Insurers Rake In Profits; 22 Million Uninsured; Marrying for Health Insurance

Public Citizen Has You Covered

Welcome to this week’s edition of “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weekly tipsheet designed to highlight key news about Medicare for All and call out the biggest health care industry lies and falsehoods about universal health care. Please send tips, feedback and questions to Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.

INSURER PROFITS ARE DOING JUST FINE

As health insurers warn of higher premiums due to the ongoing pandemic, their profits seem to be doing just fine.

Last week, UnitedHealthGroup announced that its first-quarter 2020 profits grew by $164 million and its 2020 profit outlook remains unchanged. However, some health insurers have warned of massive premium increases in 2021 and have begged Congress for help to protect their billions.

It’s clear that insurance companies prioritize protecting their profits over patients’ health and lives. Medicare for All would make for-profit health insurance companies unnecessary by providing comprehensive medical coverage for every person in the U.S.

22 MILLION NOW JOBLESS

A record 22 million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic started. Because in the U.S., health care is tied to employment, more than 3.5 million Americans already have been kicked off their private insurance when they need it most.

In response, Public Citizen has launched a petition to demand Congress immediately and automatically enroll in Medicare any American who becomes unemployed during the pandemic. But this is just a start.

Medicare should be expanded to every American so that one no has to worry about losing their coverage if they lose their jobs.

“I DO … NEED TO GET MARRIED FOR HEALTH INSURANCE”

Some uninsured Philadelphians are taking extreme measures to make sure they have health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic.

In early April, Philadelphia announced it was accepting applications for virtual “emergency” marriage licenses,  and more than 500 couples applied for a license in the first week it was available. The application is open to people who meet certain criteria, including people who were planning to marry but want to accelerate the process for health insurance reasons.

If a Medicare for All plan was implemented, no American would have to get hastily married to get health insurance.

REMINDER:

Nearly half of all Americans report that they avoided going to the doctor when sick or injured in the past year due to cost, meaning that many Americans put off care rather than risk medical debt and even bankruptcy just to get the care they need.

Earlier treatment would reduce the need for more expensive care later.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Mike Stankiewicz, mstankiewicz@citizen.org, (202) 588-7779.