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The Editors

A Health-Care Cliff Could Leave Millions Uninsured

Pandemic-era spending to expand coverage won’t last forever. But Congress can smooth the transition to avoid a crisis.

Operations At CCI Health And Wellness Services Clinics As Obamacare Insurers Struggle For Stability

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Since early 2020, the US has been under an official public-health emergency. In July, after 30 months, it is scheduled to end. One unanticipated consequence is that millions of Americans could lose their health insurance.

The root of the problem is the extraordinary spending spree Congress embarked on to address the pandemic. As Covid-19 spread and businesses shut, a wave of job losses left millions of Americans without employer-sponsored health coverage. To avert a fiscal crisis as the newly uninsured flocked to Medicaid, the federal government offered states extra funding so long as they didn’t boot anyone off the program during the public-health emergency.