During an Oval Office address, President Donald Trump claimed that health insurers will “waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments,” and the industry was quick to correct him.
“Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing,” Trump told the public.
Almost immediately afterward, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a leading trade association of health insurance companies, told a reporter that the president had misspoken.
“For testing. Not for treatment,” the individual told Politico reporter Sarah Owermohle.
Trump's claim tonight that health insurers "have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments" seems to be news to them.
“For testing. Not for treatment.” a spokesperson for the major insurance lobby AHIP says.
— Sarah Owermohle (@owermohle) March 12, 2020
The president has garnered heated criticism for statements his critics say are reckless, misleading, or downright untruthful, noting that his own words sow doubt that he can successfully lead the nation through the public health crisis.
Trump lied about health insurance waiving copayments for Covid treatments. In a time of crises, he is still unable to be truthful to the American people. This is not leadership. He needs to go.
— Billy Shoes (@BillyShoes01) March 12, 2020
Which is worse: Trump lied about this or insurance execs not willing to waive copayments for treatment of corinaviros? https://t.co/Xh4B0pD6J3
— Judi Meyer (@JudiMeyer17) March 12, 2020
Insurance industry lobby has already corrected .@realDonaldTrump on waiving copayments for treatment. They will only be waiving for testing, NOT for treatment. Trump really sucks at this. Could he not secure the deal so he is trying to publicly force their hand?
— Adam (@mycroft16) March 12, 2020
— Pat Speer (@Pspeer) March 12, 2020
The president’s latest flub came after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially reclassified the coronavirus outbreak to a pandemic; the virus has claimed 4,749 lives worldwide according to the most recent count, including 38 in the United States alone. 1,197 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., but the figure is likely to be significantly higher due to testing shortages.