Monthly Archives

March 2020

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

Surrounding the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially in implementing protections for people with pre-existing conditions,said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 8 of 10 focuses on Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website

The Affordable Care Act implemented key protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Ten years later, these protections are some of the most popular provisions in the health care law. 

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 135 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • More than 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick.

Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement 
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medication for autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

The ACA Includes Four Key Provisions That Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 

  • COVERAGE GUARANTEE: Rule that forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • COST: Rule that prevents insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more. 
  • ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS: Requirements that insurance companies cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs and maternity care.
  • LIFETIME CAPS: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People With Pre-Existing Conditions.

Repeated attempts to undermine and sabotage the ACA puts protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk. Moreover, the Trump administration is backing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the entire health care law. WIthout the ACA, protections for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated overnight and the uninsured rate would increase by 65 percent. 

More Than 140 Million Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventative Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. More than 140 million Americans are enrolled in plans that provide free preventive services, including 133 million people with employer coverage. 

Premium Surcharges Could Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.

Reinstate Lifetime And Annual Limits On 109 Million Privately Insured Americans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. In 2009, prior to the implementation of the ACA, 59 percent of workers covered by employer-sponsored health plans had a lifetime limit. 

Insurance Companies Would Not Have To Provide The Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.

Outrageous: Trump Reaffirms His Desire to “Terminate” Health Care for 20 Million Americans in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

Washington, DC — Today, on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to pursuing the lawsuit that would overturn the ACA in the courts saying, “what we want to do is terminate it.” If successful, this lawsuit would rip coverage away from 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. This comes at a time when America faces an unprecedented health care crisis and it’s more important than ever that people have access to affordable, quality health care. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement in response: 

“It’s outrageous that President Trump would reaffirm his commitment to the lawsuit that would rip coverage away from 20 million Americans during a briefing about an ongoing unprecedented health crisis. No one should have to worry about the status of their health care, particularly during a time when Americans are more concerned than ever about their health and safety. To effectively fight the coronavirus, we need to ensure that people are getting the care and treatment they need. Instead, President Trump wants to rip coverage and vital protections away from the most vulnerable among us at a time when they need it the most.”

BACKGROUND:

View the full fact sheet on Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA HERE.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent. 
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people. 
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.

On the 10th Anniversary of the ACA, Protect Our Care Highlights the ACA’s Achievements and the Relentless Trump-Republican Efforts to Sabotage and Repeal the Law

POC Also Highlights How the ACA Helps Fight the Coronavirus and the Devastating Consequences of Overturning the Law in the Midst of the Crisis

March 23 is the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and there has never been a more important time to highlight the benefits of the law and the ongoing Trump Republican efforts to sabotage and repeal the law, particularly in light of the coronavirus crisis. 

This month, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the Trump-Republican lawsuit to repeal the ACA in its upcoming term, which if successful would strip coverage from 20 million Americans and eliminate protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. During a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to prepare America for the coronavirus, Republicans remain dead set on ripping away their health care. 

“There is no question that the Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, yet so much is at stake as Republicans try to overturn it in the midst of America grappling with the coronavirus pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Trump and Republicans need to understand just how devastating their war on health care has been and will continue to be especially as Americans’ health care is threatened more than ever with the spread of coronavirus.” 

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million Americans have health coverage and 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed health insurance that they can afford,” said Protect Our Care Chair, Leslie Dach. “It is unimaginable that President Trump wants to take that coverage away from millions of people when they need them the most.” 

In the lead up to the anniversary Protect Our Care Our’s work has highlighted the ACA’s achievements, the devastating consequences of overturning the law, and the specific ways in which those consequences are amplified as America grapples with coronavirus including a series of memos, and fact sheets. We have also held press calls in key battleground states with elected officials and health care advocates to bring attention to how the Trump-Republican war on health care is affecting people in communities across the country. 

Here are some resources that make the connection between the Trump-Republican sabotage efforts and how the damage of their war on health care is amplified during this crisis: 

MEMO: ACA at 10 Successes and Ongoing Threats on the 10th Anniversary of Its Passage

Key points: During a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to contain the virus, Republicans are still trying to rip away their health care and leave 20 million of Americans uninsured and 135 million with pre-existing conditions without protections.

Trump’s Sabotage Of The ACA Leaves The U.S. Less Prepared For Coronavirus

Key points: Trump is backing a lawsuit that could rip way coverage from 20 million Americans during the middle of the outbreak. He is also pushing short-term junk plans that would not need to cover coronavirus treatment and continues to undermine Medicaid expansion, leaving more Americans uninsured. 

Top Ways The ACA Helps Fight Coronavirus

Key points: From free preventative care, to coverage for 20 million Americans, protections for pre-existing conditions and access to critical vaccinations without cost sharing, along with so many other important areas of coverage, there’s no question the ACA plays an essential role in providing affordable health care to Americans during this crisis. 

Fact Sheet On Trump’s Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA
Key points: President Trump is trying to rip apart our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from 20 million Americans, raise premiums, end protections for 150 million people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.

ACA at 10 Fact Sheets

Key points: Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. 

Fact sheets found here: 

  1. Affordability
  2. Children’s Coverage
  3. Expanded Coverage 
  4. Protections For Individuals With Disabilities 
  5. Prescription Drug Costs
  6. Medicaid Expansion
  7. Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions
  8. Rural Health
  9. Seniors
  10. Women’s Health

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Protections For Individuals With Disabilities

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, particularly in improving coverage and health care access for millions of people with disabilities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 7 of 10 focuses on Protections For Individuals With Disabilities. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website

The Affordable Care Act Provided Affordable Coverage And Health Security To People With Disabilities: 

The Affordable Care Act Prevents Insurance Companies From Charging Americans With Disabilities More, Or Denying Them Coverage Altogether. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies were allowed to charge people more or deny coverage simply because they had a pre-existing condition. The ACA banned this practice, requiring that insurance companies offer people coverage regardless of their health status.

