American Oversight Sues HHS and OMB For Secret Trump Letter Outlining Plan to Weaken Obamacare

Watchdog Group Seeks March Letter from Trump Outlining Options to Administratively Weaken the Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC – With the Trump administration’s health care reform efforts stalled yet again, ethics watchdog group American Oversight today sued to force the release of a March letter from President Trump to House Republicans detailing potential administrative options he could use to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“President Trump has repeatedly indicated his willingness to let health care marketplaces collapse – and millions of people lose their insurance – so that he can gain political leverage on Capitol Hill,” said American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers. “With TrumpCare stalled in the Senate, American Oversight’s lawsuit is going to force the release of the administration’s road map for sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and kicking millions of people off their health coverage.”

The letter in question was reportedly presented to members of the House Freedom Caucus by Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during negotiations over an earlier version of the health care bill. The letter was said to contain a list of ACA regulations that the Trump administration would repeal without Congressional action.

President Trump has repeatedly indicated that he intends for the current health care system created by the ACA to “fail” or “explode,” raising questions about potential Trump administration actions to undermine the law and create instability in the insurance markets.

American Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and OMB for this letter on May 4th, 2017. The agencies failed to adequately respond to the FOIA requests as required by law, so American Oversight filed suit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to force the release of the document.

Evers continued, “The idea that President Trump would use the health and well-being of millions of Americans as a political bargaining chip is sickening. American Oversight’s lawsuit is going to uncover the truth and shine a light on the president’s true plans.”

American Oversight previously sued HHS and OMB to release correspondence between those agencies and Congress regarding health care reform efforts. An initial set of documents was released on June 30, 2017, and additional records are to be released to American Oversight at the end of July and in early September.

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