Florida rep. Vern Buchanan (R) announced today that he had directed a letter to Alex Azar, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, “urging the Trump administration to make the COVID vaccine free to seniors on Medicare.”
Sharing the news on Twitter, the Florida lawmaker argued that “seniors are especially vulnerable to this deadly disease,” adding that “we need to make sure they have access to a vaccine.”
TODAY I’m urging the Trump administration to make the COVID vaccine free to seniors on Medicare. Seniors are especially vulnerable to this deadly disease. We need to make sure they have access to a vaccine. Read my letter here to HHS Secretary Azar. pic.twitter.com/cqehb4t4AR
— Rep. Vern Buchanan (@VernBuchanan) September 23, 2020
In the letter sent to Secretary Azar, Buchanan explained that he “was troubled by recent reports that suggested that seniors may be forced to pay a premium for this vitally necessary and potentially life-saving vaccine,” noting that “when Congress enacted the CARES Act in March, it explicitly stated the forthcoming vaccine would be free for all Americans, including our seniors who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.”
Buchanan points out that “although Medicare does not typically cover drugs approved under emergency-use designation (which would include a COVID-19 vaccine),” he still calls for the Trump administration “to intervene and provide such coverage.”
“With more than 225,000 seniors in my district,” Buchanan commented, “this issue is critical to the community I represent and countless others across the nation.”
The sunshine state has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus, and the letter comes at a time when Florida is moving forward with fully opening up the state.