More than 5 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance due to coronavirus-related unemployment, according to a new study from FamiliesUSA. In response, Democrats are renewing their push for “Medicare-for-all”.
Just this week, 360 Democratic delegates promised to vote against any party platform that doesn’t endorse single-payer health care. In their formal petition, they cite insurance losses from the pandemic as a chief reason why they consider “Medicare-for-all” non-negotiable.
But this political ploy is based on bad information. While the pandemic has cost millions of workers their jobs, many of them still have access to affordable coverage. Citing the coronavirus-fueled economic crisis as a reason to scrap private insurance is deeply irresponsible — and would leave the vast majority of Americans worse off.
For starters, it’s far from clear that the turmoil in the labor market has led to droves of people ending up uninsured. According to an analysis by the Galen Institute, nearly 98 percent of Americans who had employer-based coverage before the pandemic have maintained employer coverage.
Further, more than half of workers who have been furloughed during the pandemic still have their employer-sponsored insurance,