Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Delaware; Kathy Castor, D-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; and Lucy McBath, D-Georgia, recently introduced on HR 987, the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower — MORE — Health Education Act.
This legislation would reverse funding cuts to the Affordable Care Act education, marketing and outreach efforts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 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.
In the past two years, the Donald Trump administration has cut paid advertising and outreach efforts for health care exchanges from $100 million to $10 million — a 90-percent reduction. This 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 more than 4,250,000 enrollees from 2016-19. 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 Blunt Rochester. “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.”
The text of the bill is available at bit.ly/2MSjlkX.