In response to reports Tuesday night that the Trump administration will not reopen enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplaces to uninsured Americans amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, Dr. Jamila K. Taylor, TCF director of health care reform and senior fellow, issued the following statement:

“At a time when the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases and our country’s death toll soars with each passing day, the Trump administration has put politics before the lives of the American people. Reopening the ACA marketplaces for a limited, special enrollment window is the least that President Trump could have done.

“It’s as if a Category 5 hurricane is approaching and Americans are seeking shelter—shelter that is advised by every public health expert in the country; shelter that they themselves are willing to pay for—and the president is simply saying: ‘No. Shelter is unavailable, your safety be damned.’

“President Trump’s negligence will directly lead to the further spread of COVID-19. The administration’s lackluster policy response will reap catastrophic financial harm to families across the country and exacerbate existing inequities in our society. Worse, it will cost lives that otherwise could have been saved.

“Millions of Americans are struggling during this pandemic. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Families are trying to simply stay in their homes and keep food on the table. Frontline health care workers are putting their lives on the line. And, on top of all those challenges, tens of millions of Americans—and low-income and communities of color, in particular—lack access to basic health care. If there was ever a time in our history to put politics aside, it is now. We must do everything we can as part of our COVID-19 response to extend health care coverage to all Americans.”

For more information, see some of Dr. Taylor’s recent work: