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Whitmer urges Trump administration to allow for special healthcare enrollment period

"It's more important than ever for Michiganders to...have health insurance coverage that will pay for them to be tested and treated for COVID-19," Whitmer said.
Credit: State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is repeating her call for the Trump Administration to ensure that Americans can access "quality, affordable healthcare" by opening a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. 

“During this crisis, we must do everything we can to ensure access to quality, affordable health care,” said Whitmer. “That’s why we have called on the president to allow for a special enrollment period."

Ten days ago, Whitmer along with the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services director urged the president and his administration to allow for a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act so Americans are able to sign up for health insurance. 

And she is still hoping it is put in place in the midst of the virus. Whitmer said it is more important than ever for Michiganders to know they have health insurance coverage if they need to be tested and treated for COVID-19. 

Since Whitmer called for a special enrollment period, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania have also called on the president to take action, according to the governor's press release. 

Whitmer appeared on national TV Sunday to address how she is handling Michigan's rapid increase in cases, which has now totaled over 1,000 cases. The state's first cases were reported on March 10. 

On ABC's "This Week", she also called on the federal government to take action to mitigate the spread of the new virus and protect healthcare providers. 

RELATED: Life with coronavirus in Michigan: Here's all the actions taken by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates, March 22: Cases exceed 1,000 in Michigan

She said Michigan needs the federal government's help to provide not only more test kits and masks but also clear guidance on how best to fight the spread of the coronavirus. 

She said Michigan and other states are doing the best they can, “but it would be nice to have a national strategy.” As it is, she says the states are “all building the airplane as we fly it." 

She is criticizing the federal government for not focusing on the threat much earlier, according to the Associated Press. 

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting. 

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