Luján Questions Trump Administration's Removal Of Latino Engagement Document Before Open Enrollment Period

by Reporter / Dec 12, 2018 / 0 comments

Luján Questions Trump Administration's Removal Of Latino Engagement Document Before Open Enrollment Period

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) was joined by Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chairman-Elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in sending a letter this week demanding an explanation from the administration on reports that they had removed a document titled “Marketplace Outreach: Best Practices for Outreach to Latino Communities” from its Health Insurance Marketplace website. The removed PDF was a slide presentation intended as a training resource for assisters. It focused on the challenges Latinos might face when enrolling for coverage and included guidance on making services culturally and linguistically appropriate.

In a letter sent to Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and the Administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Seema Verma, the lawmakers expressed their concern that the administration was intentionally making it more difficult for Latinos to enroll and were attempting to further destabilize insurance markets across the country.

The letter reads in part, “The Latino population is already an underserved population and even the Office of Minority Health reports Latinos have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States. Furthermore, outreach from assisters and navigator programs have shown to be particularly effective in expanding coverage among the Latino population. The removal of this PDF creates an additional obstacle to those attempting to provide valuable assistance to the community.”

The legislators demanded an explanation from the Administration for the removal of the document, asking for the intent of “removing the PDF from the website and denying assisters and navigators access to this information.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

The Honorable Alex Azar

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health and Human services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20201

The Honorable Seema Verma

Administrator

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

7500 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, MD 21244

Dear Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma:

I write to you today deeply troubled by reports of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) removal of the “Marketplace Outreach: Best Practices for Outreach to Latino Communities” from its Health Insurance Marketplace website. The Health Insurance Marketplace serves as the official Marketplace Information source for assisters, individuals and organizations trained to provide free help to consumers and small businesses interested in enrolling in health coverage. The removed PDF was a slide presentation intended as a training resource for assisters that focused on the challenges Latinos might face when enrolling for coverage, as well as guidance on making services culturally and linguistically appropriate. I am concerned the removal of this PDF not only reduces access to valuable training and outreach resources, but additionally demonstrates CMS’s lack of commitment on improving access to healthcare for Latino communities.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.