Cases of COVID-19 are rising in parts of Western North Carolina. As we ease stay-home orders and move into Phase 2 in reopening our economy, we need to understand the potential impact: More infections, more hospitalizations.
And that will inevitably lead to healthcare bills that some people will not be able to pay. Not only that, some who are infected will not seek help because of the cost. That’s means potentially greater spread as those infected remain untreated.
We need to be smart about this. We need to make sure people have access to care because in the long run, that will save us from spreading COVID-19 and causing more hospitalizations.
Here’s how we can do it: Support the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act.
I support the bill in Congress because covering healthcare costs during this pandemic should be part of our relief package. There are already too many uninsured in this country and that number is growing exponentially as so many lose their jobs and their employer-based healthcare because of the economic impact of the pandemic.
More broadly, I have hope this pandemic has opened eyes in Raleigh and will lead to long overdue Medicaid expansion. But it should also be the impetus to begin conversations in Washington about making affordable healthcare accessible to everyone.
Once and for all.