When TrumpCare failed at the start of the summer, Trump vowed to sabotage ObamaCare, if he didn’t get his way. Now, it’s looking like he’s been caught red-handed following through on that promise.
Trump’s administration will be taking healthcare.gov offline for multiple days during the open enrollment period for unnecessary “maintenance,” in a clear effort to undermine the perceived reliability of the service, as well as to directly make it harder to sign up. In fact, the site will be down for “maintenance” the very first day of open enrollment.
Not only that, but the proposed maintenance times are scheduled for when the majority of Americans are most likely to want to use the exchange, rather than waiting for periods of low demand. If you’re feeling suspicious, you’re absolutely right to be. Sarah Kliff, a Vox correspondent, has more via Twitter:
What they are trying to do really couldn’t be more transparent. Twitter users immediately saw through the ruse as well, voicing their displeasure and suspicion:
With Graham-Cassidy likely now dead, Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act are only going to increase. With Obama’s signature legislation enjoying higher-than-ever approval ratings, and a GOP desperate to undermine his legacy, Republicans are prepared to go after the law, even if it makes no political or practical sense. They’re already doing almost everything in their power to undermine key points of Obamacare. Why? To undermine public faith and approval by getting Americans where it hurts: their wallets, via healthcare.
For example, Trump’s administration continues to intentionally throw the healthcare market into chaos, forcing insurance providers to hedge their bets and jack up premiums. Via WaPo:
‘Yet the administration has stoked more uncertainty than it has allayed, leaving the health system in peril. The White House has been deciding month-to-month whether to keep important subsidy payments flowing to insurance companies — payments that were simply assumed during the Obama administration. Without these payments, insurers would have to jack up premiums or leave Obamacare markets next year. The CBO estimated Tuesday that average premiums would jump by 20 percent next year if the Trump administration pulled them. Moreover, because of how the payments interact with other elements of the health-care system, the government would end up losing money — $194 billion over a decade.
‘Though it would be irrational to subvert the health-care system and the budget, Mr. Trump has repeatedly threatened to do so. His officials also have taken steps in that direction, pulling advertisements meant to encourage people to enroll in health insurance, cutting programs that helped people sign up, railing about Obamacare’s “victims” and generally insisting, against the facts, that the law is a disaster. The administration’s moves to weaken the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to carry health coverage and underpins the Obamacare system, have led insurers to contemplate increasing premiums or leaving the system.’
This market instability has long-term consequences for the American public. If the Republican Party continues down their current path of putting party over country, there’s no telling how bad things will get before the next election cycle. Democrats may take the House in 2018, but the Senate and White House are beyond reach until at least 2020. It’s likely that the Affordable Care Act — and our healthcare, by extension — will remain under attack until then.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images