President Donald Trump will not reopen the Obamacare exchanges to allow uninsured Americans to purchase healthcare coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, a White House official said.
The decision comes after the president said last week he was considering a special enrollment period to allow individuals to purchase insurance during the crisis — a move that had been endorsed by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade organisation representing health insurers.
Ultimately, however, the administration opted against a national mandate that would have mirrored steps that states like New York, California, Connecticut, and Maryland are taking. In New York, people without insurance “can apply within 60 days of losing coverage,” according to the state website.
The White House official requested anonymity to describe an internal policy decision.
Trump has long opposed the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and tried to repeal it early in his presidency. But he said that the administration would be “doing a lot of different things on health insurance.” He also responded to a question about expanding insurance subsidies or Medicaid checks by saying that many Americans would be receiving “very big checks” as part of the stimulus bill passed by Congress.
“We’re taking care of our people,” Trump said. “This is not their fault what happened, and we’re taking care.” Ordinarily, uninsured individuals must purchase their coverage on the Obamacare exchanges between November 1 and December 15 for coverage beginning in the new year.