Greedy Billionaires and Industry Titans; Unemployment Skyrockets; Support for Medicare for All Jumps

Public Citizen Has You Covered

Welcome to this week’s edition of “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weekly tipsheet designed to highlight key news about Medicare for All and call out the biggest health care industry lies and falsehoods about universal health care. Please send tips, feedback and questions to Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.

BILLIONAIRES CARE ONLY ABOUT *GASP* MONEY?!?

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak, billionaires and corporate executives have made it clear that they care more about their fortunes.

A new Public Citizen report outlines how these executives have been pressuring President Donald Trump to roll back social distancing recommendations so they don’t lose money, even if it comes at the expense of public health. Some executives, like Dick Kovacevich, former CEO and chairman of Wells Fargo, even said regarding workers, “gradually bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know.”

If all these businesspeople have made it so clear they value profits over public health, why are we depending on for-profit corporations for our health care?

MORE UNEMPLOYED = MORE UNINSURED

The pandemic has led to record unemployment claims, which will leave tens of millions of Americans without health care coverage when they need it most.

More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment in the final full week of March, shattering the record of the previous week of 3.28 million, and totaling more than 10.4 million for the month. These layoffs now mean that millions of people and their families have lost their health insurance at the worst time possible. Without insurance, people are less likely to seek medical testing or treatment, resulting in increased suffering and death from the pandemic.

LETTER TO INSURERS

Public Citizen and more than 80 prominent health, labor, consumer, and civil rights groups also demanded on April 1 that the 10 largest private insurance companies by market share immediately commit, if they have not already, to eliminate all patient fees related to coronavirus diagnosis and treatment for as long as is needed.

MEDICARE FOR ALL SUPPORT SURGES

Unsurprisingly, as corporations continue to show why they shouldn’t be in charge of Americans’ health care needs, support for Medicare for All has skyrocketed.

According to a new poll by Morning Consult and Politico, support for Medicare for All has jumped by 9 points in the past month, and support is near the record high for the poll set in January 2019.

“This pandemic has laid bare how inefficient and cruel our profit-driven health care system is,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. “Even those who are lucky enough to have insurance through their employer are seeing just how precarious that coverage is.”

REMINDER:

Medicare for All is the only health care system that would eliminate all out-of-pocket costs – premiums, copays and deductibles – for all Americans, while also reducing overall health care spending.