Vice President Mike Pence announced on Tuesday the nation’s largest health insurance companies have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus testing and treatment, demonstrating the power of government taking the initiative to partner with private industry to the benefit of the American people.
Rather than focusing on the constant criticism and fear-mongering by Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and many in the mainstream media, Pence and his team are working the problem and achieving strong results.
During a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and top health insurance company executives, Pence, the administration’s point man on its coronavirus response, estimated almost 240 million Americans would be covered by between the private insurers’ plans and their support Medicare and Medicaid programs.
“I’m pleased to report, as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here either today or before today have agreed to waive all co-pays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in their benefit plans,” the vice president said.
Mike Pence says health insurers at today’s meeting have agreed to the following for coronavirus testing and treatment:
-Extend coverage on all plans
-No surprise billing
Medicare and Medicaid will also cover coronavirus testing and treatment. pic.twitter.com/PKqxHPAq3Y
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 10, 2020
“We want people to get tested,” Pence added.
The insurance companies also agreed to cover tele-medicine, so patients, particularly among vulnerable populations, would not have to travel to their doctors, if they so choose.
“We’ve brought the full resources of the federal government to bear,” Pence said.
He noted that the Trump administration is also “bringing all of the businesses of the country to bear to protect the health of the American people.”
The vice president further highlighted that at Trump’s direction last week, all Medicare and Medicaid patients are fully covered for coronavirus testing and treatment.
The Daily Caller reported the private insurer attendees at the meeting included “Gail Bourdreaux, President and CEO of Anthem, Inc., Dave Wichmann, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, Bruce Broussard, President and CEO Humana, Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President, and CEO of Centene Corporation, Matt Eyles, President and CEO Americas Health Insurance Plans, Tim Wentworth, CEO of Express Scripts and Cigna Services, Justine Handelman, Senior Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Karen Lynch, President of Aetna Business Unit, Executive Vice President of CVS Health, and Gregory Adams, Chairman and CEO Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.”
Pence also pointed out that last week the administration met with pharmaceutical, as well as nursing home industry leaders.
The Trump administration has put together a best practices document, which the vice president tweeted out on Tuesday.
Keep yourself and those around you safe from the Coronavirus: pic.twitter.com/XHz9BWzxq0
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) March 10, 2020
So far, there have been 1,015 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in 38 states, with 31 deaths reported, according to The New York Times.
Worldwide, there are more than 121,000 people infected with the virus in at least 108 countries, with approximately 4,300 deaths.
At a briefing of the coronavirus task force Tuesday evening, Pence recounted, “President Trump said from early on that this would be a whole-of-government approach.”
“We’re bringing the full resources of the federal government and the full resources of — of this great economy and our great business sector to bear in protecting the American people and protecting American families.”
What a refreshing change from the Democratic Party’s consistent badgering of the business world: Private industry reflects the strength of America; it’s not the enemy.
One gets the sense that the seeds are being sown through this cooperative effort between the federal government and the health care sector that could bear the fruit of powerful innovation and true reform in a Trump second term.
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