7 Million Fewer Americans Have Healthcare Coverage Since Trump Took Office
One of the foundational missions of Barack Obama’s presidency was expanding healthcare coverage across the United States. One of the foundational missions of Donald Trump’s presidency has been tearing down programs that were important to Obama. While Trump was unable to keep his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, his administration has undermined the online exchange.
According to a new report from Vox Media, seven millions fewer Americans are insured than when Trump took office. The economy is strong and unemployment is down, a situation that typically sees a rise in healthcare coverage. There are multiple reasons for the decline, some that can be blamed on the White House.
The online insurance exchange relied on “navigators” to promote the ACA to the uninsured. Last summer, the administration cut funding to these navigators from $36.8 million down to $10 million. This followed a cut from $62.5 million the year before.
The White House also allowed Arkansas and Indiana to require citizens to work in order to receive Medicaid coverage. Vox estimates that 16,932 Arkansans lost their coverage due to these requirements.
Lastly, coverage has become more expensive. This was always an expectation, even when the ACA was initially passed. The Trump Administration did roll back some subsidies that made the insurance plans more affordable. In addition, prices on the exchange rise when less people sign up for healthcare coverage.
Like Indiana and Arkansas, states like Utah, Kansas and Kentucky are looking into Medicaid work requirements. Cuts to the outreach program will prevent Americans from learning about available programs. These factors, among others, should continue to depress coverage numbers.