Despite the steadily rising number of Americans getting sick as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has decided not to reopen enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — aka Obamacare — even though President Donald Trump said just last week he was open to the idea, noting:

“It’s something we’re talking to a lot of people about.”

But according to Politico, the administration has now done exactly the opposite:

“A White House official on Tuesday evening told POLITICO the administration will not reopen the site for a special enrollment period, and that the administration is ‘exploring other options.'”

What might those options be? Some states may allow residents to enroll in Medicaid, and then there’s the so-called “short-term” insurance policies offered by some companies that many consider to be a waste of money:

“Those plans offer skimpier coverage and typically exclude insurance protections for preexisting conditions, and some blue states like California and have banned them or severely restricted them. The quality of the plans vary significantly and, depending on the contract, insurers can change coverage terms on the fly and leave patients with exorbitant medical bills.”

Originally, many insurers who sell Obamacare plans had been reluctant to allow for a reopening of the marketplaces, fearful they might be overwhelmed by claims as a result of COVID-19, which has infected over 188,000 Americans and killed nearly 4,100. But America’s Health Insurance Plans, the main insurance lobbying organization, said it supported the plan to reopen enrollment.

Currently, some 28 million Americans are uninsured, CNN notes:

“The lack of coverage has been a key weak point in the nation’s fight to stem the outbreak. Americans who are uninsured may hesitate to get checked if they feel ill, which could lead to their infecting others, experts say.”

Some Congressional Democrats have called for treatment of coronavirus to be free, with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) commenting:

“We did the testing, which is now free, and everybody, regardless of their insurance, gets it,” Pallone said. “But that has to be for the treatment as well.”

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