SHAUN KING: No single public health policy would better impact African Americans & Latinos than Medicare for All

So far, in every single state that has voted so far in the Democratic primaries, the majority of voters have said that they would prefer that the United States abolish private health insurance and replace it with one universal government plan — which is the gold standard for the developed world. As health insurance companies and their executives reap billions in profits off of us, our premiums, co-pays, and deductibles get more and more outrageous. And people are tired of it. They are learning that it just doesn’t have to be this way and they are demanding seismic shifts in the system.

No single public health policy would better impact African Americans and Latinos than Medicare for All. Why? Because the two most uninsured and underinsured groups in this country are African Americans and Latinos. In one fell swoop, Medicare for All would mean that every single person in the United States has full coverage, with no monthly premiums, no deductibles — large or small, and only small co-pays for prescriptions. Every single American would have the same plan. Mental health services would be covered. Drug rehab would be covered. Dental and eye care would be covered. Homeless people and unemployed people would be covered. If you lost your job or changed jobs, you would be covered.

It only sounds like “pie in the sky” because in the United States we’ve grown accustomed to being ripped off by the ultra-rich. Around the world, billions of people have universal healthcare. In fact, no country in the world has the outrageously expensive for-profit systems that we have. They weren’t designed for our health or well-being. They were designed to get people rich. They were designed to profit off of our pain and sickness.

As the public sentiment and demand for Medicare for All grows across the country, we need to adopt it as one of the most pressing civil rights and human rights issues of our time. The richest nation in the world can afford for every person to have quality, universal healthcare. In fact, as the coronavirus, and all of the fears attached to it spreads, our nation has shown just how desperately it needs universal healthcare.

People are hurting and afraid, but 27.5 million uninsured or underinsured Americans are frequently hesitant to even go to the doctor because they simply cannot afford it. The bills - even if they have high deductible health insurance plans, would ruin them. Medicare for All would solve this.