Trump's strangulation of Obamacare
Arkansas Times

Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

Max Brantley Sep 18, 2017 7:36 AM
If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending on nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The Arkansas legislature refused to allow state spending on advertising of the program, but federal support and private contributions helped Arkansas become one of the most successful states in providing health coverage to previously uninsured. The number is now drifting downward and will drop more drastically under a variety of changes by the Hutchinson administration to reduce spending on the program.

Sarah Kliff reports:

The Trump administration has informed government-funded Obamacare outreach groups of deep impending budget cuts next year, with some nonprofits having budgets slashed by as much as 98 percent.

“We’re letting 11 navigators go today, which leaves us with five navigators for the entire state,” says Brian Burton, director of the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center. His funding was cut from a $1.07 million grant this year to $297,000 next year.

The Health and Human Services Department announced August 31 that it would cut funding for the health law’s in-person assistance program by 41 percent. Late Wednesday night, the administration sent each group its individual budget. It shows widespread variation in how big those funding cuts will be.
Meanwhile, the Senate is reportedly within reach of votes to dramatically alter — wreck really — the Affordable Care Act, in part with an effective repeal of required coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.