Thanks To The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Impose Annual And Lifetime Limits On Coverage. Before the ACA, insurance companies could restrict the dollar amount of benefits someone could use per year or over a lifetime. At the time the ACA was passed, 91 million Americans had health care through their employers that imposed lifetime limits. Many such plans capped benefits at $1 million annually, functionally locking people with complex medical needs out of coverage. 

Under The ACA, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Practice Medical Underwriting, A Process That Lets Insurers Make It Harder For People With Disabilities To Get The Coverage They Needed. Before the ACA, insurance companies could screen applicants for any conditions that might be costly to the company. If someone had condition that was predicted to cost the insurance company more, the insurance company would follow a practice called “medical underwriting” that allowed them to charge the applicant a higher premium, specifically exclude coverage for the condition that was expected to be costly, charge the applicant a higher deductible, or limit the applicant’s benefits (for instance, offer a policy that did not cover prescription drugs).

The ACA Requires Insurance Companies To Cover Basic Health Services. The Affordable Care Act established the ten essential health benefits, requiring insurance companies to cover rehabilitative or habilitative services, hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services. Before the ACA, many people with disabilities had insurance that didn’t cover basic health care needs.

Medicaid Is A Lifeline For People With Disabilities:

  • 61 million Americans have a disability. The Affordable Care Act ensures that insurance companies cannot deny coverage, drop coverage, or charge them more because of a pre-existing condition. 
  • 8.7 million nonelderly adults with disabilities depend on Medicaid for care. Nearly 8.7 million adults enrolled in Medicaid have a disability. 
  • More than 1 in 3 adults under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid lives with at least one disability. 
  • Nearly 45 percent of adults with disabilities have Medicaid coverage. Medicaid covers 45 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illness.

Medicaid Expansion Increased Employment For People With Disabilities.Individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to be employed if they live in a state that has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Kansas co-authored a study that found a 6 percentage-point difference in employment rates among working-age adults with disabilities in states that expanded Medicaid and those that chose not to.” [The University Of Kansas, 12/21/16

If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, 17 Million People Covered By Medicaid ExpansionIncluding Individuals With Disabilities—Will Lose Coverage:

Republican Efforts To Repeal Medicaid Expansion Would Mean 64 Percent Of Medicaid Adults With Disabilities Would Lose Coverage. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion covers 11 million people. Many of them struggle with a chronic illness or a disability (such as a mental health condition) that wouldn’t, by itself, qualify them for Medicaid. Only 36 percent of non-elderly Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities receive Supplemental Security Income, which allows them to enroll in Medicaid even without the expansion. While others may be eligible for Medicaid based on other criteria, many could lose Medicaid coverage under the House bill and wind up uninsured.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/29/17]

Protect Our Care Launches Coronavirus War Room

Veteran Group Will Drive POC’s Coronavirus Accountability, Advocacy Work

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care today is launching a Coronavirus War Room with a veteran group of operatives to drive its accountability and advocacy efforts on the coronavirus crisis with a focus on President Trump’s ongoing failure to prepare the nation for this pandemic.

Zac Petkanas, a former communications adviser to Hillary Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who has been involved in a host of other political and advocacy campaigns, will serve as Coronavirus War Room Director.

Patrick Devlin, a former Communications Director to Majority Whip James Clyburn who has three decades of experience as senior aide on both sides of Capitol Hill, will serve as Senior Communications Adviser to the war room.

Sarah Chase, a former Research Associate on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president and a former Deputy Research Director for Protect Our Care, will serve as Research Director for the Coronavirus War Room.

“Today’s launch marks an important effort in Protect Our Care’s work to inform the American people about the science and facts about the coronavirus and to educate the public on the Trump’s administration’s ongoing failure to provide honest information and listen to the experts and the science,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “As a result America does not have the testing it needs, our health care workers don’t have the equipment they need, and our hospitals are not prepared.”

“This team has a wealth of know-how, experience and expertise and with the coronavirus crisis, which has been exacerbated by President Trump’s failure to prepare, we need the best in the business working on advocacy efforts to hold President Trump accountable for his failure to lead,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care.

More personnel announcements are expected in the coming days including in key states around the country beginning with Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The Coronavirus War Room will work closely with partners in the health care and progressive communities and will benefit from and partner with the full resources of Protect Our Care’s current operations.

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Lower Costs and Better Care For Seniors

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially for seniors and older adults nationwide,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 6 of 10 focuses on Lower Costs and Better Care For Seniors. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

In Addition To Making Health Care More Affordable, The ACA Saved Lives:

Medicaid Expansion Saved The Lives Of At Least 19,200 Older Adults. A report by the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities found that “The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths each year, a landmark study finds. It saved the lives of at least 19,200 adults aged 55 to 64 over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. Conversely, 15,600 older adults died prematurely because of state decisions not to expand Medicaid.” [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/6/19

AARP: Before ACA’s Protections, Discrimination Against Those With Pre-Existing Conditions, Age Rating, And Annual And Lifetime Caps Made Accessing Health Care Out Of Reach For Older Adults. [AARP, 6/14/18]

Thanks To The ACA: 

  • Seniors Are Guaranteed Free Preventive Services And Annual Check-Ups. 60 million people with Medicare have access to free preventive services because of the Affordable Care Act. 
  • 8.9 million Medicare Beneficiaries Are Benefiting From Higher Quality, More Coordinated Care. Provisions in the ACA encouraged groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to come together to provide coordinated high-quality care to the Medicare patients they serve. 

