News Release

BREAKING: Coronavirus and Tonight’s Debate: “Now do you get it about Medicare for All?”

cnn mediaThis evening, the Institute for Public Accuracy — through its @accuracy2020 project — was scheduled to project a message with giant lettering onto the CNN building in Washington while Sen. Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden debated inside.

The planned projection:

CORPORATE MEDIA:
NOW DO YOU GET IT ABOUT
MEDICARE FOR ALL?

Unfortunately, the noted multimedia artist Robin Bell, who was set to do the projection, fell ill. Bell said today: “The fact that we can’t do this highlights even more why we need tests and healthcare for everyone. For the safety of the people we work with and anyone in the public I would interact with, we decided we would release the mock-up of the projection we were planning to do on CNN, rather than project onto the building tonight.”

Sam Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy said this evening: “We’re of course concerned about Robin. The projection was to illustrate how this issue looms over us all — and major responsibility exists with CNN and every other major media institution given how they’ve dismissed Medicare for All and overall have provided paltry coverage to key issues of public health. We genuinely hope that they’re now realizing what is at stake.”

Available for interviews:

JAMES G. KAHN, MD, MPH, JGKahn at ucsf.edu
Dr. Kahn is emeritus professor at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Institute for Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco. He was recently on an accuracy.org news release: “Can Medicare for All Help Deal with Pandemics?

He said today: “An effective pandemic response requires many actions, including (1) a strong public health infrastructure, with experts and resources; (2) rapid recognition of the problem by public health and political leaders and well-designed responses; and (3) a strong coverage / insurance system (universal first-dollar coverage and excellent data from a strong electronic health record and a single coherent billing system). You need all three legs. Taiwan showed it can work. Without leg #3, we’re handicapping ourselves. In other words, Medicare for All is not sufficient — but it is necessary.”

DAVID HIMMELSTEIN, M.D., himmelhandler at comcast.net
Himmelstein is a distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York at Hunter College. He said today: “Our fragmented system leaves public health separate and disconnected from medical care, and provides no mechanism to appropriately balance funding priorities. As a result, public health accounts for less than 3 percent of overall health expenditures, a percentage that has been falling for decades, and is about half the proportion in Canada or the UK. One result is that state and local health departments that are the front lines in dealing with epidemics have lost 50,000 position since 2008 due to budget cuts.”

See pieces on media coverage of this issue from the media watch group FAIR including: “Corporate Journalists Push Tax Attack on Medicare for All,” “Corporate Media Are Here to Warn You: Medicare for All Is a Very Bad Idea,” “As Biden Invokes Dead Family Members Against Medicare for All, Media Play Along” and “Insurance Lobby Talking Points Don’t Come With Warning Labels.”