Saturday, December 16, 2017

Trump Administration Discontinues Latino Outreach for Obamacare Registration

In the recent years, by early August Luis Torres was already in the midst of weekly meetings with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House to prepare for the start of the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period on November 1. This year, Torres’, the policy director for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), efforts have come to a halt.

“We haven’t had any of those discussions. It almost completely stopped as soon as the new administration came in,” said Luis Torres, a key member of the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition – a group of local and national organizations that since 2013 have worked with the HHS and White House to develop outreach and education campaigns aimed at helping Latinos sign up for health care.

President Trump has repeatedly discussed his intentions to “let Obamacare implode,” and in fact already taken several measures to undermine the health care law. Major organizations involved in the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition claim the HHS has made no efforts to reach out to them this year, with open enrollment period rapidly approaching.

“Ensuring the success of open enrollment was an all-hands-on-deck enterprise in the Obama administration,” former Labor Secretary and current DNC Chair Tom Perez said. “It was a labor of love.”

The trust of the community in these strategic coalition partners is what has fueled successful efforts in reaching out to the Latino community. Although Latinos still experience much lower rates of insurance than white people, 4 million Latino adults have gained coverage since the launch of the Affordable Care Act. With the Trump administration cutting the enrollment period in half, groups will face uncertainty seeking health insurance coverage.

Talking Points Memo