US Healthcare Leaders Are Not Impeccable Today – The Health Care Blog

By MATTHEW HOLT

It is a very sad day for America. About 30% of our country is part of a quasi-religious sect. In general, these people reject science and enlightenment. This week, the January 6 commission has shown that they are willing to use and support any tools or tactics, up to and including the overthrow of the government, to get what they want.

The overthrow of Roe vs Wade is the most visible artifact of a 40-year campaign. The campaign was funded by business leaders such as the Koch brothers who want to remove all environmental, labor and rational restrictions on their operations. With shady money and the passion of religious fanatics seeking to control women’s bodies and discriminate against anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe, they have taken this nation back to the 18th century, with the Supreme Court as their vehicle.

The largest of those dominoes has now fallen, and in most states the right of women to control their own bodies has been taken away. We can assume that there will be a nationwide ban here soon (as has happened in Poland), perhaps as early as 2025 if Republicans win the 2024 election. And note that the advancing coup described by the witnesses at the Jan. 6 hearings shows that Republicans are already blatantly taking over the supposedly neutral electoral process.

But the American health care system is not flawless. Abortion and other reproductive health services are clearly part of health care. But what is unique in this country is that the services do not come from regular healthcare institutions. The leaders of our healthcare organizations, especially our large hospital systems, have completely avoided providing these services. They were more than happy to let Planned Parenthood and other specialized organizations provide reproductive care, and simply looked the other way in the debate.

Worse, many of our religiously affiliated institutions, especially those of Catholic heritage that represent a huge number of hospitals in this country, have banned not only abortion but many other forms of reproductive health care, such as sterilization of women. Ironically named after religious bigot who was a terrible adulterer and hypocrite to boot, the Hyde Amendment bans federal funding for abortions. That means private Medicaid plans that now cover most births in this country have never provided a full range of reproductive health care.

Even in the past few weeks, as Roe’s fate became clear, I’ve heard nothing about this from major hospital systems leaders or health plans. Some of the newer healthcare providers targeting women, such as Maven and Tia, are outspoken, as are many non-healthcare employers. But the general silence from all major health organizations in America on the subject is deafening.

Today there is enough shame and guilt to go around.