaries: 120 million
Medicare/Medicaid budget, 2015: $1.2 trillion
Total U.S. healthcare costs: $3.2 trillion, 18% of GDP
Department of Defense budget, 2015: $575 billion
Are profit and healthcare incompatible? In the real world of state-cartel-capitalism, the answer is yes: a profit-maximizing system fails to deliver prevention while pushing costs higher, eventually bankrupting the Sugar Daddy government and the nation.
Prevention, like a bag of carrots, is intrinsically low-profit. Illness, especially chronic illness, is highly profitable because the profits flow continuously from treatments, medications, procedures, tests, visits, hospitalization, home care, a constant churn of billing, etc.
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