This is far from the first time Trump has failed to promote Obamacare, but it could be the most deadly.
Open enrollment for health insurance coverage under Obamacare began on Sunday, but Donald Trump is neither promoting nor advertising it — even amid record-breaking numbers of coronavirus cases and the evaporation of job-related health coverage.
According to data compiled by the New York Times, the United States currently sits at 12.3 million coronavirus cases and 257,000 deaths nationwide.
And a study published in late August by the Economic Policy Institute indicated that up to 12 million people may have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic.
Though Obamacare enrollment remains open for only six weeks, ending Dec. 15, in the 30 states using the federal marketplace, ending Dec. 15, government agencies under the Trump administration have done little to publicize it.
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, tweeted the dates of enrollment, according to Politico, but neither the Department of Health and Human Services nor HHS Secretary Alex Azar has said a word.
And while it's done little to encourage unenrolled individuals to seek health coverage, HHS did recently invest in a $300 million "celebrity-studded taxpayer-funded contract to 'defeat despair' about the pandemic," Politico reported.
This isn't the first time Trump has actively resisted promoting or expanding access to Obamacare.
In March, Trump administration officials rejected a potential expansion of Obamacare enrollment, even as the number of coronavirus cases spiked.
It's no secret why: In June, he continued to insist that, despite the ongoing public health crisis, his ultimate goal was to overturn the Affordable Care Act by any means possible.
As far back as the beginning of his time in office, Trump refused to promote enrollment for Obamacare.
After he was inaugurated just before open enrollment season ended in 2017, one of Trump's first acts in office was to squelch efforts to promote the health care market, with CNBC reporting that HHS stopped promoting enrollment for the rest of that season.
Later that year, the Trump administration ceased a yearslong practice under the Obama administration and refused to team up with external organizations such as advocacy groups and churches to promote Obamacare.
He also nearly immediately cut funding for Obamacare advertising by 90%.
But Obamacare is more important than ever, as millions of Americans have lost their employment-based health insurance along with their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
And stopgap measures have been stretched to capacity, with Medicaid enrollment skyrocketing from 4 million individuals covered to close to 68 million.
But rather than paying attention to whether Americans can get the health coverage they need in the midst of a deadly pandemic, Trump has been busy filing frivolous lawsuits to challenge the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
His Twitter timeline since open enrollment began has been riddled with false claims of voter fraud — and nary a mention of Obamacare or the great need for Americans to be insured at this time.
Although Trump briefly spoke on Saturday at a virtual G20 leadership summit, Forbes report reported that he spent the event tweeting about election fraud.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.