A group of former Obama administration officials created a new Obamacare enrollment group they say will counteract the Trump administration's cutbacks in outreach.
The group Get America Covered started up Wednesday and seeks to boost enrollment efforts. Former Obama administration officials Lori Lodes and Joshua Peck, who oversaw outreach for Obamacare, will lead the group.
The group also includes CNN pundit Van Jones and celebrities Alyssa Milano and Bradley Whitford as national co-chairmen. Former acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Andy Slavitt is also a co-chairman, as is former insurer CEO and Obamacare booster Mario Molina.
The goal is to fill the gaps that the Trump administration is creating in getting people to sign up for Obamacare, according to a statement.
"If the administration was committed to making sure people had the information they needed to sign up for healthcare, we wouldn't need to start Get America Covered," Lodes said. "But people's lives are at stake so everyone has to step up and fill whatever gaps they can so people get the healthcare they need."
Critics point to the Trump administration's decision to drastically cut ad and outreach funding and cut the window to sign up for Obamacare in half as acts of sabotage for the law, which the administration hopes to repeal. The Trump administration counters that it cut Obamacare ad funding by 90 percent because more people are aware of the law now that it is entering its fifth open enrollment.
Administration officials have said they cut funding to Obamacare "navigators," nonprofits dedicated to enrollment and education, by nearly 40 percent because of low enrollment numbers. Navigators counter that signing up people for Obamacare is just one of its duties, which include education and helping people pick insurance plans.
Open enrollment for the 2018 coverage year starts Nov. 1 and runs till Dec. 15, six weeks earlier than 2017's open enrollment.