The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Profits go on - care doesn't

Jul 28, 2003

The Detroit Medical Center, DMC, claimed it lost 360 million dollars over the last five years. They said they would have to close their hospital in downtown Detroit, unless they got some help.

In a matter of weeks, they were able to announce a bailout. A deal with state, county and city officials will give DMC 50 million dollars over the next 10 months and – so they said – save 1000 jobs – for the time being.

DMC blames its huge losses on caring for people who aren't insured and can't pay for the medical care they need.

Now, it's true enough that DMC cares for a very large number of impoverished people – especially now that Detroit's public hospitals are all closed! People have to go somewhere.

But that's only part of the story. Over those years of "losing money," a lot of players made sure they got a lot of money out of the DMC. All took as much profit as they could carry away – drug companies, insurance companies, medical supply companies, banks, construction companies and any other business interests that found a way to get in on the action.

Medical care in this society is just one more casino where the poor place their bets and the house rakes it in. Now the city, state and county have ante-upped and put more cash into the pot. But what has changed? A few different faces at the top, perhaps. Perhaps a profit shuffle among the various companies and interests concerned.

But the same problems that drove the recent crisis are still at work preparing the ground for the next crisis, and the next. No matter how often they change dealers, the game remains the same: profits are taken out first, before any actual medical care begins.