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Medicare for all can begin to chip away at health care disparities | READER COMMENTARY

Bridgeport, CT - 6/23/20 - Optimus Healthcare professionals conduct COVID-19 testing at Mount Aery Baptist Church Tuesday morning. Photo by Brad Horrigan | bhorrigan@courant.com
Bridgeport, CT - 6/23/20 - Optimus Healthcare professionals conduct COVID-19 testing at Mount Aery Baptist Church Tuesday morning. Photo by Brad Horrigan | bhorrigan@courant.com (Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant)

Vincent DeMarco’s commentary (“Pandemic exposed weaknesses in the US health care system,” July 7) detailed the shortcomings of America’s health care system. It also buttresses the argument for a national solution: Medicare for All.

The Medicare for All legislation before Congress would provide comprehensive health care coverage for everyone in the United States from birth to death. Coverage would not be linked to employment status or income. If someone became unemployed, had their hours cut or changed jobs, they would still be insured. Just this week, 66,000 Marylanders filed for unemployment benefits. Nationally, an estimated 27 million people could lose their employer-sponsored health care coverage, and for many of them that loss might be permanent. Medicare for All also eliminates deductibles and co-payments which have been a financial barrier to obtaining needed services.

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The coronavirus has starkly revealed the racial inequalities of the current health care system. People of color have historically had higher rates of uninsurance and underinsurance and have been denied access to needed care. Medicare for All should be the next step toward addressing these inequalities.

Maryland has made real efforts to improve health care coverage, but only a comprehensive national program like Medicare for All can guarantee all Marylanders the health care they deserve.

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Richard Bruning, Baltimore

The writer works for Healthcare Now! of Maryland.

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