The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in connection with the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University are producing an enlightening series of stories about how health care systems are pulling out of poor city neighborhoods where the sickest populations live, and opting to build facilities in affluent communities. These stories are noteworthy examples to elected officials of why ALL of these "nonprofit" hospitals should lose their nonprofit status and be treated like any other for profit entity, and why it is in the best interest of every American to contact their elected officials and raise holy hell about this issue.
I was moved to write my very first diary here when I started reading this story in my local paper, and as such please pardon me if my entry here is not quite up to the quality I have witnessed by countless others on this site. Actually, I am somewhat surprised by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's latest special report taking on U.S. Healthcare systems, and specifically the health care behemoth in Wisconsin, Aurora Health Care, the state's largest provider.
The right-leaning Journal Communications, the parent company of the newspaper and dubious contributor of the right's echo chamber, sullies the local AM talk radio airwaves with the pseudo-intellectual musings of republican shill Charlie Sykes on its 620 WTMJ-AM radio station. I am certain that Wisconsin's largest health care provider advertises substantially with local Journal Communications-owned entities like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 620 AM WTMJ, 94.5 FM WLWK, and WTMJ-TV Milwaukee. Surprisingly, the series thus far has been very well done, in spite of Journal Communication's conservative nature, and is raising some very important details about the U.S. healthcare system which seems to me the newspaper is perhaps biting the hand that feeds it.
The joint effort by the two newspapers is illustrating, in painstaking detail, how the collaboration between poverty and poor health is being exacerbated by healthcare systems closing urban hospitals and chasing more affluent suburban patients. Additionally, the series is also examining how the U.S. healthcare system is not a true market system, and how "the same forces that make it a bloated drain on the economy drive it out of poor neighborhoods where it's sorely needed." This is a complicated and complex issue requiring substantial parsing out of market forces, vexing business practices and social-economic issues to piece together a clear and compelling narrative explaining why the "greatest healthcare system in the world" is far, far from it.