Trump doesn’t really need Obamacare repeal, not when he has so much power to destroy it from the inside. He’s doing that with a vengeance ahead of this year’s open enrollment, set to begin November 1 and run through mid-December, already a shortened enrollment period. The administration has informed Mississippi that it will not be participating in enrollment preparation events in the region. Every year before enrollments began, Obama administration officials would go to the states and meet with groups that sign people up. That’s a thing of the past reports Vox’s Dylan Scott.
Up until Monday, Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, thought these events were going forward in the coming weeks as planned. He had even asked HHS just last week for biographies of the officials they’d be sending.
But then two days ago, he received a short message from an agency official, which Mitchell shared with Vox: HHS wouldn’t be doing any Obamacare marketplace events in the South this year. No further explanation was provided.
“HHS bailing out was the last straw for us,” Mitchell told me by phone Wednesday. “It’s clearly sabotage.” […]
HHS’s abrupt withdrawal from the events is part of a bigger story. The Trump administration has already cut this year’s open enrollment period in half. It slashed spending on advertising by 90 percent. Funding for the navigators program, which went to groups that helped people sign up for insurance, was reduced by 40 percent and then allowed to lapse entirely.