Trump Administration Adopts Mini-Universal Health Care for COVID-19

Amy Katz/ZUMA

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What a brilliant idea!

The Trump administration will use a federal stimulus package to pay hospitals that treat uninsured people with the new coronavirus as long as they agree not to bill the patients or issue unexpected charges.

….A 1918-like pandemic would cause U.S. hospitals to absorb a net loss of $3.9 billion, or an average $784,592 per hospital, according to a 2007 report in the Journal of Health Care Finance that called on policy makers to consider contingencies to ensure hospitals don’t become insolvent as a result of a severe pandemic.

This means that the uninsured will have lower costs than anyone, including those on Medicare or private insurance. That’s very progressive, and apparently it will cost only about $4 billion out of the $100 billion earmarked for hospitals.

But this prompts a thought. This proposal is great because it sets a standard reimbursement rate for treating COVID-19 and it makes things easy on patients. They just have to show up at the hospital and not worry about anything else. After all, it’s not their fault they got sick. So what if—and hear me out on this—we just did that for every illness? For everyone. And not just at hospitals, but everywhere. We could call it, I don’t know, universal health care or something like that. Who’s with me?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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