Blunt Rochester, Castor, Kildee, and McBath Introduce the MORE Health Education Act
Today, U.S. Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dan Kildee (MI-5), and Lucy McBath (GA-6) introduced H.R. 987, the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act. This legislation would reverse funding cuts to Affordable Care Act (ACA) education, marketing, and outreach efforts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This increase in funding will assist providers and navigators in educating Americans about open enrollment dates, coverage options, and financial support available to the public.
Over the past two years, the Trump Administration has cut paid advertising and outreach efforts for health care exchanges from $100 million to $10 million -- a 90% reduction. This dramatic funding cut, coupled with a shorter open enrollment period and repeal of the individual mandate, led to a steady decline in individuals who selected a marketplace plan -- dropping by over 4,250,000 enrollees between 2016 and 2019. By restoring outreach and marketing funds, the MORE Health Education Act aims to educate potential enrollees about available coverage and financial support and increase the number of Americans who select a marketplace plan -- helping to potentially stabilize the ACA exchanges and lower premiums for hardworking families across the country.
"Over the past two years, funding cuts from CMS have deteriorated efforts to educate consumers about available financial and coverage options through the health care marketplace -- leading to lower and lower enrollment numbers," said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. "Thousands of Delawareans and millions across the country have fallen victim to marketplace sabotage efforts that increased premiums, reduced market choice, and decreased access to care. Health care is one of our most essential rights, and that's why the new Democratic Majority is fighting to stabilize our health care system. By restoring funding for education, marketing, and outreach efforts, we can make meaningful progress in increasing the number of healthy Americans in the insurance pool, which can help get our health system back on track and lower the cost of care for consumers everywhere."
"President Trump's sabotage of affordable health care for hardworking families is cruel and misguided. My neighbors in Florida want lower costs and affordable choices -- not fewer options and skimpy coverage," said Congresswoman Castor, member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. "Thanks to previous outreach efforts, Floridians led the nation in sign-ups through HealthCare.gov and the Affordable Care Act, a sign of their support and need for affordable, quality health care coverage. The President's decision to slash outreach and marketing is harmful to Florida families and is another example of how Republicans have forced cost increases and financial insecurity on families across the country."
"In the richest country in the world, no American should have to worry about getting sick and not being able to afford healthcare, which I believe is a basic human right. President Trump has jeopardized our health care system and worked to undermine the Affordable Care Act by cutting critical resources that educate families about affordable health care plans and how the Affordable Care Act works. As a result, fewer Americans have access to health care and subsidies to lower costs. I am proud to introduce this bill to restore critical education funding to educate people about the benefits and options available under Affordable Care Act," said Congressman Kildee, member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
"Consumer education is vital so that families and individuals understand the coverage options available to them through the Marketplace," said Congresswoman Lucy McBath, member of the House Committee on Education and Labor. "By investing in outreach and enrollment assistance, we can help keep costs down for Georgians and for all Americans. This legislation will help to ensure strong Marketplaces, encourage robust enrollment, and provide consumers the tools they need to stay healthy."