Sen. Bernie Sanders Talks COVID-19, Medicare for All and Coronavirus Stimulus
Senator Bernie Sanders talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his campaign, the Coronavirus Stimulus Package and the strained American health care system.
New Yorker: Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders
The debate over the role of government in addressing income inequality, housing insecurity, debt accumulation, and health care continues, now against the grim backdrop of the raging coronavirus. It is difficult to articulate the speed with which the U.S. and, indeed, the world, has descended into an existential crisis. We are experiencing an unprecedented public-health event whose diminution and potential resolution rests with a series of prescriptions, including settlement-in-place orders, that will annihilate the economy. The deadly spread of -19 demands enclosure as a way to starve the searching virus of bodies to inhabit. The consequences of doing so removes workers from work and consumers from consumption; no economy can operate under these conditions.
Dismissing the necessity of universal health care also shows an obliviousness to the power of medical expenses to alter the course of one’s life. Two-thirds of Americans who file for bankruptcy say that medical debt or losing work while they were sick contributed to their need to do so. The costs of medical treatment become a reason for postponing visits to the doctor. A 2018 poll found that forty-four per cent of Americans delayed seeing a doctor due to its cost. Already, half of Americans polled have said that they worry about the costs of the testing and treatment of -19. In a situation like the one we are in, it becomes easy to see the ways that encumbered access to health care exacerbates a public-health breakdown. N.B.A. players, celebrities, and the wealthy have access to the coronavirus test, but attending nurses and frontline health-care workers, community health centers, and public hospitals do not. Health-care inequalities are problems that have been left unattended, creating so many small, imperceptible fractures that, in the midst of a full-scale crisis, the structure is collapsing, shattering under its own weight.
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