Top congressional Democrats want to meet with the Trump administration to see how preparations are going for Obamacare's open enrollment, which starts in a few months.
The request for a meeting comes after reports of the administration possibly limiting outreach and after President Trump has repeatedly said he wants to let Obamacare "implode."
"Rather than encouraging enrollment in the marketplaces, the administration appears intent on depressing it, which we fear will contribute to destabilizing insurance markets and drive up costs for consumers," they wrote in a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.
Democrats say HHS should redouble its efforts at outreach due to confusion because of "efforts to jam" an Obamacare repeal bill through Congress. More outreach is also needed due to "the administration's decision to cut the open enrollment period in half."
The 2018 open enrollment is scheduled to take place from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.
The committee leaders in both the House and Senate aren't the only Democrats concerned about the lack of outreach. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants to meet with Price to address a report in Talking Points Memo that HHS is abandoning outreach to Latinos.
Democrats want to ask a series of questions, such as whether HHS will operate call centers to assist customers with Obamacare questions.
It also asked if the administration will award grants to Obamacare "navigators" to help consumers understand healthcare.gov, a website used by 39 states and the District of Columbia to buy Obamacare plans.
The Democrats also want a detailed list of how much HHS plans to pay for advertising, marketing, and outreach. The request comes after HHS cut advertising funding for Obamacare at the end of the 2017 open enrollment season in January.
An immediate request for comment from HHS was not returned immediately.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray of Washington, House Energy & Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden of Oregon, House Ways & Means Ranking Member Richard Neal of Massachusetts and Senate Aging Ranking Member Bob Casey of Pennsylvania signed the letter.