Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    

Op Ed: Trump Walls Off Health Insurance Access for Millions


The Trump Administration is building a wall. This wall, however, is to block information about the rights of Tennesseans to affordable health care coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace.

The Administration announced a 90 percent cut in advertising promoting ACA enrollment and then followed with an approximately 40% rollback of the funds provided each year to Navigators, assisters who play a critical role in helping consumers enroll in health care coverage. They gave no budgetary rationale for these unexpected cuts. They waited to make them until the very last minute, maximizing the confusion and disruption they will cause in preparations for the Fall Open Enrollment Period.

Navigators in Tennessee have provided assistance to thousands of health insurance consumers. Over the past four years, Navigators have been instrumental in reducing the number of uninsured Americans to historic lows, including Tennesseans. They provide trusted, one-on-one and in-person support to consumers looking for health insurance. Navigators are there to assist hard-to-reach populations.

This White House action to obstruct access to the ACA Marketplace came only two days after a bipartisan group of governors wrote to the leaders of Congress and the President saying, "The federal government should continue to fund outreach and enrollment efforts that encourage Americans to sign up for insurance." The timing of the action attempts to undermine Senator Lamar Alexander's U.S. Senate HELP Committee effort next week to reach a bipartisan repair of the ACA.

We know from experience that cutting or eliminating paid advertising suppresses enrollment. his year, the Open Enrollment period starting November 1 is a short period ending six weeks later. Millions of eligible Americans could miss the opportunity to apply for or renew coverage.

Richard Henighan, a Sevier County resident and member of the board of directors of the THCC asks, "Does the Trump Administration intend to tell people they are eligible for coverage? Or does it seek to silence all messages that tell Tennesseans what their rights are under the ACA?" Henighan points out that advertising and Navigator programs are the major ways Americans hear of the ACA Marketplace.

A stable marketplace is dependent upon maintaining current enrollment levels and expanding reach to consumers, particularly young and healthy people who will help balance the risk pool.

The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. The Trump administration is responsible for implementing the law and should be doing everything it can to make it easy for Americans to learn about enrollment opportunities and sign up for coverage, but instead they appear intent on making it harder for people to learn about the available options. They should reverse this misguided decision and approve the necessary funding to ensure more Americans can get the help they need enrolling in quality, affordable health care. We urge Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, and all the House Members of the Tennessee Delegation, as well as State leaders such as Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Commissioner Julie McPeak to insist these sabotaging cuts be rescinded.

For confirmation, contact Members of the Tennessee Care Campaign Board of Directors

Richard Henighan, 865.405.7582 (c),, Seymour, TN

Randall Rice, 731.518.8134 (c),, Whiteville, TN

Tony Garr, 615.603.9747 (c),, Nashville, TN


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

Increasing Number Of Tennesseans Dying From Drug Overdoses

Tennessee Department of Health data show 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016, the highest annual number of such deaths recorded in state history. This is an increase from the 1,451 overdose deaths recorded among Tennessee residents in 2015.

Read More

AMA Urges Congress to Take Swift Action to Retain DACA Program Protections

The American Medical Association sent a letter to Congress on Sept. 5 outlining why DACA is an American healthcare issue and urging legislators to take prompt action to ensure individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status are able to remain in the United States.

Read More

New Antiviral Drug Inhibits Epidemic SARS, MERS & More

A multi-institutional team of researchers has found a new antiviral drug candidate that could treat or prevent a number of potential pandemic outbreaks.

Read More

Disaster Preparedness: Are We Ready?

In a world of ever-evolving threats, the officials responsible for a community's health and safety must constantly update, evaluate, prepare and communicate their preparedness plan.

Read More

Addressing Opioid Addiction in America

Even as the AMA works with physicians and other providers to address opioid addiction, the national epidemic continues to evolve.

Read More

Moving Forward on Health Reform

THA's Craig Becker shares the hospital perspective on healthcare reform and what's needed to maintain access to care across Tennessee.

Read More

MGMA Releases 2017 Regulatory Burden Survey: MIPS Tops the List

The results of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) 2017 Regulatory Burden Survey reveal there is no shortage of opportunity to reduce regulatory burdens on physician practices.

Read More

In Case of Emergency

On Sept. 8, 2016 the final rule Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers was published in the Federal Register. By Nov. 16, 2017, providers and suppliers must be in compliance.

Read More

Innovative Meharry Program Helps Mothers with Opioid Addiction

The Rainbow Program at Meharry offers pregnant and postpartum women with substance abuse disorders new hope.

Read More

The Osher Center: Healing Mind, Body & Spirit

Multi-faceted approach to pain management blends old and new therapies at The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt

Read More

Email Print



Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: