The Trump Administration Just Rolled Back An Essential Piece of Our Healthcare Infrastructure, and Medical Professionals Are Speaking Out
Trump’s administration recently enacted another blow to the American healthcare system. Early in July, it was announced that they would be deleting 20 years' worth of critical medical guidelines. This vast database of guidelines has been a treasure trove of critical information used by doctors and other medical professionals for the last two decades. The database went “dark” on July 16th, due to lack of funding.
As part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) maintained the database known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).
A new Trump administration rule, now under review at the White House budget office, would bar organizations that mention abortion, refer patients elsewhere for abortions, or provide abortions under their roofs from receiving Title X funding. Title X is a federal program that provides at least $260 million a year for contraception, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health services to millions of low-income people.
The rule, known by abortion rights advocates as a “gag rule,” is aimed at Planned Parenthood, which congressional Republicans are determined to defund, despite that no federal funds are used to pay for abortions, and many Planned Parenthood clinics offer only birth control, STD treatment, and other reproductive health care, such as cervical and breast cancer screening.
Does censoring free speech come at the cost of public health?
By now, it is well understood that the Trump administration has curbed seven words from appearing in official documents prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to a report by The Washington Post, the newly-limited words and terms are: diversity, entitlement, evidence-based, fetus, science-based, transgender and vulnerable.
In 2017, the GOP moved to erode voting rights, Medicare, Meals on Wheels, access to education, and other protections — including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
When Donald Trump cruelly mocked a disabled reporter on the campaign trail in 2016, disabled people took notice, and were dismayed to realize that they were among the “undesirables” the candidate and his party were targeted for future harm. The first year of the Trump administration has made the threat real, as Trump and the GOP Congress have pursued legislation that will put limits on access to health care, education, opportunities, and voting rights for Americans with disabilities. Even the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is in the crosshairs.
Jimmy Kimmel made another emotional plea for viewers to protect affordable access to health care during his show last night––and his son, Billy, who underwent a second heart surgery last week after being born with congenital heart disease, also made an appearance.
"Hi, I'm Jimmy. This is Billy," Kimmel said while holding his son. "He's fine everybody. He may have pooped, but he's fine."
A record number of participants––more than 200,000––signed up for Obamacare on Nov. 1, the day open enrollment began, according to one administration official. That's more than double the number of sign-ups compared to the same period in previous years. The official also confirmed that more than 1 million people visited HeathCare.gov, the official federal website, a 33 percent increase in traffic compared to 2016.
The surge in sign-ups is a boon for Democrats, who feared the Trump administration's decision to cut back outreach and advertising would kill the program. According to The Hill, the administration "cut the outreach budget by 90 percent and cut back on grants to outside groups, called navigators, that help people enroll."
Frustrated with Congress' repeated failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, President Trump now moves to undercut the ACA without the involvement of Congress by cutting off cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurance companies. These subsidies were designed by President Obama’s administration to help low-income Americans get health care.
But the subsidies were Obama’s work-around, circumventing an uncooperative Congress, and thus they were never funded by Congress. Trump’s administration announced on Thursday that the federal government will no longer grant those subsidies, estimated in the billions, which reimburse insurers for the cost-sharing reductions they are required by law to make for low-income patients.