Health care costs especially in the age of COVID-19, continue to rise. The Peterson foundation , https://www.pgpf.org/.../why-are-americans-paying-more..., wrote "The United States spends significantly more on healthcare compared to other nations and such spending is expected to continue growing. That trend will exacerbate the nation’s growing debt and is particularly problematic because it does not result in better health outcomes. High costs of healthcare can also hinder the efforts to thwart public health crises like the COVID-19 outbreak as people are unable to pay for tests or treatments. In 2018, the United States spent about $3.6 trillion on healthcare, which averages to about $11,000 per person. Relative to the size of the economy, healthcare costs have increased over the past few decades, from 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1960 to 18 percent in 2018. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project that by 2028, such costs will climb to $6.2 trillion, or about $18,000 per person, and will represent about 20 percent of GDP. However, those projections do not take into account the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; while the extent of the effect is still uncertain, testing and treatment costs are expected to be high and can potentially drive the cost of healthcare up."
Even before COVID-19, which glaringly showcased the racial disparities in health care, black professionals routinely noted unequal outcomes in the richest country on earth. In 2015, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/.../05/healthcare-black-latino-poor/, reported "The U.S. ranks dead last in life expectancy for men and second to last for women among the 17 wealthiest nations. Infant mortality in the U.S. ranks last among the most advanced countries in the world. And worse, among the 34 most developed countries, U.S. health care outcomes fell from 20th to 27th from 1990 to 2010. The world’s richest economy scores dismally no matter which health care measures we examine." The article goes on to say "Your health care depends on who you are,” according to a 2014 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to health. “Race and ethnicity continue to influence a patient’s chances of receiving many specific health care interventions and treatments.” The article finishes with "The foundation estimates Latinos and African-Americans experience 30 to 40 percent poorer health outcomes than white Americans. This disparity leads not only to shortened lives and increased illness, but also costs the nation more than $60 billion in lost productivity each year."
The disparity leads to increased illness. Increased illnesses are financially beneficial for the health care industry. More illness increases salaries for the doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and stockholders. Not surprisingly, according to the BRS - https://bhw.hrsa.gov/.../diversity-us-health-occupations.pdf , "Whites make up the majority of the U.S. workforce (64.4 percent) compared to Hispanics (16.1 percent), Blacks or African Americans (11.6 percent), Asians (5.3 percent), and individuals reporting Multiple races (1.8 percent). " The systemic issue is designed to maximize profits by using people of color. in the United States, wealth is made on the backs of black people and people of color. It is the same concept of slavery, the prison industrial complex and educational institutions to benefit from the labor of others. The solution to health care disparities is aligning black doctors with black patients and the solution to education disparities is aligning black teachers to black students. I consider myself lucky to have 3 black teachers, Ms. Baytops in the 4th grade, Mrs. Campbell in the 5th grade and Mr. Brown, my gym teacher in high school during my entire k-12 experience.
The issue with the rigging of healthcare to become a financially driven system is the fact that higher spending does not produce better outcomes. People of color should expect to receive better outcomes like preventing pre-term labor in African American women. Forbes wrote "In low-income neighborhoods, patients with diabetes are 10 times more likely to undergo limb amputation than those in affluent areas. Compared to white Americans, the rate of hospitalization for patients with diabetes is twice as high for Latinos and three times higher for African-Americans. The death rate from breast cancer for African-American women is 50 percent higher than for white women."
There is no system in place to make healthcare accountable and proactive through preventive measures like aligning black patients with black doctors, mandatory reminders for annual screenings which cost more to insurers, organically grown foods that contribute to healthy diets in urban areas which cost more and exercise/physical therapy for people of color which cost more. People of color receive drugs that benefit the pharmaceutical industry and systemic barriers like insurers who will not reveal the race of BLACK doctors (while having enthicity characteristics for everyone else) and transportation to access a better quality of care. It is a failure of government allowing PROFIT to become the driving force of a system. Government needs hold the system accountable so that the spending provides better outcomes for all people, especially, people of color.