Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most … inhumane." The pandemic is killing minorities at a higher rate than whites. Minorities die younger on average than whites and are less likely to have health insurance. This injustice is correctable by enacting universal health care.
Most Americans with insurance get it through work and thus think that health care is something to earn rather than a service such as fire-fighting that should be available to everyone. A dangerous weakness of employer-provided health insurance is that when unemployment increases, people lose health insurance.
All other developed nations provide health care to all their residents as an essential service. They use different systems, but it is always regulated and mostly paid for by the government. These systems are popular; the people don’t want our system.
While other countries developed universal health care, American health insurers, drug companies, and health industry entrepreneurs increased profits and administrative costs, siphoning off money that should go to care. The most conservative estimate comparing Medicare for All to our current system concluded that Medicare for All would save $2 billion a year in costs, while covering everyone.
Medicare for All is the only proposal that includes universal coverage, but other plans are possible. Health industry profiteers want us to fear any type of universal health care plan. We need to recognize their dishonesty and demand health care for everyone.
Nina Ainslie, MD, Manhattan