COVID-19 and Medicare for All

“Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. And fight for a single-payer national health program that can address public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Our fractured and inefficient collection of private and public health programs leaves millions of Americans out in the cold. A well-designed national health program would cover every U.S. resident and would ensure timely care for those who need it most.”

For COVID-19 resources and more information on COVID-19 and Medicare for All, visit: https://pnhp.org/covid-19-and-medicare-for-all

Our current system has allowed the greatest health insurance enrollment losses in history. According to a new report from FamiliesUSA, more than 5.4 million Americans lost health insurance between February and May 2020 due to job losses and layoffs caused by the pandemic. In Maine, more than 13% of adults in Maine under age 65 are uninsured.

May 2020: 13-14% of adults in Maine under age 65 are uninsured

From commentary by Don McCanne, Senior Health Policy Fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program: “Of major significance, these are non-elderly adults. Medicare – for those over 65 – continued to provide stable coverage after the onset of the pandemic. There would be no uninsured now had we had in place a single-payer Medicare for All program.”

Call to action: Support emergency COVID-19 legislation
Physicians for a National Health Program has developed many resources related to COVID-19 and the need for universal healthcare, including a call to support emergency legislation that’s been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“As millions of American workers lose their jobs (and their employer-sponsored health benefits) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand is growing for Congress to guarantee health coverage for everybody in the U.S.”
Learn more and contact your representatives today.

The coronavirus crisis is making it all too clear just how essential it is for Americans to have universal healthcare that is affordable, not tied to employment, and publicly funded, for our health and for our economic well-being. In a letter to the Ellsworth American, David Jolly of Penobscot outlined how the coronavirus pandemic is “laying bare the inequities and dangers inherent in our systems of healthcare and employment.”
“Many, if not most, people who are uninsured (as well as many underinsured) will not seek testing or treatment for coronavirus infection simply because they can’t afford it. And for the same reason they won’t be able to stay home from work if they are ill. All of this greatly increases the likelihood that the virus will spread further.”

Please consider writing your own letter to the editor about our need for universal healthcare — there is no better time than now. For some tips, click here.