What can be seen is the Trump Administration placing hurdles to success.
Advocates say the Health and Human Services Department has done more to suppress the number of people signing up than to boost it. HHS has slashed grants to groups that help consumers get insurance coverage, for example. It also has cut the enrollment period in half, reduced the advertising budget by 90 percent and announced a maintenance outage schedule that would make the HealthCare.gov website less available than last year. Read more in The Washington Post and .New York Magazine
With efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act dead in Congress for now, a critical test for the law’s future is playing out in one small, conservative-leaning state. Iowa is anxiously waiting for the Trump administration to rule on a request that is loaded with implications for the law’s survival. If approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it would allow the state to jettison some of Obamacare’s main features next year — its federally run insurance marketplace, its system for providing subsidies, its focus on helping poorer people afford insurance and medical care — and could open the door for other states to do the same.
Iowa’s Republican leaders think their plan would save the state’s individual insurance market by making premiums cheaper for everyone. But critics say the lower prices come at the expense of much higher deductibles for many with modest incomes, and that approval of the plan would amount to another way of undermining the law. Read more about Iowa’s hopes in The New York Times
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she has requested a conversation with President Donald Trump following a news report that he instructed his top human services administrator to deny Iowa’s proposal to stabilize its individual insurance market. Reynolds told reporters at her weekly news conference:
“I haven’t spoken directly to the president, I’ve asked for a conversation.”
The Washington Post reported last week that Trump, upon hearing of Iowa’s waiver request, called the administrator overseeing the proposal and told her to reject it. Read the story from The Des Moines Register