Over 400,000 South Carolinians Lose Health Insurance Due to Job Losses During COVID-19 Pandemic
Columbia, S.C. — As over 400,000 South Carolinians lose their health insurance as a result of unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaime Harrison, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement calling on Sen. Lindsey Graham to stop his assault on healthcare access and immediately support a Medicaid expansion:
“People deserve leaders who will fight for their health and wellbeing, especially now,” Harrison said. “Unfortunately, Sen. Graham is not that leader. Rather than protecting the 400,000 South Carolinians who have lost their health insurance, he has spent the better part of the COVID-19 crisis pushing for cuts in unemployment relief and standing alongside those in court trying to uproot the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
“These hardworking South Carolinians are already suffering from job losses and severe economic anxiety. And without health insurance, many will no longer be able to affordably access the medical care they need. These costs could seriously dissuade our fellow residents from seeking coronavirus treatment, potentially hastening the spread of the virus throughout South Carolina.
“But it does not have to be this way. Medicaid expansion, a vital provision of the Affordable Care Act, would allow our state to close the coverage gap and provide insurance to these 400,000 South Carolinians during this historic health crisis. We’re one of just 14 states still denying this coverage. It’s political gamesmanship at its worst. And if Sen. Graham gets his way in the ACA lawsuit, the consequences will be even more severe.
“That’s why I call on Sen. Graham to stop his assault on healthcare access and support a Medicaid expansion in our state. More than ever, we should be working together to make sure health insurance is as accessible as possible.”
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 400,000 South Carolinians lost access to Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) during the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic.