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Coronavirus Outbreak Demonstrates Need For Universal Health Care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randall Schumann, Madison   
Friday, 06 March 2020 15:37

coronavirus-outbreak-asiaMadison man says the worldwide coronavirus outbreak should be a wake-up call to all Americans, regardless of their politics, that they are vulnerable to the disastrous health and financial devastation of the current "Trump/ GOP No Health Care" position.

MADISON - The worldwide coronavirus outbreak is a wake-up call to all Americans about the need for Universal Health Care. Whether or not you currently have health insurance, you are 1 emergency room visit and/or 1 hospital visit away from financial ruin thanks to America's current, broken, health care system. Medical/healthcare costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. with 530,000 bankruptcies annually linked to medical costs.

While most Americans do have some level of health insurance, there currently are 27.5 million Americans that do not have health insurance (even though Obamacare since its enactment in 2010 has enabled some 20 million Americans to obtain health insurance). Over the past 2 weeks the worldwide coronavirus outbreak has resulted in several countries taking extreme precautions to slow or prevent outbreaks. And now in the U.S., with deaths as well as confirmed cases beginning to be identified in several states, the American public is becoming extremely worried about being able to afford unexpected medical bills, insurance deductibles and co-pays, as well as prescription drug costs that would occur if they or one or more family members contracted the virus.

critical-illnessAnd all Americans - whether they have health insurance or not - should be worried because of the costs involved if they need emergency medical care. If a person is coughing, wheezing, or having difficulty breathing, a trip to the emergency room to find out if it is the coronavirus can result in $3000 to $5,000 or more in charges (even if the hospital had any of the scarce test kits). And if the person would need a ventilator to enable breathing and thus would have to be hospitalized, the medical costs would go up exponentially.

And for the 27.5 million Americans without health insurance, the cost of that emergency room visit and possible hospitalization would probably bankrupt them - even if it was just one person. And if the situation involved additional family members as well, the result would be even more financially devastating. Furthermore, even for a person / family that has health insurance, just the financial burden of most insurance policy's $2000 to $4000 deductible, plus the 20% insurance copay for treatment of each family member affected, could wipe out much or all of a family's emergency fund and/or savings.

So if, heaven forbid, there is a disastrous spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. like there currently is in China, potentially resulting in many hundreds of thousands (or even millions ) of Americans going to emergency rooms and having to be tested and/or hospitalized, there will be a horrific number of families facing bankruptcy in the near future.

Consequently, the worldwide coronavirus outbreak is a wake-up call to all Americans about the need for universal health care. Thus, every American, whatever their party affiliation, needs to vote out of office President Trump and every Republican member of Congress and state legislator that has enabled the current, broken situation to exist. A situation where a majority of Americans are vulnerable to the disastrous health and financial devastation of the current "Trump/ GOP No Health Care" position that, in reality, will prove to be a physical and/or financial death sentence for many Americans.

Randall Schumann
Madison, WI

Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2020 16:14
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