After pushing through a Supreme Court nominee who was clearly unqualified for the High Court, and suffering no real repercussions for tearing families apart, the Trump administration continues on its petty AF tour, announcing that it is planning hours-long downtimes for maintenance on healthcare.gov during the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)’s open enrollment period.
I have six words: Dis Bitch Has Gotta Be Stopped!
The administration did the very same thing last year, ostensibly to deter people from signing up for coverage, and was rightly called out for it.
This year, the Hill reports that the administration countered by saying that the downtime happens every year during the slowest periods on the site, reporting:
The maintenance schedule is the same as last year, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday, meaning healthcare.gov is scheduled to be offline for maintenance from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. each Sunday during the sign-up period, except for the final Sunday, for a total of 60 hours of downtime.
Officials said that is the maximum possible downtime, and said last year the actual downtime was significantly less than what was scheduled, at 21.5 hours out of a scheduled 60.
“Regular scheduled maintenance will continue to be planned for the lowest-traffic time periods on healthcare.gov, including Sunday mornings,” the spokesperson added. “Last year, healthcare.gov was down for significantly less than the full amount of time initially authorized.”
But like P.E. said, Can’t Truss It.
“CMS is clearly at pains to provide assurances of its benign intent in this maintenance schedule,” said Eliot Fishman, of health-care advocacy group Families USA. “But with the President continuing to regularly brag about gutting the ACA and with the Administration refusing to defend the law in court, there is reason to be concerned about a schedule that takes the federal marketplace down for long stretches over weekends during holiday season. We’ll be watching this closely.”
Last year, the administration gutted the advertising budget encouraging people to sign up during Open Enrollment by 90 percent. This year, it targeted the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing condition clause.
The coming sign-up period, for 2019 coverage, runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.