Statement of ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray on Executive Orders Strengthening Access to Health Care Coverage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON EXECUTIVE ORDERS STRENGTHENING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE COVERAGE
WASHINGTON— Margaret A. Murray, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), released the following statement on executive orders signed today by President Biden to reexamine regulations issued by the previous administration and implement changes meant to strengthen the Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act.
“We commend President Biden for creating a special enrollment period for the federal Marketplaces. The pandemic led to financial difficulties and changes in health coverage for millions, which did not stop at the end of open enrollment. Consumers deserve time to thoughtfully consider and select the plan that best meets their needs—we thank President Biden for taking a long-overdue action.
“We are encouraged by the directive to review regulations that undermine protections for pre-existing conditions and policies that threaten the stability of the Marketplace. Reversing the 2018 rule expanding the use of short-term limited-duration insurance plans would help accomplish both these goals.
“In two years, junk insurance plans have created havoc for consumers, promising access to affordable, comprehensive coverage only to leave them holding a stack of unpaid bills when they need to access said coverage. When allowed to compete directly with ACA-compliant plans, junk insurance plans erode consumer protections and send premiums spiraling higher. We urge the Administration to reverse this rule.
“We also applaud the President’s action to slow down the approval of work requirements for the Medicaid program. ACAP has long maintained that Medicaid helps people who work stay on the job – a job shouldn’t be a requirement for Medicaid. Work requirements add another layer of red tape and administrative burden to an enrollment process that’s complex enough as is.
“Further, we urge the Administration to reexamine the Healthy Adult Opportunity waiver demonstration. ACAP supports Medicaid modernization, so long as it follows certain key principles—that it covers all Medicaid enrollees equitably and provide state budget writers with certainty. Some Medicaid innovations are faithful to these principles. The Healthy Adult Opportunity initiative is not.
“We support the President’s directive to reexamine regulations that complicate access to Medicaid coverage; we hope this will include the public charge rule. The rule was a bad idea to start with. But in the onset of a pandemic it threatens to exacerbate outbreaks of COVID-19 and leave it to safety net providers—community health centers, public hospitals, county health departments and others—to clean up the mess.”
ACAP included several of these changes in a letter sent to the Biden Administration earlier this month.
“Instead of focusing on efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Congress and the Administration have before them the opportunity to repair, reform and reinforce our health care system. These executive orders are a first step toward doing so, and we look forward to working with leaders on Capitol Hill and in the administration to follow through on these efforts.”
ACAP represents 78 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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