Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

President Donald Trump reacts with Vice President Mike Pence after Republicans abruptly pulled their health care bill from the House floor, in the Oval Office of the White House on March 24, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Yet More 'Shameful' Evidence Trump Is Actively Sabotaging Obamacare

Trump is personally intervening to block states from shoring up insurance markets and lowering premiums

Jake Johnson

The Republican Party's attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have failed, but that hasn't stopped President Donald Trump from doing everything in his power to sabotage the law—including personally intervening to ensure that individual states don't take steps to bolster health insurance markets and lower premiums. 

"Shameful healthcare sabotage—more hypocrisy from the man who promised 'insurance for everybody.'"
—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
"For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace," the Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin reported Thursday. "Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. Trump's message in late August was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations: Tell Iowa no."

And Iowa is not alone in being shunned by the Trump administration: Oklahoma has also sought federal approval to enact changes to their insurance markets to check rising premiums, only to be rebuffed by the White House.

Critics immediately expressed alarm that Trump would block even red states from working to "revitalize" their insurance exchanges—an indication of Trump's unwavering commitment to undermining his predecessor's healthcare law.

Responding to the Post's report, New York Magazine's Eric Levitz noted that what is most concerning is not merely Trump's rejection of Iowa's proposals, which were extremely right-wing and undesirable. Rather, it is the fact that Trump rejected them purely in service of his ultimate "egotistical" goal of ensuring Obamacare's collapse.

"Our president isn't deliberately increasing the number of Americans who will go without insurance next year so as to advance an ideological project," Levitz argues, "but solely out of a (likely misguided belief) that doing so will increase his chances of one day writing his name on a fancy-looking document—and declaring Barack Obama's signature achievement officially dead."

As Common Dreams reported last month, the Trump administration has already taken several steps to reduce Obamacare enrollment, including slashing the program's outreach and advertising budget by 90 percent.

With the ACA's fifth enrollment season starting on the first of November, many have argued that lack of outreach will significantly lower the number of people who sign up to receive health insurance.

The White House has also gone much further than simply not promoting the law. As The Daily Beast discovered in July, the Trump administration has been using taxpayer funds meant to advertise Obamacare to actively propagandize against it.

In a Twitter thread on Thursday, MoveOn.org's Washington director Ben Wikler argued that these efforts are "all intended to prove Trump's lie that the ACA is imploding."

To combat this sabotage, activists and healthcare experts recently launched a new project called Get America Covered, which aims to fill the gap left by the Trump administration's refusal to inform the public about their healthcare options.

"With an Open Enrollment period that's half as a long, a new final deadline to enroll, cancelled advertising, and gutted funding for guides who help people through the process, the administration is making it harder for people to get their healthcare coverage," wrote Lori Lodes, a co-founder of Get America Covered and former ACA outreach director. "We can't fix that but we can't sit on the sidelines either. So we're going to do everything we can to make sure people have the facts about the quality, affordable healthcare coverage that's available at HealthCare.gov."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·


Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo