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Underwood joins Pelosi, advocates in calling for special ACA enrollment period

Underwood joins Pelosi, advocates in calling for special ACA enrollment period

On the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other healthcare advocates in calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to create a national special enrollment period to allow uninsured people to sign up for health insurance plans during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Underwood said reopening enrollment will allow uninsured people to get covered, an important step in ensuring they can access care. The concern, she said, is that an uninsured person with COVID-19 symptoms may be unwilling to access care, which could lead to further spread of the virus.

“As we consider a robust public health response, we have to include extending coverage,” Underwood said.

Last week, 25 senators, including Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth, asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish a special open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act plans.

The agency said in response to the senators’ letter that it was “looking closely at all of its policies and across all of its programs” to respond to the pandemic.

As the Trump administration continues its efforts to overturn the ACA, Underwood said it is as important as ever to support the law.

“At this very moment we are experiencing a global pandemic that serves as a stark reminder of the value of our personal health, our family’s health and the health of our communities,” she said.

Trump was asked at a White House briefing Sunday if he’d consider rethinking his administration’s position on the ACA given the pandemic. Trump said they’d like to “get rid of bad healthcare.”

“What we want to do is get rid of the bad healthcare and put in a great healthcare,” he said. He added that the Republican Party is committed to pre-existing condition protections that the lawsuit could end.


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