In a result that should surprise absolutely no one, a recent study found that nearly one in five Americans say they would not be able to afford health care in a crisis. That’s 46 million Americans revealing that a health scare would force them to choose between necessary care and possible financial ruin. The percentage is even higher for people of color and, in particular, low-income Americans, 35 percent of whom say they were unable to pay for needed health care just in the past 12 months.
In this clip Ana, Wosny and Alyssa Bernardino discuss the study’s findings, and the current state of the healthcare debate in the United States, in particular Bernie Sanders’ proposal to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. Ana points out that despite the pandemic and all the gaping holes the past 12 months have exposed in the American healthcare system, Republicans and corporate Democrats in positions of power remain determined not to do anything to fundamentally change this failing system.
All three hosts recall times when they or others close to them were forced to turn to public healthcare, whether Medicaid or Medical, and how great the coverage was, and how government-run programs also paid for critical dental care. Ana says as a child government-funded dental care helped save her from bullying. Wosny remembers the feeling of security knowing that if something went wrong he could be confident it would be taken care of — but that’s a feeling that 46 million Americans today DON’T experience. The reason, Wosny adds, is apparent to anyone with eyes to see: the oligarchs who run the country want to be able to hold healthcare over our heads as a bargaining chip, just the leverage they need to keep us toiling away for too little money and constantly afraid of what might happen if we lose that job they’re so generous to let us keep.