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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 for “just cause” legislation, which would prohibit employers
from firing workers for anything other than their performance on the job.
Which would mean a pandemic wouldn't be “just cause” to 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 about “social 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
and you write nice things
about me.
I've been amazed how many people
respond to “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
"Oh Bernie, thanks so much for calling.”
It works, it's just not my style.
Bernie already treats every social situation
like he could possibly contract COVID-19.
Birthdays, New Years, even Passover.
Yeah I'll, uh, I'll come to the seder
as soon as Elijah shows up.
He never shows up.
“We're all in this together.”
We've heard that from many people when talking about coronavirus,
everyone from the head of the World Health Organization,
to Madonna in a bathtub full of rose petals, to Vice President Mike Pence.
We're all in this together.
And by this, I mean the ark that I've been building in my yard
which will whisk us away from God's plague.
Now I need two of every straight animal.
Not you, flamingo.
There's no question that we are all in this together
when it comes to an international health crisis.
But whether or not you survive it,
absolutely depends on your privilege and wealth.
Because from our healthcare to our jobs to how we get our food,
the U.S. isn't designed for solidarity, collectivity or the common good.
It's designed for a few people to get rich,
get excellent healthcare, or have job stability.
The rest of us scrape by.
And Bernie Sanders has spent his political career pointing that out.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us,
we have socialism for the rich
and rugged individualism
for the poor and for other people
And when it comes to that concept of true solidarity,
it's kind of been Bernie's guiding principle for years.
What I believe in and what my spirituality
is about is that we're all in this together.
That it is not a good thing
to believe that as human beings
we should turn our backs
on the suffering of other people.
Whatever you think about him, Bernie's ideas are
speaking to our current crisis like never before.
In part because what we're going through as a country
is an acceleration of what's been happening for decades
It's a bull**** speed-up. So it's up to us.
Will the U.S. come around to recognizing
and fixing the basic flaws in these systems?
And can we afford not to?
You guys, this is Newsbroke back in quarantine.
Like this video, share this video, subscribe.
Do all the things. Tell all the people.
And we will see you sooner than later. I mean, honestly, where am I going?
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6 Ways Coronavirus Proves Bernie Sanders Right

834 Folder Collection
ally.chang published on April 16, 2020
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