Probe Requested by Senator Warren Reveals Losing Move by Trump Administration

Friday, October 27, 2017

On January 26, less than a week after President Trump had been inaugurated, his administration canceled key portions of a federal outreach campaign informing the public of the open enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) then under way. 

The Trump administration stifled the outreach even though it would have ended anyway on January 31, the date the open enrollment was scheduled to close.
On January 31, two U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts and Patty Murray, D-Washington, called upon the Inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an independent authority, to investigate the impact of stopping Obamacare outreach and give a report to the Senate on what they found.  The study was done; the report was written.

This past Wednesday, October 25, Senators Warren and Murray released the IG’s report.  Among other things, it found that:
  • The Trump administration first became aware of the outreach campaign on the evening of January 25.
  • The administration gave the order to cancel key portions of the campaign on the morning of the next day.
  • HHS staff members warned the administration that cancelling the outreach campaign when it was almost over “would have detrimental effects” on the risk pool for the individual insurance market and the administration cancelled it anyway.
  • $1.1 million in taxpayer funds was lost when payments already made for cancelled open enrollment ads could not be recouped.

“The HHS IG report shows,” said Senator Warren, “that the Trump Administration came into office with one goal: to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.”

She added, “The cancellation of these ads was malicious and destructive, and wasted over $1 million in taxpayers’ money.  This was a blatantly political decision, with no regard for its impact on American families and their access to affordable health care.”
This report and the comments on it by Senators Warren and Murray did not make even a minuscule dent for one moment this week in the consciousness of the country.  Too many outrages emanate constantly from Trump and the persons around him.

Wasting a million bucks and trying to keep citizens from obtaining one of life’s necessities, health insurance, is but a single grain in The Donald’s sandbox.


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