Trump White House blocks states from expanding Medicaid to fight coronavirus
Donald Trump -- screenshot

Despite pleas from states around the country, the Trump administration is still blocking them from using Medicaid more aggressively to combat coronavirus.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the administration's decision runs contrary to decisions made by both Republican and Democratic White Houses.

"In previous emergencies, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the H1N1 flu outbreak, both Republican and Democratic administrations loosened Medicaid rules to empower states to meet surging needs," the paper reports. "But months into the current global disease outbreak, the White House and senior federal health officials haven’t taken the necessary steps to give states simple pathways to fully leverage the mammoth safety net program to prevent a wider epidemic."

Cindy Mann, who oversaw the Medicaid program in the Obama administration, tells the LA Times that it would be easy for the administration to loosen up Medicaid rules to give states the ability to bring more low-income Americans into the system and get them tested for the virus.

"If they wanted to do it, they could do it," she said.