When January turned to February, social distancing still sounded like a dating app for introverts, and wearing masks was something they did in other countries, not in the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A.
Life indeed comes at you pretty fast.
The rubble of tragedy provides the bedrock of innovation. If not for the immigration of Wernher von Braun, America never would have won the space race.
We’ll forge ahead from the flames of the pandemic, assuredly, but the trajectory of our lives and our country will never be quite the same.
How we get our health care is on the doorstep of change, I have no doubt.
Things are looking grim for President Donald Trump’s second term. He must run the table again in the swing states he won, some by surprise, in 2016.
Neither the economy nor the health care crisis have yet hit bottom, hence the effort to shift blame to governors and mayors and away from the White House. The longer the Democrats flatten the curve of the crisis, the better they look in November.
He’s trailing Joe Biden in every key state. Trump looks unlikely, but he looked unlikely all the way to Election Day four years ago, too. He has little margin for error, however.
Trump is trailing by 4 points in his home state of Florida, which he won by just 1.2% four years ago. If Trump loses Florida, the night is over.
Where does he pick up votes to offset Electoral College losses? He lost to Hillary Clinton in Minnesota by a point and a half. The state hasn’t gone for a Republican for president since Nixon in 1972, though, and the last polling had Trump down nearly 13 points in the land of the walleye.
I’ve got a better shot at winning “Dancing with the Stars” than Trump’s chances in Colorado. If that bleeds over onto Sen. Cory Gardner, Republicans’ hold on the Senate is slippery, while Democrats retain the House, if they don’t grow their majority.
If the left is in charge of D.C., well, if you like your Obamacare, you can keep it.
Here in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis came into office last year promising to remake health care, mainly to make it accessible and, more importantly, affordable.
When the Legislature reconvenes on May 26, they have to pass the budget that takes effect July 1, the School Finance Act and whatever they can to stop the bleeding of tax revenue they need to run the state.
The pandemic, effectively, has derailed the governor’s Saving People Money on Health Care train, as he and lawmakers prepare to slash and burn state programs to balance the budget.
Before all this, they had planned to hammer out a public insurance option with below-market premiums, fueled by price caps on hospitals. That would have forced the small handful of insurers in Colorado to compete with lower rates. Put that back on the shelf.
The bill was said to be aimed at sky-high premiums in the high country and accessibility of insurers across rural Colorado. Sponsors announced the decision May 4, first in the Denver media to let the advocacy groups and trade associations know first, I was told.
State Sen. Kerry Donovan, one of the public option’s sponsors, says it’s a flaw in our health care system that insurance is tied to jobs.
“We have this sense that health care is something you earn,” she told advocates in an April 30 webinar.
When people lose their job, they lose their health care. That creates its own crisis when the country is facing is deepest unemployment rates, potentially 1 in 5 people gainfully employed two months ago, out of work and out of insurance.
Lawmakers tell me they’re bracing for hundreds of thousands of new Medicaid enrollees.
Gardner and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet signed a letter together on May 1 asking congressional leaders to support more money for states facing the Medicaid onslaught.
When the state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, it extended coverage to 600,000 Coloradans. Medicaid presently covers 1.4 million Coloradans, 19% of the population.
Democrats, of course, believe health care is a right, not a privilege. It should not be a high-priced commodity that turns some into millionaires and bankrupts others.
“I think that it’s certainly exposed that if your health care is tied to the economy, and the economy has the rug pulled out from underneath it so immediately, then we’ve also pulled your health care access,” Donovan said. “I think that’s an issue we have to address.”
Her main partner on the public option, Rep. Dylan Roberts from Avon, said federal efforts to overturn or defund the Affordable Care Act threaten Medicaid and the progress Colorado has made on insuring more people.
“A lot of these programs we’re trying to do at the Legislature are building off the Affordable Care Act, and if the Affordable Care Act goes away we can’t do any of that,” he said. “We can’t continue to lower insurance prices, to try to get waivers from the federal government to give people more access to care. We need Congress, we need the administration to shore up the Affordable Care Act and continue to make progress.
“If a global pandemic doesn’t make that clear, I don’t know what would.”