- Michigan has the seventh-lowest uninsured rate in the United States (5% in 2018).
- Michigan’s unemployment rate jumped from 4.3% in March to 24.% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was 14.8% in June, which likely has severed tens of thousands of Michiganders from their employer sponsored insurance.
- The COVID pandemic is drastically impacting insurance coverage for Michigan — between March and April of 2020, more than 17,000 people enrolled in Michigan’s Medicaid program.
- As of July 6, 2020, a disproportionate number of those infected (53%) and those dying (48%) in Michigan are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, who make up only 21% of the state’s population.
- Access to health care in rural areas has only become more challenging during the pandemic and will likely have lasting impacts on rural communities. A national study of rural hospitals found that 18 (25% of) hospitals in rural Michigan are at risk of closure in the wake of stresses imposed by COVID-19.
- Seniors are at greatest risk. As of June 30th, over 87% of COVID deaths in Michigan were among patients aged 60 or older.
- As of June 2020, Michigan’s current state budget was projected to incur a $3.2 billion shortfall due to the pandemic. On June 29, Governor Whitmer announced a bipartisan plan to cover the deficit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the need for practical solutions that address both the immediate challenges and the long-term gaps in our health care systems to ensure Michiganders can access quality health care they can afford.
Key Messages for Candidates:
- Acknowledge the moment: “Our country is at a pivotal moment. The pandemic, economic recession, and national discussion on race have created a renewed call for action. They have also magnified the critical problems that exist in our health care system.”
- Take an active stance: “It is long past time to examine our systems and address gaps that have existed for decades. We must find solutions and common ground to build a health care system that serves everyone.”
- Commit to prioritizing people’s needs: “I will put people’s health care needs first and I’m already formalizing the ways I gather input and work with community and business leaders to put effective solutions in place.”
- Commit to addressing disparities and finding common ground: “The health care system, as it’s currently structured, isn’t working for far too many. I will work to address the lack of fairness and shared needs to build a health care system that works for all of us.”
Health Care During the COVID Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the need for effective solutions that address both the immediate challenges and the long-term gaps in our health care systems to ensure people can access quality health care they can afford. In the wake of COVID, policymakers have a critical opportunity to enact solutions to meet their constituents’ short- and long-term health care needs. The 2020 Health Care Legislative Candidate Guide provides candidates with public opinion data, state-specific health care information, key messages and ideas for your health care platform.
For more information or to seek assistance, contact USofCare at [email protected].