Across the country, Americans are terrified at the potential costs if they get sick. Twenty-seven million Americans have no health insurance at all. Four in 10 working Americans have a high-deductible plan that forces them to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before they get benefit from the premiums taken out of their paychecks each week.
A 2009 Harvard Medical School study estimated that every year an estimated 45,000 people in the U.S. die because of lack of health care coverage. Many suffer because they put off necessary treatment because they can’t afford it. Now, as Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Cal., put it, “The reality is, there are a lot of people that are thinking, ‘I don’t want a couple thousand-dollar bill to get tested or get treated.’”
The rescue bill just passed by Congress covers the costs of testing. Trump promised that any cost of treatment also would be covered, but the insurance lobby immediately corrected him. Since then, under immense pressure, Cigna and Humana have joined CVS Aetna insurance in agreeing to waive patient cost-sharing on treatment for those insured.
Hopefully, this will reassure people enough that they won’t avoid getting tested and treated, posing the threat to all. But this won’t be charity. Some health-care analysts think the insurance industry could benefit from the pandemic because people generally are putting off visits to doctors and hospitals as much as possible.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction