Sep 18, 2020 - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

talev and khanna
Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.

  • "Almost all of us now, as Americans, have had a real experience with the health care system about something very serious, and now almost everyone knows someone who's lost their job, or maybe lost their insurance...."
  • "Because I think there is a greater shared understanding ... I think that's created the groundswell for support for Medicare for All that includes people who are in the professional class and may not have thought about it."

The big picture: Rising unemployment has caused a massive loss in health insurance, making Medicaid a lifeline for those in need. Democrats have used the experience of COVID-19 to rally support for expanding public health care.

Watch the event.

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