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Former Gov. John Hickenlooper Says Coronavirus Pandemic Proves the US Needs Universal Healthcare

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is the latest Democrat to say the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic is proof the United States needs to have universal health care to combat future outbreaks.

The failed presidential candidate-turned-Senate hopeful told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle universal health care is needed to protect working-class people who are still on the job in essential businesses and risking exposure to COVID-19.

“Governor, if we do put people back to work and there is a liability shield, if businesses are not going to face lawsuits, if employees or customers get sick, what does that do to our essential workers, our most vulnerable Americans who don’t have access to good healthcare from their employer, and now they may be forced to go back to work because if their business is open, they can’t go on unemployment, what do we do for all of those Americans? I know Medicare for All wasn’t something you supported in normal times, but we’re in a crisis moment," Ruhle said.

"Well, I have always supported universal health care, universal coverage. And without question, that is — this crisis points that out," Hickenlooper said.

"Our front-line workers, and, obviously, first responders, firefighters, all of those folks are now joined by people who are working in factories, helping make sure that our food gets — our agricultural crops and our livestock gets processed into food and we get that food to market," he continued. "People that are selling us food in supermarkets. These are all workers who need to be protected. And they weren’t being protected because we did not have sufficient personal protection equipment to be able to maintain their safety as they worked. I think that if we expect them to go back to work, we should have the single highest priority to make sure that they have the protection they need."


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