Trump Sabotage of Obamacare a Big Success: Enrollment Down By a Half Million or More
Kevin Drum points out that, thanks to sabotage by the Trump administration, about 600,000 people head into 2017 lacking health insurance. What a victory! (Though the victory comes at substantial cost to some of the victims.)
he signup period for Obamacare is over, and total enrollment fell short of last year. The Washington Post reports the details:
The lower total…marks a striking turnabout from the trend as the Obama administration neared its end — when sign-ups for coverage under the law were running steadily ahead of a year ago.
The volume plummeted, in particular, during the final week of the three-month enrollment season — falling from nearly 700,000 in 2016 to just over 375,000. That last week traditionally is a peak time when eligible customers race to get ACA health plans, most of them with federal subsidies. This time, however, the Trump White House directed federal health officials to halt all advertising and other enrollment-outreach activities for the last six days of the sign-up period.
Based on data from Charles Gaba, here’s what enrollment looked like throughout the entire signup period:
Signups were running a bit ahead of 2016 during the entire open enrollment period, but then Trump took office. Republicans began talking about repealing Obamacare, Trump signed an executive order telling agencies to do whatever they could to throw sand in the gears, and outreach efforts were halted. The result was a substantial downturn in the second half of January. My estimate is that all these antics lowered enrollment by about 600,000. That’s 600,000 people who now have no medical coverage and run the risk of bankruptcy if anything serious goes wrong. Nice work, folks.
For additional evidence on this score, . . .
The GOP seems actually to hate regular citizens, as shown by actions like this: stepping in to prevent people from getting health insurance. Another example: the GOP action that will allow mining companies to pollute and destroy mountain streams: great for mining companies, bad for people who live near the streams. All the GOP members of Congress in states that would be most affected were against protecting the environment (probably because they do not themselves live near where the damage will be done).