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Senate Republicans Still Making Life Harder for Millions of Americans Who Have Lost Health Coverage in Pandemic-Driven Recession

New Nonpartisan Study Finds Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance, Worst Increase in the Uninsured Rate in U.S. History

A new study released today by a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group found that a record 5.4 million American workers have lost their health insurance in the middle of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis — an estimate that’s “nearly 40 percent higher than the highest previous increase.” 

Despite the millions of American workers unemployed and uninsured through no fault of their own, Senate Republicans are STILL making it harder for Americans to get health coverage during a global pandemic:

  • Senate Republicans are allowing the toxic GOP lawsuit to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act to plow forward, which would eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions and kick an estimated 20 million Americans off their health insurance.
  • Senate Republicans still have “no plan” to help the millions of Americans who would lose coverage if the popular health care law is struck down. 

Republicans’ choice to make it more difficult for Americans to get health coverage in a pandemic is both wrong and deeply unpopular. Recent polling also shows broad support across the political spectrum for protecting people with pre-existing conditions and other key aspects of the ACA that Republicans are pushing the Supreme Court to dismantle. Health care is emerging again as a “massive political liability” for the GOP this cycle and is taking “center stage” in the battle for control of the Senate, as its importance to voters hits its highest point in recent years.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

New York Times: Millions Have Lost Health Insurance in Pandemic-Driven Recession
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg
July 14, 2020

Key Points:

  • The coronavirus pandemic stripped an estimated 5.4 million American workers of their health insurance between February and May, a stretch in which more adults became uninsured because of job losses than have ever lost coverage in a single year, according to a new analysis.
  • The study…by the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group Families USA, found that the estimated increase in uninsured workers from February to May was nearly 40 percent higher than the highest previous increase, which occurred during the recession of 2008 and 2009, when 3.9 million adults lost insurance.
  • “We knew these numbers would be big,” said Stan Dorn, who directs the group’s National Center for Coverage Innovation and wrote the study. “This is the worst economic downturn since World War II. It dwarfs the Great Recession. So it’s not surprising that we would also see the worst increase in the uninsured.”
  • The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that 27 million Americans have lost coverage in the pandemic; that study took into account family members of the insured. Another analysis, published Monday by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, projected that by the end of 2020, 10.1 million people will no longer have employer-sponsored health insurance or coverage that was tied to a job they lost because of the pandemic.
  • And those losing coverage could face staggering costs if they are struck by Covid-19, which has sent the seriously ill to hospital intensive care units for weeks, sometimes months.
  • The studies come in the thick of the campaign season, when health care — and in particular the future of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare — will be a major issue. Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., want to expand the law. President Trump has asked the Supreme Court to overturn it.
  • The White House and Congress have done little to help. The Trump administration has imposed sharp cuts on the funding for outreach programs that assist people in signing up for coverage under the health law. And while House Democrats have passed legislation intended to help people to keep their health insurance, the bill is stuck in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Read the full report here

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