Vice President Mike Pence has been selected by President Donald Trump to serve as the point-man on its coronavirus response team.
While Democrats are endlessly blaming Trump and claiming he’s not doing enough, the vice president is making big moves.
On Tuesday, Pence announced the nation’s largest health insurance companies have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus testing and treatment, demonstrating the Trump administration had secured a deal to ensure the government will partner with the private industry to benefit the American people.
During a White House meeting with Trump and top health insurance company executives, Pence estimated almost 240 million Americans would be covered 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,” Pence said.
“We want people to get tested,” Pence added.
The insurance companies also agreed to cover telemedicine, 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.
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
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.
Pence also pointed out that last week the administration met with pharmaceutical and nursing home industry leaders, which is especially important given experts warn the elderly will be the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
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
President Trump delivered an address from the Oval Office on Wednesday night and detailed a series of actions his administration has taken and plans to take in order to combat the coronavirus.
Trump announced his decision to suspend all travel from the European Union for the next 30 days.
“We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump said.
The president noted that the European Union failed to ban travel into their country from areas affected by the coronavirus.
He said there would be exemptions for Americans traveling from Europe who had been screened, as well as from the United Kingdom.
“The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by new travelers from Europe,” Trump said.
He said that the ban was a “strong but necessary” action to prevent the virus from spreading further into the United States and would begin on Friday.
The president also urged Americans to do their part to prevent the spread of the virus.
Trump said he would also declare emergency action to help people affected by the economic and health consequences of the virus.
Trump ordered the Small Business Administration to provide economic loans to areas disrupted by the virus and also called on Congress to pass payroll tax relief.