Seniors Stand To Lose If The ACA Is Overturned. If The ACA Is Struck Down In Court: 

People Over The Age of 50 Will Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” If the Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA is successful, insurance companies would be able charge people over 50 much more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.

Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 19, 2020

Driving the Day: The Los Angeles Times reports, “Coronavirus forces reckoning for Trump’s healthcare cuts…The widening coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Trump administration to pause, and even reverse, its years-long effort to roll back healthcare regulations and restrict access to the nation’s medical safety net.”

What to Watch For: President Trump will visit FEMA headquarters today. The coronavirus task force will hold a daily press briefing at 11:00 AM. The Senate is in session and Mitch McConnell is expected to present his phase three coronavirus relief package today.

Coronavirus Update:

  • At the daily task force briefing on Wednesday, President Trump announced that he was invoking the Defense Production Act to activate production of needed masks and ventilators. Hours later he tweeted that he had not actually invoked the act, just prepared for it in the event of a “worst case scenario in the future.” Trump announced that he was deploying two Navy hospital ships that are “in tip-top shape” to assist, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper later said that the ships will not treat coronavirus patients and wil take weeks to deploy. Asked about asymptomatic NBA players and other wealthy people getting access to testing when others cannot, Trump said that “perhaps that’s been the story of life” for the rich to have greater access.

  • During his briefing, Trump complained that “hospitals are supposed to have ventilators too.” On Wednesday night, HHS Secretary Alex Azar appeared on Fox News and said that it was not the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that localities and states have enough swabs and face masks.

  • At the briefing, Trump claimed that “people like the job we’re doing,” and that his approval rating is 95 percent in the Republican Party. He boasted about a poll showing him beating “Sleepy Joe Biden” in Florida. Trump continued to emphasize that the virus was “nobody’s fault” but alluded that “some people could say it was somebody’s fault.”

  • The Senate passed the phase two relief package, including free testing and paid sick leave for workers, 90-8 and it was signed by the president on Wednesday evening. Two members of Congress have now tested positive for coronavirus — Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL). Republican members of Congress continued to downplay the virus, with Sen. Ron. Johnson (R-WI) voting against the relief packaging and saying that people should keep the virus in perspective because it might only kill 3.4 percent of the population, and Sen. John Cornyn blaming China for the virus because “people eat bats” there.

  • After months of referring to it as the coronavirus, Trump continued to tweet calling the disease the “Chinese virus.” Asked at the press briefing whether he was putting Asian Americans at risk by calling the virus the “Chinese virus,” Trump said “Not at all. I think they probably would agree with it.” Trump complained that China should have given the US much “earlier notice” about the virus. Kellyanne Conway downplayed Trump’s use of the phrase saying, “I’m married to an Asian.”

By The Numbers
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 8:00 AM
Number of US cases reported: 8,317
Number of US deaths: 147
Total Number of People Tested in US: 82,571 (may not include private labs) 

Axios: Americans are losing their sense of invincibility toward coronavirus
New York Times: Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.

Federal Health Response
Affordability and Inequality
Axios: How to protect the homeless from the coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): This Is One Anxiety We Should Eliminate for the Coronavirus Outbreak
Los Angeles Times (Editorial): Coronavirus makes jails and prisons potential death traps. That puts us all in danger

Immigration and Travel
Bloomberg: Americans Stuck Abroad Told Not to Wait for U.S. Assistance
Buzzfeed: A Local Sheriff Said No To More Immigrant Detainees Because Of Coronavirus Fears. So ICE Transferred Them All To New Facilities.
Buzzfeed: Trump Translated His English-Only Guidance On The Coronavirus Into Spanish After Members Of Congress Complained
Los Angeles Times: Trump Administration Takes Steps To Close Border To Migrants, Citing Coronavirus
New York Times: Americans Stranded Abroad: ‘I Feel Completely Abandoned’
ProPublica: The Trump Administration Drove Him Back to China, Where He Invented a Fast Coronavirus Test
Reuters: U.S. limits Mexico guest worker visas, sends farmers scrambling
Washington Post: ICE to stop most immigration enforcement inside United States, will focus on criminals during coronavirus outbreak

National Security
CNN: Esper confirms Navy hospital ships won’t treat coronavirus patients and will take weeks to deploy
Defense One: US Air Force Flew Half a Million Coronavirus Test Swabs From Italy to Tennessee
NBC News: DHS Faces Coronavirus With Scores Of Vacancies And A Leadership Vacuum
New York Times: Coronavirus Disrupts Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Newsweek: Exclusive: Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples The Government
Politico: ‘It is not science fiction anymore’: Coronavirus exposes U.S. vulnerability to biowarfare
Politico: Documents show undisclosed coronavirus cases at DHS
Reuters: U.S. sanctions Iran, seeks release of Americans amid coronavirus outbreak

Preparedness
Bloomberg: Virus Pandemic Exercise Got One Thing Wrong: the U.S. Response
Foreign Policy (Voice): Sorry, America, the Full Lockdown Is Coming
The Hill: Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing
The Independent: ‘Act like you have the virus’: US surgeon general says 15-day lockdown won’t be enough as coronavirus cases rise
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus forces reckoning for Trump’s healthcare cuts
New York Times: As Schools Look for Guidance, Educators Are Left Asking, ‘What?’
New York Times (Opinion): The Coronavirus Is Here to Stay, So What Happens Next?
Politico: Auto industry could shift to make ventilators
ProPublica: Letter Carriers Say the Postal Service Pressured Them to Deliver Mail Despite Coronavirus Symptoms — and Often Without Hand Sanitizer
Reuters: Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus
Talking Points Memo: Census Suspends 2020 Count’s Field Operations Until April Due To COVID-19
Washington Post: Coronavirus Closures Accelerate Nationwide, But Wide Gaps Remain

