Posts Tagged "COVID policy"
September 27, 2022
Good News on Health Insurance in Pandemic
To paraphrase a U.S. senator in 1977, the moral test of government is how it treats the sick, the poor, and its children. That rings especially true during an historic public health emergency like COVID.
Congress came through with financial relief to blunt the pandemic’s impact, and the money that flowed through the economy provided more Americans with health insurance, while also reducing poverty.
Several newly released U.S. Census reports “show how much vigorous policies can do to prevent poverty and preserve access to health care,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded.
The Uninsured. During the pandemic, the share of all adults lacking health insurance declined from 9.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2021, reversing the trend of a rising uninsured rate in prior years. The rate dropped as Congress improved access and affordability during COVID by passing large premium reductions for policies purchased on the federal and state exchanges and by requiring states that receive Medicaid funds to expand their coverage of poor and low-income workers during the pandemic.
Congress has extended the premium reductions through 2025, but the federal enhancements to Medicaid are set to expire, leaving states to determine the extent to which they will cover their low-income workers in the future.
The Poor. The COVID aid passed by Congress lifted nearly 14 million Americans out of poverty over the past two years, according to Census. This statistic aligns with earlier research showing the financial assistance was particularly effective in helping low-income workers and people who were struggling financially prior to the pandemic. …Learn More