- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2020

President Trump announced Friday some of the $2.2 trillion in funds passed by Congress in the coronavirus relief package will be used to pay for treatment and COVID-19 testing for uninsured Americans.

“Today, I can so proudly announce that hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government…this should alleviate any concern uninsured Americans may have about seeking the coronavirus treatment,” Mr. Trump said at his Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

Providers will be paid at Medicare rates to avoid billing patients who are treated sans insurance coverage, noted Alex Azar, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department.

He also said for the individuals who have lost insurance coverage due to the loss of their jobs during the pandemic have options as well.

“You’d be eligible for a special enrollment period on the health care exchanges and depending on your state, you may be eligible for Medicaid,” Mr. Azar said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said California and Washington have done a good job at flattening the curve through social distancing policies, but she noted other states are becoming a concern as the number of cases increases.

She specifically pointed to Colorado, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

About nine states still do not have “stay at home” orders, most of them being in the Midwest.

The president, though, batted down the idea of making all states issue the same order. He said, instead, he leaves it to the governors.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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