If our current state-of-emergency can be observed without emotion, a root-cause-analysis could yield the following (so long as one holds Acts of Gods as a constant as something Man cannot avoid):
The United States healthcare system couldn’t scale to emergency levels because of its complicated structure.
I say complicated, rather than complex, because a hybrid market/socialized system, whereby these two forces are diametrically opposed, produces a system with round holes and square pegs to make it all ‘work.’
Malthus for hire
A little Malthusian logic makes the future look bleak: future health-system stresses will be just as bad as the current one, as the two pro-socialist and pro-market ideas trying to claim this important space clash more than ever, yielding an even bigger, complicated and at-odds system.
Or, read another way, unless a solitary political philosophy takes the reins, then one can expect more of the same in a future crisis.
When the dust settles, the USA government will have to reconcile these two opposed political philosophies as it pertains to the healthcare system.
‘More of the same’ when it comes to how the USA’s healthcare works doesn’t seem possible as there’s just too much inertia behind reform at this point going forward.
2019–2020 will be one of those ‘remember the Alamo’ time-periods; it will shape this country greatly. I’m optimistic for which direction the healthcare system swings in the years ahead.
Update May. 2020
It’s come to my attention that hospital-bed and ventilator shortages were largely mis-reported. Auxiliary hospitals supplied by the military were unused, among other resources.