Digital Toolkit: COVID-19 Related Resources
Updated with the following resources on 5/14/20
America is in the throes of a profound crisis: deadly disease, economic downturn, and an erosion of families’ financial security. Our elected leaders must act boldly now on behalf of families, to protect their health and financial wellbeing, and to stymie the nation’s gravest pandemic and health-incited recession in generations. Every person in America needs access to high-quality, affordable healthcare and policies that protect their financial security, all which are necessary for overall health and wellbeing.
The President and Congress must put people — frontline workers, unemployed, uninsured and underinsured, children, people of color, people in rural communities, regardless of immigration status — over corporate interests and partisan politics with three critical policies — coverage, state fiscal relief, and testing — that ensure families’ health and economic security, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
America’s families need access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage. Tens of millions of workers and their families are losing employer-sponsored health insurance due to pandemic-prompted layoffs and furloughs. The growing coverage loss will worsen disease spread and the financial crisis for families as they seek care, unless Congress acts now by: providing $600 million in mandatory, annual funding for consumer assistance so families can get the coverage and care they need; making private health insurance affordable for struggling families by broadening premium tax credits and fully subsidizing COBRA coverage offered to laid-off workers; and by expanding the recently-enacted Medicaid option to support states’ ability to finance and expand Medicaid, including COVID 19 treatment, with eligibility extended to all in need, regardless of geography or immigration status.
2. STATE FISCAL RELIEF
States need fiscal relief to staff pandemic response, save jobs and help hard-pressed residents. Recession slashes state revenue while boosting the number of families using state programs related to health care, unemployment assistance, and food security programs, to name a few. This combination leaves states little choice but to make major cutbacks that harm people and devastate the economy when both need help. To allow for appropriate COVID-19 response and to prevent state and local actions that undermine Congressional efforts to combat recession, federal fiscal relief must include two key components:
- a significant increase in federal matching rates for Medicaid; and
- flexible funding for states to offset major revenue losses and cost increases triggered by recession. Congress should immediately enact the governors’ (National Governors Association) proposal for a $500 billion state emergency relief fund.
3. TESTING and CONTACT TRACING to SAFETY BEYOND LARGE-SCALE LOCKDOWNS
To re-open the U.S. economy and keep families safe, a comprehensive effort to test, trace and quarantine individuals must be nationally coordinated and implemented in states and localities across the country. In the next COVID package, lawmakers must fund these essential efforts with a priority on getting resources to communities at greater risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and those that lack the ability to stand up robust efforts on their own. In particular, they should fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at least $3.7 billion in emergency supplemental funding to be distributed to local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal public health agencies to support a force of at least 100,000 contact tracers, with an additional $43 billion available to CDC to expand the contact tracing workforce if needed, to implement self-isolation facilities, and to provide income supports for individuals in 14-day isolation periods. States should submit binding plans to allocate these funds within the state based on disease prevalence and local public health staffing needs, prioritizing communities with limited fiscal capacity to stand up pandemic response quickly.
COVID-19 Video Series
Frederick Isasi & Dr. Josh Sharfstein: COVID-19 Discussion
Families USA’s Executive Director, Frederick Isasi speaks to Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at Johns Hopkins University, about what Congress can do to help American families during this unprecedented time of health and financial crisis because of COVID-19.
Amber Hewitt & Lee Taylor-Penn: COVID-19 And Equity Part 2
Director of Health Equity, Amber Hewitt, and Senior Policy Analyst, Lee Taylor-Penn, discuss how COVID-19 is affecting minority populations, the reasons for this, and potential ways to alleviate those problems.
Kelly Murphy: COVID-19 And Children
Director of Early Childhood & Maternal Health, Kelly Murphy discusses COVID-19’s impact on children.
Eliot Fishman & Joe Weissfeld: COVID-19 And Medicaid
Senior Director of Health Policy, Eliot Fishman, and Director of Medicaid Initiatives, Joe Weissfeld discuss the role of Medicaid in COVID-19 relief efforts.
Lisa Hunter: COVID-19 And Strategic Partnerships
Families USA’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lisa Hunter, discusses how the three priorities for COVID-19 Legislation: Coverage, State Fiscal Relief, and Testing, will affect states and how Families USA is poised to respond/assist.
