Healthcare has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Hospital administrators, not healthcare workers, make decisions about worker and patient safety while pharmaceutical companies fund medical research, making their profits off of patient need. This is healthcare under capitalism – a system that prioritizes profits over peoples’ quality of life.
- Nearly one out of eleven people in the U.S. lack health coverage – a basic human necessity. About 45,000 uninsured people die every year from lack of healthcare.
- Almost one in four people in the U.S. don’t seek medical care because they can’t afford it, and two-thirds of the people who file for bankruptcy cite medical costs as a main reason.
- Compared to other high-income countries, the U.S. spends more on healthcare but has the lowest life expectancy, the highest number of preventable hospitalizations, and the highest suicide rates.
- Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars go to funding pharmaceutical research, a global industry valued at $1.27 trillion. Meanwhile, in the U.S people still spend billions in out-of-pocket costs for these very same prescription medications.
- More than two-thirds of Congress received money from drug companies and their organizations in the last election. Whose interests do they serve?
What Healthcare Could Be
The purpose of the current healthcare system is to make profits for the rich. What could a different system look like, one organized to ensure that all people had the resources and care to live healthy lives?
What it Could Be Like for Healthcare Workers
- Every healthcare facility would be properly staffed, and no one would be overworked or underpaid.
- Workers wouldn’t have to fight for PPE or stress leave from work; they would be guaranteed.
- Training programs for healthcare jobs would be free and accessible to everyone.
- Mental health support would be provided to workers dealing with stressful situations.
What Healthcare Could Be Like for Patients
- Everyone would have equal access to free treatment, exams, procedures, and medications.
- Each appointment would allow enough time for the provider to really listen to patients’ concerns.
- Health care wouldn’t focus only on treating symptoms and prolonging the need for medications. Instead, we could have a holistic approach focused on preventing sickness and offering all patients the resources and information to live healthy lives.
What Healthcare Research Could Be Like
- Scientists could focus their research on what would best serve society, instead of what benefits the bank accounts of a few corporations.
- Research wouldn’t just be focused on treatment and cures, but also on the causes of disease and how to prevent them.
- People wouldn’t distrust science because it would be a tool to improve their lives and health.