As millions of Americans lose their jobs and go without healthcare, President Donald Trump has decided not to reopen Healthcare.gov marketplaces to new customers.
Trump opted not to allow a special enrollment period, which would have reopened the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare.gov marketplaces for a set time period for the uninsured or those soon to be, as the country grapples with unprecedented calamity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump had been mulling the idea for about a month, but decided to explore other options outside of Obamacare, a White House official told Politico.
People who recently lost their jobs still qualify to find a health insurance plan on the marketplaces, however, they must show proof that they lost their insurance coverage. If Trump would have allowed a special enrollment period, it would have made the process less cumbersome for people to enroll, as it would not have required that paperwork.
Further, it would have given additional people, who previously opted not to buy health insurance this year, another avenue to do so, according to The New York Times.
Trump’s decision isn’t shocking for people who have followed his stance on Obamacare. He is still calling for the law to be overturned and replaced, and has even joined a lawsuit with other Republican-leaning states hoping the Supreme Court will rule to cancel the law in its next term.
Recently, Trump told reporters: “What we want to do is get rid of the bad health care and put in a great health care.”
Some politicians have criticized Trump’s decision, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who is challenging Trump in the 2020 presidential race. Also, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a statement, slamming “Washington Republicans” for taking part in a “crusade against the health and safety of the American public.”
“By blocking uninsured Covid-19 patients from getting health care, Trump and his allies have decided to bankrupt American families,” Fabiola Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the group, said in the statement, according to the Times.
“The American people deserve to know if House Republicans will stand up for the millions of Americans who face the challenge of being jobless and uninsured during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
It remains unclear what other options the Trump administration will make available for Americans who have lost their jobs and healthcare benefits.
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