Many Americans are enrolled in short-term health plans that may not cover their treatment if they become infected with the coronavirus. And the lack of data collection on these plans means policymakers don’t know how many people in their state are enrolled in these plans.
The Commonwealth Fund
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Lynn Barr is CEO of Caravan Health, a consulting firm providing guidance and technical assistance to hospitals and provider groups participating in accountable care programs. About half of her clients are critical-access hospitals or rural health clinics based in communities that face severe shortages of ICU beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment for health care workers. The Commonwealth Fund spoke to Barr about how they are responding to the coronavirus crisis.
Medicaid has emerged, as it has in past public health emergencies, as a rapid and efficient means of getting desperately needed funding to states working to stabilize health care systems threatened by the magnitude and ferocity of the COVID-19 crisis.
Trauma changes people. It can also change nations. In the United States, the Great Depression produced the first national social safety net, in the form of Social Security, unemployment insurance, and a raft of other programs. In England, World War II yielded the country’s beloved National Health Service. Will the coronavirus pandemic change us now?
In February 2010, thirteen-month-old Isaac lost his health insurance and the life-sustaining medical equipment that his insurance plan paid for. Born in 2009 with esophageal atresia, Isaac had exhausted his lifetime limit before his second birthday. Six weeks later, the Affordable Care Act became law and Isaac regained coverage that protected him and his family against lifetime maximums. As the ACA reaches its ten-year anniversary, the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could strike the federal statute down. In this film, the Commonwealth Fund invites Nancy-Ann DeParle, Chip Kahn, and Julie Rovner to discuss the history of health reform in the United States, the realities of pre-ACA life for families like Isaac’s, and the work it took to protect him.
With the United States in the grips of a pandemic that will surely test our health care system, it’s worth reflecting on how the Affordable Care Act, now deeply woven into the fabric of American health care, came to be.