The same issue pervades health care and companies that control who, where, and how much we should pay for treatment. The system utilized is called “Value of a Statistical Life” or VSL. For example, it it not an accident that the new hospital in SE DC will be exclusively run by Universal Health Systems and George Washington University with the expressed exclusion of Howard University faculty, students and union workers (who may also be disproportionately Black). By the same token all of the past and current DC Medicaid MCOs are owned and controlled by White companies headquartered outside of DC with impotent Blackface local representation who typically appear as talking heads at local government functions. The “Circle of Money” controlling health care (and your life) is completed by favorably contracting with so-called not for profit clinics, again for the most part, owned and controlled by non-Blacks who determine what services will be provided, who will provide those services, how much those services are worth to society, and where those services will be located.
Without understanding VSL and Critical Race Theory ones’ mind will always be limited by a “plantation mentality” and the endless hope of “colonial salvation.” Retrospectively then, one can clearly understand why DC General Hospital failed years ago due to systematic government sabotage, Providence Hospital was purposefully closed by Ascension Health Care (too many minority patients and doctors), United Medical Center is now in virtual receivership, our White-controlled Medicaid MCOs can’t seem to increase Black life expectancy, and our episodic, impersonal, nonprofit clinic system survives only thru favorable supplemental grants and the Grace of God.
Therefore, it is not an accident that Blacks in our rapidly gentrifying Capitol City simultaneously leads the nation in infant/maternal mortality as well as renal failure, with wildly disproportionate Black COVID deaths at 80% (AA = only 46% of DC population) and Black DC opioid overdose death rates now lead the nation at nearly 112/100,000 Black residents.
WHO CONTRACTS and CONTROLS VSL HEALTHCARE SPENDING in DC? It may not JUST be conservative Republicans who are killing us!
Edwin C. Chapman, MD