04/03/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/03/2020 22:08
'More than 156 million Americans depended on their employers for health insurance before the pandemic. But now, with almost 10 million people filing new unemployment claims over the past two weeks, an estimated 3.5 million workers likely lost their employer-provided health insurance, according to a study from the Economic Policy Institute.'
'In response, an overwhelming number of people are expected to sign up for Medicaid, the state and federal program that provides more than 70 million low-income people with health care coverage - pushing it to the breaking point.'
'The 14 states that didn't expand Medicaid, however, will likely have a more difficult time paying for care because they don't have access to the same amount of federal money as those that did.'
'Experts warn that something will have to be done or it could lead to shrinking coverage. States with tight budgets may begin to make difficult decisions about the amount of care they provide to people, especially if they run low on ventilators and intensive care beds.'
'Loss of access to health insurance will put millions in vulnerable positions, especially after the Trump administration decided it wouldn't allow a special enrollment period for people to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act.'
'With the loss of jobs for most of those people is the loss of health insurance,' he said, 'so it's inescapable to see how unreliable this is and how absurd it is for their access to health care be tied to where they work.'