In order to make the Trump Administration’s claims that the Affordable Care Act is failing a reality, the president continues to sabotage the program in every way possible.
These efforts were successful in Ohio this week, as the state’s Association of Foodbanks was forced to shutter its navigator program because of a 71 percent budget cut from the Trump Administration.
From the Associated Press:
Officials say they are shutting down a service that helps Ohio residents enroll in Medicaid.
The Plain Dealer reports the Ohio Association of Foodbanks decided to shut down its Navigator program last Thursday after it was notified of a 71 percent cut in its grant funding.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, says most of the program’s 54 employees will be laid off effective immediately.
The organization employs Navigators who help residents sign up for health insurance through Medicaid or through Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Hamler-Fugitt says now there won’t be any Navigators left in the state. Another program ended its Navigator operations earlier this month after it had yet to receive grant funding.
One of the primary populations served by the Affordable Care Act navigator program was Ohio’s most vulnerable people – those hard-to-reach people struggling in hunger and poverty without healthcare.
Earlier this month, Hamler-Fugitt gave all the horrifying details about what this will mean to the already difficult task of trying to help hungry families in Ohio.
“Our navigators have built relationships with consumers and community partners over that time and are widely known across Ohio as trusted assisters who can provide one-on-one, comprehensive support to vulnerable, hard-to-serve populations,” she said. “We are a critical part of a larger effort to ensure that Americans don’t go without affordable, quality health care.”
And now, the program is no more, not because it wasn’t effective, but because the Trump Administration in its unending cruelty wants to score cheap political points at the expense of making the difficult lives of poor and hungry people that much worse.
This is only one of a multi-pronged attack the Trump Administration has launched to sabotage Obamacare.
While holding out hope that U.S. Congress will gut the Affordable Care Act for him, Trump has continued to make cost-share reduction payments through September. These payments subsidize insurance and defray costs. The Trump Administration’s continued threats to stop funding these payments are responsible for throwing the insurance industry into mass chaos and motivating projected massive premium hikes if he follows through.
Now that it looks likely that Congress will once again fail to repeal and replace the ACA, the Trump Administration is now just as likely to follow through, with huge costs falling on the heads of American consumers as insurance companies bolt from Obamacare markets that would no longer be supported by the federal government.
Finally, the Trump Administration is planning to shut down the ACA enrollment website at the exact time enrollment opens.
According to CNN, the shutdown will occur from midnight until noon every Sunday except Dec. 10.
The Department of Health and Human Services will also shut down the federal exchange – healthcare.gov – overnight on the first day of open enrollment, Nov. 1. More than three dozen states use that exchange for their marketplaces.
Republican officials and their media propagandists will use the failures and problems that result from this sabotage to argue that Obamacare itself is failing. This will be like kicking somebody in the balls and then telling him that his crotch is hurting on its own.