Health Care: Repeal, Replace, and Sabotage

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have tried (and thus far failed) to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — even as the president has repeatedly vowed to let the health-care system "explode." The American people have a right to know what secret deals the Trump administration has made with Congress regarding health care and whether the president or other officials are planning to sabotage the health insurance marketplace.

Background

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.

Updates

New Documents: Calendars of HHS Officials Involved in Reversing Health Care Nondiscrimination Protections

April 30, 2020
Not even the coronavirus pandemic has prevented the Trump administration from continuing efforts to roll back gender protections in health care.

News Roundup: Miracle Drugs and Trump’s Alternate Reality

April 24, 2020
Trump has seemingly failed to learn that no amount of political spin can minimize his administration’s mismanaged pandemic response.

News Roundup: Corruption and Coronavirus

April 10, 2020
Trump is apparently counting on the public to be too distracted by the coronavirus to pay much attention to his continuing dictator-like purges of government officials and his brazen rejection of oversight. 

Three Years of American Oversight

March 19, 2020
These are anxious and uncertain times. But as American Oversight marks its third anniversary, our work to expose corruption, self-dealing and other misconduct continues.

In the Documents: Read the Script for an HHS Anti-Obamacare Ad That Was Apparently Never Released

March 2, 2020
“Obamacare has failed the American people,” begins the script that was sent to former HHS Secretary Tom Price in 2017.

News Roundup: Launching Our Investigation of Trump’s Authoritarian Purges

February 28, 2020
Loyalty over truth and political advantage over public service and safety are hallmarks of authoritarianism.

News Roundup: The Post-Impeachment Purge and the Knock of Authoritarianism

February 21, 2020
If news about White House complacency in the face of foreign election interference doesn’t get your attention, here are some other items for your consideration.

News Roundup: Presidential War Powers and New Impeachment Documents

January 10, 2020
A lot has happened during the first week of 2020 — including the release of new Ukraine-related documents.

Health Care Lawsuit: Fighting for Transparency

October 17, 2017
American Oversight filed a new motion opposing efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to block the release of emails detailing the secret health care reform negotiations.

Congress Enters Legal Fight to Block Release of Obamacare Repeal Emails

September 15, 2017
"From the very beginning, health care negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress have taken place in secret, and with talks reportedly starting again, Congress has made it clear that its first priority is to keep the public in the dark.”

“News to Me!” – Inside the Health Care Emails

September 13, 2017
Health care negotiation emails obtained American Oversight appear to show senior White House and Congressional aides joking about "patient centered care" in an Obamacare repeal proposal.

Third Set of Health Care Emails Again Shows Trump Administration Effort to Hide Negotiations

September 7, 2017
The third and final set of health care documents that a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to release to American Oversight again showed a concerted effort to hide the details of negotiations through the use of excessive redactions.

New Health Care Documents Show Effort to Hide Details of Negotiations

August 2, 2017
New documents released today show the Trump administration taking extraordinary steps to hide the details of its health care reform negotiations with top congressional leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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

July 20, 2017
With the Trump administration’s health care reform efforts stalled yet again, 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).

Watchdog Files Lawsuit, Seeks Injunction for HHS, OMB Health Care Negotiation Record

May 4, 2017
American Oversight today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to force the government to release records of the behind-the-scenes health care negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress.

American Oversight Demands Release of Secret Health Care Negotiations

March 23, 2017
As last minute health care negotiations continue behind closed doors, American Oversight is demanding that the Trump administration release its communications with Congress and outside interest groups regarding the health care reform bill.
Show all updates

Related Documents

July 23, 2021

DOJ Communications Regarding Judicial Nominations and the ACA

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Agency Record
January 28, 2021

HHS Calendars of Former Secretary Tom Price and Agency Staff from 2017 and 2018

Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Record
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Governor’s Office for Communications Regarding Section 1332 Waiver

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Department of Community Health for Communications Regarding Section 1332 Waiver

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FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Governor’s Office for Communications with Key Organizations About Section 1332 Waiver

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FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Department of Community Health for Communications with Key Organizations About Section 1332 Waiver

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FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Governor’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Related to Section 1332 Waiver

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Department of Community Health for Communications Containing Key Terms Related to Section 1332 Waiver

Georgia Department of Community Health
FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Governor’s Office for Communications with HHS and Treasury Officials

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia Department of Community Health for Communications with HHS and Treasury Officials

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FOIA Request
November 17, 2020

Records Request to Georgia OCI for Communications with HHS and Treasury Officials

Georgia Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner
FOIA Request
August 27, 2020

HRSA Communications Regarding UnitedHealth Group

Department of Health and Human Service, HHS - Health Resources and Services Administration
Agency Record
July 1, 2020

No Records Response from DOJ Regarding Communications with Michael Cannon

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
April 23, 2020

FOIA to HHS for Unpublished Anti-ACA Videos

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
April 16, 2020

Georgia Attorney General Texts Regarding the ACA

Georgia Attorney General
Agency Record
April 6, 2020

ORR to the Georgia Attorney General Seeking Texts Regarding the ACA

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
April 2, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Directive from the White House to Not Reopen HealthCare.gov for a Special Enrollment Period

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
March 20, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Communications with Members of the Coalition Against Rate-Setting

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
March 5, 2020

FOIA to HHS Seeking Records Related to Open Enrollment Expenditures and Healthcare.gov Performance

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
March 4, 2020

FOIA to DOJ’s Civil Division Seeking All Records Reflecting Communications with Michael Cannon

