Less than six months after the first COVID-19 diagnosis in America, the virus had taken a terrible toll. More than 125,000 U.S. residents had died of the disease, exceeding total American casualties in 9/11 plus the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. U.S. public health officials reported that more people became infected with COVID-19 than live in every Southwestern and Rocky Mountain state combined. The number of unemployed workers more than tripled, reaching their highest levels ever recorded. And in three short months, the number of adults without health insurance rose by 5.4 million — the largest coverage loss in American history, exceeding by nearly 40% the greatest annual increase in the number of uninsured adults ever recorded.
Despite these coverage losses, no COVID-19 bill signed into law has protected comprehensive health insurance. It is time for Congress to fill that gaping hole. In this fact sheet, we explain why restoring and maintaining such health insurance is essential to combat COVID-19’s spread; to protect families from serious diseases having nothing to do with COVID-19; to safeguard family finances during the worst recession since World War II, and to support a robust and rapid economic recovery.