A lesson from COVID-19 is that the ACA matters
To the Editor: Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, several things have been painfully clear. Without the pandemic playbook and resources set out by the previous administration and without a coordinated, science-based rapid response led by the White House, our approach to our explosion of cases with essential public health measures — testing, contact tracing, isolating, and mitigating — has been dangerously slow and woefully inadequate.
Until we have a universally available vaccine, following solid public health guidelines should not be negotiable or politically charged. We all need to be responsible for keeping our communities and ourselves safe by following best practices even if the President doesn’t model those behaviors.
In the midst of this horrific crisis affecting the health and financial well-being of millions of Americans, the response by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress has been to make it more difficult for laid off workers who have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. While many are eligible for Medicaid or insurance through the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration has not waived enrollment requirements. People who have been laid off but did not get insurance through their employers are not eligible.
At the same time, the administration continues to support the Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA. Without available, affordable health insurance, the effect on millions of Americans is devastating and unacceptable. It’s time to demand real leadership in Washington not chaos and cronyism. Lives and livelihoods depend on it.