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Florida Democrats Demand Trump Reopen Affordable Care Act Marketplace During Coronavirus Pandemic

Reopening the ACA Marketplace would help thousands of unemployed Floridians gain health insurance 

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Al Lawson, and Val Demings, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, and FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo demanded Trump immediately reopen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace for the thousands of Floridians who recently lost their job in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They also urged him to drop his reckless lawsuit against the ACA which is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year.

Trump’s chaotic response to the coronavirus pandemic has worsened this public health crisis, and his refusal to open a special enrollment period recklessly ignores the reality of this moment: millions of Americans will need testing and treatment for COVID-19, but will be less likely to seek medical care if they cannot afford it. This not only endangers their lives, but makes them more likely to spread COVID-19.

News Service of Florida: Florida leads the nation in the number of residents enrolled in the Obamacare exchange in 2020, with more than 1.9 million people. A repeal of the law also could affect Floridians who have been able to obtain coverage despite pre-existing health conditions. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that there are 3.1 million residents with pre-existing conditions.

WFLA Radio: Florida Democrats in the state Cabinet and Congress called a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon to demand that President Trump drop a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and instead reopen enrollment because of COVID-19.

News Channel 8: Florida leaders including Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, Congresswoman Val Demings, and others are calling on President Trump to reopen enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.”

From the call:

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, FL-22, Boca Raton

“Every American is at risk. And every American deserves access to health care and they shouldn’t go broke to do it. Floridians are running out of options…they need comprehensive coverage now and the best way to do that is to let them sign up on and to expand Medicaid.”

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, FL-5, Tallahassee

“It’s unacceptable and we certainly hope that the president within his heart decides to do something…It doesn’t take very much to do it and it would help so many people”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, FL-10, Orlando

“The administration’s response to this pandemic has been sloppy, disjointed, inferior. In times of crisis the true character of our leaders is revealed… President Trump was warned about the dangers of this virus months before and he could have taken steps to contain it, but instead he called it a ‘democratic hoax.’”

“I say Mr. President, open I say to Governor Desantis, expand Medicaid to cover almost 1 million Floridians without coverage. This is another opportunity to simply do the right thing, to take care of the American people, and to protect Floridians.”

Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

“In the middle of this public health crisis, we need to be expanding access to health care, not making it more difficult. We need the President to reopen the ACA marketplace. His refusal to reopen enrollment into the ACA marketplace at a time when Americans need health care more than ever means that millions of unemployed workers may not be able to get the care that they so desperately need.”

Terrie Rizzo, Florida Democratic Party Chair

“First and foremost, we are here today to urgently demand that Donald Trump stop playing politics with the Affordable Care Act… Donald Trump needs to immediately reopen ACA enrollment and drop his reckless lawsuit against the ACA currently before the Supreme Court.

[…] As we have directly witnessed, Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has ranged from negligent to chaotic — and we truly cannot afford another four years of his erratic leadership, especially when it comes to our health and safety.”

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