Trump tries to squash ACA insurance enrollment but we can do the outreach ourselves

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He and his henchmen might be able to silence government agencies, but they can’t stop citizens from spreading the word.

SEE UPDATE BELOW.

Open enrollment for 2017 health insurance ends on January 31, and historically the last few days of enrollment have brought a rush of sign-ups — particularly among young people, as reported by the always-excellent Sarah Kliff in Vox.

On the order of the Trump Administration on Thursday, advertising previously placed by the Obama Administration has been halted and all communications about enrollment, including email reminders, has been shut down. Trump and Republicans are so desperate for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, to fail that they are trying to sabotage it themselves.

As the also-excellent Jonathan Cohn points out, Obamacare is not failing the way Republicans would have you believe. But they’re doing their darnedest to make their propaganda a self-fulfilling prophesy.

There is something average Americans can do, though: Sign up for health insurance during open enrollment and let your family, friends, neighbors and social media networks know they can do so, too. About 3/4 of people who enroll can qualify for tax credits that make insurance more affordable — often costing less than $75 a month. Critics will try to tell you otherwise, but know the facts.

You can sign up through HealthCare.gov or find enrollment assistance through organizations like Get Covered America or Out2Enroll. That assistance is free and unbiased. Unlike President Trump, these organizations want you to know the facts on how to get the best deal on the coverage that’s right for you.

Don’t stand for this lack of public education — and don’t let pure spite and sabotage prevent you from getting health insurance that could save you money if you ever get sick or injured. It might even save your life, as it has for so many people I’ve profiled here.

Get covered, get the word out — and send a powerful message that Americans won’t stand to be uninformed and uninsured. Let there by a public outcry.

UPDATE: One day after halting public communication about open enrollment, the Trump Administration backtracked on their decision and reinstated the outreach by phone, email and social media. According to POLITICO, the administration also realized they could not withdraw some of the TV advertising that had already been secured. The article indicated that a public outcry was at least partly responsible for the reversal — so well done to everyone who helped spread the word. Continue to let people know they can enroll by January 31 at HealthCare.gov.

If you’re curious, here’s the ad Trump didn’t want you to see. In 30 seconds, it explains the benefits of insurance. I don’t know about you, but I miss having a President who wants Americans to be smart and healthy.

[CC photo by Will O’Neill | Flickr]

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