Former gubernatorial candidate and doctor: Coronavirus shows need for 'Medicare for All'

Physician and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, said on Hill.TV’s "Rising" Tuesday morning that the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the private healthcare industry shows the need for "Medicare for All".

“Let this be the moment that we realize that this system is just unsustainable, it is not working,” El-Sayed said. “A system that is predicated on hospitals doing elective surgeries… things that people don’t necessarily need right now — that may be important, but not needed right now — isn’t the kind that is geared up to take on this kind of system.”

Since the spread of the pandemic in the U.S., public health officials have ordered elective medical procedures to be postponed to redirect all resources on those infected with COVID-19.

El-Sayed said that a universal healthcare system would allow the government to directly allocate resources to facilities to avoid overflow instead of private hospitals and insurance companies asking for a chunk of funding included in part of a major bailout package.  

“If we were to engage with Medicare for All the way that we ought to be, the way that almost every other high income country in the world has, we would be in a very different position in terms of our ability to meet this need because the government would be the funder and the government could just put that influx in,” he said.

“Now, you have hospitals that are run like businesses, just like every other corporation, out looking for a bail out.”