Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Treating Sick Rich Folks in America

By John Hightower
Nation of Change
5 March 2012

“A hospital with a concierge? Yes. There’s one called Eleven West, an exclusive wing of New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center.”

The plu­to­cratic elite is per­vert­ing health care into a lux­ury com­mod­ity.

In these try­ing times of health care aus­ter­ity, it reaf­firms one's faith in hu­man­ity to learn that many hos­pi­tals are now going the extra mile to pro­vide top qual­ity care for all.

For all su­per-rich peo­ple that is. These folks are so rich they can buy their way into "ameni­ties units" built into se­cluded sec­tions of many hos­pi­tals. It's not med­ical care that they're ped­dling to an elite clien­tele, but the per­sonal pam­per­ing that the su­per­rich ex­pect in all as­pects of their lives.

"I was sup­posed to be in Buenos Aires last week tak­ing tango lessons," a Wall Street ex­ec­u­tive ex­plained mat­ter-of-factly to a New York Times re­porter, "but un­for­tu­nately, I hurt my back, so I'm here with my concierge."A hos­pi­tal with a concierge? Yes. There's one called Eleven West, an ex­clu­sive wing of New York's Mount Sinai Med­ical Cen­ter. "We pride our­selves on get­ting any­thing the pa­tient wants," beamed its di­rec­tor of hos­pi­tal­ity. "If they have a crav­ing for lob­ster tails and we don't have them on the menu, we'll go out and get them."

From New York to Los An­ge­les, hos­pi­tals that draw huge sub­si­dies from tax­pay­ers (and often are so over­crowded that reg­u­lar pa­tients are lucky to get a gur­ney in the hall­way) have set aside en­tire floors for $2,400-a-day deluxe suites. They come with but­lers, 5-star meals, mar­ble baths, im­ported bed sheets, spe­cial kitchens, and other ameni­ties for swells who have both in­sur­ance and cash to burn.

It's re­pug­nant for the plu­to­cratic elite to per­vert health care into a lux­ury com­mod­ity. It splits asun­der Amer­ica's es­sen­tial, unit­ing prin­ci­ple of the com­mon good. To push for a na­tional pol­icy that treats health care as a fun­da­men­tal human need — for all — con­tact Physi­cians for a Na­tional Health Pro­gram: www.​pnhp.​org.

No comments:

Post a Comment