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COVID-19, State Efforts

State Spotlight August 15, 2020

Published On August 15, 2020

By: Joanna Dornfeld

New resources to help you manage during the COVID crisis.

USofCare Health Care State Legislative Candidate Guides

This week, USofCare released state legislative candidate guides. The guides include key health care data and effective health care policy solutions as well as key messages – informed by our current COVID experience – to inform candidates’ priorities and conversations with voters about their health care challenges. Health care remains one of the most important problems facing America. Voters are concerned about access to and the cost for health care and insurance. 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. You can find the candidate guides here:

COVID-19 Public Opinion Roundup

Voters Support COVID-19 Prevention Measures

  • The majority of the public (53%) continues to support “aggressive” social distancing measures (while 30% believe our social distancing measures are currently at the right level and 14% support decreased social distancing measures). (Navigator Poll)
  • Support for wearing a mask remains high. Two-thirds of Americans polled reported wearing a mask ‘at all times’ when leaving the home, including nearly half (48%) of Republicans. (Axios-Ipsos)

Voters Remain Concerned about Schools Reopening for In-person Instruction

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans are concerned about schools reopening too soon, and two-thirds of parents (67%) view sending their children to school as a large or moderate risk. (Axios-Ipsos Poll)
  • A separate poll of registered voters found that voters are divided on whether K-12 in-person instruction should begin, with 33% supportive, and 59% opposed. Of those opposed, 41% are strongly opposed. (Morning Consult-Politico)

Voters Expect Policymakers to Take Action

  • There remains strong support for legislation to address the pandemic: 76% of voters believe it should be a “top priority” of Congress to pass coronavirus legislation. (Morning Consult + Politico)
  • Additionally, 65% believe it should be a top priority to pass a bill to stimulate the economy, and 46% believe it should be a top priority to pass a health care reform measure. (Morning Consult + Politico)

Legislative and Regulatory Steps for a National COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Last week, USofCare’s partner, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, released a new report, “Legislative and Regulatory Steps for a National COVID-19 Testing Strategy,” that outlines legislative actions and federal appropriation targets that Duke-Margolis and its collaborating experts believe are needed to get a robust, diversified testing strategy in place for the nation by fall 2020.The report lays out a comprehensive approach to testing that separates diagnostic testing from routine screening tests to alleviate strain on the laboratory testing capacity that has suffered regional breakdowns in the past several months. This approach includes $75 billion in funding to allow rapid, less costly point-of-care/at-home testing and more effective contact tracing, isolation, and containment enabled by:

  • Developing smarter testing: direct additional $300 million in research and development to accelerate and expand access to rapid, accurate point-of-care testing and easy sample collection
  • Increasing testing capacity: provide $45 billion to create a robust national testing capacity
  • Widening the supply chain: direct HHS to address critical testing supply chain shortages, with $6 billion to fund advance purchase contracts or support use of the Defense Production Act for testing equipment, infrastructure, and related supplies.
  • Tracing and isolating: provide $24 billion to support state and local governments to implement additional contact tracing, provide local isolation for those who cannot do so at home, and support infected workers who lose pay in isolation
  • Reporting: standardize and publish key information on testing and community risk by state and region stratified by age, sex, race and ethnicity, so that local epidemic response decisions can respond effectively to shifts in the pandemic
  • Communicating: initiate a cohesive public communications strategy at the Federal level to keep all Americans informed about testing opportunities, turn-around times for results, contact tracing, and support for preventing spread.

Join Our Team! USofCare Career Opportunities

We are seeking talented individuals to join our team to lead our communications and media work and lead our people-centered research and community engagement. Joining our team means opportunities for career growth, mentorship, and collaboration with and learning from renowned leaders in U.S. health care policy. At every level we value and prioritize inclusion and diverse perspectives. Seeking unity over uniformity, we pay attention to the diverse interests, abilities, needs, and backgrounds of every employee and strive to create an environment where everyone is heard and feels that they belong. We are currently recruiting for the following positions. Learn more here.

United States of Care COVID Rapid Response for State Leaders

USofCare’s mission to ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care has never been more important than in the current public health crisis. We have been providing immediate support for state and federal government and public response needs, leveraging our expertise (including our Board and Founder’s Council), capacity, network and resources to support effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams of USofCare’s staff are researching and responding to incoming requests, which can be sent to [email protected].