Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Impact With AARP Illinois State President

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke by phone with AARP Illinois State President Rosanna Marquez about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on older Americans. On the call, Durbin and Marquez discussed the necessity of protecting the Affordable Care Act and expanding Special Enrollment Periods to ensure that health care remains accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Durbin also spoke about his support for provisions in the Heroes Act that would provide federal subsidies for laid-off workers—ensuring they can remain on their employer health plans through COBRA for free—as well as proposals that would offer additional funding to Illinois nursing homes to prioritize testing for older Americans and improve COVID-19 reporting in nursing homes. Finally, they discussed the importance of boosting financial support for senior nutrition programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how essential federal support—from providing quality, affordable health coverage, to nutritional programs, to setting standards and incentivizing improved care at nursing facilities—is in helping to keep older Americans healthy,” said Durbin. “The AARP has been a valuable ally in advocating for these programs, and I’ll continue to fight alongside them to keep food on seniors’ tables and drive down the costs of medical coverage.”