Big Coronavirus Medical Bills Become Endorsement for Universal Healthcare

Big Coronavirus Medical Bills Become Endorsement for Universal Healthcare


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Frank Wucinski “found a pile of medical bills” waiting for him and his three-year-old daughter after they were released from government-mandated quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif., according to news reports.

They tested negative for the virus, and when they arrived at Wucinski’s mother’s house after their quarantine, they were met with $3,900 in bills from hospital doctors, radiologists, and an ambulance company.

“I assumed it was all being paid for,” said Wucinski, whose Chinese insurance from the standardized testing company he works for does not offer coverage in the United States. “We didn’t have a choice. When the bills showed up, it was just a pit in my stomach, like, ‘How do I pay for this?'”

Wucinski turned to GoFundMe to help cover the costs of his bills and raised $17,930 on the platform. He said he’d be using the leftover funds to buy US medical insurance.

It’s not clear to what degree Wucinski and his family are a unique case, or represent a broader problem for the coronavirus covid 19 outbreak.

What it does do is demonstrate, in graphic terms, the need for universal health coverage in the United States.

Coronavirus covid 19 is getting the headlines, but there are any number of other diseases, maladies and the like which present legitimate and substantial public health concerns which could–and should–be addressed by universal health coverage.

Our hearts go out to Frank Wucinski out of a sense of compassion and basic fairness. But the fact is that there are many more Frank Wucinskis out there, suffering debilitating medical bills not only from coronavirus, but all of those other maladies which aren’t making it into the news.

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, had done an admirable job bringing health coverage to millions of more Americans.

That trend has now, sadly, begun to reverse under Donald Trump and his policies and those of his Republican allies.

In 2018, 27.5 million Americans had no health insurance, an increase from 25.2 million the year before.

It’s time for universal health coverage, for all of the Frank Wucinskis out there. Turning to GoFundMe is not viable healthcare.

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