Pandemic Presents Barriers, Opportunities for Public Option

To some policy experts, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a chance to rethink the national debate over universal health coverage — potentially bolstering the case for a Medicare for All system or a public option that provides government-sponsored, less expensive health plans alongside private offerings.

“I submit that COVID is an opportunity for us to reframe our understanding of health care’s role, for us to connect back with an older vision of health as something that if not dealt with for some amongst us has devastating effects on the rest of us,” Daniel Wikler, a professor of ethics and population health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said during a May 28 virtual panel discussion hosted by the Georgetown University Law Center and its O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law. “We certainly see that dramatically with infectious disease.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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