Last week, an Orlando Sentinel report highlighted another clear effort by the current administration to systematically dismantle the Affordable Care Act, at the expense of those who could use the help. HHS terminated two contracts that provided for free, non-biased, in-person health care enrollment assistance.
This move follows the administration's decisions to halt informative media advertising and to shorten the open enrollment period from three months to six weeks. It is a clear attempt to undermine the ACA, at the expense who need and qualify for help. Navigators and enrollment assisters played a large part in helping 1.7 million Floridians gain coverage.
Actively assisting in the demolition of the ACA that will result in people losing health insurance and eventually may cost lives, is a dereliction of duty. Secretary Price of HHS recently shared his “new” vision for health care on ABC’s This Week. As he put it, insurance companies “can just dust off how they did business before Obamacare.”
The current administration wants to return to the glory days of discriminatory insurance practices and inaccessible coverage. This flies in the face of the HHS mission to “enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.” While the ACA continues to be the law of the land, our priority should be helping Floridians make the most of it. Florida still has the 3rd highest rate of uninsured and has some of the highest rates of chronic disease.
Its time we all agree to put people over politics.