Preventable Teen Death; Separating Health Insurance From Employment; Dubious New Record

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.

TEEN WITHOUT INSURANCE DIES FROM CORONAVIRUS AFTER BEING REFUSED CARE

The for-profit health care system continues to prove that it is uniquely cruel and ill-equipped to adequately fight a global pandemic.

A 17-year-old in Los Angeles died due to complications from the coronavirus after he was denied treatment because he lacked insurance. The boy was turned away from an urgent care clinic and went into cardiac arrest on the way to a public hospital.

“Sometimes there are no words to describe how inhumane our private insurance-centered health care system is,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign.

Under Medicare for All, no patient would ever be denied care for lacking insurance.

U.S. LEADS WORLD IN CORONAVIRUS CASES. THANKS, TRUMP.

After President Donald Trump bragged for weeks that his administration’s response to the pandemic was “tremendous,” the U.S. has reached a grim milestone. Late last week, the U.S. overtook China as the country with the most cases of the coronavirus.

“History will show that Trump was responsible for one of the most catastrophic public health failures in the nation’s history,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

A new Public Citizen fact sheet lays out how Medicare for All would help the country better respond to a pandemic by guaranteeing free tests and treatment to all, directing more funds to care and medical equipment instead of toward administration and profit, and ensuring a better coordinated and more rapid response.

TYING INSURANCE TO EMPLOYMENT IS DEADLY

The coronavirus outbreak is also spotlighting the danger of tying health insurance benefits to employment.

The federal government announced last week that almost 3.3 million Americans had filed for unemployment the previous week – meaning many of these people and their families will lose their health insurance during a global pandemic.

“This couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” said Eagan Kemp, health care policy advocate for Public Citizen. “The time has come to break the cruel connection between health insurance and employment, and instead guarantee health care for everyone in the U.S., regardless of employment status or ability to pay.”

Under Medicare for All, anyone who changes jobs or becomes unemployed still would be able to visit the health care provider of their choice when they get sick, without the additional worry of financial ruin.

REMINDER: WE ALREADY HAVE A SOLUTION

Medicare for All is the only health care system that would eliminate all premiums, copays and deductibles, and would allow everyone – no matter their age, race, zip code or employment status – to go to the doctor of their choice and get treated before they spread illnesses to others.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Mike Stankiewicz, mstankiewicz@citizen.org, (202) 588-7779.