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COVID-19, Resources, State Efforts

USofCare 2021 COVID and Health State Policy Resources

Published On December 18, 2020

By: Joanna Dornfeld

Mother applying hand sanitizer

Coming out of this year’s election we know the largest concerns among voters all related to health: the coronavirus pandemic and the economy, which has been deeply impacted by the pandemic itself. Our nation’s elected leaders face monumental challenges, including the need to address the pandemic, inequality, the economic crisis, and building a more robust health care system that ensures everyone has access to the care they need when and where they need it.

United States of Care was founded almost three years ago by a diverse Board and Founder’s Council to advance state and federal policies that solve the challenges that people face with our health care system. We seek to understand people’s unique needs to drive health care policy innovation and partner with elected officials and stakeholders to pass and implement those ideas. Our team takes a multi-faceted approach to providing tools, resources and technical assistance, while sharing best practices with our partners.

As policymakers are turning their attention to the upcoming legislative sessions across the country, they will be looking to advance policies to address the concerns and challenges they heard from voters. United States of Care has assembled the resources below – based on what we’ve heard from people and elected leaders – to help shape those policies. We aim to be a resource to elected leaders and other critical health care stakeholders to make progress toward our mission that everyone has access to quality affordable health care regardless of health status, social need or income.

Responding to the Ongoing COVID Pandemic 

As COVID cases continue to rise across the country, state leaders will be required to continue to support a robust response until a vaccine has been approved and distributed.

Ensuring People’s Wellbeing: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic downturn have caused fears of illness, job loss, and health insurance loss–all while keeping people apart. In the face of these compounding forces, many people are experiencing worsening mental health. Policymakers should take immediate action to address these near-term needs to build the foundation for the long-term transformational change.

Expanding Access to Care Through Virtual Care

COVID dramatically accelerated patients’ and providers’ transition to virtual care. State leaders have taken executive and legislative action to ensure proper regulation during this transformation which can inform future policies to improve access and quality of care for patients.

Making Health Care More Affordable

People across the country are struggling to afford health coverage – regardless of job status, income, race or geography. Policymakers should look at ways to make health care more affordable for individuals to be able to access the care they need.

Increasing Choice

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore their health insurance at a time when affordable access to care is more critical than ever. 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.