Saturday, March 21, 2020

I hear there were nine presumptive cases of Covid-19 at Cone Health's Wesley Long as of a couple of days ago; "America's... healthcare system is putting the country at risk" and links etc...

"The debate over Medicare for All in the age of Covid-19 is complicated by the fact that it is our public health agencies – and not the medical care system – that serve as our first line of defense against novel epidemics. In that regard, we’ve shot ourselves in the foot with a 12-gauge shotgun: year after year of under-funding our federal, state and local public health agencies has left us ill-prepared for the Covid-19 challenge (as evidenced by the testing fiasco).

How we finance medical care, however, is also critical. On the most basic level, containing the coronavirus will require those infected to seek medical care, so that they can be diagnosed and isolated. Fear of devastating ER or hospital bills, however, could keep some home – or at work. 

What's your deductible?

Total out of pocket?

How many in our system are going to be bankrupted by our healthcare providers?

As a Taiwan government spokeswoman, lauding her country’s single-payer system for its successful containment of Covid-19, told NBC News, “Taiwan’s health insurance lets everyone not be afraid to go to the hospital. If you suspect you have coronavirus, you won’t have to worry that you can’t afford the hospital visit to get tested.”

How many doctors etc... are filling out paperwork instead of taking care of people right now?

On Wednesday, Trump signed into law a bill that would make Covid-19 testing – but not treatment – free.  It’s hence inadequate, given the predicted looming surge in hospitalizations from Covid-19 pneumonia. After all, 30 million Americans are uninsured – a number that will surely grow as the economy tanks and millions or tens of millions of Americans lose their jobs. Even more are underinsured, and for these individuals, co-pays and deductibles will only become more unaffordable as disposable income falls and savings dwindle. For both groups, medical bills for an intensive care unit (ICU) stay for Covid-19 could be devastating. People, of course, will also not stop having heart attacks, cancer or traffic accidents during this outbreak – on the contrary, medical needs are likely to rise in the face of a recession, as unemployment and misery takes its toll on the nation’s health. Financial ruin from medical costs – whether it stems from Covid-19 pneumonia or the looming Covid-19 recession – is financial ruin all the same, and will compound the harm of the epidemic.

Self inflicted wounds enabled by our purchased politicians 
and their crony capitalist healthcare industry lobbyists

...You may have also heard in recent years about an epidemic of hospital closures in poorly served rural areas, or the 2019 closure of a major academic safety-net hospital in Philadelphia. These hospitals closed not because they are unneeded, but because they are unprofitable. For the American hospital landscape is shaped by market forces, which largely determine where hospitals grow and where they wane. in America is uncoordinated – and ungoverned. Since the epidemic’s onset, hospital and city and state governments have waged “bidding wars” over crucial supplies and ventilators, the New York Times noted. It’s every hospital for itself: some are resorting to pleas to the community for donations of masks; presumably, others are well-stocked – but who knows? “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment – try getting it yourselves,”

This is not a healthcare system – it is atomized chaos.

For again, in the American way of paying for healthcare, our hospitals (or increasingly, our multi-hospital systems) are silos, some rich and some poor, each fending for themselves, locked in market competition.

This is neither necessary nor rational, leading both to excess and shortfalls, to generous overall health system funding yet care that remains unaffordable for many. A single-payer national health program would allow us to move past the market-driven status quo to remake this chaotic healthcare landscape of simultaneous healthcare plenty and poverty. It would, in short, allow us to begin to plan – not merely for this epidemic, but for the one that follows.

Adam Gaffney is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Cambridge Health Alliance.
Landlords who borrowed big to expand have to pay the monthly debt payment, or the banks come in a take the properties. Tenants are near insolvent.

Sunday, March 8, 2020; Should the ACC and NCAA eliminate the audiences for the upcoming tournaments? There has been a failure to test and track Covid-19, and other observations.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020; February 2020 Stuff; Corona Virus, Bloomberg, Covid-19 Economics, Healthcare, Bernie Sanders and some fun etc...

Acts of cowardice by Greensboro's News and Record and its editorial page editor Allen Johnson

Sunday, July 14, 2019; News and Record's "Cone Health, state remain at odds over new State Health Plan" with no investigative reporting on health care pricing

2/17/14; A conversation between Ed Cone and George Hartzman on Obamacare etc...

Cone Health is a Racket;

America is getting Ripped Off on Healthcare

How many lawsuits has Cone Health filed against patients over the last five years?
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