VHA healthcare for all

“America’s Public Health Care System” with Suzanne Gordon, (suzannecgordon.com/about) interview Against the Grain. kpfa.org/program/against-the-grain/.

Suzanne Gordon describes the Veteran’s Health Administration which is a not for profit healthcare service for U.S. military veterans. She makes the case for supporting it as a functioning healthcare solution to used as a model for providing affordable healthcare for U.S. citizens rather than considering Medicare as a model.

Medicare is a government funded insurance that pays for profit providers for health care services sometimes at predetermined rates that are below what might be charged other patients but often service fees and prescription prices are still very costly compared to what a nonprofit system such as the Veteran’s Health Administration can provide.

When economy is based on profit there is no value placed on non profit generating outcomes such as health of individuals or the environment or on the household chores getting done by a family member. It has been proposed that the opposite of wealth – “well”th – be considered illth – “ill”th. Some areas and a few nations are tracking social progress and health in ways that are not being measured by GDP/GNP Gross Domestic or National Product – the profit/monetary value produced by a nation. See: To Save the Economy We Have to Break Its One Sacred Rule, fastcompany.com

More and more people are having to choose between being able to work or being able to care for chronically ill family members, whether the illness is physical or mental problems or a combination. There has been a significant increase in both children and Senior Citizens with conditions that require 24 hour a day availability of a caregiver. Often health insurance doesn’t cover all of the needs and facilities for residential care are limited in beds available and are costly.

Businesses could help by allowing employees who need to be a caregiver at home more flexible work hours or the ability to telecommute- do some or most of their job from a home computer or telephone. Paid family leave and on-site eldercare are also benefits that many employees would like according to a report by Harvard Business School. Referral services for elder care was also a desire which may first need the creation of more elder care services. Three quarters of employees who were surveyed stated they had some caregiving responsibilities. See: Employers are Clueless When It Comes to Family Caregivers forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2019

When healthcare or education or other services are privatized then private businesses can profit from the activity without competition from a government provided service, however it likely will be more costly to the payer whether it is an individual, group insurance purchaser or government purchaser. Providing a service as a not for profit means that all of the purchasing fees or government or business funding can go directly to hiring staff and buying supplies. None of it has to be siphoned off in increasing amounts on a quarterly basis to show shareholders that more and more profit is being produced from the same service recipients.

Privatizing services is good for companies who want to profit as a service provider but rarely does it lead to better service for the recipient at a cost that is economical for the fee payer or funding group.

Disclaimer: Information is povided for eucational purpose withithe guidliesoffair use.