Trump’s Making It Harder To Sign Up For Obamacare On Purpose, Even If The GOP Doesn’t Pass Anything

The Trump administration has announced even more impediments to signing up for health insurance through Healthcare.Gov, the website set up during the creation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Donald Trump has been steadfast in his insistence that Obamacare is failing, despite a wealth of evidence that it is not. So to make it appear as though the ACA is on its last legs, Trump has devised multiple ways to ensure that enrollment is as hard as humanly possible.

The latest scheme was first reported by Kaiser Health News’ Phil Galewitz:

That’s right: The Department of Health and Human Services, run by Tom Price, the man currently under intense scrutiny for his unethical use of taxpayer money to charter private jets for personal travel, has announced “downtimes” for the government website, and they are insane. All websites occasionally have downtime for maintenance, of course, but HHS is actually reserving 12 hours every single Sunday during open enrollment that the website will be inaccessible.

HHS had already done their best to stifle participation in Obamacare by cutting the enrollment period in half and reducing advertising and promotional funds for the ACA by ninety percent. The Department also cut funding and grants for “navigators,” or health care specialists who help enrollees find coverage that’s suitable for them, to the states by forty percent.

The new roadblock means that, of the limited time working people actually have to get on the website and sign up, a huge chunk of free time has just been eliminated that could have been used. Make no mistake: The Trump administration knows that Sundays are the only day many Americans have free time. And the signup process, though easy, does take some time to complete.

Just like his efforts toward voter suppression, Trump is using the power of the federal government to literally harm Americans who just want to avail themselves of a service that is offered. Hopefully the legions of people who benefit from the ACA who showed up at town halls across the country this summer understand that there is still nothing wrong with the system as it is — other than that it’s not single-payer — and will remember Trump and the GOP’s betrayal when they head to the voting booth next time.

Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images