Sabotaging Our Health System

President Trump and the GOP Congressional leadership promised to repeal Obamacare, but in the same breath promised to replace it–with something better, even terrific, something that would cover more people and cost less. But they have no replacement in place, yet some of their actions suggest they are going ahead and sabotaging the existing health care system anyway.

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order directing agencies to undo the Affordable Care Act–which does not specifically, but does provide the authorization for undoing rules and requirements that would lead health care premiums to spike in 2018. I talk more about this in the Capitol Weekly podcast that came out today.

This week, Trump Administration canceled $5 million dollars in advertising–that was already paid for–for the end of this year’s open enrollment in the individual insurance market. Luckily, they backtracked after the outrage–and probably industry pressure that indicated the result: To stop doing marketing and outreach on the last week of open enrollment would have been a deliberate effort to sabotage health insurance markets for 2018, especially since there is no replacement in place to deal with the consequences.

Obamacare now no longer exists–unnecessary premium spikes for next year will be the result of President Trump’s actions

We in California are going forward: Our Covered California is continuing their outreach, since it wants to connect consumers to coverage and care, and recognizes that increased enrollment helps stabilize premiums. Covered California’s director said that expect to be ‘ferociously busy’ this final week, and we are glad they are going full tilt on their outreach, despite the stunning silence from the federal marketplace.

All Americans should be aware of their options, especially since they can lock in 2017 premiums by signing up before the January 31st deadline. Already 1.3 million Californians renewed, and over 327,000 signed up for new coverage, and we expects tens of thousands more in this last week. The destructive and self-defeating behavior of this President should not discourage anyone from getting the coverage and care they need. We urge all Americans to sign up for coverage this week before the deadline, and then fight for their health care with their Congressional Representatives in the weeks ahead.

This sabotage is stunning given there’s not yet any replacement plan in place for the Affordable Care Act. Health coverage for over five million newly covered Californians is still in place–but at severe risk. We should never forget the thirteen Congressional Representatives from California who voted for the recent budget resolution to allow the repeal of the ACA and yet to show their constituents a plan to keep their promises in a replacement that provides more coverage at less cost. They include California Representatives McCarthy, LaMalfa, Valadao, Denham, Cook, Nunes, Knight, Royce, Rohrabacher, Walters, Hunter, Issa, and Calvert.

Health Access California released a fact sheet with new numbers, by Congressional district, detailing the enrollment in both the Medi-Cal expansion and for Covered California subsidies. A fact sheet, “Covered California At Risk” details more about the potential impacts on Covered California and for those who rely on our state-budget marketplace.

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