Shortages and Testing
Bloomberg: Trump Gives U.S. Broad Control Over Health-Care Supply Chain
CNN: Severe shortages of swabs and other supplies hamper coronavirus testing
Kaiser Health News: As Coronavirus Testing Gears Up, Specialized Swabs Running Out
Politico: FDA turns to Twitter to help track testing supply shortages
Sports Illustrated: How Have NBA Players Been Able to Access Coronavirus Tests?
Vice: How the CDC Botched Basic Science in Its Attempt to Make a Coronavirus Test
Wall Street Journal: How Washington Failed to Build a Robust Coronavirus Testing System
Washington Post: Trump ban on fetal tissue research blocks coronavirus treatment effort

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Mnuchin Warns Virus Could Yield 20% Jobless Rate Without Action
Bloomberg: Despite Global Crisis, Trump Resists Calls for Tariff Relief
Bloomberg: Taxpayers Can Delay Payments for 90 Days, Must File by April 15
New York Times: Andrew Yang May Be Out, but His Basic Income Idea Is Getting a Second Look
New York Times: Washington Weighs Big Bailouts to Help U.S. Economy Survive Coronavirus
Politico: Governors brace for coronavirus budget cliff as tax dollars evaporate
Reuters: U.S. airlines shares plunge after cash-free Washington rescue proposal
Time: USDA Fights for Food Stamp Changes That Could See Hundreds of Thousands Lose Assistance Amid the Pandemic
Wall Street Journal: The Government Wants to Send You Money—but How Soon Will It Arrive?
Washington Post: Trump’s $1 trillion stimulus is a gamble for reelection — and a sea change for Republicans once opposed to bailouts
Washington Post: HUD orders 60-day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners affected by coronavirus

Leadership
Bloomberg: Melania Trump to Appear in Coronavirus Public Service Ads
The Bulwark: COVID-19 and the Missing Call to Sacrifice
CNN (Analysis): Trump, finally, takes the coronavirus emergency seriously
NBC News: Timeline: Trump administration’s response to coronavirus
New York Times: The President vs. the Experts: How Trump Downplayed the Coronavirus
Politico: Trump team’s new mission: Defend the ‘wartime president’
Politico: Trump adopts the greatest hits of the 2020 Dems
Vox: Trump spent weeks downplaying the coronavirus. He’s now pretending that never happened.
Washington Post: Kushner coronavirus team sparks confusion, plaudits inside White House response efforts

Congress
Buzzfeed: Despite The Coronavirus Outbreak, Senators Said They Will Keep Going To Capitol And Voting Together
HuffPost: Congress Passes Coronavirus Aid Bill, Sends It To Trump’s Desk
Miami Herald: Miami’s Mario Diaz-Balart is first member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sen. Ron Johnson is telling people to keep coronavirus in perspective
NBC: Sen. Cornyn: China to blame for coronavirus, because ‘people eat bats’
NPR: 2 Members Of Congress Test Positive For COVID-19, Others Quarantine After Contact
New York Magazine (Column): GOP Senator Upbeat Coronavirus May Kill ‘No More Than 3.4 Percent of Our Population’
New York Times: Congress Races To Respond While Defying Ban On Mass Gatherings
Roll Call: White House halts participation in Hill’s coronavirus hearings
Vox: Exclusive: Sen. Warren to ask Trump to deploy Army Corps of Engineers for coronavirus help
Vox: Pressure is growing to allow members of Congress to vote remotely amid coronavirus concerns
Washington Post: Negotiations intensify on Capitol Hill over massive stimulus legislation as coronavirus fallout worsens

Hospitals
ABC: The Battle To Protect Healthcare Workers On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic
Associated Press: US nursing homes warn of looming shortage of masks and gowns
Bloomberg: Hospitals, Cities Hit by Surging Interest Rates in 2008 Echo
HuffPost: How To Get More Ventilators And What To Do If We Can’t
NBC: ‘A death sentence’: Critically ill patients denied transplants amid coronavirus outbreak
New York Magazine: The Hospital Deluge Is Coming. Washington Has Done Almost Nothing to Prepare.
New York Times: Doctors Fear Bringing Coronavirus Home: ‘I Am Sort of a Pariah in My Family’
New York Times: There Aren’t Enough Ventilators to Cope With the Coronavirus
Politico: Hospitals need a surge – of doctors
Stat: Frustrated and afraid about protective gear shortages, health workers are scouring for masks on their own
Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Facing Coronavirus Are Running Out Of Masks, Other Key Equipment

Media
Associated Press: Carlson says he felt obligation to meet with Trump on virus
Buzzfeed: “I’m Not An Epidemiologist But…”: The Rise Of The Coronavirus Influencers
CNN: New polls show effect of right-wing media’s dismissive and conspiratorial coronavirus coverage
CNN: Facebook has a coronavirus problem. It’s WhatsApp.

Campaigns and Elections
Arizona Republic: Sen. Martha McSally suspends TV ads, door-to-door canvassing amid coronavirus pandemic
Associated Press: Switching Remaining Primaries To Vote-By-Mail Not So Easy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Democrats sue to extend Wisconsin’s deadlines for online voter registration and counting absentee ballots
The Intercept: Illinois Used Nearly 50 Facilities For Low-income Seniors In Chicago As Polling Locations On Tuesday
New York Times: How Much Does Voting Spread Viruses?
New York Times (Opinion): No Stimulus Without Election Protection
Washington Post: Nationwide drive to safeguard voting intensifies as coronavirus spreads
Washington Post: For Biden and Sanders, campaigning during coronavirus can be awkward

