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What Algorithms Tell Us About Structural Racism in Health Care

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/29/what-algorithms-tell-us-about-structural-racism-health-care

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What a surprise. Technology reflects the society that made it.


An automated reflection of institutional animus


And then, when they need critical (and expensive) care, they go to the county hospital, which has to take them, and the cost explodes on the taxpayers. Whatever happened to, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care”?

Single payer is the solution

“Technology is supposedly neutral. But real life isn’t.”

Fer Pete’s sake (and just who is this Pete anyway). I realize this is a rhetorical but just state it. Technology is anything but neutral, especially programming. My first program was in 1966 in Fortran IV and I’ve seen so much snake oil about computers and the magic of this or that program which keeps on coming.
Any program reflects the way the programmer thinks about a problem and any data reflects the choice of data sets and methods and respondents the data is gathered from. Nothing even remotely neutral about all of those choices which are made.
This nonsense of putting faith in algorithms is just another exercise in diverting responsibility for ugly choices by claiming some higher authority. A sort of “push-pull” version of “only following orders.”
The only reasonable alternative is a full-care system. The insurers can sod off.
Tell me the name of the insurer who will come over when you are sick, get you to your appointments or to the emergency room, or help you in any way at all other than to sit in the middle of a transaction and skim the money passing hands or just tell you no care is allowed.
Last year my only cost at the VA was $30 for co-pay on two prescriptions. Nothing for treatment, including labs, exams, ultrasound and so forth. And no “codes.” Should be so for all.


It’s pretty simple, that “prevention” you talk about costs money, you know that item the 99% hasn’t seen the increase of in almost 40 years, in relation to rising costs.
Eating healthy costs more than eating unhealthy food.
Getting regular medical and dental check-ups costs money they don’t have.
Buying health insurance without subsidies is financially out of reach for most of the lower end of the 99%.
The question I ask you is, why are you blaming the victims, for something they have no control over?

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It is actually a good thing to have an outsider critic our health care. But to whine that only 2 hospitals in south chicago of 12 in the city is a laugher. Mamograms can be accomplished at very many clinics - walk in - for heavens sake.

Poverty is the real cause, period. indicated by zip code and street address. As Yore writes above, Cook county spends hundreds of millions of hard earned dollars every year at the two government hospitals.

I want the author to give us her analysis of VA health care, rural health care, elderly health care.

The chicago teachers strike has a settled issue adding school nurses. Let us see just how beneficial this is for the childrens. Hoping they can also teach health, diet, exercise - but probably not allowed in chicago. BTW we have average class size of 12 students per teacher.