Health care for profit

Book pages 102-103

 

How such a wolf-philosophy manifests itself in practice is not difficult to see. Gigantic money-palaces in the middle of black slums are just one of the more hideous aspects of this philosophy's pathological nature.

In areas infested with rats and dirt and violence you can walk right into banks built like marble castles with huge gold-decorated safety vaults.

Yes, there is plenty of money in the banks and insurance companies and among those who own them. But why, I ask – with the morality of the street and the vagabond – why then is there no money for my crippled friend Lee who must sit outside in the street every day and beg for pennies?

Lee told me that when he went to university in his youth as a law student he suddenly had to interrupt his studies because he got polio.

He still studies, and I got several books for him on the topic which interested him most, namely business law, which he still believed would be a means of pulling himself up by his bootstraps.
 

Lee, like so many others, was not only a victim of that philosophy he himself accepted but moreover suffers because this same social disease determines that doctors shall make so much money that the poor cannot afford them.
 

Why should they earn from 3 to 8 times as much as doctors in any other country, thereby encouraging weak characters to flee to America for the obscene reason that there they can enrich themselves more readily on the sufferings of others?

Why should their combined cartel, the A.M.A., earn more than AT & T ($40 billion) thereby making $37 billion more than the minimum wages of hospital workers (AT & T profit: $5 billion)?

Why should the middle class pay less than 4% of their income on health care while the poor must pay more than 15% (for dilatory third and fourth class care) with the result that the most affluent part of white America is as healthy as Denmark, but poor (black) health is comparable to many underdeveloped countries?

Why are there fewer doctors per capita in black ghettos than even in Central Africa and why don't they ever pay home visits there?
 

In the Norfolk ghetto I spent a whole day comforting a grief-stricken lonesome man, whose wife had died the night before because he was unable to get her to the doctor, and I suddenly couldn't help feeling a deep guilt, like the boy who cried wolf, recalling the many mornings in my youth when the doctor was called for my "stomach ache" because I had not done my homework for school.
 

Few can afford to cry wolf in the midst of the wolf-society, where health care for profit is a deadly business indeed: 24,000 blacks die annually from lack of "white medical care"; 39,500 American women die annually in childbirth for lack of "Scandinavian health care," while American men's life expectancy ranks only 35th among U.N. member nations.
 



 

 

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