FW: In-town print pool No. 1

From: Alex Leary [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2016 3:50 PM
To: Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: In-town print pool No. 1

On Background from a White House Official:

In advance of the 2017 open enrollment period, this morning, the President dropped by a meeting with senior Administration officials and leaders from insurance companies participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Administration officials underscored the importance of continuing the work that has helped bring the nation’s uninsured rate to the lowest level on record and solicited ideas for how to further strengthen the Marketplace. As part of maintaining an ongoing dialogue and discussing the shared goal of building a thriving Marketplace, Administration officials have met with Marketplace health plan leaders each year about open enrollment. This year’s meeting provided an opportunity to discuss best practices that HHS and health insurance companies will employ to encourage new customers to sign up and returning customers to shop around and re-enroll.

The following individuals attended the meeting:

Administration Participants:

•          President Barack Obama

•          Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell

•          Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett

•          Deputy Chief of Staff for Implementation Kristie Canegallo

Issuer Leaders:

•          Bruce Broussard, President and CEO, Humana

•          David Cordani, President and CEO, Cigna

•          Darnell Dent, President and CEO, FirstCare Health Plans

•          Andrew Dreyfus, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

•          Pat Geraghty, Chairman and CEO, Florida Blue

•          Martin Hickey, CEO, New Mexico Health Connections

•          Dan Hilferty, President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross

•          David Holmberg, President and CEO, Highmark Health

•          Dan Loepp, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

•          J. Mario Molina, President and CEO, Molina Healthcare

•          J. Brad Wilson, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

•          Carmella Bocchino, Executive Vice President, America’s Health Insurance Plans

•          Scott Serota, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Additionally, today, the President sent a letter to every insurance company offering 2017 coverage on the Marketplace to emphasize the Administration’s commitment to working with them, discuss recent actions taken to further strengthen the Marketplace, and ask for their help in signing up uninsured Americans. The text of the letter follows:

September 12

As we approach the last open enrollment period of my Presidency, I am writing to thank you for the part your organization plays in providing quality, affordable health insurance to millions of Americans through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Some of you have worked with us from before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, while others have newly entered this market.  All of you have shared your expertise and experience as we set out to improve health care access, affordability, and quality.  I do not need to tell you the profound difference that access to good, affordable health care is making in the lives of millions of Americans who are being covered.  The Marketplace has helped contribute to a record low uninsured rate, and Marketplace enrollees report high satisfaction, improved access, and a reduced chance of falling into medical debt.  I appreciate your organization's contributions to that progress and your ongoing commitment to your consumers, your community, and our Nation.

We know that this progress has not been without challenges.  Most new enterprises have growing pains and opportunities for improvement.  The Marketplace, while strong, is no exception.  Time and experience will help drive that improvement, as will constructive policy changes.  In recent weeks and months, informed by ideas Secretary Burwell and her team have heard from key stakeholders, the Department of Health and Human Services offered a number of improvements to further strengthen the stability and sustainability of the individual market for issuers and consumers alike.  In July, I offered ideas on legislative changes that could also contribute to these goals.  And we will continue to listen and identify opportunities to do so.  These efforts underscore my commitment to making sure the Marketplace continues to work long after I leave office.

To that end, I want to enlist your help as we head into this fourth annual open enrollment period.  We know that signing up more uninsured Americans for coverage generates benefits all around.  Health coverage helps children excel at school, adults work more productively, and Americans of all ages live longer, healthier lives.  Coverage also improves financial security for individuals, lowers uncompensated care for providers, and limits the "hidden tax" of cost-shifting to privately insured people.  And since the remaining uninsured are disproportionately younger and healthier, signing them up improves the risk pool    and consequently the affordability of coverage for all enrollees.  Secretary Burwell has developed a data-driven plan to find and enroll those who still lack coverage, including by stepping up the outreach activities that worked best over the last 3 years; working with the Department of the Treasury to reach out to uninsured people who paid the individual responsibility fee for 2015; and increasing our focus on enrolling young adults.  We are also hosting a Millennial Outreach and Engagement Summit at the White House on September 27 focused exclusively on how to enroll more youth in the Marketplace during open enrollment.  We welcome efforts to increase your outreach during this open enrollment period.

Together, we have been part of historic changes to the United States health system that have improved health quality, equity, affordability, and outcomes.  But our work is not over.  I look forward to our continued success.

Sincerely,

President Barack Obama

Alex Leary

Washington Bureau Chief

Tampa Bay Times

(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx

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