Hispanic Caucus requests 'urgent' meeting with administration over ObamaCare outreach

Hispanic Caucus requests 'urgent' meeting with administration over ObamaCare outreach
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is requesting an "urgent" meeting with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceOvernight Health Care: Funding bill could provide help for children's health program | Questions for CVS-Aetna deal | Collins doubles funding ask for ObamaCare bill Warren questions Conway's role in curbing opioid epidemic Trump promised ‘best people’ would run government — they upended it MORE to discuss ObamaCare Latino outreach and enrollment efforts. 

In its letter, the caucus wrote that it was "alarmed" over reports that HHS has not engaged with advocacy groups in the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition in preparation for ObamaCare's open enrollment. 

Talking Points Memo reported last week that HHS had severed partnerships with the coalition. 

"This coalition, composed of local and national organizations, has been instrumental in ensuring that millions of Hispanic families are able to navigate the healthcare system and enroll in healthcare plans," the caucus, chaired by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), wrote in the letter. 

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ObamaCare advocates have worried about how the Trump administration, which is openly opposed to ObamaCare, will handle open enrollment.

HHS already canceled some outreach grants and ads during the last enrollment cycle. 

"Data from four open enrollment periods demonstrate that in-person, in-language, and culturally competent consumer outreach, education and enrollment assistance is the most effective way to engage the Latino community, especially those new to our healthcare system," the letter stated. 

The caucus writes that these efforts are even more critical this year because of the shortening of open enrollment from three months to 45 days. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1. 

The caucus said that 4 million Latino adults and more than 600,000 Latino children have gained coverage under ObamaCare. But one in six Latinos remain uninsured. 

"We should work together to ensure that HHS provides resources, information and properly coordinates with community stakeholders so we can maximize access to healthcare for all eligible Hispanics and Americans," the letter says.

HHS did not respond to request for comment.