New Organization, “Enroll America,” Launched by Unprecedented Collaboration of Diverse Health Groups

Embargoed For Release
Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 1 PM, EDT
Contact: Laura Diamond | (202) 626-0629

First-of-its-Kind Organization Seeks to Secure Health Coverage Enrollment for Tens of Millions of Uninsured

Washington, D.C. – A new, nonprofit organization, “Enroll America,” was launched today by an unprecedented collaboration of key, diverse national groups representing virtually all stakeholders in America’s health care system. The organization will be dedicated to securing health coverage enrollment for tens of millions of uninsured people.

The collaborative effort is the result of many months of planning, but its launch comes immediately on the heels of yesterday’s Census Bureau report that found 49.9 million people were uninsured in 2010 – an all-time high.

Groups participating in the new collaboration range from companies and associations representing the hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries to organizations representing physicians, community health centers, free clinics, health care consumers, and people with major illnesses and disabilities.

Enroll America’s mission is to secure optimal enrollment in new health coverage opportunities that become available in 2014. At that time, tens of millions of middle- and moderate-income uninsured Americans will become eligible for affordable health coverage either through sliding-scale tax credits they can receive when they purchase private health coverage via newly established marketplaces or through the expansion of the Medicaid program.

The organization will focus on two primary goals: First, it has established a Best Practices Institute to promote better understanding of ways to make the health care enrollment process a simple, streamlined, and seamless. The Best Practices Institute will work through Enroll America’s partners to encourage states to adopt these best practices. Second, Enroll America plans to organize a massive public information and advertising campaign in 2013 and 2014 to ensure that Americans know about the new opportunities they will have to secure affordable health coverage.

Rachel Klein, previously Deputy Director of Health Policy and Director of Medicaid and CHIP at Families USA, will serve as Enroll America’s Executive Director. She said: “Enroll America is an historic effort. It is the first time such major, diverse health groups – with very different constituencies and perspectives on health policy – will work closely together, and the expected success of this collaboration will bring about the largest expansion of health coverage in our nation.”

Many of the leaders involved in the creation of Enroll America have similarly high expectations for the new organization.

Rich Umbdenstock, the President and CEO of the American Hospital Association and a Board member of Enroll America, said: “Every American deserves access to basic health care services – services that provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Enroll America will play a critical role in ensuring health care access for millions of people who are one accident or diagnosis away from a medical crisis.”

“As long-time advocates for health reform, we want as many people as possible to be covered under the Affordable Care Act,” said Bruce Bodaken, Chairman and CEO, Blue Shield of California and a Board member of Enroll America. “Every American deserves access to quality health care, and Enroll America will help to achieve that goal.”

Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and a Board member of Enroll America, said: “CHA is proud to be part of Enroll America. This coalition represents an important effort to make sure that the most vulnerable people in our country gain access to meaningful health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. With the economy having taken a significant toll on working families and many who want to be working, enrollment initiatives make sure that those most affected are able to receive the medical and preventive care they need.”

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of the consumer organization Families USA and Enroll America’s Board Chairman, said: “The need for an organization like Enroll America is obvious, but it’s even clearer now due to the Census Bureau findings that the number of uninsured Americans reached historically high levels in 2010. Enroll America will no doubt reverse this, and will bring us close to securing high-quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans.”

“Enroll America will play a critical role in making sure that all Americans who are eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act take advantage of it,” said Vincent DeMarco, President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and a Board member of Enroll America. “Under the leadership of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley we have had great success in expanding health care coverage to over 250,000 parents, children and seniors over the past five years and we will do all we can to help make the national effort a success.”

“Now that health reform is here, we all need to join together to make sure that it is implemented in a way that will both bring millions of uninsured Americans into coverage, and move our health care system forward to better quality and lower costs,” said Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the National Association of Community Health Centers. “America’s Health centers stand ready to help make this effort a success, and to continue being a regular source of quality care for all people, insured or not.”

“Teva is proud to support Enroll America and the work it will do to help every American obtain affordable health-care coverage. As a global leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing, Teva understands the critical role quality health-care coverage plays in improving access to life-saving and affordable prescription medicines. Enroll America will help millions of American patients access the medications they need to live happy and productive lives, said Debra Barret Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and a Board member of Enroll America.

Enroll America’s staff will be guided by the Board of Directors and an active Advisory Council. The list of Board and Advisory Council members follows.

Board of Directors

American Hospital Association
Blue Shield of California
Catholic Health Association of the United States
Families USA
Kaiser Permanente
Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative
National Association of Community Health Centers
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

Advisory Council

Aetna, Inc.
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
American Nurses Association
Ascension Health
Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association for Community Affiliated Plans
CareSource, Inc.
Catholic Charities USA
Center for Public Policy Priorities
Doctors for America
Easter Seals
Express Scripts
Healthcare Leadership Council
Medicaid Health Plans of America
National Association of Free Clinics
National Association of Health Underwriters
National Association of Public Hospitals and
Health Systems
National Council of La Raza
National Council for Community Behavioral
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Indian Health Board
National Medical Association
Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)
Pennsylvania Health Law Project
United Way Worldwide
Voices for America’s Children
Young Invincibles

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