Health Law Expected To Act As Crucial Safety Net Amid Pandemic. Will That Finally Sway Its Doubters?
Millions of Americans have lost jobs and potentially the health care coverage that went along with them. The Affordable Care Act may serve as a crucial safety net to the country during this turbulent time. While the Trump administration has chipped away at the health law over the years, it might need to adjust its mentality and support the very thing it railed against. In other news on the economic toll of the outbreak: a look at how the recession is just getting started, how the stimulus package won't mitigate all of the damage, a movement to get older Americans to work in the name of "patriotism," and more.
Could Obamacare Save Jobless Americans From Coronavirus?
A historic surge in jobless claims threatens to leave millions of Americans joining the ranks of the uninsured, an increasingly grim outlook in the country that’s emerging as the new global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The moment is shaping up to be a clear test of Obamacare, on the same week the health care law turned 10 years old. The key question is whether the pandemic will drive the newly uninsured to the law’s health insurance marketplaces, proving the law’s value as a backstop, or if they'll take their chances and forego coverage as the country braces for a possible recession. (Luthi, 3/26)
The Washington Post:
The Coronavirus Recession Is Just Getting Started
The record 3.3 million jobless claims reported Thursday mark the beginning of an economic crisis facing American workers and businesses — a slump, experts say, that will only end when the coronavirus pandemic is contained. The economy has entered a deep recession that has echoes of the Great Depression in the way it has devastated so many businesses and consumers, triggering mass layoffs and threatening to set off a chain reaction of bankruptcies and financial losses for companies large and small. (Long, 3/26)
‘Just Damage Containment’: Cost Of The Coronavirus Shutdown Keeps Rising
The mammoth $2 trillion rescue package on the brink of heading to President Donald Trump’s desk would plug some of the massive holes coronavirus is ripping through the American economy. But the massive effort — the largest single injection of federal cash into the economy in U.S. history — will do nothing to flip the switch back on for an economy enduring the swiftest paralyzation any major developed nation has ever seen. (White, 3/26)
A Far-Right Rallying Cry: Older Americans Should Volunteer To Work
Forget “15 days to slow the spread.” A growing chorus of conservatives have started arguing that older adults should voluntarily return to work to save the country from financial ruin. Call it “economic patriotism.” The proposal has taken root in some conservative circles, filtering up from far-right websites to radio pundits to a few prominent politicians to, finally, Fox News. (Nguyen, 3/27)
Fighting COVID-19, Can The U.S. Save Both Lives And The Economy?
If we prioritize health over the economy, or vice versa, what are the costs? The number of jobless claims on Thursday hit a record high, and Congress is poised to pass a massive emergency stimulus deal just to keep money flowing. (Santhanam, 3/26)
The New York Times:
A Virus’s Effects: Coughs, Chills And Sometimes A Forgiving Spirit
Rent collections are being delayed. Water restored. Jailhouse doors are swinging open. The coronavirus, for all its devastation, is spreading a spirit of forgiveness across America and softening the country’s often uncompromising lock-’em-up ways. Dozens of states and localities have suspended evictions and utility shut-offs. The $2 trillion stimulus bill that passed the Senate this week included provisions to halt evictions in some federally funded housing, defer federal student loan payments interest-free and stop collections on those who are in default. (Eligon, 3/27)
The Washington Post:
Washington-Area Jobless Claims Spike Dramatically As Virus Cases Surge
At least 102,000 D.C.-area residents have lost their jobs amid the coronavirus-related shutdowns, a worrisome glimpse of the economic damage being wrought as the area’s caseload continues to surge. Nearly 42,000 people in Maryland filed unemployment claims last week, an 11-fold increase from the previous week, Labor Department figures released Thursday showed. (Olivo, Nirappil and Vozzella, 3/26)