My colleague, Brett Copeland, Executive Director of the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute just had this piece published in The Hill.
Trump needs to cover all veterans, their families and VA employees during COVID
By Brett Copeland, opinion contributor — 04/10/20 07:00 PM EDT
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the American health care system to its knees. Hard-hit metro areas are unable to keep up with the influx of patients. Inadequate testing capabilities and years of neglect have left rural communities vulnerable. Whether in rural or urban America, both private and non-profit hospitals face the near inevitability of drastic rationing of care.
Despite the heroic efforts of health care workers, the government and the broader health care system are unable to standardize a response to the pandemic, share information, staff, and supplies, further aggravating the crisis.
Many private hospitals have been reluctant to curtail elective surgical procedures because of the loss of revenue, despite the risk to patients and physicians. Some have furloughed much-needed staff rather than retraining and redeploying them to care for desperately ill patients. The navy has deployed two hospital ships, but they are unable to provide significant assistance.
This crisis shows that our fractured, profit-driven, the health care system is ill-prepared. Scarcity and competition improve profits, but a disaster exposes the inadequate supply of hospital beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment. Meanwhile, health care workers are too few, overworked and underpaid.