(April 1, 2020 - Des Moines) As millions of Americans prepare to face the economic, environmental, and social damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Donald Trump has walked back his initial promise to reopen healthcare exchanges.
“Make no mistake, this is nothing more than a political death sentence. Lives will be lost because people are unable to afford the healthcare they need,” said Mauro. "When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and get away with it, we were appalled. Now, with a stroke of a pen, he is putting thousands of lives on the line. That is not acceptable!”
Mauro released an additional policy memo related to COVID-19 response as well, calling for the opening of exchanges, creating a public option, and full coverage of ACA premiums. The full text of the new policy can be found below, and Mauro’s original 6-Point Plan to tackle COVID, released March 13th, can be found here.
Immediately Open the Federal ACA Exchanges for New Enrollment - There are 30 million people in the U.S. that still lack health insurance. That number is likely to increase with the unemployment rate skyrocketing. Those losing their jobs have a window to apply for Obamacare - but those who worked in the gig economy, as contractors or that have their own business may not have coverage of any sort. We should immediately open the Exchanges for new enrollments and we should increase the premium subsidy to make it easier for people to take advantage of coverage.
Immediately Create a Public Option under Affordable Care Act - For all newly unemployed people and those without current health insurance coverage grant access to a new public option plan under the ACA that provides medical benefits to match those offered by Medicare, comprehensive mental health coverage and co-pay free coverage for testing, treatment and other medical costs associated with coronavirus/COVID-19.
Have the Federal Government Cover 100% of ACA Premiums For those Currently Eligible for Subsidy - During the national emergency related to the pandemic, cover 100% of ACA premiums for those recently unemployed due to the pandemic, and those with incomes under $49,960 (single) and up to $103,000 (family of four).
Rescind Tax Filing Requirements for Social Security Beneficiaries - Our seniors and people with disabilities are the most at risk with this virus. Instead of treating them with dignity, the IRS is requiring them to file tax returns to receive relief money. Requiring seniors and people with disabilities who receive Form SSA-1099 to file a tax return is unnecessary, and could lead to further deaths.