International
Axios: Timeline: The early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak and cover-up
Bloomberg: China May Help Hard-Hit Carmakers by Relaxing Emission Curbs
Buzzfeed: Everyone In Iceland Can Get Tested For The Coronavirus. Here’s How The Results Could Help All Of Us.
Financial Times: Aggressive testing helps Italian town cut new coronavirus cases to zero
Foreign Affairs: The Coronavirus Could Reshape Global Order
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus Poses Dreadful Choice For Global Leaders: Wreck Your Economy Or Lose Millions Of Lives
New York Times: China Hits a Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections
New York Times: Power Struggle Hampers Iran’s Coronavirus Response
New York Times (Opinion): I’m a Doctor in Italy. We Have Never Seen Anything Like This.
Vice: 3.5 Million Iranians Could Die From Coronavirus If The Outbreak Is Not Controlled
Wall Street Journal: Lessons From Italy’s Hospital Meltdown. ‘Every Day You Lose, the Contagion Gets Worse.’
Wall Street Journal: Lockdown of Recovering Italian Town Shows Effectiveness of Early Action

Economic Impacts
ABC News: Small Business Owners Tapping Into Personal Savings, 401(K)S And More Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Bloomberg: Traders ‘Liquidating Positions Everywhere’ Upend Markets
Buzzfeed: These Retailers Have Been Staying Open. Employees Say They’re Afraid For Themselves And Others.
Buzzfeed: They Still Have Jobs At Grocery Stores And Pharmacies. Does That Mean They’ll Catch The Coronavirus?
CNBC: NYSE to temporarily close floor, move to electronic trading after positive coronavirus tests
Detroit Free Press: Detroit automakers Ford, General Motors, FCA agree to close all US plants
HuffPost: Guns, Ammo Retailers Report Sales Surge Across U.S. Amid Coronavirus Fears
HuffPost: Hospitality Workers Union Estimates 80% To 90% Of Members Will Lose Jobs During Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Amid coronavirus outbreak, drive-in theaters unexpectedly find their moment
Mother Jones: Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers
New York Magazine: Is Anyone Even Listening? The restaurant industry is begging for help. Its cries have been met with a deafening silence.
New York Times: Pandemic Erodes Gig Economy Work
Politico: No need to hoard: There’s plenty of food in the system
Popular Information: Publix health
Slate: It’s Staggering How Many Coronavirus-Related Layoffs Have Already Happened
Wall Street Journal: As Coronavirus Empties Workplaces, Some Holdouts Have Wanted Employees to Show Up

Science
The Guardian: Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China
New York Times: Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus?

Social Impacts
CNN (Opinion): Grieving for my mother in the age of Covid-19
HuffPost: Panic Attacks And Night Terrors: The Mental Health Toll Of Coronavirus
Time: As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look For A Way Out
Vox: What it’s like to have a baby during the coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post: Millions of U.S. grandparents care for young kids — and are high risk for covid-19

Personal Preparedness
New York Times: Is It OK to Take a Walk?
The Wirecutter: How to Properly Care for a Sick Person at Home (and Not Get Sick Yourself)

In The States
Colorado
Colorado Sun: Coronavirus is running so rampant in Colorado’s mountains residents, visitors should “minimize all contact with other people”
Denver Post: ICE immigration arrests continuing in Denver despite coronavirus outbreak

Florida
AFP: On Miami Beach, the party’s over — almost
Tampa Bay Times: More than 200 Pinellas inmates sleep on floor as coronavirus creates bottleneck

New Jersey
New York Times: Coronavirus Ravages 7 Members of a Single Family, Killing 2

New York
New York Times: My Coronavirus Test: 5 Days, a Dozen Calls, Hours of Confusion
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: ‘Huge Spike’ in Brooklyn Hasidic Community
Wall Street Journal: New York City Residents May Have To Shelter In Place, De Blasio Says

Ohio
WCPO: DeWine closes salons, urges only highest-risk Ohioans to seek COVID-19 testing

Washington
Associated Press: Sick staff fueled outbreak in Seattle-area care centers

Trump Tweets
“I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“Today I spoke with American physicians and nurses to thank them for their tireless work. Doctors and nurses are at the front lines of this war and are true American HEROES! With their help, America will WIN.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I want all Americans to understand: we are at war with an invisible enemy, but that enemy is no match for the spirit and resolve of the American people. It cannot overcome the dedication of our doctors, nurses, and scientists — and it cannot beat the LOVE, PATRIOTISM, and DETERMINATION of our citizens. Strong and United, WE WILL PREVAIL!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“Thank you to our great American businesses for going above and beyond to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Women’s Coverage

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, particularly for women, whose health outcomes improved across the board,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 5 of 10 focuses on Women’s Coverage. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

Thanks To The ACA: 

68 Million Women With Pre-Existing Conditions Cannot Be Charged More Or Denied Coverage. Prior to the ACA, conditions like asthma, diabetes, and even pregnancy were grounds for insurance companies to charge more or deny coverage altogether. Additionally, insurance companies could impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage, which further eroded access to care for the sickest patients. 

Women Cannot Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than men for the same coverage. Without the ACA, women would also lose guaranteed coverage of birth control and other preventive care services. Before the ACA, 1 in 5 women reported postponing or going without preventive care due to cost.

More Than 60 million People Have Access To Birth Control With No Out-Of-Pocket Fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. More than 99 percent of sexually-active women have used contraceptives at some point in their lifetimes, and approximately 60 percent of women of reproductive age currently use at least one birth control method. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.

Women Can No Longer Face Discrimination In Health Care Settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

Nursing Parents Gained Breastfeeding Support And Critical Workplace Protections. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover breastfeeding support and counseling as well as breast pumps without cost-sharing for pregnant and nursing women. 

