April 3, 2020, The New York Times, Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz – Using the hospital funds to pay for uninsured coronavirus patients could be a targeted way to pay for coronavirus care for the growing number of Americans who lack health insurance. But critics say it may not go to hospitals in the states hit the hardest so far and does little to address concerns over the millions of people now without coverage for medical care unrelated to the virus. Click here to view the story.
April 6, 2020, KHN, Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio – The new coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. But physicians in public health and on the front lines said they already can see the emergence of familiar patterns of racial and economic bias in the response to the pandemic. In one analysis, it appears doctors may be less likely to refer African Americans for testing when they show up for care with signs of infection. Click here to view the story.
April 6, 2020, The Guardian, Oliver Laughland – On the cracked country roads of Lexington, deep in the Mississippi delta, an empty yellow school bus drives slowly, making life-sustaining drop offs on the way. Here, in the poorest county, in America’s poorest state, the coronavirus has yet to ravage the jurisdiction with infection. There has been one recorded Covid-19 death in the county, Clinton Cobbins, Lexington’s first African American mayor. But even now the coronavirus still poses a serious threat to life. Click here to view the story.
April 3, 2020, KHN, Julie Rovner – Concerns about health care during the coronavirus pandemic are raising the profile of the federal Affordable Care Act, which can help those who have lost their jobs with an option to get insurance. Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, talked to WBUR’s “Here & Now” host Jeremy Hobson on Friday about efforts to get the federal government to let people have a special enrollment period for coverage plans sold on the ACA marketplaces, as well as the effect massive job layoffs will have on Medicaid. Click here to view the story.
April 3, 2020, KHN, Shefali Luthra, Phil Galewitz and Rachel Bluth – As the coronavirus roils the economy and throws millions of Americans out of work, Medicaid is emerging as a default insurance plan for many of the newly unemployed. That could produce unprecedented strains on the vital health insurance program, according to state officials and policy researchers. Americans are being urged to stay home and practice “social distancing” to prevent the spread of the virus, causing businesses to shutter their doors and lay off workers. The Labor Department reported Thursday that more than 6.6 million people signed up for unemployment insurance during the week that ended March 28. This number shattered the record set the previous week, with 3.3 million sign-ups. Many of these newly unemployed people may turn to Medicaid for their families. Click here to view the story.