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  • Free healthcare, dropping student debt, universal unemployment benefits,

  • caring about the homeless? American politicians and pundits are

  • suddenly taking all those things very seriously.

  • Like if you happened to be coming back from a 12-day silent meditation retreat

  • with Jared Leto you might think,

  • Wow.

  • Is Bernie president?

  • Am I the Joker again?

  • No, honey

  • It's a pandemic.

  • I'm Francesca Fiorentini and yeah,

  • this is where I pay rent.

  • And though Bernie Sanders may not be president

  • today we're looking at 6 ways coronavirus is proving him right.

  • Welcome to another season of Newsbroke!

  • If you had told me back then that four years into the Trump administration

  • we'd be filming under quarantine from our homes I would've been like,

  • Yep. That checks out.

  • Has he been impeached?

  • Of course.

  • What we're going through is so surreal and scary.

  • And since everyone is stuck at home anyway,

  • we also thought it was the perfect time to bring back Newsbroke,

  • and look at a number of aspects of the moment with a skeleton crew.

  • No animations, and my cat running camera.

  • Good job baby!

  • She's an indoor.

  • Coronavirus has rapidly done a number of things,

  • besides spread and take lives.

  • It's also somehow made President Trump really jealous.

  • It's almost like he's mad another younger hotter pathogen

  • has gone more viral than he has.

  • It has also exposed deep structural problems in our healthcare system,

  • our economy, and our political systems.

  • Coronavirus is like a blacklight shining on our Econolodge of a country.

  • The bed seems sturdy but

  • you do not want to see what's holding it together.

  • They're problems that Bernie Sanders has been sounding the alarm on for decades,

  • which are now all painfully on display.

  • Just like my bookshelf of IKEA boxes is painfully on display.

  • I have limited closet space.

  • So let's look at six ways that the coronavirus has shown that

  • Bernie Sanders might be onto something.

  • That guy should run for president one day!

  • The obvious first is healthcare.

  • Coronavirus has hit the U.S. when 30 million of us

  • still don't have any health insurance,

  • and half a million of us go bankrupt every year

  • just trying to pay for medical costs. Even with insurance.

  • Bernie Sanders has long-advocated for a national healthcare system,

  • Medicare for All, which covers all people with no out of pocket costs.

  • It ends all premiums.

  • It ends all co-payments.

  • It ends the absurdity of deductibles.

  • And that has been met, from both Republicans and Democrats,

  • with that all too familiar question. You know the one!

  • How are we going to pay for it?

  • How you gonna pay for it?

  • How are we going to pay for

  • many of these things.

  • They don't know who's going to pay for it.

  • How're we going to pay for it?

  • Doesn't show enough about

  • how we're going to pay for it.

  • Um, duh. The same way we pay for most healthcare expenses in this country!

  • GoFundMe.

  • Enter COVID-19.

  • Tens of thousands of Americans suddenly need rapid testing,

  • hospital beds and sometimes respirators,

  • and the richest country in the world hasn't been able to provide them.

  • Healthcare workers themselves are not only in short supply,

  • but so is their basic protective gear like face masks to safely treat patients.

  • And that's to say nothing of the magazine selection in hospital waiting rooms.

  • It's just the same three issues of Highlights Magazine.

  • I've already read "The Dog Who Helps Save Whales"!

  • Drivel.

  • Our massively privatized system is clearly

  • not designed to handle a national crisis like this.

  • And that's dawning on everyone.

  • Which is why now we're hearing a strangely familiar tune from a far too familiar face

  • Earlier this week I met with

  • the leaders of health insurance industry,

  • who have agreed to waive all copayments

  • for coronavirus treatments,

  • extend insurance coverage

  • to these treatments,

  • and to prevent surprise medical billing.

  • OK, but how are we going to pay for it, right?

  • Anyone?

  • Weird.

  • In fact coronavirus has given some corporate pundits ideological whiplash.

  • In the space of three weeks,

  • I've gone from asking questions like,

  • How do we pay for certain policies?”

  • to re-tweeting tweets from

  • the likes of Bernie Sanders

  • and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

  • Oh Lady Chatterley, you naughty girl!

  • What a difference a doomsday makes.

  • It's almost like when millions of people

  • suddenly need urgent care and could infect us all, the money is there.

  • Coronavirus is kind of like if poverty became contagious,

  • suddenly everyone's like,

  • A poor just sneezed on me!

  • Oh God!

  • Oh! My 401K is burning up!

  • But just in case you thought the U.S. has learned its healthcare lesson,

  • rest assured, we haven't.

  • In fact, what Trump said about Covid-19 treatment being covered,

  • that's not actually true.

  • Yes Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,

  • which did include free testing but not treatment.

  • That's why private health insurance companies aren't covering

  • the cost of treatment, only the test.

  • If you can get one.

  • And at this point, health facilities are guarding them like bridge trolls.

  • The test is free

  • but answer me

  • these questions three!

  • Patients are already getting a taste of how much it costs to survive coronavirus.

  • For one Boston woman, it was almost $35,000. And her case isn't that unique.

  • A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the

  • average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance,

  • and without complications, would be about $9,763.

  • Someone whose treatment has complications

  • may see bills about double that, over $20,000.

  • Oh, and if you have insurance, all that out-of-network,

  • in-network billing maze that so many of us know about, that's still in place.