Research Confirms The ACA Expanded Coverage, Improved Health For Women: 

The Number Of Uninsured Women In The U.S. Had Fallen By Nearly Half In 2016. “By 2016, the number of working-age women (ages 19–64) lacking health insurance had fallen by almost half since 2010, from 19 million to 11 million, or from 20 percent to 11 percent of this population. Women with low incomes have made particularly large gains: uninsured rates for those with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($23,760 for an individual or $48,600 for a family of four), fell from 34 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2016. The findings are similar for low-income women of all races and ethnicities.” [Commonwealth Fund, 1/10/17

Medicaid Expansion Fills Gaps In Maternal Health Coverage Leading To Healthier Mothers And Babies. “New research shows states that expand Medicaid improve the health of women of childbearing age: increasing access to preventive care, reducing adverse health outcomes before, during and after pregnancies, and reducing maternal mortality rates. While more must be done, Medicaid expansion is an important means of addressing persistent racial disparities in maternal health and maternal mortality. The uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is nearly twice as high in states that have not expanded Medicaid compared to those that have expanded Medicaid (16 percent v. 9 percent).” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, May 2019]

Medicaid Expansion Improves Access To Family Planning. “Among 1,166 reproductive-age women who enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income adults, 1 in 3 said the expanded coverage improved access to birth control and family planning services…’Our findings suggest that the expansion provided an important service for populations with a high unmet need for family planning care,’ says lead author Michelle Moniz, M.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Michigan Medicine. ‘Insurance coverage also means that women have access to more options if they do not want to become pregnant at the current time.’…Each dollar spent on contraception is estimated to save the health care system more than $7 in return, according to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute. About 40 to 50 percent of the 4 million live births in the U.S. every year are paid for by Medicaid.” [University of Michigan, 8/31/18]

Black Women Were More Likely To Receive Care Because Of The ACA. “There has been an increase in the share of black women with a ‘usual source of care’—meaning a particular doctor’s office, clinic, or health center. In 2010, 83 percent of black women had a usual source of care. By 2014, the share had risen to 88.1 percent. Furthermore, black women have experienced a reduction among those who delayed or went without care due to cost. In 2010, 18.6 percent of black women ‘who had to delay or forgo care because of cost’; by 2014, only 15.1 percent of black women did so.” [Center for American Progress, 2/28/17

If The ACA Is Overturned, Key Protections For Women Would Be Ripped Away Overnight: 

  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Contraception coverage for 60 million people who now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • GONE: A ban on discrimination for women, LGBTQ Americans, and individuals with disabilities in health care settings. 
  • GONE: Essential protections for breastfeeding parents, including workplace standards and access to breast pumps with no out-of-pocket costs.  

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 18, 2020

Driving the Day: According to the New York Times, “Trump Slowly Enlisting More Agencies in ‘Whole of Government’ Response to Virus…Hospital ships stayed at port, veterans hospitals awaited orders and requests for help went unanswered, as much of the government remained on the sidelines.”

What to Watch For: On Wednesday, the president will hold telephone briefings with business executives, physicians, and nurses. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 11:30 AM. The Senate is in session and expected to vote on the phase two relief package after a delay orchestrated by Senator Rand Paul.

Coronavirus Update:

  • At a lengthy afternoon press conference, President Trump praised his administration’s efforts to fight the virus saying “the only thing we haven’t done well is to get good press.” Although just weeks he was calling the virus a “hoax” being inflamed by the “fake news media,” Trump claimed that, “I’ve always known this is a pandemic… I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” Trump said he’s been “very tough” on states that haven’t been aggressive enough in their response, and then praised Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia for doing a good job since the state has no reported cases. Hours later, West Virginia reported its first case.

  • Trump again urged Americans to stay home and “enjoy their living room” and said that domestic travel restrictions were still “possible.”

  • Trump claimed that the Department of Homeland Security did an “incredible” job screening passengers at airports, despite reports of hours long backups and crowds of people standing shoulder to shoulder at O’Hare and DFW. Trump concluded his press conference by saying that no offer was ever made for the US to use the WHO-certified tests and added that it was a “bad test.” In fact, the US did reject the WHO-certified test, which is considered the gold standard test for coronavirus, and it was the initial CDC test that was actually “bad.”

  • Vice President Pence asked construction companies to donate their industrial masks to the medical community and to forgo additional orders of masks at this time. Dr. Deborah Birx asked hospitals and dentists not to do procedures over the next two weeks that don’t need to be done, and emphasized that young people are the “core group” that will stop coronavirus if they take steps to protect their parents and grandparents.

  • At the Tuesday briefing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin backed “sending checks to Americans immediately” as estimates for the next stimulus package topped $1 trillion. Trump said that the administration is “going big” with a “big infusion” rather than an incremental approach. At the Senate lunch, Mnuchin warned that the US could possibly see unemployment rise as high as 20 percent if strong action is not taken.

By The Numbers
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 8:00 AM
Number of US cases reported: 5,881
Number of US deaths: 107
Number of states with confirmed cases: 50 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: 58,536 (may not include private labs)

Talking Points Memo: Placing Ourselves in Time in A World We Never Imagined
Stat: A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

