CDC report shows millions of Americans were losing health insurance before COVID-19

CDC report shows millions of Americans were losing health insurance before COVID-19
Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Keegan Barber)
‘Everything he says is false’: NBC reporter overheard CDC director slamming Trump coronavirus adviser

During last night's debate, one of the places where Joe Biden was able to cut through the strange excitable barking that was going on to his right was during the somehow interminable, somehow brief, debate question surrounding the health insurance. During that section, Biden attempted to explain the need to rebuild the Affordable Care Act and improve upon it while Donald Trump literally just barked out words like "socialist," and lied about making insulin as "cheap as water."

The most glaring point, something that even moderator Chris Wallace wasn't able to hide, was that Donald Trump continues to have zero plans or ideas for replacing the health insurance that will be lost if the ACA is fully dismantled. As it is, the problem of high health insurance coverage wasn't fixed by the first iteration of the ACA and a lot more work needs to be done. The Republican Party and Trump are not up for that task and after almost four years in office, matters have only gotten worse. Biden pointed that out that Trump and his Republicans have no interest in creating affordable health care. In fact, they have been doing quite the opposite. Trump would "never look you in the eye and tell you he wants to take it away. He wants to take it away."

Before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit our shores and spread due to corrupt and impotent federal policy makers, people were losing their health insurance. The CDC released a report this month, which looked into rising numbers of uninsured Americans. Here's what they found: "In 2019, 14.5% of adults aged 18–64 were uninsured in the United States." The Hill reports that this is up from the previous year's number of 13.3%. In total, between 2018 and 2019 at least 2.5 million people became uninsured under Trump and the Republican Party's magical thinking, nonexistent plan. The number one reason people were losing their insurance was because it had become unaffordable.

Some other awful numbers the CDC released is that under Trump the people who have lost their insurance because of cost increased based on age, "from 66.8% among those aged 18–29 to 80.9% among those aged 50–64." And, of course, as Biden pointed out, Trump's activities as president have disproportionately hurt communities of color more than anyone else, with "Hispanic adults" being more than 30 percent more likely to lose their insurance than their white counterparts due to their ineligibility.

As with the rising rate of children under six without insurance, these awful numbers were before COVID-19. This was before tens of millions of people became unemployed, losing their work-subsidized healthcare insurance. In 2014, a Gallup poll showed that the numbers of uninsured Americans was consistently dropping under the Affordable Care Act. A lot of work needed to be done. Instead, Republicans fought and continue to fight to claw back public healthcare options, while offering up zilch to replace it.

The bottom line is that affordable health care is possible but not under Trump. As Biden said while Trump rattle off lies in the background, "He doesn't know how to do that. He has not done a single thing."

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