I read and hear in American press and media that in Italy patients are being turned away if they're too old and that they're rationing ventilators.
If you click at the source if any is provided an Italian article appears which denies a similar claim made by he mayor of Bergamo, namely that there weren't going to be enough resources to treat everyone. Apparently though reporters (e.g. Yascha Mounk of The Atlantic) can't read Italian. That's all right but it doesn't mean fabrications are a viable substitute.
It is simply not true. The healthcare system has been on the edge but that scenario still hasn't happened.
Also, all treatment is free (paid by your regular taxes), as well as the tests, whereas in America a woman has recently been charged with 34,927.43$ for treatment and a test can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, which discourages people from taking it.
While there have been more than four times as many dead as in China (about 9000 as i'm writing this), this is probably due to the population's older average age. In fact the average Italian victim up until march 22 (more recent data is still unavailable) was about 85 years of age, more than 20 years older than the average Chinese victim.
the isn't to say the epidemic has been handled correctly. The metro in Milan was packed even after the quarantine was declared. And not just that, some rides very even cancelled as a result of fewer people using the metro, much to everyone's outrage and ultimately successful protest.
Now, why am i saying this? You see, even though American healthcare ranks worst among developed nations while being twice as expensive and denying coverage to millions of people, the myth that single-payer is somehow even worse pervades American political discourse and even public opinion as a result of being perpetrated by the media as well as both democrat and republican politicians and as of the outbreak of this crisis the situation in Italy has been exploited to prove that point.
This is ridiculous. Just consider the current plans on how to handle the crisis. Take, for example, Joe Biden's proposal to treat all patients with public funding. That's nothing other than single payer. extend that to all diseases and you have what every other developed nation already has, which allows them to spend half as much while leaving nobody uncovered. Medical bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy in the USA. It simply doesn't exist in other developed countries., not to mentions thousands of deaths every year due to lack of coverage which amount to more than all COVID-19 victims so far on the globe.
It's also both sad and amusing how the media keep asking Bernie Sanders "how are you going to pay for it????" despite the fact that single-payer would save money. Also why do they never ask that question about a new war, trump's overblown military budget or bailing out Wall Street?
You can either pay a lot of money to support health-insurance companies and maybe get the crumbs or you can pay half as much to fund healthcare for everyone via single-payer. You're lucky America was hit late and has some time to prepare but even as things are now, it doesn't seem there will be beds and ventilators for everyone, which is more than can be said about the country that has been hit the hardest.
I don't say this with any pride. Simply, America's adoption of a Medicare for All is a necessary step in the advancement of the human race and i hope to see it happen as soon as possible.