Healthcare

Obama era health officials: Participation in ObamaCare enrollment is key

Obama era Health and Human Services (HHS) regional directors are urging the Trump administration to reverse a directive preventing those who now serve in the post from participating in ObamaCare open enrollment events, saying the move undermines the health-care law.

"Preventing the Regional Directors from doing their jobs will undoubtedly have the effect of preventing Americans from accessing life-saving health care coverage," the 13 former regional directors wrote in a letter to HHS Acting Secretary Don Wright, who took over the post after Tom Price resigned last week.

The letter follows a report from BuzzFeed News that says HHS's regional directors were told not to participate in enrollment events in their states.

In previous years, the federal government often partnered with local enrollment efforts, helping with events, meetings, coalitions, conference calls and more, the letter noted.

This helped "millions of our fellow Americans learn about health care options available to them on the Marketplace."

The law's supporters have criticized the administration for what they refer to as an active sabotage of ObamaCare. They point to other decisions from the administration, such as slashing funding for ObamaCare advertisement by 90 percent and a 41 percent cut to groups helping with outreach and enrollment.

The administration argues ObamaCare is a failing law.

"A health care system that has caused premiums to double and left nearly half of our counties with only one coverage option is not working," Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokeswoman, said in a statement after the cuts were announced in August. "The Trump administration is determined to serve the American people instead of trying to sell them a bad deal."

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