The enrollment period for Obamacare should not be shortened

Trump and his advisors are trying every tactic they can to hamper the success of the Affordable Care Act.


Photo from Vice President Pence, via twitter, public domain.

Republican legislators debate a replacement for the ACA.

President Trump has made his opinions on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) very clear. He wants it “repealed and replaced.” The Republican party has the majority in the House, the Senate, and control of the White House, and yet they still haven’t been able to repeal or replace it. This makes Obamacare the law, and it’s the government’s job to enforce it. But Trump has made it clear that he has no intention to follow it; instead he said, “We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.” President Trump wants to do everything he can, within the current legal framework, to hamper the success of Obamacare, and he is doing this by minimizing the number of people who will enroll in the ACA. This is unacceptable. This isn’t just a political message to be sent, he is messing with people’s health.

Say what you want about Obamacare, but President Trump’s handling of its enrollment period is downright un-American.

The enrollment period to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for the 2018 year started on November 1, and will end on December 15. If someone were to miss that window, they’d need to qualify for the Special Enrollment Period, and they would only meet their requirement if they had a significant “life event like losing other coverage, getting married, having a baby,” or a death. If someone missed the special deadline and didn’t receive their healthcare through Medicare, Medicaid, or an employer, it can leave them with nowhere to turn, with no healthcare, and a mandatory fine.

This isn’t just a political message to be sent, he is messing with people’s health.”

— Ingrid Lundberg

Trump decided to shorten the enrollment period to December 15, when it normally goes to January 31, and not only has the period been shortened, but the website will undergo maintenance and be inaccessible every Sunday between 12am and 12pm ET. This is infuriating because most people are free on Sundays, making it the perfect time to sit down with a loved one and talk about what health insurance package would be best for the year. The website was also down on November 1, the same day the enrollment period started, completely defeating the purpose of the first day.

Not only has the enrollment period been shortened and the website messed with, but the federal government has cut marketing and outreach funds to encourage Americans to sign up from 100 million to just 10 million. These actions show that Trump and his advisors are trying every tactic they can to decrease the number of people enrolling, so that they can sit back and say that the Affordable Care Act has failed. But Mr. President, it isn’t the ACA that failed, it’s you.