The Trump administration will use a federal stimulus package to pay hospitals that treat uninsured people with the new coronavirus as long as they agree not to bill the patients or issue unexpected charges.Here we have, in a crisis, the germ of a national health care system: the government paying hospitals a fixed price for services and requiring them to jettison all the tricks they use to raise revenue. This is absolutely essential for any national health care scheme; lots of countries have private insurance, but almost all have prices fixed by the government. And usually those prices are not detailed at the level of so much for a test or an aspirin but a simple flat fee for treatment of a disease, or for days in a hospital. Another key thing in getting people to support such schemes is that they are easy for the patient, just like this will be.
….A 1918-like pandemic would cause U.S. hospitals to absorb a net loss of $3.9 billion, or an average $784,592 per hospital, according to a 2007 report in the Journal of Health Care Finance that called on policy makers to consider contingencies to ensure hospitals don’t become insolvent as a result of a severe pandemic.
All it took to get the US there was a pandemic that may kill a million people.