WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a press conference today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Josh Peck, Co-Founder at Get America Covered, promoted the start of Open Enrollment on Friday and called for passage of the Expand Navigators’ Resources for Outreach, Learning, and Longevity (ENROLL) Act to restore funding for the Navigator program that helps American families get the information and support they need to find a quality health care plan. Open Enrollment for Marketplace health plans starts on Friday, November 1st, and is available through December 15th, 2019, at Healthcare.gov.
Since President Trump took office, his administration has slashed federal funding for the Navigator program by 84 percent, meaning fewer people in America have received the support they need to obtain quality, affordable coverage. Navigators are essential to helping families, especially in rural, underserved communities, enroll in health care coverage that meets their needs.
Senator Baldwin’s ENROLL Act would restore funding for the Navigator program that helps American families get the information and support they need to find a quality health care plan at a price they can afford. The House of Representatives passed the companion legislation 168 days ago with bipartisan support as part of H.R. 987, but the Republican majority in the Senate refuse to bring the legislation up for a vote.
“President Trump has spent the last two years working to sabotage our health system and Senate Republicans have let him. As a result, there are more Americans uninsured today than when President Trump took office,” said Senator Baldwin. “We want to protect and expand access to quality health care coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. We want to make sure Americans have better access to quality health care plans at a price they can afford, whether its private insurance through the ACA marketplace, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. We want to pass the ENROLL Act so more people get covered.”
“168 days ago, the House of Representatives passed the ENROLL Act to help people sign up for the health care they need. Instead of prioritizing the health care of millions of American families, Leader McConnell has buried this bill in his legislative graveyard. I am committed to protecting people with pre-existing conditions and making sure every family has access to affordable, quality health care,” said Senator Stabenow.
“As open enrollment kicks off, this straightforward bill accomplishes a goal that should be absolutely bipartisan—making it easier for people to find quality, affordable health care that meets their needs. Supporting this bill should be a no-brainer for any Senator who actually cares about patients and families, and actually wants people to have quality affordable health care,” said Senator Murray. “I’m sure many Senate Republicans would prefer Democrats accept ‘no’ for an answer on important steps like this—but we’re not going to. Democrats are going to continue doing everything we can to protect families’ care and urging Republicans to drop the partisanship and work with us to help more families get covered and ensure everyone can get the care they need.”
“Even as the Trump administration fuels the fires of uncertainty for people around the country, millions of families will be able to go to Healthcare.gov on November 1st to shop for plans that provide them with health coverage,” Senator Wyden said. “While Americans are looking for affordable health care plans on healthcare.gov, there are going to be a lot of scam artists on the prowl outside of the official website trying to pawn so-called ‘junk plans’ onto unsuspecting families. Families can avoid shams like these junk plans by visiting Healthcare.gov before December 15th and enrolling in a quality health insurance plan. Congress should be making it easier to sign up for health care by passing the ENROLL Act, not standing in the way.”
“The number one issue for people in Connecticut is how they’re going to make sure that they have affordable health care for their family,” said Senator Murphy. “I wish we didn't have to be here advertising the open enrollment period, but the reality is the number of people with health insurance is going down year after year because President Trump and Senate Republicans’ sabotage campaign is working. As Democrats, we’re going to remain vigilant to make sure that people know the real choices they have and the pitfalls for signing up for junk plans. And we’re going to hold Republicans accountable, who still seem to have a political agenda when it comes to health care, rather than priorities that match up with the folks that we all represent.”
"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, no one can be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition and tens of millions of Americans have obtained quality, comprehensive health coverage through the marketplaces or expanded Medicaid,” said Josh Peck, Co-Founder at Get America Covered. “At Get America Covered we are working to cut through the noise and help inform Americans across this country about the low or no-cost options available and how to sign up for affordable, quality coverage. Almost nine out of ten marketplace consumers are eligible for tax credits, and two-thirds can find a comprehensive plan for $10 or less per month. We encourage everyone who wants to get covered, or is even thinking about it, to visit HealthCare.gov, see what they are eligible for, and sign up for the coverage they and their families need before the December 15 deadline."
You can watch today’s full press conference here.