Privatization — Less Services — More Costly

Why Privatization Is a Disaster for Any Democratic Society

“In a totally free market health care system, you must be willing to let some patients die.”
Boston, MA-January 15, 2017. Protesters at “Our First Stand: Save Health Care Rally.”
Photo Credit: Heidi Besen /

Most people looking to make big money are eager to disparage public systems as inefficient, wasteful, inferior. Many of those people are in a position to starve the public systems of funding, thereby making them less functional, and making the private options look more appealing.

But privatization is not the solution; it is the problem. Properly supported public systems serve more people in a more efficient and less costly way. We might begin by looking at FEMA, the underfunded disaster relief program much maligned for its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But today it’s a lifesaver for many people. And the alternative is an onslaught of businesses that seek profit among the hurricane victims desperate for water and food and supplies.

Privatization cuts us in two: we’ve become a nation of profit-makers versus the struggling middle/lower classes. This is true for health care, education, housing, and the environment.

Health Care: Profitability vs. Mortality

“In a totally free market health care system, you must be willing to let some patients die.” —emergency room physician Farzon Nahvi

Our privatized system is letting that happen. It’s killing our children. Among 34 OECD countries, only Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, and Slovakia have a higher child mortality rate than the US. A National Institutes of Health report summarized: “The USA health care system appears the least efficient and effective in ‘meeting the needs of its children.'”

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