Among the seemingly endless list of negative impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon our society is an intense decline in mental health for many individuals. More than half of Americans surveyed in a recent study say that their mental health has worsened as a result of the pandemic.
As a young woman in my 20s, I know many people my age who are no stranger to the lifestyle of the proverbial “starving college student;” however, many of them are not students at all, but full-time employed young people who struggle to pay rent and put food on the table, let alone pay for health care during a pandemic.
Lincoln, my friend of 20 years, called in early April to let me know that he had taken his mother to the doctor on two separate occasions and her symptoms were minimized, dismissed and she was sent home. The third and final time the staff decided to test her. That’s when they discovered his mother had COVID-19. She died later that day.
The pandemic has wrought pain and death on our neighbors, friends, and coworkers and has hurt the economic well-being of Americans. It’s also shown the woeful inadequacy of our current patchwork health care system.
A growing coalition of Colorado groups has united to Push to Pass the federal Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act to give every American access to health care during the pandemic. The group will hold a campaign kick-off event at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30 on Zoom. Registration is required: https://couniversalhealth.org/latest-news/events/
The most beloved and tested single payer health payment system in the U.S. is Medicare, which works. Now let’s make it work even better and expand it to everyone.