Trump admin will not reopen Obamacare exchanges during coronavirus pandemic

Last month, the president had signaled that he was considering a special enrollment period.
The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York
People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 outside Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, N.Y., on Monday, March 30, 2020.Jeenah Moon / Reuters

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By Geoff Bennett and Tim Fitzsimons

The White House will not reopen the Obamacare exchanges to allow uninsured Americans to purchase health care coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, NBC News has confirmed.

Last month, President Donald Trump signaled that he was considering a special enrollment period that would reopen federal insurance exchanges, which shuttered in December after the end of the annual open enrollment period.

"It's something we're talking to a lot of people about. We'll see what happens," Trump said in March.

The news that the Affordable Care Act exchanges will not be reopened was first reported by Politico.

Obamacare turned 10 years old last month and enjoys its highest popularity ever, according to NBC News. When the health care law was passed in 2010, 36 percent thought it was a "good idea"; today, 42 percent do.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the individual mandate — the part of the law that requires that an individual buy health insurance — which means that the court will hear its first arguments in October and that the act will continue for at least another year.

While the federal exchanges will remain shuttered, states like New York and California have reopened their state exchanges for special enrollment periods to address the unprecedented public health crisis.