Letter: GOP sabotaging Obamacare through policies

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Republican-led Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for running the healthcare exchange websites, has announced that the sites will be down for “maintenance” every Sunday from midnight to noon throughout the upcoming enrollment period. This is an inexcusable roadblock for people trying to sign up for – or even find out about – health insurance available through Obamacare.

Every time a Republican complains about the Obamacare “death spiral,” ask yourself (and maybe the Republican, too) whether roadblocks like website maintenance, holding up mandated subsidy and cost-sharing payments, limiting the enrollment period, cutting advertising about the exchange by 90 percent, and slashing funding for “facilitator” employees to help people sign up are the real reason for the problems.

Obamacare is not perfect – it lacks a public option, to name but one flaw – but it has resulted in many more insured individuals, which spreads risk more broadly, which is the whole point of insurance.

There has been little news coverage of this latest attempt to sabotage Obamacare, and though Obamacare has plenty of things to dislike about it, even worse is actively undermining it.

If Republicans truly want to people to get affordable insurance they should stop trying to interfere with Obamacare and instead work towards bipartisan improvements. Public option and Medicare buy-in at age 55 are two good places to start.

Doug Grauel