During this COVID-19 crisis, the men and women in our health care system are risking their own health and safety to serve their communities and save lives. However, these heroes have been put under tremendous strain. Nurses and doctors are working longer hours. Retirees are being asked to come back to work. Some health care workers themselves have contracted the coronavirus.

Making matters worse, our health care work force was already strained before this crisis began. Recently, it was projected that our country needs as many as 42,900 more doctors and 200,000 more nurses right now. Even after we “flatten the curve,” these shortages will still be with us and will hinder our ability to respond to a future crisis like this.