Top Senate Democrats are calling for the Trump administration to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment, which ends for most states on Friday.
Sens. Patty Murray of Washington state and Ron Wyden of Oregon want the administration to extend open enrollment for healthcare.gov, which is used by 39 states and the District of Columbia, from Dec. 15 to Jan. 31. That was the date that last year’s open enrollment ended, but the Trump administration decided to cut the enrollment period for the 2018 coverage year in half.
Wyden and Murray said the decision departed from “years of agency policy.” Wyden is the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and Murray the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“We urge you to immediately extend open enrollment and to engage in concerted outreach and assistance efforts that help potential consumers obtain coverage,” the two lawmakers said in a letter to Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Democrats say the shorter enrollment season, along with cuts to outreach and ad funding, are part of a concerted effort by the administration to sabotage Obamacare’s exchanges.
A representative from CMS responded that the website is performing well and consumers can "easily access enrollment tools to compare plans and prices."
While healthcare.gov’s open enrollment period ends Friday, some state-run Obamacare exchanges have extended theirs. For instance, California's open enrollment ends Jan. 31.