Healthcare Coverage During the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond
Six things Congress and the Trump Administration can do right now
April 23, 2020
Healthcare is a human right. Everyone deserves access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare no matter their income, race, ethnicity, gender, or where they’re from. Yet the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare historic racial, ethnic, and income inequities in access to health care.
We can’t continue to accept these healthcare disparities as
normal. Now is the time to create and implement solutions that not only
address the immediate crisis but also begin to reduce those inequities and create
healthier and more equitable communities.
Here are six steps the federal government can take now to create
more equitable healthcare coverage and access:
Cost of coverage remains a barrier for many people, and even those who have coverage will be reluctant to seek testing and care, if they face a prohibitive cost-sharing burden. The federal government should temporarily boost advanced premium tax credits (APTC) for all eligible to no less than the lowest cost Bronze plan for the remainder of the calendar year.
Congress and the Administration should assure the states that the federal government will reimburse them for COVID-19 testing, treatment and related services (including a vaccination when available) for all uninsured individuals—including immigrant and undocumented populations.
Congress should provide substantially more fiscal relief to the states to better avert the looming budget shortfalls that states will face. Federal relief can help to ensure that no eligibility cuts in Medicaid or healthcare coverage are necessary.