(BISMARCK, ND) – A new report from The New York Times reveals how national Republican leaders are deliberately trying to undermine health insurance markets and increase costs for consumers, following their repeated failures to repeal and replace the federal health care law.
The Times article – which follows similar reports by BuzzFeed News and the Daily Beast – also highlights how continued silence from Republican officials and candidates like Rep. Kevin Cramer, state Sen. Tom Campbell and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is contributing to the problem of uncertainty in the marketplace and rising costs for North Dakota families.
“With massive cuts to federal funds that help North Dakotans sign up for health insurance – and statements from Medica saying their ability to participate in North Dakota’s exchange is threatened by uncertainty with federal payments to help families afford coverage – one thing is clear: Deliberate attempts from Republicans to undermine the federal health care law are sowing chaos in the insurance marketplace and threatening North Dakotans’ access to care,” said Democratic-NPL executive director Scott McNeil. “Representative Cramer, state Sen. Campbell, and U.S. Sen. Hoeven must call for an end to these deliberate attempts to sabotage of our health care system and commit to working on real solutions that rein in costs and protect North Dakotans’ access to care.”
According to the Times:
“After the latest Senate effort to repeal the health law collapsed, insurers still have no commitment about whether the government will continue to allocate millions of dollars in critical financing […]
“The changing circumstances and inaction by Congress have forced insurers to raise rates and experiment with different plans for those who are not eligible for federal assistance.”
According to BuzzFeed News:
“All of the [Department of Health and Human Service’s] 10 regional directors were told not to participate in state-based events promoting open enrollment — a significant change from years past.
“The move follows a trend by the Trump administration of stepping away from past federal assistance for Obamacare and, particularly, of dialing back resources for the upcoming open enrollment period.”
According to the Daily Beast:
“The Trump administration said it cut the navigator programs because recipients had not met previous enrollment goals (PDF). But navigators say this deliberately ignores the work they do, from educating people about their health care options to convincing those they do enroll to persuade others to do the same. For them, the dialing-back of the program reeks of a White House trying to gut a law they couldn’t legislatively undo.”