With cuts to the budget for state outreach programs. Which doesn’t scan well lyrically, and I doubt any of the people on the pointy end of this will care about how it came to be, but here we are.
The Trump administration recently announced big cuts to a program that helps people sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Ahead of open enrollment, which starts later this year, the money Texas gets to hire navigators – people who help residents find insurance plans – is getting slashed 86 percent. For the enrollment period ending in January, Texas groups will be able to apply for only up to $1.25 million in federal funds.
“That’s a drop in the bucket,” says Stacey Pogue, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “That is a tiny amount. It would not go very far when you’re talking about more than 4 million uninsured Texans.”
Pogue says it’s also a small number compared to how much the state has been given in years prior. According to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Texas was allotted $9.2 million in navigator grants during the 2016-17 enrollment period.
Pogue says these cuts are part of the Trump administration’s larger effort to weaken the health care law.
She says this particular cut, though, hurts people who are vulnerable and live in hard-to-reach areas. Cities like Austin, which have groups like Foundation Communities, won’t feel the cuts as much as rural parts of the state.
In other words, people in the parts of the state that voted the most heavily for Trump. It’s like tariffs for sick people. I mean look, this is and has been the playbook from the beginning. The only way forward is to get back to electing candidates who want people to be able to access health care. Until then, I feel like we need a video, to clear the palate a bit:
I feel better now.