It’s no secret that the Trump administration isn’t fond of ObamaCare. President Donald Trump has chipped away at the monumental health plan, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, time and time again. The moves have paved the way for scrutiny of his team’s new announcement of some 60 hours set aside for the ObamaCare sign-up site to be down for maintenance in coming weeks and months.
To be more specific, the open enrollment period for health coverage under ObamaCare runs from Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018, which is when the outages will take place.
The time mirrors the schedule adhered to last year, although it wasn’t fully utilized. Whereas time including 12 hours each Sunday morning besides the final one of the ObamaCare signup period had been set aside, only 21 and one-half hours ended up being used for maintenance with the site offline, the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says.
Still, some activist interests have made the attention they’re paying to the announcement known.
Families USA’s senior director of health policy Eliot Fishman noted:
‘CMS is clearly at pains to provide assurances of its benign intent in this maintenance schedule. But with the President continuing to regularly brag about gutting the ACA and with the Administration refusing to defend the law in court, there is reason to be concerned about a schedule that takes the federal marketplace down for long stretches over weekends during holiday season. We’ll be watching this closely.’
Fishman’s announcement rests in part on the fact that planning to have the ObamaCare sign-up website down for a period of time in coming months is hardly the only possible cause for concern.
For instance, last year, the Trump administration slashed its ObamaCare advertising budget by a whopping 90 percent, despite the fact that whether they like it or not, the government pushed national healthcare expansion remains intact.
On the legislative front, a 2017 GOP effort to repeal the law in its entirety fell flat despite repeated attempts to bring a measure to a satisfactory full floor vote. The now deceased Arizona Republican U.S. Senator John McCain is among those who held back the efforts, withholding support and bemoaning the fact that the GOP was attempting to ram the legislation through instead of seeking a compromise.
In the time since, the GOP has successfully shaved some of the law off the edges, eliminating the so-called “individual mandate” that imposed fines in cases of individuals without any health insurance. That repeal, included in the tax reform plan Donald Trump signed into law late last year, was feared to be a herald of dark times for the health insurance markets, driving prices up since fewer people would be paying in and those left would be the most at risk.
However, there was a recent announcement that in the case of at least one major ObamaCare plan, prices would be down by two percent for the coming cycle, which is still something, even if a small change.
Other points of contention remain like the expansion — or lack thereof — of Medicaid in states across the country as pushed for by the law.
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