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New unemployed should also be able to enroll in health insurance | READER COMMENTARY

.Jobless claims now exceed 16 million as shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic widen and problems with getting benefits persist.
.Jobless claims now exceed 16 million as shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic widen and problems with getting benefits persist.

For Unitarian Universalists, one of our unifying principles is the inherent worth and dignity of every person, so it’s heartbreaking to read about the enormous increase in people filing for unemployment (“Maryland unemployment claims surge again, surpassing total for all of 2019," April 9). Too many Marylanders are now struggling to pay for the basics of life. Newly unemployed may have also lost their work-based health insurance, adding new stress and uncertainty to their lives.

We should do everything we can to make it easy for the newly unemployed individuals to sign up for health insurance and give them some security and make sure everyone has access to affordable health care in this public health crisis. Marylander’s are fortunate that this can be done as our elected officials have worked to strengthen the Affordable Care Act unlike many other states.

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We read that the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative is pushing the idea of allowing people who are signing up for unemployment insurance to also start the process of enrolling in health insurance through the state’s insurance exchange. This would make it easy for people to learn about their insurance options. We support this innovative and efficient way to help those who are facing dire financial situations and especially need health insurance during this health care crisis we are facing.

Betty McGarvie Crowley, Silver Spring

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The writer is health care chair of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland.

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