Washington DC – Today, United States of Care (USofCare) announced a five-point plan responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The proposal includes sweeping suggestions for Congress to take bold action and mobilize all the capacity of the nation to minimize mortality rates and provide sustained financial support for Americans who face job losses as a result of the global pandemic.
The recommendations seek to achieve the following goals:
- Provide a significant, sustained commitment to support front-line medical workers, and to treat them as a protected class for the duration of the declaration of the federal and state emergencies.
- Allow Americans the financial wherewithal to withstand extended isolation and job loss; the ability to isolate will have a direct impact on the expected death toll.
- Support the health care costs of Americans who are afflicted with COVID-19 and impacted by the economic downturn; by extension, provide financial support for states, hospitals, community health centers, and other health care institutions.
- Protect the most vulnerable Americans from COVID-19: people with underlying chronic medical conditions, those living in close quarters or otherwise unable to practice social distancing, and seniors–especially those in nursing homes.
- Put the full resources of the entire nation to their maximum use to respond to pressing medical and public health infrastructure needs.
“The challenges we’re facing with the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented, and the response needs to be just as big and bold and inventive,” said Andy Slavitt, USofCare board chair. “We must unlock the productivity and creativity of the nation, while protecting those most vulnerable and working on the front lines. We believe Congress must commit to speedy, but continual action as facts change. Our proposal today could contain important additional elements if this were only weeks from now.”
USofCare designed the proposal so that Congress can implement its recommendations with the speed and efficiency needed to calm public fears and reassure our health care workforce. Even the smallest reduction in capacity can have catastrophic implications across several systems, starting with public health, so the recommendations are deliberate in its approach to supporting various social structures that can play a role in this response.