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As Coronavirus Threatens Florida, Trump Refuses to Reopen Affordable Care Act Enrollment to Help Uninsured Gain Health Care Coverage

As the COVID-19 crisis threatens the health and job security of hundreds of thousands of Floridians, Donald Trump refuses to reopen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. Additionally, Trump is still supporting the Republican lawsuit to repeal the ACA, which would kick nearly 2 million Floridians off their health insurance.

“Donald Trump’s refusal to open a special health care enrollment period in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis is as dangerous as it is cruel,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo, “Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis need to start prioritizing the health and safety of our communities. People’s lives are at stake.”

Trump’s refusal to open a special enrollment period recklessly ignores the reality of this moment: millions of Americans will need treatment for COVID-19, but will be less likely to seek medical care if they cannot afford it. This not only endangers their life, but makes them more likely to spread COVID-19.

Without reopening the ACA exchange, recently jobless Floridians are left with few options. COBRA is notoriously expensive. Florida Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians in the coverage gap. Trump has pushed “junk plans” that, according to Politico, “offer skimpier coverage and typically exclude insurance protections for preexisting conditions… insurers can change coverage terms on the fly and leave patients with exorbitant medical bills.”

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