We europeans fully agree...in US reality is stranger than fiction. We've had some stories in the media how people that got infected with Covid and were taken to hospital, are being sent huge bills: in one case a man who thought he was covered by his insurance received a huge detailed bill for all the stuff that the insurance didn't cover, almost everything; another one who was hospitalized for 2 months and needed intensive care, was hit with a bill for nearly a million dollars. We find it unbelievable as here in Europe everyone is entiled to free treatment and since the outbreak of the pandemic most governments have declared that ilegal residents and people without documents would also be treated whithout questions. In a pandemic, it just makes sense. We can't have sick people wandering around and infecting everyone else.
You have a very good theme. The answers are complex but causes & roots may lie in the spread of propaganda and fake news. A recent study in France found 60% of people believe the news threads on social media but not the old established news agencies. People tend to believe the news they most agree with and doubt the ones they don't like. Selective self-brainwhashing I call it.
And then there are several international forces at play, taking advantage of ignorance and gullibility, using fake accounts on social media to dessiminate misinformation with the view to destabilize & break down societies.
The Inheritance of Cruelty is a very good theme. Go for it. Write with passion & purpose!