Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Trump administration has decided not to reopen enrollment to uninsured Americans for the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces, an official confirmed to Axios Wednesday.

Driving the news: President Trump said last week he was considering the move in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, notes Politico, which first reported the news.

By the numbers: Nearly 28 million Americans remain uninsured, despite the insurance gains made under the Affordable Care Act, per Axios' Caitlin Owens.

The big picture: The Kaiser Family Foundation's Jen Kates told Owens uninsured people are more likely to rely on the emergency room and can overburden ERs during a pandemic, increasing the risk of exposure for uninfected patients waiting to receive care.

  • Millions of people have filed for unemployment amid the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown, and many of them will end up on Medicaid, notes Axios' Bob Herman.
  • "The program will pick up many people who lost their income and their health insurance together, as well as people who lost jobs that didn't provide health insurance, and potentially some people who are still working and need medical care but aren't insured," Herman said.

Between the lines: It is understood that administration officials decided against reopening enrollment because those who lose their jobs qualify for help under existing programs.

What they're saying: A senior administration official told Axios President Trump is committed to ensuring Americans have a broad variety of health insurance coverage options available to them, "especially during this time of economic disruption."

  • "Americans should know that if they are temporarily unemployed, there are coverage options available to them, including COBRA and the individual Exchange, where individuals experiencing a qualifying event such as a job loss can enroll for coverage," the official said.
  • "The President is also very committed to supporting the uninsured who think they may have the COVID-19 virus. With the support of the Congress, President Trump is implementing a program to cover the costs of evaluating and testing those who think they may have the virus."

Of note: The Supreme Court is due to hear later this year a major case against the Affordable Care Act that's supported by the Trump administration, which argues that the entire ACA should be struck down.

Go deeper: The coronavirus is exposing the holes in employer health insurance

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.