Dems ask Trump officials for briefing on ObamaCare

Dems ask Trump officials for briefing on ObamaCare
© Keren Carrion

Top Democrats on committees overseeing healthcare are requesting a briefing on the administration’s plans for ObamaCare’s open enrollment season, which begins Nov. 1, amid uncertainty over how President Trump will administer the law.

In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PricePoll: Majority in some GOP districts say Republicans 'more corrupt' than Dems Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts MORE and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the lawmakers expressed concerns over what they see as the White House’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

"Rather than encouraging enrollment in the Marketplaces, the Administration appears intent on depressing it, which we fear will contribute to destabilizing insurance markets and drive up costs for consumers," the lawmakers wrote.

The letter mentions reports that the administration is scaling back in-person assistance for enrollment in some areas. The administration has also given no sign that an outreach program aimed at Latinos will continue, as well as other partnerships.

By Aug. 31, the lawmakers would like a briefing with HHS on a variety of matters related to open enrollment, such as the administration’s outreach and enrollment strategy, if it plans to operate call centers, when the administration will award certain grants and more.  

The Obama administration had a robust outreach program for the open enrollment season, which is when consumers on the healthcare marketplaces buy coverage. But the Trump administration hasn’t made the same commitments, leading to questions on how and if open enrollment season will be promoted this year.

Ranking Democratic members of committees from both chambers signed the letter: Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Rep. Richard Neal (Mass.), of the House Ways and Means Committee; Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families MORE (Wash.), of the Senate Health Committee; Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight House passes measure blocking IRS from revoking churches' tax-exempt status over political activity Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS MORE (Ore.), of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Overnight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions MORE (Pa.), of the Senate Aging Committee.