Policy Watch

Quick-hitting policy analysis, polling, and updates on the key issues facing the country in 2020.

This Week in Coronavirus: October 9 to October 15

Total confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 7.9 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 373,800 confirmed cases between October 9 and October 15. Approximately 4,900 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to approximately 217,700.  

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Medicaid Covers People with Pre-Existing Conditions, Too

In recent weeks, the possible overturning of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court and the upcoming election have focused attention on the issue of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. While the focus has been on the ACA’s private insurance protections, Medicaid also plays a significant role in covering people with pre-existing conditions.

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Drew Altman: Black Americans Are More Skeptical of a Coronavirus Vaccine

Drew Altman discusses how systemic racism has led to striking levels of reluctance to get a COVID-19 vaccine among Black Americans, including those at highest risk, and the challenge it presents for ending the pandemic.

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This Week in Coronavirus: October 2 to October 8

During the 38th week since the first coronavirus case appeared in the United States, worldwide cases surpassed the 36 million mark and United States has surpassed 7 million cases and 212,000 deaths.

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Limitations of the Program for Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Raise Concerns

The Trump administration’s program to treat uninsured COVID-19 patients has limitations that are leaving some patients unprotected from large medical bills.

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Mental Illnesses May Soon Be the Most Common Pre-Existing Conditions

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 200,000 American lives, left millions unemployed, and led to widespread social isolation. The pandemic has also understandably taken a toll on the nation’s mental health. In a recent KFF poll, more than half of adults in the United States reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a case brought before the Supreme Court by Republican-led states and supported by President Trump threatens to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the ACA is overturned, mental illness could become one of the most common pre-existing conditions.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.