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
March 4, 2020

FOIA to DOJ’s Office of the Solicitor General Seeking All Records Reflecting Communications with Michael Cannon

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
March 4, 2020

FOIA to HHS Seeking All Records Reflecting Communications Between the Office of the General Counsel and Michael Cannon

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
February 28, 2020

FOIA to HHS Seeking Emails Between Key Officials and Jacqueline Halbig von Schleppenbach

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
February 19, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking External Communications about Medicaid Block Grant Guidance

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
February 19, 2020

FOIA to OMB Seeking External Communications about Medicaid Block Grant Guidance

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
February 19, 2020

FOIA to OMB Seeking Records Related to Withdrawal of Medicaid Block Grant Guidance

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
February 19, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Analyses of Medicaid Block Grant Guidance

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
February 19, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Communications Regarding Analyses of Medicaid Block Grant Guidance

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
February 10, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Communications with Colorado Hospital Industry and Lobbyists Regarding State Public Option

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
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February 10, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Communications with Colorado Hospital Industry and Lobbyists Regarding State Reinsurance Program

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
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February 10, 2020

FOIA to CMS Seeking Communications with Colorado State Officials Regarding State Reinsurance Program

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December 20, 2019

FOIA to HHS for Communications Regarding Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
December 20, 2019

FOIA to CMS for Communications Regarding Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
December 20, 2019

FOIA to DOL for Communications Regarding Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

Department of Labor
FOIA Request
December 20, 2019

FOIA to Treasury for Communications Regarding Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request
July 26, 2019

FOIA to OMB Seeking Documents Related to Harmful ACA Rule Changes

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
July 26, 2019

FOIA to Health Care Agencies Seeking Documents Related to Harmful ACA Rule Changes

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
July 10, 2018

Motion: American Oversight v. HHS and OMB – Health Care Emails

White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
February 15, 2018

OMB Reply Withholding Communications Related to the ACA

White House - Office of Management and Budget
Agency Reply
December 14, 2017

HHS Communications with Congress Regarding the ACA – Sabotage Memo

Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Record
November 30, 2017

No Records Response Regarding AG Eric Dreiband

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
November 10, 2017

Reply Brief: American Oversight v. HHS and OMB – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
November 6, 2017

Reply Brief: US House of Representatives – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
November 3, 2017

Reply Brief: HHS and OMB – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
November 2, 2017

American Oversight v. HHS – Sabotage Memo

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Litigation
October 23, 2017

FOIA to HHS Regarding Iowa Waiver Communications

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
October 23, 2017

FOIA to OMB Regarding Iowa Waiver Communications

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
October 17, 2017

American Oversight Cross Motion & Opposition: Health Care Records Lawsuit

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
September 27, 2017

HHS/OMB Motion for Summary Judgment – Health Care Emails 

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services
Litigation
September 26, 2017

American Oversight Response to U.S. House Motion to Intervene – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
September 26, 2017

American Oversight Withdrawal of Motion Regarding Schedule – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
September 21, 2017

American Oversight Motion Regarding Schedule – Health Care Emails

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services
Litigation
September 19, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives: Motion for Summary Judgment

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services
Litigation
September 15, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives: Motion to Intervene

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services
Litigation
September 7, 2017

FOIA to Health and Human Services Regarding ACA

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to HHS Seeking Communications with CMS

HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to Office of Management and Budget About ACA

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to OMB Seeking Communications with Congress

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

Third FOIA Request to HHS

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

Third FOIA to HHS and CMS About the ACA

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

Third FOIA to OMB Regarding Health Care Reform

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

Third FOIA to Treasury About Health Care Reform

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to HHS Seeking Stakeholder Communications

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to HHS and CMS Seeking Stakeholder Communications

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

Third FOIA to OMB About Health Care

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to Treasury About Healthcare Reform

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to HHS Regarding Budget

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 7, 2017

FOIA to OMB About Budget Communications

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 5, 2017

HHS September 5, 2017 Health Care Correspondence Production

Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Record
September 5, 2017

OMB September 5, 2017 Health Care Correspondence Production

White House - Office of Management and Budget
Agency Record
August 17, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS for Records, Documents, and Communication Regarding Video Advertisements against the ACA

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 16, 2017

No Responsive Records from Treasury Department for Communications with NGOs Regarding Health Care Reform

Department of the Treasury
Agency Reply
July 20, 2017

Complaint: American Oversight v. HHS and OMB – Sabotage Memo

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
June 28, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS Seeking Communications with House Office of General Counsel

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
May 4, 2017

FOIA Request to OMB Any Memo Sent to Congressional Republicans About Affordable Care Act

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
May 4, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS Any Memo Sent to Congressional Republicans About Affordable Care Act

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
May 4, 2017

Complaint: American Oversight v. HHS and OMB

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
May 4, 2017

PI Motion: American Oversight v. HHS and OMB – Health Care Emails

Department of Health and Human Services, White House - Office of Management and Budget
Litigation
March 27, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS Seeking Records Relating to Cancelling Affordable Care Act Advertising and Outreach

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
March 21, 2017

FOIA Request to OMB Seeking Cost Analysis for the American Health Care Act

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
March 21, 2017

FOIA Request to OMB Seeking Communications with NGOs Regarding Health Care Reform

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
March 17, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS Seeking Cost Analysis for the American Health Care Act

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
March 15, 2017

FOIA Request to HHS Seeking Communications with Outside Entities Regarding Health Care Reform

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
March 15, 2017

FOIA Request to OMB Seeking Communications with Congress Relating to Health Care Reform

White House - Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request