Trump’s Inept, Insufficient COVID-19 Response: Disastrous
According to a new report from the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health, about 40% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the United States’ had done a better job responding to the crisis.
The numbers don’t lie. The United States has about 4% of the world’s population, but even with one of the most advanced medical infrastructures still wound up with about 25% of the world’s cases and fatalities from COVID-19. This was the conclusion of a new Lancet Commission Report.
In its report, the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health comes right out and faults former President Donald Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to COVID-19 but acknowledges that the roots of our nation’s poor health outcomes go much deeper.
The Lancet Commission two co-chairs Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and Dr. David Himmelstein, are professors at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and longtime advocates for a single-payer health system such as “Medicare for All.” Their organization’s new report published Thursday underscores decades of economic and social policies that have accelerated the nation’s healthcare disparities.
This new Lancet report found U.S. life expectancy began trailing other industrialized nations four decades ago. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the report said 461,000 fewer Americans would have died if U.S. mortality rates matched other Group of Seven nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Dr. Himmelstein said…
“The overriding thing that we need to do in our country is to decrease the huge and widening inequalities that have emerged in our nation,”
The new report confirms that the outcry over COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color that show death rates among Blacks increasing 50% compared with whites. Coronavirus deaths for people of color are 1.2 to 3.6 times higher than for whites.
According to the newly released report, the health disparities were exceptionally high among middle-aged adults, possibly a sign of crowded living conditions and jobs that did not allow people to maintain a safe social or working distance apart.
Woolhandler discussed that President Trump failed to create a national response, instead decided to leave crucial decisions to states. Trump’s choosing to ignore the advice of even health professionals working on his COVID-19 task force to encourage public health measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing could have saved lives.
Former President Trump’s actions, according to Woolhandler…
“Caused a lot of citizens to fail to take it seriously and interfered with the kind of coordinated response they have been able to use in a lot of countries that are more successful than the U.S. in controlling the epidemic.”
The Lancet commission suggested a long list of executive orders and legislative actions to reverse trends negatively affecting Americans’ health. Among the fixes recommended include adopting a single-payer health system such as “Medicare for All.” Woolhandler on this solution said…
“We’re still in a very deep hole. We have 30 million uninsured people. We have tens of millions of more who are underinsured. The thing that would be best for the health of the population would be Medicare for All.”
Meanwhile, President Biden has rejected the idea of Medicare for All and instead wants to bolster the Affordable Care Act with more lucrative subsidies for low-and middle-income earners. House Democrats unveiled a bill this week to boost tax-credit subsidies for Americans who purchase marketplace plans. Biden already signed an executive order to reopen enrollment on HealthCare.gov from Feb. 15 through May 15.
The Lancet commission said in its report that a single-payer system would save $626 billion each year on medical billing and administrative costs. While the report did not say how much Medicare for All would cost, it cited a study that found 20 of 22 models predicted total health spending would be less under a single-payer system.
In December of last year, the Congressional Budget Office (CB0) reported that a single-payer plan would increase federal spending from $1.5 to $3 trillion in 2030 over projected levels. However, total public and private healthcare spending could range from savings of $700 billion to an increased cost of $300 billion. The more optimistic scenario counts on administrative savings and health providers agreeing to lower payments.
“A Medicare for All approach would substantially increase economic equality. Poor people spend a much larger share of their incomes for their health care even though they get much less for their health care.”
Trump’s Policies Resulted In The Unnecessary Deaths Of Hundreds Of