Think about this: in the wake of the president's bungled response to Covid-19 -- even Oklahoma's governor came down with it after attending the president’s Tulsa rally -- a record-breaking 5.4 million jobless American workers have lost their healthcare coverage. That’s more workers uninsured in a few months than in any year on record. If you include family members, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the estimate rises to 27 million. So any of them who now get the coronavirus and end up in a hospital are in deep, deep trouble. Given the obvious nightmarishness of the situation, you might assume that Congress would instantly put time, consideration, and money into the problem. (I won't even bother to mention the president and his administration that only recently went to the Supreme Court to nullify Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and so potentially leave up to 23 million more Americans without such coverage at the height of the pandemic.) Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?
How, then, has Congress been spending its time? Here’s a simple answer: the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee only recently passed a $740.5 billion “defense” budget for 2021. Hey, what do Americans need right now more than new Virginia class submarines and spending “$175 million to support stability in the submarine industrial base”? If that isn’t real national health care, what is? What makes more sense right now than another rise in the already staggering national (in)security budget? And if we’re lucky, as with the police, perhaps the Pentagon will rechannel some of that money to the U.S. healthcare system by, say, arming doctors and nurses and equipping them with night-vision goggles or giving them armored Humvees in which to travel their hospital corridors.