A public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it

The Trump gang has been using money meant to promote Obamacare enrollment to campaign against it.

The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling 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.

They’re just desperate to take health insurance away from millions of people. Desperate. Wetting their pants desperate.

“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.”

They want more people with no health insurance. That’s what they’re working overtime to get.

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.

Funding for those videos would come from the Department’s “consumer information and outreach” budget, which was previously used for the purposes of advertising the ACA and encouraging enrollment. The Trump administration has requested $574 million for this specific budget item, though HHS declined to detail how much it has devoted to specific line items. Two sources familiar with the videos say that HHS continues to draw money from the outreach fund, even though its objective has switched from promoting the ACA to highlighting the law’s critics and its shortcomings.

It’s “outreach” to get people to lose their health insurance. Eyes on the prize, folks.

Then there is Twitter. The official HHS account has become a clearinghouse for anti-Obamacare messaging. Since the Trump administration came into office, @HHSGov has mentioned “Obamacare” 13 specific times, 10 of which could be described as openly hostile of the law. Twice the account has re-tweeted Secretary Price’s own account when it has explicitly encouraged legislative efforts to undo Obamacare. The first was on May 4, when Price applauded the house for passing its bill, the American Health Care Act. The second came on June 5, when Price used the hashtag #RepealAndReplace.

Perhaps the most glaring efforts to publicly undermine the ACA, has come on the Department of Health and Human Service’s own website. In the Obama administration, this piece of online real estate featured direct links for consumers to apply for coverage and infographic breakdowns of the ACA’s benefits and critical dates. Since Trump was inaugurated, it has been retrofitted into an bulletin board for information critical of the law.

Currently, for example, the banner image on the site leads to a page explaining the ways in which the ACA “has done damage to this market and created great burdens for many Americans.”

Subtle changes have been made to the “About the ACA” section of the website as well that reflect the current administration’s hostility toward to the law.

  • * The “Plain Language Benefits” section has been scrapped as has the section on “ER Access & Doctor Choice.”
  • * Under the “pre-existing conditions” section, the Trump version has removed any mention of women no longer being able to be charged more than men for coverage.
  • * Under the “Young Adult Coverage” section, the Trump HHS site no longer notes that before the ACA insurance companies could have removed enrolled children at the age of 19.
  • * Mentions of the “Affordable Care Act” have been replaced with “current law.”
  • * And while the Obama HHS site had a section noting that the ACA forced insurance companies to provide “easy-to-understand” summaries of benefit and coverage packages, the Trump site has no such page.

They’re demons.

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