US Healthcare Is Too Corrupt And Too Drunk, To Fight This Epidemic Optimally

Right now the epidemic is under control in Europe (except England). Yet Europeans have to test and track more, as in South Korea… And as Germany has been somewhat doing.
Part of the problem in the USA: it’s an UNION of STATES, which do as they please. Compare with Europe: the UK, or more exactly England, has been doing terribly, with a death rate more than 50% higher than the USA. Reason? The scientific council in charge, as in Sweden, believed, all too long, in “herd immunity”. The results were even worse than Sweden. By contrast a strict Germany has been doing way better, with a death rate less than a fifth that of England.

Then there is the problem of US for-profit healthcare. A characteristic of this is that healthcare is viewed in the USA, but for the old, as one more privilege from employment (instead of a human right, as in all other advanced countries). The idea, apparently, is that employers will not just give you the pursuit of happiness, but also will provide you with life itself.

Doctors can do a lot against COVID. Problem: in the US, people do not have the habit of going to see their doctors… until it’s too late. And that has to do with the greedy, lawyery, private insurance dominated nature of the US medical system…

The for-profit aspect has been going from very bad to even worse in recent years (18% of GDP in healthcare; Europeans don’t go over 12%; the difference between 18% and 12% is all corruption, for want of a better word.) Conclusion: in this crisis, US patients have been reluctant to see doctors. It’s not just the “co-pays”, and “deductibles”. Now there are “facility charges” (even while seeing your old doctor)… which can be hundreds of dollars.

Inconvenient truth? The US vision of healthcare is too greedy, and too drunk, to fight this epidemy optimally.

Patrice Ayme



P/S 1: The preceding was a comment sent to NYT Krugman (who had written an essay with some of the usual “Trump = Devil” stuff). To my surprise, the comment escaped the censorship terrorists ate the NYT and was published fast (not the usual 24 hours plus delay; my recent comments to Krugman were all censored… This was recommended by 43…)


@Patrice Ayme US health care quality is ranked number 38th. But its cost is number 1 in the world. As comparison French health care’s cost is 34th world ranking but quality is number one.

Reply23 Recommend
Answer: Patrice Ayme
Berkeley | Pending Approval
@JPH So we agree. I actually had a very difficult pregnancy with my daughter. After finding French doctors in an Alpine hospital very disponible and helpful by phone (whereas Californian doctors couldn’t be reached!). We flew there and then directly, three hours after landing, to the hospital. A young doctor (who was Italian) looked at the US file, and gave a clear and precise conclusion: although this hospital was proud of its very low C section rate, in this particular case, a C section was extremely likely (that was news to us). Then he proceeded to examine the patient. The expert delivery was made by a lady surgeon. I have no doubt the baby would have been lost in the US. Besides the (public) hospital was like Club Med, with great Alpine scenery, a huge private room and bathroom, and a stay of nine days… And it cost much less than a normal delivery in the US… People who can fly to France buy their US prescribed drugs there, as they cost less than US copays (French pharmacists, who are private owners with doctorates, both by law: pharmacy monopolies are illegal in France have the freedom to prescribe, and accept US prescriptions as if they were written in France). The French healthcare system is a mix of private and public, and the US healthcare could be morphed into it (that is, differently from the UK, Sweden or Canada, the French system is not 100% socialist; what happens is that fundamental healthcare is 100% covered; private health insurance supplements services).

P/S 2: The New York Times, a private media company, is the newspaper of record of the USA. New York Times opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss published the resignation letter she sent to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on her personal website. The Sulzberger family has controlled the New York Times since the nineteenth century (through a special share arrangement). The preceding Sulzberger had banned, apparently from my opposition to the Bush-Biden Iraq invasion (which NYT encouraged).

Bari said:, “Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.” She wrote she was bullied by colleagues in an “illiberal environment,” “Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences” and “intellectual curiosity” is a liability at the Times, among a variety of other devastating feedback.


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11 Responses to “US Healthcare Is Too Corrupt And Too Drunk, To Fight This Epidemic Optimally”

  1. benign Says:

    Got a comment approved in NYT, re: Paul Krugman’s recent column:

    Benign Brodwicz | USA
    The failure of NY to handle the virus cost the rest of the country dearly, as NY was a super-spreader to other states. See The tri-state area leads the country in bad COVID management. Me, I think Sweden got it right. Like NY, they mishandled their elderly, but they didn’t destroy their economy or their people’s morale; they played the odds (once known fairly well) and let people take care of themselves; and their death rate for folks <49 years old is less than 0.05%.

    They have their heads up their proverbial butts at the NYT. People are beginning to wake up (I hope!).


  2. Paul Handover Says:

    There is, at best, a degree of uncertainty about the true case rate and the true death rate of this pandemic. Well that is what I read this morning on The Conversation blogsite. See:


  3. Gmax Says:

    When the Dems had a chance to change the US healthcare, they didn’t. Instead they came up with Obamacare which f… us all.
    Why another round with these same crooks?


  4. SDM Says:

    That both US major parties are controlled by mostly the same donors is the reason health care for all is held hostage. The profits they make on the present system are used to obstruct any legislation from going forward on Medicare for all. Until that stranglehold is broken there is no chance for it with both sides playing their respective roles. Covid may yet prove to be the breaking point that will change all this. Perhaps people will begin to see through the propaganda charade of “how can we pay for it” when it would actually be much cheaper- cut out the middle man!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pshakkottai Says:

    Insurance is an unnecessary industry. It is best done through a govt which has a public motive and can create money at zero cost and fund all health care outfits, individual doctors, hospitals leaving decisions to Health care personnel. It will be the sole payer in the nation. Whether the facility is private or public does not matter, it is where the money comes from is the important matter. Single payer works best. Insurance and care don’t mix.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      For profit health insurance, that is. Indeed. Basic health care is a right, it shouldn’t be a profit center, as it is now in the USA. Recent executive decisions of Trump, on enforcing lowest drug prices, if they stick, should help. Weird the Democratic Congress didn’t do it.


      • pshakkottai Says:

        Looks like Republicans and democrats are changing roles!


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Indeed. It’s the weirdest thing…

          The local democrats are corrupt. In the city where I live, there is half a dozen pretty girls with make-belief jobs from city hall. Under my brazen interrogation, they had to admit their functions are, at best, useless. They faithfully copy all the decisions of the larger San Francisco… But they nearly a million dollars a year… And then the economy they encouraged and authorized was all nail salons and restaurants…

          Even lawyers have to go to Oakland or SF to get a decent office. And NIMBYism has prevented housing for middle and a fortiori lower class… But then, heck, they all hate Trump, proving they are “democrats”…


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