Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA) introduced the Emergency Medicaid for Coronavirus Treatment Act, which would ensure that every American is automatically eligible for Medicaid if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or any other illness that rises to the level of a presidential national emergency declaration. Rep. Gallego announced his plan to introduce this legislation on March 3, 2020.
Although Congress passed legislation to ensure Americans can receive testing for free, there is no national plan to extend insurance coverage for individuals impacted by the virus, which creates massive uncertainty especially for the uninsured and the underinsured. Under this legislation, anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 since President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration under the Stafford Act on March 13, 2020 would be automatically eligible for Medicaid. Further, Medicaid would continue to cover all coronavirus related treatment and testing even after the national emergency is over.
“Nobody should ever have to worry about medical bills, period, but certainly not during a pandemic. Unfortunately, our fragmented health care system is already leaving COVID-19 patients being stuck with massive hospital and intensive care unit bills,” Rep. Gallego said. This failure of our health care system not only impacts patients but also hospitals providing uncompensated life-saving care. With millions of Americans losing their jobs—and potentially their insurance—we must strengthen our safety net so we can focus on combating the spread of the virus and saving lives—not on paying bills.”
“The coronavirus crisis has wreaked havoc on our families, workers, healthcare system, and economy. With many Americans facing financial insecurity, the last thing they need is to be saddled with soaring medical costs after receiving treatment for COVID-19, especially the uninsured and underinsured,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I’m proud to work with Rep. Gallego to expand Medicaid to cover coronavirus treatment. This important bill gives the American people peace of mind and helps our hospitals provide lifesaving care on the frontlines.”
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