Following the GOP health care repeal debacle, the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has launched an investigation into president Trump’s effort to destroy Obamacare by orchestrating a massive sabotage campaign that started with 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 is seen as a stealth way to starve the health plan without legislative authority.
When confronted by reporters, Trump 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 Huffington Post reported.
According to the report:
The office will examine exactly what was done and when by the administration, and its effect on enrollment in the health plan. Dwindling numbers of consumers enrolled in any insurance undermines an affordable risk pool.
“We will conduct a fact-finding review of HHS’s decision related to halting (and resuming, as applicable) paid advertisements, email, social media, and other outreach efforts related to marketplace enrollment in 2017,” HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson wrote in the letter to the senators.
Democratic Senator Warren welcomed the “independent review of the Trump administration’s decision to cut off efforts to enroll people” in the Affordable Care Act. The health department’s “move to halt outreach for ACA enrollment could contribute to weakening health care marketplaces and raising costs for hard-working people across the country,” Warren said.
“Obamacare remains the law of the land,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Friday, after being forced to pull his replacement bill before a vote because Republican leaders did not have the support needed to pass it.
After the embarrassing defeat, president Trump repeated his plan to let the Affordable Care Act “explode,” which could include further plans to discourage enrollment. This could be “seriously damaging to the health plan system and leave millions of Americans without health insurance,” health experts say.