Ruiz seeks to force health care companies to pay for COVID-19 treatment

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Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D.

PALM DESERT (CNS) Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, said today that he has introduced legislation that would require health care plans to fully cover treatment for the novel coronavirus.

The Care for COVID-19 Act was introduced Thursday and aims to force health care companies to foot the bill for expenses including diagnostic services, supportive care, vaccines, prescriptions and doctors’ visits for their customers infected with COVID-19.

“The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on our public’s health and economy,” Ruiz said in a statement. “Many working families are struggling to stay home due to financial concerns. The last thing they need is to pay high deductibles or copays for coronavirus treatment.”

The legislation would also create a special enrollment period for people to enroll in the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace.

Ruiz’s announcement comes as the White House and congressional leaders continue to hash out details on a potential $2 trillion stimulus package to address the current economic standstill brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Aspects of the Care for COVID-19 Act could be added to the negotiated package along the way.

The $2 trillion package would be Congress’ third piece of coronavirus legislation.

Congress passed $8.3 billion in emergency spending for the public health system earlier this month. A second package included $100 billion to pay for paid sick leave, boast testing and more.