Republicans may have failed to overthrow Obamacare this week, but there are plenty of ways they can chip away at it.
The Trump administration has already begun using its regulatory authority to water down less prominent aspects of the 2010 healthcare law.
Earlier this week, newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price stalled the rollout of mandatory Medicare payment reform programs for heart attack treatment, bypass surgery and joint replacements finalized by the Obama administration in December.
The delays offer a glimpse at how President Donald Trump can use his administrative power to undercut aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion that Republicans had sought to overturn.
The Republicans' failure to repeal Obamacare, at least for now, means it remains federal law. Price's power resides in how to interpret that law, and which programs to emphasize and fund.
However Trump and the Republicans are not going to be able to do this in the shadows.
People are paying attention.
Courtesy of HuffPo:
The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has launched an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to pull ads encouraging people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period. By shutting down such outreach, the action could be seen as a stealth way to starve the health plan without legislative authority, critics say.
President Donald Trump’s administration said the ads were a waste of money, but Democrats have characterized the action as sabotage.
In response to a request to investigate the actions from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the inspector general said his office is conducting a “fact-finding” review, the Hill reported.
The office will examine exactly what was done and when by the administration, and its effect on enrollment in the health plan, according to a letter written to the senators Thursday. Dwindling numbers of consumers enrolled in any insurance undermines an affordable risk pool.
And this is what needs to be done right down the line.
Senate and House Democrats need to identify and attempt to stall the various forms of sabotage to the Affordable Care Act while the media reports on what the Republicans are doing and the effects it is having on the already insured and those seeking insurance.
Americans also should be reminded on a daily basis that virtually ALL of the problems that ACA is currently having are related to GOP sabotage from the very beginning of its implementation.
From Republican governors refusing to expand Medicaid or allow the health care exchanges in their states, to the constant flood of disinformation that comes from their mouths, the GOP has created the very problems that they now blame on Obama and the Democrats.
The facts are that the Republicans NEVER wanted to help the American people get affordable health care, and the only way Obamacare will be preserved and improved is with more Democrats in office working to make that happen.