State Watch

12 governors press Trump for special ObamaCare enrollment period amid coronavirus pandemic

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A dozen Democratic U.S. governors are calling on the Trump administration to open a special ObamaCare enrollment period amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The governors stressed the necessity of health coverage for their uninsured or underinsured constituents who may choose to forgo COVID-19 testing and treatment over fear of potential costs. 

“It is essential that we remove every barrier as quickly as possible to ensure those in our states and across the country are able to access the treatment they need,” they wrote in a Monday letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

“One of the most effective ways this can be done is by opening up a federal special enrollment period to give everyone the chance to enroll in a health plan that offers the coverage they need with access to any qualifying subsidies,” the governors added. 

The Democratic governors are requesting the administration reconsider its decision and immediately open a special day enrollment of at least 30 days on the federal exchange. 

The coalition of governors is led by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Mich.). The letter is signed by Govs. John Carney (Del.), J.B. Pritzker (Ill.), Janet Mills (Maine), Steve Bullock (Mont.), Phil Murphy (N.J.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.), Roy Cooper (N.C.), Kate Brown (Ore.), Tom Wolf (Pa.) Ralph Northam (Va.) and Tony Evers (Wis.). 

The Trump administration said at the end of March it would not reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act amid the pandemic despite calls from congressional Democrats. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has urged Trump to expand the sign-up period, and a group of 65 Democrats wrote a letter to Azar last week calling for the administration to reopen enrollment as well. 

The enrollment period ended in mid-December. 

Tags Affordable Care Act Alex Azar Coronavirus John Carney Michelle Lujan Grisham Nancy Pelosi ObamaCare open enrollment Steve Bullock
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