The U.S. has nearly one-quarter of the world's casualties from COVID-19 (NCJ Daily, Feb. 4). Why is our death toll so high in this, the wealthiest of nations with the best health and medical expertise on earth? The answer relates to organization and access.
Our fragmented healthcare system has been incapable of coherent plans to expedite public health measures. The healthcare guardian agencies like the CDC have been weakened, for example, by a philosophy of disregard for coordination and contingency planning. And the lack of access to health care itself is a well-known deficiency in the U.S. where a third of the population is uninsured or underinsured.
Medical and pharmaceutical costs skyrocket and deaths mount, not just from COVID-19 but from the millions of bankruptcies, homelessness and untimely deaths from all causes due to lack of medical care. A nation so crippled engenders the kind of social/political unrest that bedevils us today.
The solution to the healthcare dilemma is a universal, equitable, rational and affordable single-payer system. Let's take out the for-profit health insurance middlemen who restrict access with narrow networks, surprise bills, indecipherable paperwork and denial of medically necessary care. Time to construct a system, starting with California, that can save the state billions of dollars and provide access to every resident. Anyone who feels ill and cannot afford medical help is another potential COVID spreader (another taxpayer-supported ER user, another unnecessary death). There must be open access to control this pandemic and those of the future.
Please go to www.petition.healthcare to remind Gov. Newsom about his campaign promise, "There is no need to wait for universal health care and single-payer in California." California can lead the nation in finally fixing our healthcare problems.
Patty Harvey, Willow Creek