03.01.21

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Supports President Biden’s Action to Expand Navigator Funding to Help More Americans Find Quality, Affordable Health Insurance Coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today applauded President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will provide funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment navigators to help more Americans sign up for quality, affordable health insurance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Navigators are trained to help individuals and families, especially in underserved communities, shop for and enroll in affordable health insurance plans that meet their needs.

“More Americans are uninsured today than when Trump took office four years ago. It’s time to turn the page after the Trump Administration spent years sabotaging our health care system. During a deadly pandemic, we should be working to make it easier, not harder, for Americans to get the health care they need and that’s exactly what President Biden is doing,” said Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). “Navigators are essential to helping families, especially in rural, underserved communities, enroll in health care coverage that meets their needs, and I’m grateful that President Biden is taking action to boost funding for our navigators to help more Americans gain access to quality, affordable health insurance.”

Since 2017, the Trump administration repeatedly slashed funding for navigators, causing the level of Navigator services available in Wisconsin to diminish substantially. The state’s largest federally-certified and state-licensed Navigator agencies lost significant federal support which forced them to cut back on services and assistance provided in counties throughout Wisconsin. Senator Baldwin repeatedly pressed the Trump administration to restore funding for ACA Navigators, including by introducing the ENROLL Actwhich passed the House, but was blocked by the Republican majority in the Senate.

In January, Senator Baldwin urged President Biden to restore funding for the Navigator Program and the ACA’s outreach and enrollment efforts, and open a special enrollment period to help Americans sign up for health insurance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration opened a special enrollment period on February 15 that will continue through May 15, 2021.

In addition, on Monday, Baldwin cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to improve access to health care by lowering premiums and deductibles for low- and middle-income families. The Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act would expand coverage to more than four million Americans who are currently uninsured and reduce health care costs for millions of additional individuals who already have coverage – which is especially critical given the COVID-19 pandemic.