On Friday, Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy linked two top issues of the moment: Medicare for All and mass shootings. Did she do so in a logically and morally consistent way, perhaps by suggesting that single-payer healthcare would dramatically improve the lives of gun violence survivors, who are often crippled by medical bills? Oh gosh no. Absolutely not. Instead she did this:
This is an absurd, dangerous, outright lie. Campos-Duffy, who is married to Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy (seated next to her on the couch), suggests that problems with a single-payer reimbursement structure could interfere with people getting proper mental healthcare, which is a ludicrous claim to make directly after her husband correctly says “not enough people are going into mental health,” although he fails to recognize that that is largely because they cannot pay for it.
All of the various Medicare for All bills introduced to Congress thus far cover mental health services. For example, here’s what Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s bill in the House 0ffers (bold mine):
Among other requirements, the program must (1) cover all U.S. residents; (2) provide for automatic enrollment of individuals upon birth or residency in the United States; and (3) cover items and services that are medically necessary or appropriate to maintain health or to diagnose, treat, or rehabilitate a health condition, including hospital services, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, dental and vision services, and long-term care.
The bill prohibits cost-sharing (e.g., deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) and other charges for covered services.
This is all intended to push the Republicans’ latest talking point that gun violence is a mental health issue, not a gun issue. This is a false dichotomy, a nifty sleight of hand that allows them to sound concerned but not talk about the real issue: that the vast majority of mass shooters were able to easily obtain guns.
And despite all their recent lip service around mental health services, will Republicans fix the healthcare system that keeps these services out of reach for so many Americans? Also no. And around we go.