The coronavirus pandemic has made the total inadequacy of our current health care system crystal clear and proved the necessity of adopting an improved and expanded Medicare for All system in the US as soon as possible.
Our current system of healthcare is basically a rationing system that punishes those without access to health insurance or whose health insurance is inadequate. In the latter case a recent study demonstrated that with rare exceptions, most policies leave individuals and their families with large portions of health care expense left uncovered. This is the reason why a growing number of health care professionals and analysts, including the American College of Physicians, have called for passage of Medicare for All legislation like that proposed by Bernie Sanders.
Now passage of this legislation becomes even more essential. The reports of people who cannot pay the medical bills for coronavirus treatment proliferate. In select cases symptomatic individuals hesitate to come forward for fear of the expense of care. Not least given the ability of drug companies, hospitals and doctors to charge anything that the “market will bear,” current estimates of the total costs of the pandemic for the US economy are astronomical.
Worst of all, when people cannot receive quality health care in a pandemic we are all at risk. In a very real sense, a pandemic is a great equalizer, wealth and access to the best health care money can buy guarantee nothing.
Let’s take the lessons of this crisis to heart; support Medicare for All.