Fact Sheet: Preserving and Building on Private Sector Health Care Coverage

Health care coverage is critical to ensuring patients’ access to care, which supports their own individual health, as well helps prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The economic stress of the public health emergency already has cost millions of jobs and is therefore expected to increase the number of individuals and families without coverage. The social safety-net, specifically, the Medicaid program, is struggling to meet the surge in demand, particularly as states are facing dramatic declines in revenue. The Department of Health and Human Services is using a portion of the Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to cover the costs of the uninsured.  This approach will quickly deplete the emergency fund, leaving it unable to achieve its other objectives; will fail to establish a regular connection between patients and providers to help facilitate public health interventions; and will reduce health system resources by reimbursing providers less than the cost of delivering care. 

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