News & Politics

Here's How Medicare for All Would Deal with the Coronavirus Pandemic

Image by Viktor Ivanchenko from Pixabay

Most of the field of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination at one point signed on to the idea of Medicare for All, a compromise proposal by Bernie Sanders for universal health care coverage. In a pandemic, people panic, and seek security. Many may think that this event proves the need for universal, government-run coverage. What would that look like in reality? How would Medicare for All handle the coronavirus pandemic?

Luckily, we have a real world example that is dealing with coronavirus today: Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). The NHS has long been known for its tradeoff between universal, mostly free coverage, and rationing of care. Now, the NHS faces real shortages of resources as hospitals get overrun by coronavirus patients. So much so that they have implemented a scale system to determine whether a patient gets treatment or not.

The Daily Mail reports:

Frail coronavirus patients may be denied critical care under an NHS scale system designed to free up ICU beds.

The controversial ‘Clinical Frailty Scale’ (CFS) ranks patients’ vulnerability from one to nine in order to prioritise those most likely to recover from the killer virus.

Those with a combined score of more than five are said to have uncertainty around the benefits of critical care, according to the system, which has been implemented while NHS hospitals desperately scramble to free up beds and ventilators.

It comes after NHS sources denied that elderly patients would be rejected from critical care using a scoring system – where over-65s with the deadly virus were to be ranked out of 10 based on their age, frailty and underlying conditions.

The NHS even published a handy chart to show everyone who lives and who dies:
The Daily Mail notes that the NHS scrapped a scoring system that automatically scored older patients as less likely to receive care, after accusations of age discrimination. The NHS has issued clarifications that this is only a tool to assist in making care decisions. The NHS was unable, however, to notice the elephant in the room – universal, government run health care always leads to rationing of care because the government can’t run anything efficiently.
Does anyone believe Medicare for All would run health care more cost effectively without having to ration care?
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.
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