Internal document reveals Trump’s strategy on ObamaCare changes

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A patient is shown signing up for ObamaCare insurance in this Nov. 22, 2017, file photo.

An internal Trump administration document shared with Republican lawmakers last year shows officials’ plans to change ObamaCare through administrative actions, in what Democrats say is evidence of “sabotage” of the health-care law.

The one-page document lists 10 actions the administration planned to take to make conservative-leaning changes to how the law is implemented. It was shared at a meeting with House GOP lawmakers on March 23, in the heat of the effort to win votes for the House’s ObamaCare repeal measure, which was pulled the next day.

Many of the actions have been implemented since March, and none are viewed as fatal to ObamaCare. Instead, the actions move the law in a more conservative direction. {mosads}

Democrats say the document is evidence of a plan to “sabotage” the law.

The actions listed in the document include shortening the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period, giving states more flexibility to determine what ObamaCare plans must cover and speeding up the approval of waivers in the health-care law that allow states to change certain rules.

The document was obtained by Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) after months of requests to the administration, and after he eventually put holds on Health and Human Services (HHS) Department nominees.

The document was first reported by Politico.

Casey’s office said in a report that the document “details how the Administration plotted secretly behind closed doors with Congressional Republicans on regulatory changes to undermine the [Affordable Care Act].”

The release comes as Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, is considered by the Senate.

Democrats have warned that Azar could continue the “sabotage.”

“While Sen. Casey has not announced how he will vote on Mr. Azar, he has serious concerns that the next HHS Secretary could continue this pattern of sabotage,” said Casey spokesman John Rizzo.

“Under the Trump Administration, HHS has been and remains committed to any and all actions, within the confines of the law, to provide relief and access to affordable healthcare for all Americans,” HHS press secretary Caitlin Oakley told The Hill in a statement.

Updated at 1:56 p.m.

Tags Alex Azar Bob Casey Donald Trump ObamaCare ObamaCare repeal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
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