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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/1/20

Of Course We Can Afford Medicare-for-All--We Always Could

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Medicare for all
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If there is anything the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic fiasco has exposed, it's our societal inequities.

When it comes to public health, the most obvious inequity lies in the reality that we spend the most money on healthcare--20% of our national income--of any Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country on the planet, yet we are not the healthiest country.

Most countries offer healthcare as a human right to all its citizens.

But of the 25 wealthiest nations, the United States is the only one that fails to do this.

The response opponents to a Medicare-for-All-type single-payer national healthcare system similar to what Canada practices is "We can't afford it," or "How do we pay for it?"

Interestingly, though, that claim is seldom if ever proposed whenever we feel the need to increase the military budget, print money to provide $2 trillion in economic relief to keep corporations afloat, dole out perpetual subsidies to the world's most profitable corporations, or permanently cut taxes on those same corporations and their overlords to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

Those who complain "We can't afford it" are often the same who also boast about us being the richest nation in the world.

But they can't have it both ways.

The "We can't afford it" argument is, of course, a lie.

We have always been able to afford to provide every man, woman, and child born in this country healthcare as a human right.

Consider that over the past twelve years we have spent in the neighborhood between $20-35 trillion on corporate bailouts.

All that time we could have been providing healthcare.

Journalist David Sirota, in his newsletter TMI, writes:

"In recent weeks, we've seen health care industry CEOs report paying themselves $2.4 billion as 27 million people were thrown off their health care coverage. We've also seen Americans being charged anywhere from $400,000 to $1.1 million for COVID treatment, and facing $2,000 bills for coronavirus tests. And yet, despite data showing that a single-payer system would save big money, surveys still indicate some popular trepidation about the price tag of government-sponsored health care."

What's the price tag?

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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