Hoping to serve as an antidote to the Trump administration’s sabotage on the Affordable Care Act, a group of health-care advocates and television celebrities is launching a new effort Wednesday to get people enrolled in Obamacare.
Get America Covered, created by Lori Lodes and Joshua Peck, both of whom helped oversee Obamacare outreach during the prior administration, is seeking to fill in the gap left by the current president and his health-care team. Specifically, they’re hoping to amplify the important dates for enrollment and assist people who are helping others actually sign up. Special attention will be given to states that rely on HealthCare.gov to sign people up for coverage.
“If the administration was committed to making sure people have the information they needed to sign up for health care, we wouldn’t need to start Get America Covered. But people’s lives are at stake so everyone has to step up and fill whatever gaps we can so people get the health care they need,” Lodes said in a release provided to The Daily Beast.
The group has its work cut out for it. The Trump administration has cut this year’s enrollment period in half, it has slashed advertising for Obamacare by 90 percent and gutted the navigators progress designed to reach people in their communities. That’s on top of a myriad of website changes that obscure information about enrollment portals and a public-relations effort to demonize the law.
“We can’t fix that but we can’t sit on the sidelines either,” Lodes said. “So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure people have the facts about the quality, affordable health-care coverage that’s available at HealthCare.gov.”
To help with the lift, Lodes and Peck are joined by a cohort of celebrities and health experts who will be charged with getting the word out about the initiative and deadlines for enrollment. The national co-chairs include CNN commentator Van Jones, actress Alyssa Milano, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt, and Bradley Whitford, who is not a real political operative but played one on The West Wing.
“We’re taking everything we learned about how to reach people with the information they need about deadlines and financial help and are getting to work helping more people enroll,” Peck said.
Open enrollment this year begins on Nov. 1 and ends on Dec. 15 for the upcoming year of coverage.