American Public Health in the Trump Era – It Wasn’t Just Trump

Gentle Reader – The disaster that was/is called the Trumpian Era had many facets describing that disaster. From his racist “call outs” about Mexicans and his Muslim ban, to concentration camps into which refugee children were placed after being taken from their parents/guardians, to encouraging Brown-Shirt violence on 6 January, and everything between, Donald John Trump and his Republican enablers brought us closer to an American Fascism than we have been since the pre-WW II era.

As an American, I hold Trump and his supporters responsible for the deaths on 6 January, 2021 as well as for the – now – 577,007 dead citizens (as of 2 May 2021) from SARS-CoV-2; dead, all of them, since March of 2020. And I am not alone in this.

While I hold this fascist-leaning thug and his enablers responsible for much of what has happened recently in our country, I still believe in fairness and – is it odd in this Trumpian era? – facts.

And the fact is that the disaster that is the US Health System, while worsened under Trump and his band of buffoons, is not precisely his, or their, doing.

Our health system functions as a Profit Center and as such, if one can’t pay, one can’t access services. Yes, if you are bleeding to death ant Emergency Department will stabilize you before asking you how you’ll pay, but otherwise: No money/insurance – barring GoFundMe or Charity Care  – means no care. And, of course, health is not merely the absence of disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that health is related to security – financial, housing, food – and safety as well as more specifically medicine-related issues. Over the past 4 – 5 years, the Life Expectancy of Americans has decreased – worse for African Americans than for others – and the maternal (peri-partum)death rate has increased, again, worse for African Americans than for others. It is now less safe for my daughter to give birth than it was for my mother to do so. Data such as these are most often seen in collapsing societies.

Thus, this article ought serve as a very serious warning to us all. If significant reform is not carried out, our children and grandchildren will pay a heavy price indeed.

About AJ Layon

AJ Layon was, for 28 years, at the University of Florida College of Medicine, in the Division of Critical Care Medicine, in Gainesville, FL. For the approximately 10 years until September 2011, he was Professor and Chief of Critical Care Medicine at UF; In September of 2011 he became System Director and Co-Chairman of Critical Care Medicine in PA; this ended in 2017. He served as a Physician in the Surgical Group with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) through 2018 and is presently an intensivist in Florida, struggling through the SARS-CoV-2 crisis. While his interests are primarily related to health care, health care reform, and ethical issues, as a citizen of our United States and our world, he will occasionally opine on issues of our "time and destiny". Follow on Twitter @ajlayon
This entry was posted in A. Joseph Layon, MD, Abraham Joseph Layon, Abraham Joseph Layon, MD, AJ Layon, AJ Layon, MD, COVID19, Current Events, Democracy, Health Care, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance Reform, Justice, Medical Education, Politics, Racism, Women's Health. Bookmark the permalink.

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