Why Millionaires Love the American Healthcare System


Last night at Tom Emmer’s town hall a man told a story about a baby that is in desperate need of a treatment to save her life. Sadly, her insurance denied her coverage for the care she needs, and now her family is forced to somehow pull together two million dollars, or face the loss of their child. The man followed this question up with a simple question: 

“Are the profits of these health insurance companies really worth more than the life of this child?”

Emmer’s response was nothing other than a heartless dismissal of the situation at hand. He claimed that the child was “lucky to be born in America” and that “we have the best healthcare system on the planet”. Plain and simple, he was callously ignoring the grim reality that this child’s life was at risk solely due to the economic condition of her parents. Despite this, Tom Emmer still thinks that the American healthcare system is working, and I guess in some sense it is. Our healthcare system is tailored to ensure that the wealthy face no inconvenience when trying to be seen by a doctor. The attack on the slightly longer wait times in other countries is nothing other than a mild face on a dark calculation. 

When republicans talk about the shorter wait times at American hospitals they don’t talk about who has to get kicked out of the line in order to be seen faster. We have a two tiered healthcare system in America today, where the wealthy have no worries when looking to receive care from some of the best doctors in the world, no matter how mild their conditions or concerns are. Meanwhile working people are burdened with skyrocketing premiums, unreasonable deductibles, and the real threat of bankruptcy, simply for having the misfortune of falling ill. The aggressive pursuit of shorter wait times and higher profits, has come at the cost of pushing poor people out of the line at the doctors office, and condemning them to lifelong suffering and even death. 

Millionaires and billionaires from around the world come to the US to seek care because our system is tailored to their benefit. For those who can pay, they enjoy speedy response times and high quality care. In their minds our system is working the way it is supposed to. They receive the care they desire unburdened by lines of working people at the hospital who are too poor to pay for the care they desperately need. So I have one question to the people who think that our system is working just fine: Is a week or two of your time really worth more than that child’s life?

Benjamin CarolloComment