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

Amy Katz/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate