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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