than one million people in the United States over the past two years, but more than 338,000 of those lives could have been saved if the country had a universal single-payer healthcare system such as Medicare for All, according to new peer-reviewed research published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Unnecessary costs and preventable deaths were already rampant in the U.S. before the coronavirus took hold, but the ongoing pandemic has further exposed and exacerbated the many preexisting inequalities that have contributed to exceptionally high mortality compared with other high-income countries.
Universal single-payer healthcare, which the study calls "fundamental to pandemic preparedness," could have prevented 338,594 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. from the beginning of the public health emergency to mid-March 2022. Researchers estimate that if everyone in the country was provided with comprehensive care for free at the point of service, 131,438 people who died from Covid-19 could have been spared in 2020 alone, and roughly 80,000 people with other diseases could have been saved that year. More than 207,000 additional Covid-19 deaths could have been averted in 2021 and the first three months of this year.
the study's lead author Alison Galvani, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health, told Scientific American. "Americans are needlessly losing lives ..."