For-Profit Healthcare Fails the COVID Challenge

Over 10,000 people have died of COVID or complications stemming from COVID since Election Day. Trump has tweeted over 250 times, less than 5 tweets have addressed COVID.

Right here and now simple steps can be taken to contain the problem and gain at least minimal control. Masks need to be encouraged and worn correctly, even provided for free. Physical distancing needs to be encouraged and doesn’t have to keep us separated. We can still hear each other from 6 feet away, even if slightly muffled by the mask. A little more PPE for front-line workers would be nice too.

So far the Trump Administration is hindering even these simple things. Occasional obligatory lip service isn’t sufficient. Masks need to de-weaponized as an anti-Trump emblem and accepted as a simple medical intervention that can save lives and jobs. These simple measures are needed immediately without waiting until January 20th when it appears Biden will adopt them.

Nothing either Trump or Biden can do, however, will overcome the structural injustices and inadequacies of a for-profit healthcare system. Achieving adequate healthcare for all in this system is like asking a dog to fly. Good luck with that!

The Militant newspaper, a socialist newsweekly, published an article entitled “Capitalist for-profit health industry no better prepared for ‘2nd wave’ of virus.” It quotes the 2020 Socialist Workers Party (SWP) presidential candidate, Alyson Kennedy. “The for-profit health industry is a bonanza for the ruling capitalist families and a death trap for working people. Workers need to build a working-class movement of millions to fight to defend ourselves. Nowhere is this clearer than when it comes to health care.”

When talking about healthcare with people, I find that most have extremely negative opinions about healthcare in places like Canada, France and Great Britain. They’re filled with illusions about how healthcare is rationed and hard to get with insufferable waits, and ultimately the care is inferior. The facts just don’t bear this up. I wrote about this previously in The Abominable Heath Care Act.

Kennedy and the SWP are talking about healthcare in a country like Cuba where the working class has taken power, and they advocate we do the same here. So do I. But even under capitalism we can do better. The United States has the most backward, expensive and inefficient healthcare system of all the industrialized nations.

Title image:  Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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