Scalise and Republican Colleagues Try to Bury Louisiana’s Affordable Care Act Navigators in Red Tape
BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Democratic Party today condemned intimidation tactics by D.C. Republicans designed to harass the community-based organizations that will be helping Louisianians sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
“As these nonpartisan, community-based groups are gearing up to help hundreds of thousands of Louisianians enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace starting on October 1, Beltway Republicans are trying to bury them in red tape,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “The Republicans in Washington have tried — and failed — to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and now it appears they have resorted to sabotage in order to stop the law. They should be ashamed of themselves for taking out their spite on nonprofit, apolitical organizations.
“One of the ringleaders of this cowardly attempt at sabotage has been Congressman Steve Scalise, who joined with 14 of his GOP colleagues in sending a lengthy questionnaire to navigators in select states, including Louisiana, and summoning them to D.C. to testify before Congress. Scalise should relent in this partisan attack, and the rest of Louisiana’s congressional delegation should stand up for our community groups and oppose this push to stop the navigators from helping Louisianians get affordable health care.”
Fifteen Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — including Scalise — signed onto a three-page letter and questionnaire sent to groups that received navigator grants to help the uninsured enroll in the insurance exchanges in Louisiana, as well as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Those 11 states make up just over 60 percent of the total grants for the program, and they all rank in the nation’s top 15 states for most uninsured residents.
In Louisiana, the following four groups will receive a total of $1.8 million in navigator grant funding:
Southern United Neighborhoods
Martin Luther King Health Center
Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center
Capital Area Agency on Aging
The questionnaire requires the navigator grantees to respond by Sept. 13.