Federal Health Response
Associated Press: To keep seniors safe at home, Medicare expands telemedicine
The Atlantic (Ideas): NIH Director: ‘We’re on an Exponential Curve’
Axios: Tech’s moment to shine (or not)
Bloomberg: In Coronavirus Testing Ramp-Up, U.S. Called Private Sector in Late
Buzzfeed: US Immigration Offices Are Going To Temporarily Close Due To The Coronavirus Pandemic
Buzzfeed: Immigrants Waiting At The Mexican Border Are At High Risk Of Contracting The Coronavirus, Experts Warn
CNBC: Group run by former Google CEO to hold meeting with venture capitalists about ways to fight coronavirus
CNN: US and Canada preparing to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries
The Hill: Millennials are ‘core group’ that will stop coronavirus, White House task force says
Los Angeles Times: He gave his wife CPR as she died after contracting coronavirus. Officials won’t test him
New York Magazine (Column): Part of the Coronavirus Conventional Wisdom Has Become Too Pessimistic
New York Times: Trump Slowly Enlisting More Agencies in ‘Whole of Government’ Response to Virus
New York Times: Once Political B-Listers, Governors Lead Nation’s Coronavirus Response
New York Times: U.S. Lags in Coronavirus Testing After Slow Response to Outbreak
New York Times: Did Federal Officials Really Question W.H.O. Tests for Coronavirus?
New York Times: U.S. Virus Plan Anticipates 18-Month Pandemic and Widespread Shortages
New York Times: Citing Coronavirus, Trump Will Announce Strict New Border Controls
New York Times (Editorial): Stop Saying That Everything Is Under Control. It Isn’t.
Politico: Trump’s immigration crackdown could hurt coronavirus containment efforts
Politico: Schools complain of ‘total confusion’ over White House, CDC guidelines on coronavirus
Vox: 7 potentially deadly errors the US is making in its coronavirus response
Washington Post: Pentagon offers respirators, ventilators and labs in expanding coronavirus response
Washington Post: Pence asks construction companies to donate masks to hospitals as shortages loom
Washington Post: Federal personnel chief quits abruptly amid coronavirus planning for the workforce of 2.1 million
Yahoo: Pentagon has tested fewer than 500 for the coronavirus

Federal Economic Response
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Coming Bailout Is a Moral Failure
Bloomberg: Bank of America Pledges $100 Million to Fight Health Crisis
Politico (Magazine): Republicans Adopt Andrew Yang’s Cause. He Isn’t Celebrating.
Politico: Mnuchin: ‘We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately’
Politico: Coronavirus layoffs surge across America, overwhelming unemployment offices
Wall Street Journal (Editorial): The Fiscal Stimulus Panic

Leadership
CNN: Fact check: Trump tries to erase the memory of him downplaying the coronavirus
Daily Beast: Mar-a-Lago Was a Petri Dish. Testing Nearby Is Still a Mess.
Bloomberg: Trump Pushed Aides to Seek a Trillion Dollars in Virus Response
Kaiser Health News: The High Cost Of Being Trump’s Enemy
New York Times: At Party for Donald Trump Jr.’s Girlfriend, Donors Helped Pick Up the Tab
New York Times: Trump Now Claims He Always Knew the Coronavirus Would Be a Pandemic
NPR: Poll: As Coronavirus Spreads, Fewer Americans See Pandemic As A Real Threat
Politico: Poll: Most Americans don’t trust Trump on coronavirus information
Washington Post: As much of America takes drastic action, some Republicans remain skeptical of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post: The Coronavirus Show has but one star — and the rest are supporting players

Congress
HuffPost: Conservatives Worry Too Much Coronavirus Relief Will Make People Lazy
NBC: Senate coronavirus vote delayed after Rand Paul pushes doomed amendment
New York Times: Congress Is Knitting a Coronavirus Safety Net. It Already Has Big Holes.
Politico: Republicans suddenly find a bailout they can back
Politico: Cory Gardner self-quarantines after coronavirus exposure
Politico: Democrats say Mnuchin squeezed paid sick leave program
Politico: Emergency stimulus to soar above $1 trillion
Politico (Magazine): Washington Learns to Love ‘Money for Everyone’
Politico (Magazine): Pelosi Has Trump Over a Barrel

Hospitals
Bloomberg: Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies Amid U.S. Shortage
CBS: Coronavirus pandemic straining medical supplies, forcing nurses to reuse masks with “no protection”
The Hill: Critical supplies shortage hampers hospitals, health providers
New York Times: These Places Could Run Out of Hospital Beds as Coronavirus Spreads
ProPublica: Are Hospitals Near Me Ready for Coronavirus? Here Are Nine Different Scenarios.
Roll Call: Bracing for coronavirus, hospitals call for more funding
The Verge: Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
Vox: US hospitals are struggling to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic

Democratic Response
The Hill: Obama urges Americans to ‘model’ behavior on health professionals
Washington Post: Democratic groups to spend millions hitting Trump over coronavirus response
Washingtonian: Hell Yes, Democrats Should Politicize Coronavirus

Media
ProPublica: Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax
Vanity Fair: “Dishonesty…Is Always an Indicator of Weakness”: Tucker Carlson on How He Brought His Coronavirus Message to Mar-a-Lago
The Verge: Facebook was marking legitimate news articles about the coronavirus as spam due to a software bug

Campaigns and Elections
Politico: Maryland postpones primary, shifts special election to mail voting over coronavirus
Politico (Opinion): Don’t stop the primaries!
Politico: Welcome to the zombie coronavirus campaign of 2020
Time: Coronavirus Is Already Affecting Voter Turnout in Primaries. And There Are Many More To Go
USA Today: As coronavirus pandemic delays 2020 primaries, is it time to worry about the November election?

