Overhauling the health-care system could affect up to one-sixth of the American economy — and yet the White House and congressional leaders have repeatedly rushed ahead to try to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, often without waiting to determine the cost or impact of their proposals.
From the start of the Trump administration’s health-care reform push in March 2017, the process was marked by secrecy, backroom dealmaking, and conflicting statements from the White House and Congress about what bills would actually do.
At the same time, Trump threatened to allow the Affordable Care Act to fail. The administration has already canceled advertising that would have helped encourage people to sign up for insurance coverage and the White House raised the possibility of withholding mandatory payments to health insurers, temporarily doing so in July 2018.
What We’re Seeking
- Records detailing any attempts or plans by the Trump administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act;
- Communications between the Trump administration — specifically HHS, OMB, and the IRS — and Congress regarding the cost and impact of health-care reform proposals;
- Communications between the Trump administration and outside groups, such as health insurance or pharmaceutical companies, regarding health-care reform legislation;
- Records showing any Trump administration cost estimates for the various health-care reform bills considered by Congress;
- HHS communications regarding a decision to deny Iowa’s application for a Medicaid waiver, also known as a stopgap measure, that would have allowed the state to change how it implements the ACA;
- Records from HHS and the OMB concerning a change to ACA premium indexing methodology that would effectively raise health-related costs for millions of consumers; and
- HHS records, including decision memoranda and communications with congressional staff or members of Congress, to shed light on reports that the Trump administration has used funds designated for the ACA to advertise against it;
- DOL or HHS communications with health industry interest groups concerning short-term health-care policies, as well as OMB communications related to Medicaid block grants;
- CMS communications with Colorado hospital industry groups, lobbyists, or Colorado state officials concerning Colorado’s reinsurance program;
- HHS and DOJ records reflecting communications between specific federal officials and Michael Cannon, the director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute;
- White House directives sent to CMS to not reopen HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period despite the coronavirus outbreak; and
- HHS records of unpublished media, including scripts and audio, of a video series of testimonies against the ACA.