  • So it's a good thing we have nothing but time in quarantine.

  • Medical debt from surviving coronavirus will further strap Americans

  • during what could be an economic depression as result of the pandemic.

  • Before this all happened, Bernie Sanders warned about

  • the crippling costs of medical debt, and called to drop all of it.

  • That was in addition to his calls to drop $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

  • Now that millions are out of work, that radical idea of dropping debt

  • isn't all that radical anymore.

  • New York's Attorney General just suspended collections

  • on both medical and student debt in response to the pandemic.

  • Sure it's only for 30 days, but that's just enough time to

  • pack your bags and get a one-way flight to Costa Rica.

  • They're cheap.

  • Don't come back.

  • Never return.

  • Coronavirus has exposed just how little job security workers in his country have.

  • Four in 10 hourly workers don't have paid sick leave,

  • and overall the less money you make, the less likely you are to have it.

  • Back in 2015 Bernie was a co-sponsor of the

  • Family and Medical Leave Insurance Bill and spoke some pretty prescient words:

  • We have a situation where

  • people in this country,

  • by the millions,

  • have no guaranteed sick leave.

  • And especially in areas

  • like the food industry,

  • sick people are handling our food

  • and the reason for that,

  • is that they do not have

  • any paid sick leave.

  • Yeah. Restaurant workers not having sick leave

  • is truly the cruelest twist of consumerist capitalism.

  • COVID or not, illnesses inevitably get passed to the customers.

  • If you think about it, restaurant owners are basically outsourcing the diarrhea.

  • And that is the real trickle down economics.

  • In our current crisis, restaurant workers and other tipped workers,

  • hourly wage earners, gig workers,

  • domestic workers and farmworkers, have all been hit the hardest.

  • Shifts are disappearing, workers are being let go,

  • and if they or their loved ones get sick, most can't take time off.

  • Bernie has supported legislation for those workers

  • in particular though his Workplace Democracy plan,

  • which among other things has sought protections for Uber and Lyft drivers,

  • saying companies shouldn't be able to misclassify workers

  • as independent contractors or label them as a “supervisor

  • and calls forjust causelegislation, which would prohibit employers

  • from firing workers for anything other than their performance on the job.

  • Which would mean a pandemic wouldn't bejust causeto fire you

  • but not finishing your wet food and only eating the dry is!

  • She's fired.

  • And wouldn't you know it, with COVID-19 Congress has now

  • mandated paid sick and family leave as part of their emergency relief package.

  • So you can take up to two weeks off

  • and you will be paid your full wage

  • and you can take up to three months off

  • and be paid two-thirds of your pay.

  • For people who work these gig jobs,

  • independent contractors,

  • they get a tax credit

  • of the equivalent amount.

  • So that's a sea change,

  • I mean workers have been

  • calling for this for years!

  • And we finally got it.

  • Yeah OK, let's temper the excitement,

  • because it actually only covers 48% of the workforce

  • and also offers tax credits to companies for providing sick leave.

  • Which is like insane, right?

  • Like why are we rewarding companies for doing the right thing?

  • That's like making a priest a bishop

  • because he didn't touch children.

  • Some businesses have even taken it upon themselves

  • to change their paid sick leave policies in light of coronavirus.

  • And CEOs voluntarily changing their sick leave policies

  • is the biggest indicator that they were probably trash to begin with.

  • Like McDonald's, which usually only gives 5 days paid time-off for hourly employees.

  • That's one day off for Christmas,

  • one day off for New Year's,

  • one day off for when you get your hair caught in the McFlurry mixer,

  • and two days off to FIX IT!

  • Of course none of those concessions

  • are coming from the goodness of these CEO's hearts.

  • In fact, another Bernie Sanders prophecy that is coming true is corporate greed.

  • McDonalds, in fact, secretly lobbied the Trump administration

  • to not expand paid sick leave benefits for workers any further,

  • and man would I love to have been a fly on the wall during that negotiation.

  • Mr. President, it'd be a shame if we had to discontinue the filet-o-fish

  • Stop right there.

  • Who do you want me to kill?

  • Then there's Bernie's line, you know the one

  • About the millionaires and the billionaires...

  • It sometimes it can get tiresome.

  • But you really start to see the depths of billionaires' greed in times like this.

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a man who

  • made more money today than your entire bloodline

  • agreed to finally give workers two weeks paid sick leave

  • for those infected with coronavirus,

  • but not before he refused to shut factories in Spain and Italy

  • where 5 workers there were diagnosed with it.

  • Four senators, including Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to Bezos

  • imploring him to consider covering the costs of coronavirus testing

  • for his workers at fulfillment centers,

  • and at least give them enough break time to wash their hands.

  • Which apparently is a big ask considering workers there

  • don't even have enough time

  • to go the bathroom.

  • Let's remember,

  • Bezos is a guy who makes the salary of an average

  • Amazon employee every nine seconds, but they can't take breaks to pee?

  • Man, there's already class war, workers are just losing it.

  • Now everyone's talking aboutsocial distancing.”

  • Well, no one is more socially distant than Bernie Sanders.

  • He doesn't even like wishing people a happy birthday.

  • I'm not good at pleasantries.

  • If you have your birthday,

  • I'm not gonna call you up

  • to congratulate you

  • so you'll love me