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Wed Apr 8, 2020, 07:06 AM

Bernie Sanders: We cannot rely on Trump. Congress must lead the way in this unprecedented crisis

Wed 8 Apr 2020 06.30 EDT
Opinion
Bernie Sanders

Excerpt:

As long as this pandemic continues, Medicare must be empowered to pay all of the deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for the uninsured and the underinsured. No one in America who is sick, regardless of immigration status, should be afraid to seek the medical treatment they need during this national crisis.

Obviously, Congress must not only address the pandemic crisis, it must also act with a fierce sense of urgency to effectively deal with the economic crisis as well.

In the last two weeks, a record-breaking 10 million people filed unemployment claims more than during the entire 2008 Great Recession. Frighteningly, the St Louis Federal Reserve projects that 47 million more people may become unemployed by the end of June, with unemployment reaching 32%. While such estimates may be a worst-case scenario, the reality of the pandemic has taught us that worst-case scenarios are what we must plan for. For the sake of working families all over this country, we must be prepared for all contingencies.

We cannot wait before taking the bold action that is necessary. In my view, it makes a lot more sense to prevent the collapse of our economy than figuring out how we put it back together after it crumbles. Simply stated, that means that every worker must keep receiving his or her paycheck and benefits during the crisis. In the recent emergency relief bill, Congress appropriated over $25bn in grants to the airline companies so that 2 million workers in that industry will continue to receive their full paycheck and benefits through 30 September. And that is exactly what we must do for every worker in America. This is not a radical idea. It is similar to what France, Norway, Denmark, the UK and other countries are doing.

Further, as quickly as possible, we must get money into the hands of people by immediately providing a $2,000 monthly emergency payment to every person in the country until the crisis has passed.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/08/we-cant-rely-on-trump-in-this-unprecedented-crisis-congress-must-lead-the-way

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