COVID-19 Exposes the Flaws in our Fragmented Health Care System

Corona patient in NY

COVID-19 has ravaged our country, taking more than 50,000 lives — not including the increased number of people dying at home, but without the testing to confirm whether they too died from the virus — and causing enormous damage to our economy. It also has exposed many of the flaws in the policies Tom McClintock has embraced for his entire political career. The country’s fragmented and uneven health care system, which Republicans stubbornly refuse to fix, is at the top of the list.

For decades, Tom McClintock has refused to acknowledge any need for the federal government to ensure access to affordable healthcare. He railed against the ACA after it was enacted, joining his colleagues on the right in repeatedly voting to repeal it and refusing to acknowledge the good it’s done. He rejects attempts to expand or protect the ACA, and insists that the only reasonable option centers around deregulation and competition. He doesn’t even support price controls on the pharmaceutical industry, finding one excuse after another to try to explain away his “No” votes on legislation designed to ensure access to affordable medicine.

COVID-19 has exposed many of the flaws in GOP policies; it makes clear that our health care and insurance system is among the worst in the world’s industrialized Nations. Our health care system is not designed to protect everyone, and so COVID-19 is having a widely disparate impact across communities. As this article explains, although the federal government has stated an intent to cover the costs of treatment for COVID-19, problems abound. Among other things, we’ve been woefully slow in developing tests, and so many people who had COVID-19 symptoms but weren’t able to get tested may not be covered. The government is supposed to pay for testing, but many people are still getting charged. Experimental treatments aren’t being covered by many insurers. And a lot of people simply don’t get tested, or don’t go to the hospital when they should, because they don’t know if they’ll be able to afford whatever they are charged.

The federal government’s decision to cover the costs of COVID-19 testing and healthcare is necessary but it demonstrates the over-arching flaw in our current system. COVID-19 patients shouldn’t have to pay these costs — they should be spread across all taxpayers, because health care is a right — but why should cancer patients, or those suffering from diabetes or immune disorders be treated any differently? Why shouldn’t we spread those costs across society as well? Why are we forced to adopt a patchwork of regulations and laws across states and communities in order to address this challenge? Why do Republicans like Tom McClintock refuse to acknowledge everyone’s right to access affordable health care? We can afford it — the GOP’s decision to give a $170 billion tax break to real estate investors as part of the CARES package proves that — but Tom McClintock and his colleagues in the GOP still refuse to consider laws that would ensure that everyone has access to health care.

California’s 4th District deserves better. We deserve a representative who sees our challenges with clear eyes and takes meaningful action to fix them. We deserve a representative who truly cares about what happens in this District. We deserve a representative who will fight for us.

Join us, as we fight to send Tom McClintock back to his own District, and to finally stop him from selling us out, one vote at a time.

Because we know, as Margaret Mead said, that “a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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