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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 PriceA proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US Biden health nominee faces first Senate test Focus on cabinet nominees' effectiveness and expertise, not just ideology 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 MurraySchumer 'exploring' passing immigration unilaterally if talks unravel Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap House passes bill to combat gender pay gap MORE (Wash.), of the Senate Health Committee; Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost Putting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (Ore.), of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyA historic moment to truly honor mothers Democrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE (Pa.), of the Senate Aging Committee.