Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at a news conference with Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to call for legislation to cancel all student debt, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
As my RedState colleague Bonchie wrote Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is busy using the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to promote socialism. She tweeted out some “emergency measures” proposals Wednesday which included calls for universal basic income programs and “eviction freezes”, none of which would stop the virus from spreading.
Because she’s fond of never letting a crisis go to waste, the freshman Congresswoman took to the Twitter machine again on Thursday to make claims about South Korea and their response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. In her tweet, she alleged that “a major reason” South Korea has been able to respond more quickly to the outbreak is because they have a single payer healthcare system:
Want to know one major reason why South Korea has had stellar rapid response and quickly produced & scaled up to 10k+ tests/day?
They have a single payer, #MedicareForAll system.
Please remember why it’s so important for us to fight for healthcare as a human right.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2020
The problem with AOC’s argument is that … it’s simply not true to say single payer is the “major reason” for South Korea’s aggressive response, especially when you consider the fact Italy also has a single payer system but is faring much worse, as others pointed out:
So does Italy. How’s that working out?
— Hans Dancin (@HansDancin) March 12, 2020
Italy is drowning in coronavirus patients, is running out of beds and exhausting limited medical personnel. Italy is now talking about withholding healthcare to seniors to let them die due to limited resources.
Italy has socialized medicine.
Don’t be like Italy.
— CL_102938 (@CL_102938) March 13, 2020
There are other reasons as well, as Joel Pollak explains:
This is wrong. South Korea's testing kits are produced by a private company. The normal regulations were waived.
Moreover, the vaccine for coronavirus will likely be produced by the profit-driven private pharmaceutical industry, which the authors of #MedicareForAll hate.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) March 12, 2020
Pollack went into more detail here on the differences in how the two countries have handled the crisis:
A new report by Reuters that compares South Korea and Italy notes that South Korea’s aggressive coronavirus testing system has been accompanied by a widespread system of electronic surveillance that tracks potential contacts of those infected. “South Korea’s system is an intrusive mandatory measure that depends on people surrendering what, for many in Europe and America, would be a fundamental right of privacy,” Reuters notes.
Moreover, CNN reports, South Korea’s aggressive testing was made possible because of a private company called Seegene that was able to ramp up production. The government cut the usual red tape to allow the kits to be made.
Beyond that, South Korea did a better job at sealing their borders early on and their leaders weren’t telling people to “go out and hug a Chinese person” – or anyone else. Also, Italy has a higher percentage of elderly citizens, and senior citizens and people with underlying conditions are the most at risk.
There are many reasons why South Korea has rapidly responded to the outbreak and seems to be faring better. Single payer healthcare is not one of them.