Under our legislation, the federal government would pay all costs of treatment for the uninsured, and cover all out-of-pocket charges—such as copayments and deductibles—for those who already have public or private health insurance. combat
By empowering Medicare to use its existing payment infrastructure to make healthcare free at the point of service, this could be done quickly, without saddling states or patients with more paperwork and bureaucracy.
Our bill covers prescription drugs as well. This summer, Gilead Sciences announced it would be charging hospitals around $3,000 for the coronavirus treatment remdesivir, even though it costs $10 to produce and was developed with $70 million in taxpayer-funded research.
Enough is enough. It’s time to make coronavirus-related treatments free of charge for everyone in America.
Under our legislation, the federal government would pay the same price the Veterans Affairs Department charges for prescriptions on behalf of the uninsured. That means no costs for patients, major savings for taxpayers, and an end to pharmaceutical corporations ripping off the American people in the middle of a crisis.
Providing healthcare for free to everyone who needs it during a public health emergency is not a radical idea. If every major country on the planet can guarantee healthcare to all, please do not tell me the U.S. cannot do the same.
If, in the midst of this unprecedented crisis, Congress is willing to pass a $740 billion military budget that is larger than that of the next 11 countries combined, we can surely afford to spend a fraction of that to care for our people.
We can no longer ignore the deep injustice that we faced long before this pandemic: We are the only major country in which healthcare is treated as an employee benefit, one that can disappear at any time if you lose your job.
No one who is diagnosed with cancer should have to beg for money from strangers on GoFundMe. No one with diabetes should die because they cannot afford their insulin. No one with coronavirus symptoms should be afraid to go to a doctor because of the cost, and risk infecting their family, friends and neighbors.
Let us use the immense challenge we face as an opportunity to build a just society, where healthcare is finally guaranteed to all as a human right.