September 29, 2017

Press Contacts:

Sayanna Molina (Grijalva)

Ron Boehmer (Pocan)

Jeronimo Anaya-Ortiz (Schakowsky)

Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), along with CPC Healthcare Taskforce Chair Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) submitted the following letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price, following reports that HHS employees have been instructed not to participate in state-based events for ACA enrollment.

The full letter is attached here.

The Honorable Tom Price, MD
Secretary, The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Price:

We are writing to express our extreme concern that Department of Health and Human Services employees may have been ordered not to participate in upcoming Affordable Care Act open enrollment events.  If true, this would be just the latest effort to sabotage implementation of the Affordable Care Act but one that can be immediately and easily reversed. We ask that you act immediately to make sure that HHS employees fulfill their responsibilities by providing important enrollment information to our constituents and to Americans across the country.  With only 5 weeks before the beginning of the November 1 to December 15 open enrollment period, time is of the essence.

The Trump Administration has already cut the open enrollment period in half, eliminated funding for advertising, and slashed funding for navigators to assist individuals and families.  We urge you in the strongest terms to make sure that HHS employees are not only allowed but encouraged to assist Congressional offices, state and local governments, and others in informing the public about their open enrollment options.

Whether you like it or not, the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land.  The Trump Administration is driving up premiums by refusing to commit to making Cost-Sharing Reduction payments and creating uncertainty about enforcement.  Now your Department is apparently doing everything possible to prevent access to information and depress enrollment – efforts that will undoubtedly lead to higher rates of uninsurance and financial problems for hospitals, physicians and other providers.

Again, we demand that you immediately make a public announcement that HHS employees will be available to inform and help Americans take advantage of the upcoming ACA open enrollment period.

Raúl Grijalva Mark Pocan Jan Schakowsky
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress


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