The Trump team’s efforts to sabotage the American health insurance markets continues apace.
Donald Trump will reduce Obamacare advertising spending 90 percent, from the $100 million that the Obama administration spent last year to $10 million this year. It will also cut the budget for the in-person enrollment program by 39 percent.
Administration officials cited “diminishing returns” from outreach activities. In a phone call with reporters, they said that most Americans already know about the Affordable Care Act.
Most Americans may know about the Affordable Care Act, but they might not know just how to sign up for it. Or when to sign up. Or where the “exchanges” are, or what the requirements are, or what assistance the government can provide, or what the penalties are for remaining uninsured.
By slashing the advertising budget, Trump’s team is making a hard play to keep those people from finding out. People who need to join the exchanges for specific health reasons will likely continue to do so, but younger and healthier Americans may not be as motivated to try. The result: prices will rise, while the number of insured Americans falls.
Which would be, if you are an ideologue looking to declare health insurance reforms “dead” due to rising prices or still-high numbers of uninsured, precisely the point. You’d be an inhuman monster, to intentionally sabotage millions of Americans in such a manner, but that would be how you would do it.