WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today blasted President Trump for his decision against reopening HealthCare.gov so that individuals currently without health insurance could sign up for coverage. Booker was the first lawmaker to propose legislation that would create such an enrollment period so that millions of individuals impacted by COVID-19 could access coverage.
“This decision is the height of callousness and irresponsibility,” Booker said. “We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and people need health care coverage, yet the President is denying people access to it. The Affordable Care Act was created for this very purpose – so that individuals without health insurance could get affordable, quality coverage. At a time when our health care system is already under enormous strain, it makes no sense to willingly allow even more individuals to go without coverage.”
“The President should reverse course immediately and allow for a special enrollment period. Failing that, Congress should quickly pass my Care for COVID-19 Act, which would immediately create a special enrollment period so that uninsured individuals can get covered.”
Booker introduced the Care for COVID-19 Act in early March. In addition to creating a special enrollment period for individuals impacted by Coronavirus, the bill would also require health insurance plans to cover services related to the virus, like testing and prevention, with no cost-sharing to patients. This measure, which Booker was also the first to propose, was incorporated in the two Coronavirus relief packages recently passed by the Senate. Millions of Americans will now no longer face a cost barrier for Coronavirus testing or preventative services.