Fareed Zakaria interviewed former Taiwanese VP Chen Chien-Jen who laid out how they managed to fight the pandemic effectively. It starts with a “single-payer” system.
Single-payer is part of the answer
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America messed up its response to COVID-19. The reality is that it should not have been surprising. Concerning profiteering for a select few, the American response was perfect.
Any sensible government would have executed the actions taken by Taiwan did. Taiwan had an intelligent vice-president who understood pandemics. They also competently managed the response to the virus in a competent and centralized manner. Most importantly, they have a single-payer health care system where everyone is covered, and no one abstains from care for fear of going broke or bankrupt.
The Taiwan people, unlike Americans taking their cues from Right-Wing demagogues, are patriotic and much less selfish. They understand that a few, the potentially infected, must give up their freedom temporarily but democratically to protect the nation as a whole. As such, wearing masks and the quarantine of a few when necessary is never looked at as treading on one's freedom. But it is the right thing to do for the whole.
It is essential going forward that we use this pandemic and its failed response to show precisely how a single-payer health care system would be better. Additionally, we must expose the profiteers and their methods so that we can write effective regulations to punish them. After all, their behavior, like the incompetence of the president, was a form of voluntary manslaughter.
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Political activist, radio host, blogger, author.