The US HealthCare System: The Black Body’s Highest Bidder

“Most of us came here in chains and most of you came here to escape your chains. Your freedom was our slavery and therein lies the bitter difference in the way we look at life”

John Oliver Killens

The enslavement and subsequent dehumanization and subjugation of our ancestors was big business that generated massive profits. It made white individuals, businesses, and industries extremely wealthy. By 1860, four million enslaved Blacks were worth 3.5 billion, “making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined,” David Blight explained.

The Black body has always been the primary means white society has used to turn their American dream into reality. Whether it was the public auction block of the antebellum south or the more surreptitiously invisible one within the current prison- industrial complex, The Black man, woman, and child has always been sold to the highest bidder.

Currently, one of the highest bidders vying for the black body is the US healthcare system, which by the way is neither a system, healthy nor caring. It is in fact a profitable disease promoting industry that gains immeasurably from our sickness, disease, and declining quality of life. The dialysis business is a prime example.

Kidney Failure in the Black Community

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, Black Americans are almost 4 times as likely as whites to develop kidney failure. Although we make up only 13% of the total population, we comprise 35% of the people with kidney failure in the US. We are also three times more likely to be on dialysis.

A Profitable Disease

By 2006, most hospitals either outsourced or sold their dialysis practices to large for-profit dialysis centers. They sold their patients for $40,000 to $70,000 per patient.  And these dialysis centers happily paid the price, because they would receive a sizeable return on their “investment” when they billed the government (Medicare) and insurance companies for the dialysis treatments. The American kidney dialysis market was valued at 24.7 billion dollars in 2018 and it is expected to grow to 29.7 billion dollars by 2023, with executives earning wall street size salaries while their companies’ bottom lines grow. If Black Americans make up 35% of people with kidney failure, they are currently worth 8.65 billion dollars and will be worth over 10 billion dollars by 2023. In the antebellum south, the healthier the enslaved, the more they were worth. Today, the sicker you are, the more you are worth.

The Truth

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure among Black Americans. Kidney failure and dialysis are completely avoidable. Diabetes and high blood pressure are both preventable and reversible chronic conditions. A diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension is not a life sentence. Given the right conditions, the body can heal itself.

The Underground Railroad for Health

Many of our ancestors refused to accept their enslaved status and fought and ran to freedom. They decided that their body and spirit was not a commodity to be bought and sold, and we too can decide the same when it comes to our health. Melanin Rich Wellness educates and empowers the Black community to leverage the transformative power of intermittent fasting and Black radicalism. The result is health, healing, and self-determination. Visit MelaninRichWellness.com to join the Underground Railroad for Health and reclaim your birthright to be healthy, happy, and whole. Download your free guide to intermittent fasting today.

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