As COVID-19 Highlights Health Care System Shortcomings, Utah Health Policy Project Recommends Solutions to State and Federal Policymakers


March 26, 2020



Courtney Bullard | (385) 499-7750

SALT LAKE – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah Health Policy Project sent health policy recommendations to state and federal-level policymakers and leaders. Our world is facing a time of crisis that is unprecedented, and it is shining a light on cracks in our health care system, and exaggerating pre-existing inequities. During this crisis, elected officials should focus on patient-centered policies in order to increase coverage, reduce financial burden, improve emergency response, and save lives.

During emergencies, the state and federal government have significant authority to implement policy changes within a much faster timeframe. Quality, affordable, accessible care for everyone is more important now than ever. UHPP recommends that wide-reaching policy solutions be considered and implemented as soon as possible. We have divided our suggestions into the following categories, with detailed recommendations outlined in the linked fact-sheets.

1.     Improve access to health insurance coverage

2.     Ensure robust outreach to encourage enrollment

3.     Improve access to testing, treatment, and affordable health care

4.     Improve emergency access to providers, prescriptions, and services

The complete report is available HERE

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis.  Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented actions—from us as individuals, from our health system, and from our elected officials.  We must all work together to think big and take appropriate steps to mitigate the economic and health impacts of this crisis. One of the first steps is making sure people know there are options for health care whether Medicaid, Marketplace or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Said Matt Slonaker, Executive Director of the Utah Health Policy Project.

Courtney Bullard, Education and Collaborations Director, said “No person in the United States should be deterred from seeking necessary COVID-19-related health care because of financial concerns. It should be a top policy priority of state and federal leaders to block industry profiteering tactics and eliminate all cost-sharing related to COVID-19 testing and treatment.” 

“Medicaid is an essential part of our safety net, especially during times of economic and public health crisis like COVID-19," said Stacy Stanford, Health Policy Analyst. "State and federal officials should act now to make getting and keeping health insurance as simple as possible for our low-income neighbors struggling to stay afloat during this time of emergency. Any barrier to care is a threat to public health."

For more information contact:

Matt Slonaker, Executive Director (406) 360-2981

Stacy Stanford, Health Policy Analyst (801) 718-6130 

Courtney Bullard, Education and Collaborations Director, (385) 499-7750


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