Letter: Crisis shows need for Medicare for All

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To the Editor:

I watch the corona virus spreading across the nation, first the east and west coasts and now the heartland in a spotty fashion. We lead the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths, yet our federal government still has no comprehensive plan to counter the pandemic. President Trump would like us to believe that the danger is past and that we can resume our previous lives. This is all part of his disinformation policy which he uses to confuse the American people. The Washington Post has documented over 16,000 false or misleading claims uttered by the president since he took office.

To complicate the situation, almost half of U.S. adults have no health insurance or have high deductible plans that don't cover basic health care needs such as primary care. Millions of Americans can't get health care because of high health care costs and lack of insurance coverage. Health insurance is often job-related — lose your job and you lose your coverage. When COVID-19 caused your workplace to shut down, you probably got furloughed and lost your insurance if you had it in the first place. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as many as 43 million people are expected to lose their health insurance due to the pandemic. Many will be unable to find alternative plans that are affordable. Now more than ever, we need Medicare for All.

Medicare for All would cover all U.S. residents from birth to death. No one would need to worry about losing their insurance. It would eliminate all out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and deductibles. Premiums would be replaced by federal taxes, and the wealthy would pay more than the poor. It would feature a single payer which would markedly reduce the administrative costs and red tape created by the commercial insurance companies, thereby saving billions of dollars. The taxes collected would pay for your health care and not pay stockholders or CEOs or corporate lobbyists.

G. Richard Dundas, MD,

Bennington

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