Margaret Wood Hassan

06/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2019 10:02

Shaheen & Hassan Introduce Legislation to Restore Funding for Programs that Help Americans Sign Up for Quality, Affordable Health Insurance

June 20, 2019

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) worked with a group of Senators led by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Bob Casey (D-PA) to introduce 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 quality health care plans at a price they can afford. The House companion legislation passed as part of H.R. 987 last month, 234-183.

Navigators are essential to helping families enroll in health care coverage that meets their needs. Unfortunately, since 2017 the Trump administration has slashed funding for the Navigator program by more than 80 percent, depleting New Hampshire of all Navigator programs. Shaheen previously introduced legislation that would counteract the administration's sabotage efforts that block Americans from having the help or information they need to find the best health care plans. Shaheen's Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Actwould ensure the Trump administration fully funds outreach, marketing and education efforts to promote health insurance coverage offered on the federal health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In May, the House of Representatives passed a robust health care package that included companion legislation to Shaheen's bill.

'The Trump administration's obsessive efforts to undermine our health care law are hurting American families, especially those who need help understanding and finding the best health care plans available,' said Senator Shaheen. 'The President has depleted funding for Navigator programs throughout the nation, which has left New Hampshire without any Navigators this year to assist Granite Staters. This reckless action warrants intervention from Congress to mitigate the damage that's been done. The ENROLL Act is urgently needed to restore funding so Granite Staters and all Americans have access to the help they need to make informed decisions about their health insurance coverage.'

'The ENROLL Act would help undo one of the Trump Administration's most blatant sabotage efforts by restoring funding for the Navigator program that provides in-person assistance to help Granite Staters find the health care plan that works best for them and their family,' said Senator Hassan.

More than one million Americans lost insurance coverage last year. As the sabotage of our health care system continues, the ENROLL Act would take action to support the Navigator program and ensure that hardworking families can find affordable coverage that works for them.

The ENROLL Act would:

  • Ensure that Navigators have the resources they need to assist Americans in finding affordable health care coverage and restore funding for the program to $100 million annually;
  • Promote efforts to ensure that Navigators provide public education and assistance that helps consumers, including those who may need extra help signing up, find coverage, rather than prioritizing application numbers;
  • Clarify that Navigator responsibilities include enrolling consumers in Medicaid and CHIP coverage;
  • Promote efforts to provide Americans with information on comprehensive health insurance that protects individuals with pre-existing conditions; and
  • Require that states have at least two Navigator programs with a physical presence in the state, including at least one community-based organization.

The ENROLL Act is supported by 64 leading health care organizations and advocacy groups around the country, including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Families USA, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Young Invincibles, and more.

The ENROLL Act is also cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The full bill text is available here.

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