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 PriceZinke under federal investigation for speech to NHL team: report Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns 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.

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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 MurrayChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance MORE (Wash.), of the Senate Health Committee; Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax CEO faces outraged lawmakers | Dem presses voting machine makers on cyber defense | Yahoo says 3 billion accounts affected by 2013 breach MORE (Ore.), of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDem senator: Inaction on gun control sending 'unintentional endorsement' Congress has a chance to make saving for college a lot easier Sen. Manchin won’t vote for Trump’s mine safety nominee MORE (Pa.), of the Senate Aging Committee.