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Profiteers

We Gawk At Nonsense Political Theater While The Real Enemies Go Unnoticed

Donald Trump speeches. Celebrity tweets. Corporate news repetition. Chaos. Vapidity. Manufactured dissent. Graphic fighting sports. This is what fills our field of vision. It consumes our thoughts, overflows our brains with anti-intellectual mud. Yet most of these things are the bug splatter across the windshield. They are not the actual highway, the path forward, actually deserving of our focus. Looking beyond these distractions, one can see what really matters. The true stuff of life and death and oppression and justice.

The Pandemic Revealed US’s Zip Code Map Of Inequality

The stark divide in the level of health care from testing to treatment is divided by wealth and the legacy of systemic racism. In the words of Ed Yong of the Atlantic: “Chronic underfunding of public health neutered the nation’s ability to prevent the pathogen’s spread. A bloated, inefficient health-care system left hospitals ill-prepared for the ensuing wave of sickness. Racist policies that have endured since the days of colonization and slavery left Indigenous and Black Americans especially vulnerable to COVID-19.” Yong could also add Hispanics to that list, along with virtually any person of limited economic means, regardless of race. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, income and zip code determine everything. And this is not a new phenomenon. COVID-19 has both amplified and revealed these long-standing flaws, tragically reflected in its death count, but it is by no means a historical anomaly. Earlier pandemics reveal a similar pattern, suggesting a more widespread systemic problem: namely, that the high death counts relative to the rest of the world are an inescapable consequence of our for-profit, pervasively oligopolistic health care system. The problems of a for-profit health care system are exacerbated by the diversion of resources and skills into militarism, and unequal food distribution systems’ effect on diet and obesity.

Testing And Medical Insurance: A Profitable Disaster

In the midst of a capitalist crash and an out-of-control health crisis, two mega-industries that bear a heavy burden of responsibility for the health disaster are reporting soaring profits. “The nation’s leading health insurers are experiencing an embarrassment of profits,” reported the New York Times Aug. 6. “Anthem, Humana and United Health Group second quarter earnings are double what they were a year ago.” The U.S. has the world’s highest number of COVID-19 cases, over 5 million, and the highest number of deaths. In addition, millions of laid-off workers are losing health insurance.
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