WASHINGTON, DC — With the staggering numbers of those infected by COVID-19, policymakers at every level are having to take a hard look at the current state of health care.
Like many industries during this pandemic era, they are having to adjust to accommodate what is quickly becoming the new normal. Emily Barson, Executive Director of the nonprofit United States of Care has a pretty good idea of what the health care world post-coronavirus might have to look like.
“So often healthcare becomes such a hot button issue, but we believe that when you boil it down, there’s a lot of commonality in what American’s experience in their healthcare and when they try to take care of their families, and we believe that should be what’s centering all the work that’s happening on a policy level…that isn’t up for debate every election cycle,” Emily Barson, told 104.7 WONK FM’s Jen Richer.
United States of Care is a nonprofit that works as a connector between healthcare providers, patients, and decision makers to facilitate securing access to affordable health care for Americans.
Over the last several weeks they’ve shifted their focus to support lawmakers, both current and future patients, and healthcare providers, to prepare for the strain the coronavirus will have on the healthcare system.
“As we saw the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scope of that became clear, we knew that this really only underscored the need, why United States of Care exists and why our mission is so important now more than ever,” Barson said.
United States of Care offered policy recommendations to Congress in response to the crisis, now reflected in the recent stimulus package.
“We know this isn’t just about people who have medical needs, but that there are going to be significant… financial and economic outcomes as a result of the response,” Barson said.
Among the priorities were efforts to slow the spread of the virus, build and sustain supplies, health system capacity, and a workforce needed to overcome the immediate medical challenge, and ensure access to health care for those infected by COVID-19, among others.
“Our underlying message was put the full resources of the entire government to maximize the response. We really need to look at this as a whole nation effort, and we’re seeing that in everything from this historic legislation, but [also] from the federal government to state government to really community and grassroots level efforts.
Listen here for the full interview: