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 PriceIsakson talks up bipartisanship in Senate farewell speech Hundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Warren faces tough choices on 'Medicare for All' funding | Dems demand answers on Tom Price's charter flights | Medicaid expansion nears 2020 ballot in Oklahoma 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 MurraySenate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Senate panel approves Trump FDA pick | Biden downplays Dem enthusiasm around 'Medicare for All' | Trump officials unveil program for free HIV prevention drugs for uninsured Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel MORE (Wash.), of the Senate Health Committee; Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants Trump administration proposes tariffs on .4B in French goods MORE (Ore.), of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyNo one wins with pro-abortion litmus test New ObamaCare enrollment period faces Trump headwinds Scrap House defense authorization provision benefitting Russia MORE (Pa.), of the Senate Aging Committee.