Just in Time for the Second Wave of Coronavirus, No One in America Has Any Health Insurance

Just in Time for the Second Wave of Coronavirus, No One in America Has Any Health Insurance
Image:Tim Boyle (Getty Images)

The country’s system of arbitrarily leaving access to medicine up to the discretion of employers has never been a particularly convincing argument for American excellence. But in a pandemic creating one of the biggest employment crises in the nation’s history, the divide between Americans with access to life-saving medical attention and those without has become even more glaringly obvious than before.

Recent estimates put the number of Americans who lost health insurance between February and May at 5.4 million, but those numbers could just be the beginning, as a full picture of the data won’t be available until 2021. However, more in-depth studies already paint a picture that seems incredibly grim:

“The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that 27 million Americans have lost coverage in the pandemic; that study took into account family members of the insured. Another analysis, published Monday by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, projected that by the end of 2020, 10.1 million people will no longer have employer-sponsored health insurance or coverage that was tied to a job they lost because of the pandemic.”

But according to the Kaiser Foundation, four out of five of those newly uninsured Americans qualify for coverage through expanded Medicare programs—though with the election looming, it’s impossible to say for how long. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has done about as much to address the health insurance crisis as it has to stop the spread of covid-19, meaning it has done very very little. In fact, one might say the administration taken steps to make things worse:

“The Trump administration has imposed sharp cuts on the funding for outreach programs that assist people in signing up for coverage under the health law. And while House Democrats have passed legislation intended to help people to keep their health insurance, the bill is stuck in the Republican-controlled Senate.”

Not to present too wild a conspiracy theory around these facts, data, and observable actions, but government response to this pandemic almost seems like a deliberate lack of effort by a bunch of leaders who don’t care if their constituents die. [New York Times]

Contrary to police assertions that “non-lethal” projectiles fired into crowds during the May 30 George Floyd protests across the country are harmless, eight people were partially blinded in a single day due to the use of such weapons. The projectiles used by police, which blinded six peaceful protesters, one photojournalist, and one person just minding their own business, were made of lead pellets encased in cloth pouches and fired from shotguns: In other words, bullets. [Washington Post]

  • The White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications seems to believe someone called “Dr. Faucet” is releasing an unholy flood of safety upon the uninsured, at-risk patriots of this once-great nation when everyone knows the most patriotic thing we could all do right now is go to Applebee’s and die. [Twitter]
  • In addition to having no health insurance, many Americans’ unemployment benefits are about to expire. [Washinton Post]
  • Over the protests of the victims’ families, on Tuesday the federal government executed a man convicted of carrying out a white supremacist plot by murdering a family when they could have instead just left him uninsured and penniless in a pandemic like the rest of America. [HuffPost]
  • The former Tucker Carlson staffer who posted a bunch of racist and sexist stuff is going to take the trout-fishing vacation he had planned long before anyone even knew what a shitbag he was, said Carlson, with a tear in his eye, as he wistfully dreamed back own trout-fishing-till-the-heat-is-off holidays. [CNN]
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