The Biden administration is wrong regarding the proposed ban on affordable health coverage options.
Before states instated lockdowns and ordered hospitals to halt providing some services in order to focus on COVID-19, researchers issued warnings on the potential economic, mental, social, and health consequences of instating lockdowns.
These warnings have come to pass, unfortunately.
According to Federal data, there has been an increase in the number of deaths attributed to other illnesses like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The biggest spike has been in the number of deaths caused by heart conditions. In New York City, for example,
there were 8,300 more deaths from heart problems than would have been typical in March, April and May — an increase of roughly 27 percent over historical averages.
Certainly, people die all the time from all sorts of causes. So, it is highly possible that some of these deaths were going to happen regardless of whether there was a pandemic or not.
But events during the pandemic likely increased mortality from these causes. For one, people were scared to seek medical help. Moreover, hospitals had shut down other services and were prioritizing Covid-19 treatment.
Normally, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But in the early months of the pandemic, some hospital departments were nearly devoid of the heart, cancer, stroke and other patients who populated them before.
To some extent, some of these deaths could have been prevented.
Even worse yet, this is only just the beginning of a trend that will likely prevail for a long time. The nation is still at risk of more deaths — in the years to come — due to the delays that have been placed on other sectors of the medical system.
The head of the National Cancer Institute, Norman “Ned” Sharpless, predicted on June 18 that delays in cancer screenings, diagnoses and treatment during the pandemic are likely to result in “thousands” of excess cancer deaths in years to come.
According to the National Drug Control Policy, the country has seen also seen an increase in opioid-overdose-related deaths — a fact that can also be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and related government lockdown mandates.
Lockdowns, for one, have exacerbated isolation, loneliness, and anxiety — feelings that could encourage substance abuse. Not to mention that restrictions on health care services — like mental health care — might have potentially pushed individuals to another coping mechanism like substance abuse.
People die from a myriad of causes. COVID-19 did not make those causes go away. However, halting life-saving healthcare services in order to focus on COVID-19 meant that healthcare was unable to deal with those other causes of death.
What we are seeing now is an outcome that could have been prevented if only lawmakers had not put such a huge emphasis on COVID-19 at the expense of other life-saving medical procedures.
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