Today, because of the profiteering, dysfunctionality, and misplaced priorities of the current system, over 85 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. From 2016 through 2020, in the richest country on earth, there were over 437,000 GoFundMe medical campaigns for Americans who had no other way to pay their doctor or hospital bills. They had to beg for money in order to get medical treatment.
In fact, while it is rarely discussed, our healthcare system is so flawed, so reckless, that over sixty thousand Americans die each year because they do not get the care they need when they need it. These are people who get sick and wait and hope that their condition will improve. Sometimes that doesn't happen and they die. Sometimes they suffer for years. What an unspeakable Dutrage! Sixty thousand people die from preventable deaths every year in the United States while insurance companies make huge profits. Meanwhile, the six largest health insurance companies in America made over $60 billion in profits in 2021, led by the UnitedHealth Group, which made $24 billion. And, not surprisingly, the CEOs in the industry receive huge compensation packages. In 2021, the CEO of Centene, Michael Neidorft, made $20.6 million; the CEO of CVS Health, Karen Lynch, made $20.3 million; the CE0 of Cigna, David Cordani, took home just under $20 million; and the CEO of Anthem, Gail Boudreaux, received more than $19 million in total compensation.
And then there is the pharmaceutical industry.
Prescription drug therapy is an integral part of modern-day medicine. Wonderful and effective drugs, newly developed and old, save lives and ease suffering. But, in America today, almost one out of four people are unable to afford the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs their doctors prescribe. Millions go to a doctor, and get a diagnosis of their medical condition, but can't purchase the medicine they need in order to treat it. Many of them get sicker and end up in the emergency room or the hospital-costing the system tar more money than the prescription drugs would have cost, not to mention the personal suffering involved. How crazy is that?
At the same time, as we continue to pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the pharmaceutical industry, year after year, remains one of the most profitable industries in the country. In 2021, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AbbVie-three giant pharmaceutical companies-increased their profits by over 90 percent to $54 billion; and in 2020, the CEOS of just eight prescription drug companies made $350 million in total compensation.
This tidbit is from the book It's OK to Be Angry About Capitalism by Bernie Sanders