Welcome!

News Feed Item

Voting Rights Groups Call on Obama Administration to Bring Federal Health Care Exchanges into Compliance with Federal Law

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, in a letter to President Obama, leaders for nonprofit voting rights organizations Demos and Project Vote alerted the White House that the application process for benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

In the letter, the groups urge the Obama Administration to take immediate steps to bring federally facilitated health benefits exchanges (FFEs) into compliance with federal law.

The letter was sent on the very same day that the Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its long-awaited recommendations for improving the voting experience in America. Significantly, one of the Commission's findings was that "the election statute most often ignored…is the National Voter Registration Act." The report calls for increased enforcement of the NVRA, and focuses specifically on the law's requirement that certain government agencies provide voter registration services in coordination with other client transactions.

"We strongly support the ACA, and the President's efforts to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care," said Michael Slater, Executive Director of Project Vote. "But, as the President's own commission point out, the Administration cannot ignore clear violations of one of our most important federal voting rights laws."

"Ensuring that all eligible Americans are registered to vote is key to ensuring a democracy of, by, and for the people," said Brenda Wright, Demos Vice President of Legal Strategies. "Agency-based registration under the NVRA is a critical tool in making voter registration convenient and accessible. If the NVRA's requirements are implemented properly for those enrolling under the ACA, millions more Americans will have the opportunity to join the voting rolls."

The National Voter Registration Act was enacted 20 years ago with strong bipartisan support from Congress. It simplified the voter registration process and made it more accessible by requiring convenient voter registration opportunities to be provided in certain instances when Americans interact with their government. For the last 20 years, states have offered voter registration services in tandem with driver's license transactions, Medicaid, and other government programs. Over 140 million Americans have applied to register to vote because of the NVRA.

The NVRA is very specific about when and how voter registration assistance must be provided. Any time an applicant applies for benefits, recertifies, or submits a change of address, the covered agency must:

  • ask the applicant, in writing, whether he or she would like to register to vote or update his or her voter registration address;
  • distribute a voter registration application form, unless an individual declines in writing;
  • inform the applicant, in writing, that no one may interfere with his or her right to register to vote or not, right to privacy while registering, and right to choose a political party; and
  • help the applicant complete the voter registration application form, to the same degree as assistance is provided in completing benefits application forms.

Because the benefit exchanges provide public assistance within the states, including Medicaid, the Obama administration has acknowledged that the exchanges must provide voter registration services. However, the current FFE application process does not fully meet the NVRA's requirements.

Currently, the online portal contains a question about voter registration, but it does not employ the required language or contain the necessary disclosures or disclaimers. Far from "distributing" a voter registration form with each transaction, the online portal merely provides a link to a website. Many applicants do not have access to a printer to print out the form, and even if they do, the applicant must then hunt for the voter registration form, download and print more than 20 pages of mostly irrelevant information, fill out the application by hand, and mail it. Finally, FFE staff who provide assistance with health care benefits are not being trained or required to provide clients with equal assistance in completing voter registration applications.

As a consequence, several million Americans already have lost out on the opportunity to register to vote. Millions more will be denied this right if the Administration does not take action in the coming months.

In the letter to the White House, Demos and Project Vote call on President Obama to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to make the changes necessary to the FFE process to bring it in line with the law.

"We respectfully request that you direct HHS to bring the FFEs into compliance with all the requirements of the NVRA," the groups write.

In the past several years, Demos and Project Vote have led a nationwide effort to advocate and litigate for NVRA compliance in the states, with dramatic results. Successful efforts to enforce compliance with the public agency requirements of the NVRA have accounted for over 2 million applications in Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, and other states.

The letter concludes that the groups "look forward to continuing to work with your administration to advance our shared interest in expanding access to quality, affordable health insurance, and ensuring that eligible Americans are provided with the opportunity to register to vote."

SOURCE Project Vote

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.