The Trump administration will not reopen Affordable Care Act enrollment despite record unemployment during a global pandemic.
According to a report in Politico, an unnamed White House official verified March 31 that the administration will not reopen HealthCare.gov despite public calls for a special enrollment period for those in need of health insurance during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
While the normal enrollment period ended in October, a special enrollment period due to the current state of emergency would have cleared the way for the millions who lost their employer insurance April 1 to receive coverage without paying for the wildly expensive COBRA insurance available now.
The Politico report says that many Democratic-leaning states which run their own insurance markets have already opened them up for special enrollment as the pandemic spread through the country.
President Donald J. Trump has said in his daily press briefings that the administration was considering reopening the markets despite his support for a lawsuit aimed at abolishing the law.
That case is currently being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court after a December ruling that the that the law’s provision requiring all Americans to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty was unconstitutional. This is the third appeal of the controversial healthcare law that has reached the high court, after Republican attempts to have it struck down in 2012 and 2015.
Justices previously denied an attempt by proponents of the law to have the case heard on an accelerated track, leaving the results of their deliberation likely to come after the 2020 presidential election.
As of March 31, public health officials are projecting that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are likely die due to the virus if the country maintains social distancing guidelines, but not all states have adopted them.