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COVID-19, State Efforts

State Spotlight September 19, 2020

Published On September 19, 2020

By: Joanna Dornfeld

State Success Story, Part 2: How Colorado advocates built and mobilized a diverse coalition to give more families access to health care

Access to quality, affordable health care is increasingly paramount as the COVID pandemic continues to rage across the country. In order to address that need for thousands of Coloradans, US of Care advocacy partners successfully passed a Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise (SB215). This law will bring more affordable coverage to Coloradans who buy their own insurance by repurposing an existing federal fee on insurance companies with a state fee. Read more about the new law in this previous blog.

There is a lot to be learned from the coalition effort required to successfully pass a policy of this magnitude – particularly during an abbreviated COVID session. US of Care interviewed the three coalition leaders to hear in their own words how they mobilized more than 50 organizations to pass the bill in June. Embedded within this conversation are key lessons for advocates, stakeholders, and policymakers across the country who aim to advance any policy reform, including expanding health care coverage for people not served by the Affordable Care Act.

Public Opinion Round Up – COVID and the Economy

Americans are expressing a sense of urgency to control the virus and are highly concerned about the impact on the economy.

  • The majority of Americans (57%) are hopeful that the pandemic will be under control in the next six months, though this is largely split along partisan lines. [Axios-Ipsos]
  • The majority of people (61%) either know someone who has been infected with the virus, or they have been infected themselves. [Quinnipiac]
  • 86% of Americans are concerned about the state of both the national economy and 82% are concerned about their local economy. [Morning Consult]
  • A slightly smaller majority (60%) describe the state of the economy as “not so good” or “poor.” [Quinnipiac]
  • For the first time, voters say the economy will be their primary issue this election (32%), followed by the pandemic (20%), criminal justice and policing (16%), and race relations (14%). [KFF]

In order to successfully end the pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide clear, accurate information about the virus and effective treatment and tools to stop the spread.

  • Concern about the economy—along with getting used to the “new normal” of the pandemic—is leading Americans to socialize more often in public places. The percentage of all Americans socializing in public places is up to 31% (from 26% on 8/2/20). [Morning Consult]
  • There is widespread misinformation about a number of prevention-related efforts, including 25% who believe that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19 and 20% who say a mask is harmful to their health. [KFF]
  • However, the majority of Americans across all political ideologies believe in the effectiveness of face masks. [Morning Consult]
  • In addition, Americans continue to support stay-at-home orders as a prevention measure for spread, as well as increased restrictions. 66% of the country either strongly or somewhat supports stay-at-home orders, compared to just a quarter (25%) who disapprove. [Morning Consult/Politico]

US of Care Releases A System Under Stress, Exacerbated: The Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance System at a Crossroads

Over the past seven pandemic-ridden months, between six million and 27 million people may have lost the health insurance they previously received from their employer. These people are losing health coverage during a historic pandemic — a time when affordable access to care is more critical than ever. The health of each individual is so clearly linked to the health of us all.

Our health care system – which relies on job-connected health insurance for more than 160 million Americans – is complex. We need to ask critical questions about how health care security can become more affordable and durable in good times and in bad. To assist in this effort, USofCare is examining approaches utilized by several states and leading private companies to control the costs increasingly straining the system.

USofCare is bringing together policy experts, employers, innovators and people experiencing our health care system to understand what currently works and what alternatives could look like. Our current job-based system has been in place for decades, and now it is time to think about a system that can give people the health care coverage security they want no matter what life may bring. USofCare wants to be a part of the solution and we’d like you to join us. If you want to join our conversation and USofCare’s effort to develop solutions, email Andrew Schwab, Director of Policy, Federal Affairs and Partnerships, at [email protected].

USofCare 2020 Health Care Legislative Candidate Guides

US of Care state legislative candidate 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. All of the candidate education materials can be found on USofCare’s Resources page.

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.

If you would like more information about USofCare’s candidate education materials or would like to request a briefing, contact us at [email protected].

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].