CMS Administrator denied Gov. Whitmer request to expand health coverage during pandemic

Michigan News

FILE – In this April 7, 2020, file photo, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Verma failed to properly manage more than $6 million in communications and outreach contracts, giving broad authority over federal employees to a Republican media strategist she worked with before joining the Trump administration, a government watchdog said in a report to be released Thursday, July 16. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, denied Michigan Governor Whitmer and 11 other governors’ request for the Trump Administration to allow for a special enrollment period of at least 30 days on the federal health care exchange.

“The Trump Administration’s cruel and inexplicable refusal to expand health coverage during the worst public health crisis in modern history has devastated families across the country and hurt our economy. Throughout this crisis, the president has failed to develop a real national strategy to protect our families, our frontline workers, and our small businesses from this virus,” said Governor Whitmer.

“We are now approaching 200,000 American deaths from COVID-19 – deaths that could have been prevented had the president put partisan games aside, done the right thing, and worked to save lives. In Michigan, we’re continuing to work around the clock to slow the spread of this virus and keep people healthy. It’s time for the Trump Administration to do the same.” 

On April 13, Governor Whitmer and a coalition of governors from Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to ask that the Administration reconsider its decision and take swift action to allow for a special enrollment period.

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