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A new study finds that more than 600,000 health care workers are poor and potentially without insurance or paid sick leave.

Thousands of Health Care Workers Lack Insurance If COVID-19 Strikes: Study

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the sacrifices of America's health care workers, yet many of them live in poverty and can't afford health insurance.

A new study finds that more than 600,000 health care workers are poor and potentially without insurance or paid sick leave, and up to 4 million have health problems that put them at risk of dying from COVID-19.

"It's nice that politicians want to label health care workers heroes and that people are going out and banging pots for them. That's clearly raising people's morale. But it also is important to make sure they -- and everyone else in the country -- has health insurance and decent wages and sick leave when they need it," said lead researcher Dr. David Himmelstein. He's a professor of public health and health policy at Hunter College in New York City.

"There's no reason why Congress couldn't pass one of the measures that's before them that expands health insurance and also gives hazard pay to frontline workers," Himmelstein said. "Frankly, we need a $15 an hour minimum wage and universal health insurance and sick leave."

Read the full HealthDay story.

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