International
Axios: Coronavirus could fuel Middle East unrest
Axios: It isn’t democracy vs. authoritarianism
New York Times: Watch the Footprint of Coronavirus Spread Across Countries

Economic Impacts
Arizona Republic: American Red Cross faces ‘severe blood shortage’ due to coronavirus cancellations
Axios: Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Americans hit by stress, job losses
Bloomberg: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Declare Global Recession Under Way
Business Insider: Amazon is suspending all shipments other than medical supplies and household staples to its warehouses amid coronavirus crisis — read the memo it just sent sellers
Business Insider: Trader Joe’s is paying bonuses to store employees amid an ‘unprecedented’ sales increase, as some workers demand ‘hazard pay’
Buzzfeed: Bar And Restaurant Staff Are Terrified Of How They’ll Pay Rent This Month Because Of The Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Restaurants are pivoting to takeout and delivery. Will it be enough to survive?
Los Angeles Times: Bidet sales soar as toilet paper sells out amid coronavirus fears
NPR: Poll: Nearly 1 In 5 Households Have Lost Work Because Of Pandemic
New York Times (Opinion): Our Internet Isn’t Ready for Coronavirus
New York Times: They Clean the Buildings Workers Are Fleeing. But Who’s Protecting Them?
Vice: Amazon’s Supply Chain Is Breaking and Small Businesses Are Screwed
Vice: Best Buy Is Working ‘Full Capacity’ During Coronavirus, Despite Huge Risks
Vice: Restaurant Owners and Staff Are About to Go Broke Because of Coronavirus: ‘The Abyss We’re Going Into Is the Scary Part’
Vox: A grocery store clerk explains what it’s like on the front lines of coronavirus panic

Science
Vox: Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more
Washington Post: Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults

Social Impacts
HuffPost: Abortion Access Is Under Threat As Coronavirus Spreads
New York Times: Kevin Durant Says He Has Tested Positive for the Coronavirus
New York Times: How Cardi B’s Off-the-Cuff Video Became a Coronavirus Anthem
New York Times (Opinion): They Went Off the Grid. They Came Back to the Coronavirus.
Washington Post: It’s ‘quarantini’ time. People say cheers to video happy hours when they’re stuck at home.
Washington Post: This is not the end of the world, according to Christians who study the end of the world

Personal Preparedness
Buzzfeed: When The People You Love Can’t Accept That They Need To Stay Home
Fast Company: Want to do something good during your coronavirus quarantine? Do mutual aid
New York Times (Essay): Someday, We’ll Look Back on All of This and Write a Novel
New Yorker: How to Practice Social Distancing
Slate: You Don’t Have to Work All the Time Now

In The States
California
Buzzfeed: An ER Doctor Was Diagnosed With COVID-19 — After Attending A National Conference For ER Doctors
Los Angeles Times: With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California coronavirus lockdown

Connecticut
Hartford Courant: Connecticut unemployment claims reach 30,000 since Friday as coronavirus takes toll on state’s economy

Florida
Miami Herald: Three deaths at one Fort Lauderdale ALF stoke coronavirus fears

Kentucky
CNN: A coronavirus patient refused to quarantine, so deputies are surrounding his house to force him to
New York Times: ‘All Around Us Is Chaos’: Inside a Rural Town Upended by the Virus

Massachusetts
Stat: Hospital in Boston will be converted into Covid-19 treatment center

New York
New York Times: N.Y. May Need 18,000 Ventilators Very Soon. It Is Far Short of That
New York Times: M.T.A., Citing Huge Drop in Riders, Seeks $4 Billion Virus Bailout
New York Times: In Virus Hot Spot, Lining Up and Anxious at Drive-in Test Center

Ohio
Washington Post: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus response has become a national guide to the crisis

Washington, DC
DCist: Coronavirus Is Causing Industry-Wide Layoffs In D.C., Hitting Service Workers Particularly Hard
WAMU: One Type Of Small Business That’s Thriving During Coronavirus? Locally-Owned Grocery Stores
WAMU: Facing Likely Economic Downturn From Coronavirus, D.C. Council Passes Emergency Relief Bill
Washington Post: Testing positive: One woman’s journey from perfect health to the coronavirus

West Virginia
CNN: West Virginia was the 50th state to report a coronavirus case. This may be the reason it took so long
Washington Examiner: ‘Go to Bob Evans and eat’: West Virginia governor breaks with other states on coronavirus guidance

Trump Tweets
“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“The world is at war with a hidden enemy. WE WILL WIN!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials. Good things will happen! #KILLTHEVIRUS” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big “hotspot”, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it….”

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Health Care For Rural Americans

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially for rural Americans who have traditionally experienced higher rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 4 of 10 focuses on Health Care For Rural Americans. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

The Affordable Care Act Led To Coverage Gains In Rural America 

Medicaid Is A Lifeline For Rural Hospitals

  • The ACA led to a $12 billion reduction in uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $12 billion, or roughly 30 percent. The majority of this reduction was concentrated in states that chose to expand Medicaid. 
  • 430 rural hospitals are at a high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 21 percent of the country’s rural hospitals. 
  •  120 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. The vast majority closed in states that had not expanded Medicaid at the time of the hospital closure.

The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Plays A Central Role In Fighting The Opioid Crisis

  • More than half of people with an opioid use disorder earn incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
  • In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide.
  • It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder.
  • Among those with opioid addiction, people covered through Medicaid are nearly twice as likely as those with private insurance to receive treatment. In 2017, 44 percent of people who had substance use disorders received treatment when they were covered through Medicaid, significantly higher than the 24 percent of those privately insured who received treatment and 32 percent of those who were uninsured and received treatment.
  • Medicaid expansion has reduced unmet need for substance use treatment by more than 18 percent. Recent research finds that Medicaid expansion reduced the unmet need for substance use treatment by 18.3 percent.
  • Medicaid expansion may have saved more than 8,000 people from fatal opioid overdoses. A recent study found that Medicaid expansion prevented as many as 8,132 deaths in the 32 states that expanded Medicaid between 2014 and 2016.
  • The uninsured rate for opioid-related hospitalizations in Medicaid expansion states dropped by 79 percent. In expansion states, the uninsured rate for opioid-related hospitalizations dropped from 13.4 percent in 2013 to 2.9 percent in 2015. Non-expansion states only saw a 5 percent decline over the same period. 

Republicans Want To End Medicaid Expansion Through Their Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA

  • Seventeen Million People Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving hospitals with $9.6 billion more in uncompensated care.