Dem proposes testing automatic ObamaCare enrollment

Dem proposes testing automatic ObamaCare enrollment

Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraU.S. foreign aid empowers women and girls worldwide The importance of advancing the U.S.-India partnership Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (D-Calif.) is proposing to test automatically enrolling people in ObamaCare plans as a way to cut the uninsured rate.

Bera unveiled a bill that would give grants to states to set up pilot programs to automatically enroll eligible people in ObamaCare plans or Medicaid.

People would still have 60 days to opt-out if they wanted to, so they would not be forced to buy coverage, but Bera says the idea is that people are more likely to sign up if the default is to be signed up and they need to actively opt-out of coverage.

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Bera says some people who remain uninsured could be eligible for plans with $0 premiums after financial assistance.

The idea of auto-enrollment has gained some backing among Republicans, too. Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyThe Year Ahead: Drug pricing efforts to test bipartisanship GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan Overnight Defense: Senate rebukes Trump with Yemen vote | Mattis, Pompeo briefing fails to quell Senate concerns with Saudis | Graham demands CIA briefing on Khashoggi | Pentagon identifies three troops killed in Afghanistan MORE (R-La.) proposed it as an alternative to ObamaCare’s mandate to buy coverage as part of his health-care reform efforts.

"Health insurance is complicated and people are busy,” Bera’s office said in a fact sheet on the plan. “Reducing complexity and making non-enrollment the onerous choice has been found to be both popular and effective. Opt-out enrollment in retirement plans boosted participation rates to 90% from just 33% using traditional enrollment.”

Bera, a doctor who has faced close elections in recent years and has worked with the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus in the House, also released a bill to change the dates of the ObamaCare enrollment period.

His bill proposes to move the date so enrollment ends on April 15, coinciding with the tax filing deadline, arguing that the current sign-up period, centered on December, discourages people from signing up if they are busy around the holiday season.