Will Public Healthcare Gain Traction Post Covid?
American Medicare For All
(I, Sanjeev Nanda, claim these views to be of my own, uninfluenced by any external political standing of any kind)
Making the case for public healthcare requires contextualization of decades upon decades of anecdotal evidence. Democratic nomination hopeful, Bernard Sanders, ran on a platform of Medicare-for-all, and largely got berated from all corners of the political system for his stance. However, this was before the Covid-19 pandemic broke the backbone of the globe, in one fell swoop. Countries all over the world were sent into panic mode. For all the efforts that heads of states put into mending the situation, a lot of energy and effort dissolved into futility. Bernard Sanders’ vision of socialized healthcare became the desired sweat teat full of healing nectar for people who’re losing their jobs (and the insurance attached to it), the poorest who couldn’t bear the absurd $1000+ price tag for testing kits, and the at risk poor, who will undoubtedly succumb to the disease, as no hospital will treat them without an insurance to speak of.
The American Journal of Public Health published a shocking statistic post the financial crash of 2008. In it, they found that nearly 45,000 people died in the USA annually, only because they lacked sufficient access to healthcare (due to a lack of insurance, fees, etc.). Contrast this with Canada, a country which shares a border with the United States. In 1984, the Canada health Act introduced the concept of ‘Universal Healthcare’ to the Canadians. They have only built on this model in the decades since. Everything from a common cold, to brain surgery is addressed under this scheme – all without a single mention of co-payments, deductibles, etc. anywhere. Countries like India, too have a scaled down version of public healthcare, which is accessible to the poorest, free of cost. With over 14 million doctors residing in the country, there are private practises as well, although they rarely (if never) do charge as heavily as American private practices do.
The United States of America is the only developed country in the world that does not guarantee its public guaranteed healthcare – thus putting itself among the likes of Sudan, Afghanistan, and Peru. To be real for just a minute, most countries in the world do provide some form of government based healthcare one way or another. There is no reason at all for the richest country in the world to lag behind in this regard.
As it stands, the US COVID-19 death toll has crossed that of China – 183,532 cases and 3,727 deaths. Every day the country experiences 20,000 new cases. Nearly 100,000 to 240,000 people risk getting infected by the end of it all. Dr. Anthony S. Fauchi had to press President Donald Trump for an additional month of quarantined lockdown. DJT himself played down the crisis, until a fortnight ago. Still, there are people dying outside hospitals right now, just because they didn’t have insurance.
Conditions like these are comparable to a national crisis, similarly in the vein of the 2008 banking catastrophe. The difference is that people more people will actively die due to this. What was a blur on the horizon, has become a clarion call now – Public Healthcare is more popular than ever. The situation in USA is bound to worsen under the current U.S. model. The need for Universal Healthcare is now. Any delay will exponentially increase the catastrophe furthermore.