In order to pacify left-leaning voter registration groups, California is now opting to send out voter registration forms to each and every Obamacare enrollee.
Several California interest groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and left-wing think tank Demos, threatened legal action, the Washington Post reports. Though a link to voter registration was clearly placed on Covered California’s homepage, opponents complained that there was no option for those using a paper application or people who bypass the homepage.
“Ensuring that all eligible Americans are registered to vote is key to ensuring a robust democracy,” Lisa Danetz, legal director Demos, said in a statement. “If other states follow, millions more Americans will have the opportunity to join the voting rolls.”
Obamacare applications on HealthCare.gov include the option to vote because a 1993 National Voter Registration Act requires states to provide voter registration at all offices that provide “public assistance,” including Medicaid. Because Obamacare exchanges determine whether someone is eligible for Medicaid or the state marketplace, some groups the health care law’s exchanges are responsible for it as well.
Not all states running their own exchanges have included the option so far, but may face more pressure to do so after California’s challenges.
California’s decision to send voter registration forms to all its exchange users also targets those purchasing private coverage through the exchange, not only those seeking public assistance through Medicaid.
The Washington Post has suggested Obamacare could add more Democrats to the voter rolls. Those who have successfully received Medicaid coverage or subsidized private insurance may be more likely to support Democratic supporters of the health care law in 2014.
The uninsured supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a two to one ratio in the 2012 election, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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