Last week, 3.3 million people filed for unemployment insurance. Some experts put the total number of newly unemployed people at nearly 50 million. And for those millions of people, and their families, tomorrow, April 1st, is going to be the hardest day they’ve experienced in this pandemic so far.
The rent is due. And while a few cities have said evictions will be stopped, so families won’t simply be put on the street, most cities and states have done no such thing. Beyond that, without the rent actually being covered, or canceled in some kind of way, it’s simply going to accrue, month after month, and ultimately amount to a mega-payment that’s going to come due.
For those millions of newly unemployed people, and their spouses, and their children, which could ultimately put the number above 100 million people, tomorrow will mark the day when their health insurance will end. Do you understand what I’m saying? In the midst of a global pandemic, tens of millions of people are now going to be instantly uninsured. They will now be unemployed, with no income, on the brink of homelessness, and will now have no health insurance.
This crisis I am describing is one we’ve been knowing was coming at least for weeks. Somebody could argue that we’ve had months to see this coming, but let’s just say for a moment that our leaders didn’t fully understand the gravity of this situation until early March. WHY IN THE HELL HAVE THEY NOT ACTED to do something, ANYTHING, to make sure that when tomorrow comes, people will have some relief.
Even the horrible “stimulus bill” that seems to have helped the stock market, but nothing else, has not kicked in yet for everyday people. The little checks are still weeks away from being received and it did nothing about health insurance.
This is a complete system failure. Republicans and Democrats have failed. The House, the Senate, and the presidency have failed. Governors and state legislatures have failed. Mega-corporations have failed.
And as I have said before, it just did not have to be this way. Other nations not only handled the coronavirus better, they handled the fallout better — providing more relief, and doing it faster.
This much is clear to me — the United States is not the best country in the world. Stop saying that. It’s dumb. It’s propaganda. In virtually no metric, outside of being #1 in coronavirus cases and mass incarceration, is this nation #1.
Tomorrow is going to be a very, very hard day.