November 1st marks the first day of open enrollment for Obamacare/ The Affordable Health Care Act. You’ll only have until December 15 to review policy changes, update your application, and shop for a new plan. Important: Even if you enrolled last year, it’s no guarantee you’ll be covered now. You must log in at healthcare.gov and review your options. That’s because Trump has decided to kill Obamacare in every way he can using executive and administrative actions, and he’s not even hiding his sabotage anymore.
Trump cut the enrollment period for 2018 in half and closed the website on Sundays when people are most likely to be free to spend their time shopping for health care.
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Trump also made sure to cut the budget for advertising and outreach by 90%, meaning most people would not be made aware of the shorter enrollment period. Too bad for Trump, because former President Obama just delivered a bunch of free publicity for the enrollment period, appearing in a video and Tweeting out his call to enroll.
Obama claims that 8 in 10 Americans can find plans for 75 dollars a month or less. He notes that pre-existing conditions, or simply being a woman cannot be grounds for insurance companies to charge exorbitant premiums.
— Get America Covered (@GetUSCovered) November 1, 2017
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 1, 2017
Even with Obama’s continuing support, however, things are not looking promising with Trump intent on strangling American’s health care. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 1 million fewer people will enroll in 2018 plans due to Trump policies. The Department of Health and Human Services thinks premiums for some Obamacare plans may rise 37 percent.
Then there is the perception problem: Many Americans have the impression that Obamacare is already dead, thanks to Trump’s rhetoric.
“It’s been such a flood of information. A lot of the population thinks the Affordable Care Act has already been put under,” said Daniel Polsky, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Despite all of this doom and gloom, Vox is reporting that since Trump cut off Obamacare cost-sharing reduction subsidies with his executive order, it might lead to making some Obamacare plans more affordable for some lucky enrollees. A separate Obamacare subsidy program remains for now, which could reduce premiums for low and middle-class enrollees. That subsidy could be more significant for some this year, thanks to to the foresight of concerned state regulators.
“For many Obamacare enrollees, 2018 will be the cheapest year ever.” And that is expressly because state regulators and health plans were pretty cunning in figuring out how to react to the Trump administration’s sabotage,” wrote Hannah Recht for Bloomberg.
Trump has risked millions of Americans’ health care in his spite against Obama and is aiding and abetting a Republican Congress intent on stripping care for millions. Rather than work for the majority of Americans, they are working for the wealthy and the special interests of the healthcare industry. If Americans show these politicians that they demand affordable care by signing up and renewing their plans, it will send a strong message, and foil Trump’s plan to make it look like Obamacare was going to collapse on its own. Instead, he and Republicans will have to own up to what they have done, which could very well result in Democratic control of Congress shortly.