If this COVID-19 health crisis hasn’t awakened us to the major failings of the U.S. health care system, I don’t know what will. While we can blame President Trump or the government for some of the lack of preparedness, a lot of blame has to fall on a broken system in which way too many players, making a lot of money, are in a very lucrative health industry.

The insurance companies, the drug companies and the very large nonprofit “health networks” with their overpaid boards of directors only contribute to a vast private bureaucracy that gets more expensive every year.

In a March 13 Associated Press story (Page A3), reporters Mike Stobbe and Matthew Perrone write: “Unlike countries with centralized government-based health care systems, the U.S response is fragmented between public labs and private efforts by hospitals, universities and diagnostic companies.”

They go on to quote Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who said that of the million-plus tests sent out to labs, some have gone to private companies and hospitals that don’t report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is uncalled-for and once again shouts out that perhaps universal health care doesn’t look so bad after all.

Jake Hawkins


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