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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Very Bad Numbers

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.   

Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to public policy and the electoral process.

  • Because of job losses between February and May of this year, 5.4 million laid-off workers became uninsured. 
  • These recent increases in the number of uninsured adults are 39% higher than any annual increase ever recorded. The highest previous increase took place over the one-year period from 2008 to 2009, when 3.9 million nonelderly adults became uninsured.
  • Nearly half (46%) of the increases in the uninsured resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crash have occurred in five states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Carolina.
  • In eight states 20% or more of adults are now uninsured: Texas, where nearly three in ten adults under age 65 are uninsured (29%); Florida (25%); Oklahoma (24%); Georgia (23%); Mississippi (22%); Nevada (21%); North Carolina (20%); and South Carolina (20%). All but Oklahoma are also among the 15 states with the country's highest spike in new COVID-19 cases during the week ending on July 12.
  • Five states have experienced increases in the number of uninsured adults that exceed 40%: Massachusetts, where the number nearly doubled, rising by 93%; Hawaii (72%); Rhode Island (55%); Michigan (46%); and New Hampshire (43%).
  • No federal COVID-19 legislation signed into law has attempted to restore or preserve comprehensive health insurance, which improves health outcomes, limits financial insecurity, and promotes economic recovery. Federal lawmakers can fill that gap in the next COVID-19 bill.
Kate Davidson at WSJ:
The U.S. budget deficit reached $3 trillion in the 12 months through June as stimulus spending soared and tax revenue plunged, putting the federal government on pace to register the largest annual deficit as a share of the economy since World War II.
As a share of gross domestic product, the 12-month deficit came to 14% last month, compared with 10.1% in February 2010, when the U.S. was still recovering from the last recession. In June alone, the deficit widened to a monthly record of $864 billion, the Treasury Department said Monday—nearly as much as the gap for the entire previous fiscal year, which totaled $984 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected the annual deficit could total $3.7 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. But the gap could widen even further if Congress and the White House agree later this month on another round of emergency spending, which economists argue is vital to keep households and businesses afloat until the economy begins to recover.