Originally published in the News & Observer on March 13, 2020:
Regarding “Blue Cross NC announces coronavirus test coverage,” (March 7):
Why is it news when Blue Cross Blue Shield announces that COVID-19 testing will be a covered benefit? Because only in the failing US health care system would individual patients have to pay for a lab test that is urgently required to protect the health of the public. Under a single-payer system, there would be no out-of-pocket charges for lab tests or medical care. There are many reasons for delayed access to medical care, but cost should not be the one of them, especially during a public health emergency.
There may be no better argument for Medicare for All than the botched response to the threat of a COVID-19 epidemic. We may not know yet exactly how to pay for Medicare for All, but we are already paying for not having it.
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