What does good health cost in America? If you are a rich person in need of surgery, then you can afford the best of the best and maybe not have to worry about the cost of the bill after. Maybe you can afford all your medical needs without worrying about complications or debt, but why does money continue to dictate the type of health care we receive and where is all of that money going?
The US spends about twice as much as any other county on health care, yet we yield less results and have a shorter life expectancy than most countries; we’re paying more yet we’re getting less. Even with our outrageous spending, there is less of an incentive for our doctors to give us proper long term treatment because that would mean less money flowing into their pockets.
The coronavirus is hitting communities of color such as Brockton, Chelsea, and Lynn the hardest because of health disparities rooted in systemic racism. In Massachusetts, COVID-19 disproportionately impacts communities of color. Hispanic residents account for 12 percent of the state’s population, but nearly 30 percent of COVID-19 cases; similarly, Black residents make up about 9 percent of the population, but 14.4 percent of cases.
“Even in a state like Massachusetts and a city like Boston, where we have premier academic and medical institutions, a thriving biotech hub, we haven’t achieved health equity across race and ethnicity,” says Baez. “That is applicable across the United States.”
Aside from that, our health providers' implicit bias directly affects the mortality rates of black and brown because American healthcare is ultimately run by White Supremacy. If healthcare itself is operating within systemic racism, then it supports everyone’s implicit bias’, including your health providers. If healthcare is based in capitalism, then it is the healthcare corporations’ incentive to turn us into returning patients (customers) because it’s a larger return on investment for their products and services. Because our healthcare system is rooted in both, White Supremacy is our doctor and that doctor continues to exploit us for profit.
What does the crack epidemic of the 80’s and the opioid crisis of today have in common? They both come from the same dealer; that dealer is White Supremacy.. Crack cocaine devastated America (specifically communities of color) in which the Ronald Regan administration responded by criminalizing addicts instead of hospitalizing them. But in 1996, a reporter named Gary Webb broke the story about the CIA’s involvement in smuggling cocaine into the US. Under Regan’s orders and behind Congress’ back, the CIA helped ship cocaine into LA to be sold for profit that would be used to fund the Contras against the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan civil war. This made Regan’s “War on Drugs” not only devastating to the black community, but hypocritical.
Learn more about the Iran-Contra affair here.
Today, the opioid crisis in America stems from the for-profit private sector of our healthcare system, the pharmaceuticals. Purdue Pharma is a private owned company that made it’s profit off of selling the addictive painkiller oxycontin. With doctor’s given incentive to prescribe medicine to it’s patients in higher quantities, opioid addiction exploded and claimed the lives of nearly half a million people since 1999. Pharmaceuticals and healthcare insurance companies are so big that they have political and economic power over our politicians who have influence and make decisions in both our private and public healthcare sectors. Ultimately, the American government that is meant to work for the people instead prioritizes working and appealing to the corporations that fund them.
White Supremacy continues to sink its teeth into our necks only to give us an expensive band-aid after. The greedy and the corrupt are the shot callers of our healthcare system and so one of the ways to fight corruption is by detaching from it and putting our time and resources into practicing holistic healthcare.
Holistic healing is the idea of taking care of our mind, body, and spirit naturally. It focuses on wellness and prevention rather than just treating diseases. Through exercise, proper dieting, and self awareness, we could take care of ourselves a whole lot better than the healthcare system that gets paid to keep us sick. Here are some good places to start learning how to take care of yourself in a better way.
Things to Watch
Heal directed by Kelly Noonan
This documentary dives into the power of our mental psyche and how it directly influences our physical health.
The Mind Explained a mini series by Vox
From memory retention, to dreams, and even the facets of anxiety, this docuseries goes into depth of how our minds work.
Things to Read
Food Can Fix It written by Dr. Oz
This book explains what and how foods boost our moods and heal our body.
This book helps you identify external and internal sources of stress in your life and reframe unhelpful patterns of thought into powerful psychological solutions that you can apply every day.
The revolution starts with us but us starts with you. Just like anything else, consistency is key but more so crucial.. see the present and use and apply this knowledge to make a better future.
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