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Brown urges reopening of health marketplace 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, along with 25 Senate Democrats, sent a letter on Friday calling on President Trump to reopen the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace to allow more people to enroll in health insurance and access federal subsidies, and to take steps to ensure seniors can enroll in Medicare coverage as they disproportionately face potential health issues related to COVID-19.

In the letter, the senators requested Trump authorize an ACA Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which would allow those who did not sign up for insurance during the regular enrollment period a window to obtain comprehensive health insurance. The House-passed HEROES Act includes opening an ACA SEP, which the signers support.

In April, Brown and his Democratic colleagues urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar to reopen the online ACA marketplace and the administration failed to act.

The senators wrote: “[…] More than three months since our original request, and with the benefit of additional data, we write with renewed urgency to request that you authorize an SEP for the ACA and to ensure guaranteed access to Medicare coverage for seniors and retirees.”

“We urge that you take seriously the challenges that millions of people are facing in our country and reopen enrollment for the federally-run ACA Marketplace and to utilize the tools you have to ensure access to the Medicare Program,” the senators concluded.