November 01, 2017

As Open Enrollment Period Begins, Sen. Warren, Rep. Neal Call on HHS, Labor & Treasury Inspectors General to Review President Trump's Executive Order to Sabotage ACA

As Open Enrollment Period Begins, Senator Warren, Rep. Neal Call on HHS, Labor & Treasury Inspectors General to Review President Trump's Executive Order to Sabotage ACA

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, today called on the Inspectors General of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury to thoroughly review the implementation and impact of President Trump's October 12th Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Executive Order asked the HHS, Treasury, and Labor Secretaries to take a series of actions that would undermine the Affordable Care Act.  It called for policy changes that would make health insurance more expensive and less effective, especially for Americans with preexisting conditions. Additionally, the members of Congress raised concerns that the actions ordered by President Trump may require novel interpretations of, or violate the letter or intent of the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and other federal and state laws.

"Experts have identified the most likely outcome of this executive order: that it will cause healthy individuals to leave the ACA exchanges for plans that offer inferior coverage," wrote Warren and Neal. "The effect of this shift will be increased costs and premiums for the older individuals and individuals with preexisting conditions who are left behind in the exchanges."

"Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have made multiple policy changes that are designed to undermine the ACA marketplace: ending cost-sharing reductions that help limit premium increases; reducing the length of the open enrollment period; eliminating funding for ACA enrollment outreach and education, and more," the members of Congress continued.  "The new executive order raises more questions about the intent of the Administration and the potential impacts on affordable health care coverage of Administration action."

Senator Warren and Representative Neal asked the Inspectors General to carefully review the actions taken by their respective departments in implementing President Trump's Executive Order, including the legal basis and procedures used to justify them, and how those actions impacted health care coverage, cost and affordability.