Donald Trump and the Republican Congress may be failing miserably at their attempts to repeal and not replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but that doesn’t mean Trump isn’t going to chip away at it, eventually dwindling it down to something that can be drowned in a bathtub.
Trump took a big swing at Obamacare on Thursday by trying to keep the program secret from people who might be eligible to sign up. The White House is slashing the Affordable Care Act’s advertising budget by a whopping 90 percent. They’re also cutting the budget for in-person enrollment by 41 percent, so even if people do somehow get the message that they are eligible, good luck signing up. Altogether, that’s a 72 percent cut in programs designed to boost enrollment, which is the only way the exchanges will survive.
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. They plan to make the deepest cuts to the enrollment workers who have signed up few health law enrollees.
If Americans do know about the Affordable Care Act, they have a funny way of showing it. A recent survey found that a third of Americans didn’t know that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare were one and the same. Most concerning, given Thursday’s cuts, is that those between the ages of 18 and 29 were among those least likely to know the difference. That’s bad. The Affordable Care Act needs younger and healthy participants, or it will smother under its own weight.
“The surest way to kill the exchanges is to keep them a secret,” says Timothy Jost, a consumer advocate at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Sick people will find them, but getting younger and healthier people enrolled is the problem.”
That is exactly Trump’s point. He might not be able to kill the act through direct measures, but he can make it go broke. He already told us he would.
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump doesn’t give a crap about any of the American people, but that’s no surprise. He is probably not even thinking about the millions of people he might be sentencing to death; only that he has another opportunity to stick it to the black guy (President Obama).
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images