Tom Perez on Trump’s Continued Sabotage of Insurance Markets
July 20, 2017
In response to reports that the Trump administration has been using taxpayer money designed to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act to sabotage it, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement:
“Democrats believe healthcare is a right for all. That’s why we’re fighting every day to protect health care for families across the country. After repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump has suggested that he would let Obamacare fail. There’s just one problem: Obamacare is not failing – unless Trump and Republicans continue to sabotage insurance markets across the country.
“Trump’s administration has not committed to paying cost-sharing subsidies after this month, which would cause premiums to rise across the country, and now we’re learning that Trump has been using taxpayer money to sabotage insurance markets from within. It’s time for Donald Trump and Mike Pence to stop playing games with the lives of millions of Americans.”
Daily Beast: Team Trump Used Obamacare Money to Run PR Effort Against It
The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.
The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government agencies to investigate whether the administration has misused funds and engaged in covert propaganda in its efforts to damage and overturn the seven-year-old health care law. It’s also roiled Obama administration veterans, who argue that the current White House is not only abdicating its responsibilities to administer the law but sabotaging it in an effort to facilitate its undoing by Congress.
“I’m on a daily basis horrified by leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services who seem intent on taking healthcare away from the constituents they are supposed to serve,” former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “We always believed that delivering health and human services was the mission of the department. That seems to not be the mission of the current leadership.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined repeated attempts to discuss its PR efforts. But more than half-a-dozen sources at various agencies and on the Hill outlined the scope of the anti-Obamacare push in conversations with The Daily Beast.
Under Secretary Tom Price’s stewardship, HHS has filmed and produced a series of testimonial videos featuring individuals claiming to have been harmed by Obamacare. Those “viral” videos have had decidedly limited reach, often gathering somewhere between 100 and 200 views each. But the Department has made a heavy investment in them nonetheless. To date, it has released 23 videos. A source familiar with the video production says that there have been nearly 30 interviews conducted in total, from which more than 130 videos have been produced.