America’s Shame…Healthcare in a Time of Crisis

America’s Shame…Healthcare in a Time of Crisis

S.E Williams | Contributor

“If you hear this message, wherever you stand. I’m calling every woman, calling every man. We’re the generation, we can’t afford to wait. The future started yesterday and we’re already late.” –  John Legend

This week many watched with anxious concern as the novel coronavirus exploded in communities across the country including here in the inland region.

Many had hoped the worst was behind us and despite continued warnings from healthcare experts and virologists, states and municipalities moved too fast and reopened, in their rush to revive a failing economy. In far too many instances warnings to slow reopening efforts, to act judiciously in light of what remained unknown about the virus and the high probability it would continue to spread, were only partially adhered to or ignored all together.

Now, the nation’s economy is at even greater mercy to a spreading virus that is unforgiving; while the economy, despite a stock market that appears to endure no matter what, continues to shed jobs.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, to date more than 38 million Americans have filed unemployment insurance claims since the onset of the pandemic, more than a million more filed claims across the country last week.

Unfortunately, when the primary breadwinner in a household loses employment, it follows they also lose their employer-based healthcare. The loss of healthcare coverage not only affects the individual worker, but also immediate family members who may be subscribed under his or her plan.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) nearly 27 million people are now at risk of being counted among the uninsured. Fortunately, many here in California who are eligible may seek coverage under Medi Cal, while others may qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare as it is often called.

With 127K Americans dead and counting from COVID-19, including hundreds in the inland region, and a dreary forecast of its potentially looming impact in the coming weeks, the outlook is concerning.

This coupled with continued demands for police reform and local unemployment rates through June 19, of 15.8 percent in Riverside County and 13.9 in San Bernardino County, many have added the loss of healthcare coverage to their growing list of imminent concerns.

Almost as if to ensure access to affordable healthcare is eliminated when people need it the most, this week the president added another inhumane act to his long list of assaults aimed directly at those most in need, when his administration joined 18 Republican governors

She highlighted how the Republican measure does not hold law enforcement accountable, does not demand transparency regarding police misconduct,  does not call for data collection, no does it call for a  ban on harmful police policies or practices such as racial or religious profiling, nor does it ban the use of choke- or carotid holds. At the same time however, it does offer additional funding to police agencies against the will of many in the nation calling for police funding to be reduced and reallocated.   

Senator Cornyn challenged Harris about wanting to discuss the issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee behind closed doors rather than on the Senate floor for all of America to see.

Undaunted, the Harris  smiled and responded with condescending grace, “Indeed, that is the beauty of the Judiciary Committee. Our meetings are public meetings.”   

Her quick and cutting response appeared to catch Cornyn off-guard and speechless, possibly choking on his own disingenuous challenge. Caught in the act of spouting misleading disinformation purportedly for the consumption of Republican constituents, he had no comeback.

Harris concluded her comments and criticism of the Republican Senate bill declaring to Republican senators, “[In the] immortal words of my great-uncle Sherman, I will say, ‘that dog don’t hunt.’”

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