From an article by Suzanne Gordon in The Atlantic (January):

The United States is experiencing an extreme crisis in caring. As a society we cannot seem to muster the political will to care for the most precious things we produce -- other human beings. The United States has slipped to twenty-fifth place in the world in its infant-mortality rate. Twenty percent of America's children are destitute. More than 37 million people have no health insurance; 20 million to 30 million more are underinsured. Today, as patients are discharged earlier and earlier from the nation's hospitals, family members are increasingly asked to provide for their complex medical and emotional needs.

It is estimated that 1.8 million women now care for children and elders simultaneously, and 33 percent of women who care for frail elderly relatives do so in addition to holding down jobs. Yet not only do these caregivers -- who relieve our health-care system of a tremendous financial burden -- receive little help; they are often penalized for providing such care, through the loss of wages or of the job itself.

. . . Not only do we famously refuse to give caregivers adequate respect and remuneration; popular self-help writers and psychological movements actually seem to denigrate care. Thus best-selling authors and leaders of the so-called Recovery Movement, such as Robin Norwood and John Bradshaw, now describe professional and non-professional caregivers as care addicts, and list caregiving as one of the addictions that millions of Americans must recover from.