Newsy Nugget episode #


Does COVID-19 illuminate healthcare cost hypocrisy in America?

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00:00 / 02:26

The COVID-19 pandemic does not care about the ranks we decide to lay upon people. Dr. Gary Puckrein of the National Minority Quality Forum tackles the policy positions that result in the access to and cost of healthcare in America.

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Gary Puckrein, MD, PhD

Executive Director of the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), in Washington, D.C.


You’re listening to a newsy nugget brought to you by Diverse Health Hub, a health equity education and awareness channel. I’m Christian Strohm, and thanks for tuning in! We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum. Dr. Puckrein discusses access to healthcare in America, and how the COVID pandemic is shaping the dialogue.

For us in America, we often hear it argued that the cost of quality healthcare makes it impossible to extend to everyone. Dr. Puckrein, can you remark on this policy position in light of the COVID pandemic?

[Dr. Puckrein]
Yeah, I see when people talk about the cost of healthcare, what they’re really talking about is the cost of healthcare for their neighbor, they’re not talking about the cost of healthcare for themselves because the cost of healthcare for themselves is “I want the best possible healthcare I can get. It’s my neighbor’s healthcare that I’m afraid that you’re asking me to pay for that I’m really concerned about.” And that’s a wrong way to look at it. We cannot build a healthcare system for the 1%. Look at this virus, look at what it’s doing to the 1% -- the heir apparent to the throne of England, or actors and actresses, and senators -- it doesn’t care, the virus actually is complete agnostic to all of the ranks that we decide to lay upon people and treats everyone just the same. And so, if we’re going to fight the pandemic we have to fight it collectively. It’s not that we can say everybody’s whose income level is “x” stay home and everybody whose income is “y” can get to go outside. No, everybody has got to go indoors because the virus doesn’t care. And the same way with diabetes, heart failure and renal disease, cancers in none of those can we just build a healthcare system for that 1%. And so, when we’re talking about reducing risks we have to be talking about if everyone and the idea that we can’t afford it is ridiculous, it’s where we want to put our money is really what the answer is.

Thank you for listening. I’m Christian Strohm and we hope you enjoyed this newsy nugget. Find more on our website,

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