May 22, 2020

Contact: Kathy Melley, 617-791-0708

(BOSTON, MA) — Community Catalyst has championed the cause of affordable health coverage throughout its 20-year history. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving unemployment to Depression-era levels, and forcing many others to work reduced hours. As a result, tens of millions of people are losing their health insurance coverage, making the need for affordable coverage more important than ever. Due to inequitable and discriminatory barriers to health and economic security, this problem falls most heavily on women, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color, including the thousands of essential workers in occupations like health care, food services and other industries who are risking their health daily in this global crises but who often struggle with low wages and few benefits.

Today, in response to this urgent need, Senate Democrats released “Expand Health Care Coverage & Affordability During COVID-19,” a bold blueprint for ensuring people across the country can get quality, affordable comprehensive health coverage and care.

Community Catalyst is also releasing a new issue brief highlighting the need for affordable coverage among essential workers and doing new analytic work to better define “affordability” from the consumer perspective.

Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to the Senate Democrats’ plan:

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people get coverage and care, including many of the essential workers who are risking their lives to help others during the COVID-19 crisis. Yet too many people still can’t afford the health care they need, particularly people of color who face unfair and discriminatory barriers to health and economic security. Senate Democrats have put forward ideas that would bring affordable coverage to those who need it most, especially as millions lose their jobs every week. Their approach stands in sharp contrast to that of the Trump administration, which, even in the middle of a pandemic, is pursuing a judicial end-run around Congress to repeal the ACA and strip health insurance away from tens of millions of people.”

“We thank Senators Shaheen, Smith, Murray and Wyden for their leadership on this effort. We look forward to working them to make coverage and care more affordable for people across the nation, both during the pandemic and long after it’s over.”


 About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.