(WWLP) – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to make sure people don’t lose health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation, called the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act, guarantees 12 months of continuous coverage for Medicaid and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
It was introduced by Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, III, who spoke with 22News via Skype on Friday. Kennedy said job losses during the pandemic have left many people across the country without coverage, and that is a particular concern for people with chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.
“This basically just tries to simplify the process and say: if you qualify, you qualify for a year; we’ll re-evaluate then. But let’s not make sure that people lose access to health care because of the variations that could come over the course of one’s life in a year,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s bill is included in the larger Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, and it now moves on to the U.S. Senate.
Kennedy is running against incumbent Senator Ed Markey for the Democratic nomination for Senate in Massachusetts.