Current Events and Scattered Scribbles
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Medicare for All and COVID-19

Excellent video. Dude breaks it down in a little under three minutes:

This entry was posted in: Current Events and Scattered Scribbles

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Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

5 Comments

  1. The good news is that there has been a surge in interest in Medicare for All and a growth in those who support it…..The bad news is that there will likely be no Presidential nominee who supports Medicare for All, as explained here, by Emma Vigeland of The Young Turks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CvvBAoO030

    Like in 2016, the Dems are hellbent on running a conservative who is as deeply entrenched with lobbyists as the Republicans. In fact, at this point, I think Trump would be more likely to implement Medicare for All. It would be a genius move, on his part, which is why I doubt that it will happen, but the point is that we have an idea whose time has come and no political party to represent it…..and by extension, we have no political party to represent the interests of working people and vulnerable persons.

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  2. Medicare For All is already in place as single payer for Americans aged 65 and above — the very demographic that’s most at risk from the virus. You’d think that, confronted with the unfolding catastrophe, Medicare would already have addressed the weaknesses of the current system that the guy highlights in the video. Not so. Under already-existing Medicare there are still deductibles and copays; doctors and hospitals still make their big money from elective surgeries; hospitals still maintain inventories on a just-in-time basis; there are still no serious incentives for prevention. In the current crisis, in its current form, Medicare For All hasn’t been nearly enough. More thoroughgoing systemic change is required.

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  3. Clearly the US botched its chance to get ahead of the corona curve, but the social distancing seems to have been effective in slowing the infection rate. After this first wave maybe 5% of the population will have been infected; that leaves 95% still vulnerable to future waves.

    Here’s a white paper from Harvard proposing three strategies for dealing with the coronafuture: freeze in place, mobilize and transition, and surrender. “Freeze in place” means shutting the country down repeatedly during every new wave of viral spread, which will last maybe two years. “Surrender” means restoring business as usual and letting the virus run its course through the population, which would likely kill 2 million people. The authors make a case for the “mobilize and transition” option as being both most cost-effective and most humane. It calls for widespread testing at a rate of millions of tests per day, proactively identifying and isolating infected people and tracking/isolating their recent social contacts, and isolating vulnerable populations. It’ll require a lot of tech, a lot of personnel, and persistent logistical management across all levels of society to get it done right. What are the odds?

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    • Walmart and Amazon are rolling out infrared thermometers to test all employees for fever on a daily basis. It’s not as accurate as the virus lab test, and it won’t identify asymptomatic carriers who can infect others. But the testing is cheap — use the same thermometer on many people) — and it’s noninvasive — the device is placed near but not on the forehead. Using the thermometer doesn’t require specialized medical training, and the results are immediate. If the infrared readout shows fever, then that person can be set aside for quarantine, more precise COVID lab testing, and social contact tracing.

      CDC has yet to issue recommendations for employee screening — big surprise — but this method seems actually implementable on a wide scale without a big deployment of tech and personnel by a bumbling Trump administration.

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