- Facebook Live Event – COVID19: Policies To Protect Families
- Three Key Focus Areas Congress Must Address To Help America’s Families During COVID19
- Frederick Isasi: No Surprises Campaign Digital Week of Action
- Dr. Amber Hewitt, Ph.D: COVID-19 and Equity
- COVID, COBRA, & COVERAGE – Health care amid the crisis (via Third Way)
- The Fierce Urgency of Now: Federal and State Policy Recommendations to Address Health Inequities in the Era of COVID-19
- Early State Trends Signal Massive Surge In Medicaid Enrollment Related To COVID-19
- COVID-19: What Children Need From Congress to Protect Their Health and Well-Being
- How The HEROES Act Compares To Key Priorities For Federal Legislation
- Nebraska Must Expand Medicaid Now To Protect Its Workers
- During This Public Health Crisis, States Must Immediately Expand Medicaid, If Only Temporarily
- Frequently Asked Questions: State Health Coverage Strategies For COVID-19
- State Health Coverage Strategies for COVID-19
- Five Innovative State Medicaid Approaches to Combat COVID-19
- North Carolina Must Expand Medicaid Now to Protect its Workers
- During COVID-19 Health And Financial Crises, States Should Act Now To Protect Families From Surprise Medical Bills
- Unemployment Insurance Websites Are Not Telling Laid-Off Workers About Available Health Programs, Despite Enormous Losses of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
- Without Bold Congressional Action, Major Losses in Health Coverage Will Accelerate the Spread of Untreatable, Deadly COVID-19
- Webinar: State Health Coverage Strategies for COVID 19
- Webinar: COVID-19: State Opportunities and the Next Federal Response Package
- Webinar: COVID-19 and Ending Surprise Medical Bills: A Week of Action
- Webinar: The Evolving State Medicaid Landscape in the COVID-19 Era
- Responding To COVID-19: Using The CARES Act’s Hospital Fund To Help The Uninsured, Achieve Other Goals
- How Laid-off and Furloughed Employees Can Keep Their Health Coverage (via Third Way)
- COVID-19 Policy Recommendations
- Florida’s Legislature Must Expand Medicaid Now To Protect Workers
- Are You Uninsured During the COVID-19 Crisis?: What You Need to Know About Finding Health Insurance, Getting Tested, and Getting Care
- California’s Proposed Oral Health Cuts Would Cost the State Billions, Further Harm Those Hardest Hit by COVID-19
- Families USA’s “Give Families and States COVID-19 Support Now!” Coalition Sign-On Letter
- Multi-Organization Letter to HHS Regarding COVID-19
- No Surprises Letter: Congress Should Include Surprise Billing Protections in Pandemic Response
- Over 400 Organizations Call on Congress to Prioritize Families’ Health in Next COVID-19 Relief Package
- Health Equity Task Force Letter to Capitol Hill on COVID-19
- Consumers First Letter to Congress Urging Action on COVID-19
- Top Three Priorities for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic and Recession Infographic
- Surprise Medical Billing Protections Belong In the Next COVID-19 Relief Infographic
- Five COVID-19 Policy Recommendations Infographic
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: A PPE fee at the dentist? New requirements could raise prices for patients (05/26/20): Senior Oral Health Campaign Manager, Melissa Burroughs.
- The Power Station Podcast: Power Station with Frederick Isasi (05/25/20): Executive Director, Frederick Isasi.
- Quartz: Depending on where they live, coronavirus can still cost Americans thousands of dollars (05/20/20): Cheryl Fish-Parcham.
- Public News Service: 43 Million Could Lose Employer Health Insurance Amid Pandemic (05/12/20): Senior Director of Health Policy, Eliot Fishman.
- Modern Health Care: Hospital, Business Groups Push for COBRA Subsidies for Furloughed Workers (05/12/20): Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Stan Dorn.
- America is in the throes of a profound crisis: deadly disease, economic downturn, & families losing financial security. Our elected leaders must act boldly now on behalf of families, to protect their #healthandfinancialsecurity. #policiestoprotectfamilies #statesneedCOVIDfunding
- To stymie the nation’s gravest pandemic and health-incited recession in generations. Every person in America needs access to high-quality, affordable healthcare and policies that protect their #healthandfinancialsecurity #policiestoprotectfamilies #statesneedCOVIDfunding
- Frontline workers, unemployed, uninsured, and underinsured, people of color, people in rural communities, regardless of immigration status —MUST be put over corporate interests and partisan politics. #healthandfinancialsecurity #policiestoprotectfamilies #statesneedCOVIDfunding
- These three critical policies — #healthcoverage, #statefiscalrelief, and #testing — policies that ensure families’ #healthandfinancialsecurity, during the #COVID19 crisis and beyond must be put into place. #policiestoprotectfamilies #statesneedCOVIDfunding
- Millions of workers & their families are losing employer-sponsored #healthinsurance due to layoffs/furloughs. The growing coverage loss will worsen disease spread & the financial crisis for families as they seek care, #statesneedCOVIDfunding!!!!!
Storyteller Social Media Graphics
Policy Experts’ Twitter Handles
- Eliot Fishman, PhD, Senior Director of Health Policy- @FishmanEliot
- Cheryl Fish-Parcham, Director of Access Initiatives- @cparcham
- Stan Dorn, Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation- @standorn
- Amber Hewitt, PhD, Director of Health Equity- @DrAmberHewitt