Sunday, July 23, 2017

Trump team sabotages Obamacaare

Sam Stein reporting for "The Daily Beast," says that the Trump administration "has spent money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it."

This campaign to sabotage the success of the ACA is broader than originally suspected, Stein reports.   They have commissioned a multi-pronged social media campaign that includes video testimonials designed to portray the worst cases of people claiming to having been hurt by the health care plan -- and omitting any of the great success stories that are heard at political rallies, town hall meetings, etc.

Tom Price is today's Republican counterpart to Kathleen Sebelius, who was the Democratic Secretary of Health and Human Services when the ACA was designed.  She recently told "The Daily Beast" that, on a daily basis, she is "horrified by leaders at HHS who seem intent on taking healthcare away from the constituents they are supposed to serve.  We always believed that delivering health and human services was the mission of the department.  That seems to not be the mission of the current leadership."

Paul Krugman also wrote about this sabotage.  He says:
"Obamacare survived because it has worked. . . .  Unfortunately, some of those gains will probably be lost . . . .  So it's important to say clearly, in advance, why this is about to happen.  It won't be because the Affordable Care Act is failing;  it will be the result of Trump administration sabotage. . . .

"Notably, people aren't automatically signed up for coverage, so it matters a lot whether the officials running the system try to make it work, reaching out to potential beneficiaries to ensure that they know what's available, while reminding currently healthy Americans that they are still legally required to sign up for coverage."

Krugman outlined three ways that the system is being sabotaged:  (1)  weakening enforcement of the sign-up requirement;  (2)  letting states impose onerous work requirements on those who seek Medicaid coverage;  and (3) backing off the outreach program for enrollment and even putting out negative propaganda to discourage it.

Krugman concludes:  "The truly amazing thing about these sabotage efforts is that they don't serve any obvious purpose. . .  They don't save money . . .  It isn't about policy, or even politics in the normal sense.   It is basically about spite."

If they can't win -- and have been humiliated by seven years of promising "repeal" that they can't manage to actually bring about -- at least they can make millions of others suffer too.

More and more Americans are catching on to the fact that they have been conned . . . again.   One man was quoted a few days ago saying about Obamacare, which he now suspports:   "I can't remember why I was against it."


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