When I was looking for the 2018 Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, I was shocked to see anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites. In just a few short months since I last wrote about them, HHS websites have degenerated greatly and are filled with highly biased information. HHS, responsible for “enhancing the health and well-being of Americans” by administering programs enacted by Congress, was now little more than a front for Republican party propaganda.
Anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites are everywhere. I thought the job of the executive branch of the U.S. government (under which HHS falls) is to enforce the laws that Congress had enacted. Contrary to President Trump’s boast, Obamacare (PPACA) is still a yet-to-be-repealed law of the land!
The slang name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”) is now being used in official HHS documents without its official name in parentheses. As I have done in this blog from the beginning, I use both the slang nickname (Obamacare) and the initials (PPACA) for the law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) so that people understand that they are one and the same. The HHS employees creating these texts were specifically told to use “Obamacare” INSTEAD of the “Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”. _I hardly think that this new mixing of the various names for the same piece of legislation in executive branch documents will help the American electorate become less confused. I suspect that increasing the confusion behind this law may actually be the aim for this directive from above. I would not be surprised to learn that perhaps something more sinister is at work here.
The repeal Obamacare efforts by Congress in 2017 failed largely because enough of the American electorate awoke to the realization that repealing “Obamacare” meant they would lose benefits granted under the law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Affordable Care Act)) Congress was actually repealing.
Instead of moving forward after this legislative defeat, the anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites show that President Trump has chosen to use official HHS websites to bring down Obamacare (PPACA) AFTER legislative actions have failed. HHS websites should be used to help enforce and support existing Obamacare (PPACA) programs, not sabotage them.
One example of anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS website page is given below.
This is a page from the 2018 HHS budget (in brief). As with all anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites, the text is a mix of vague promises and hopeful outcomes and misdirection with respect to Obamacare (PPACA) benefits. In this page we see the present administration take credit for the $250 billion net deficit savings (it actually COMES FROM Obamacare’s Medicare cost savings programs). It is not clear to me how “Providing Relief from Obamacare” and Obamacare’s Medicare cost savings programs should be put together. An English teacher should educate the writer of this text that the content of the paragraph needs to logically flow from the title.
Words like “onerous” and “burdensome” (see underlined text above) are part and parcel of anti-Obamacare political propaganda on HHS websites.
Removing the Good in Anti-Obamacare Political Propaganda Filled HHS Websites
In addition to the anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS website shown above, President Trump’s administration has also been busy removing any positive text about Obamacare (PPACA) from all HHS website pages. Want to hear from individual Americans who benefited from Obamacare (PPACA)? You won’t find them on any taxpayer-paid HHS websites. HHS, under direction from the Trump administration, shut down the #CoverageMatters testimonials from Americans who benefited from Obamacare (PPACA). Today the HHS blog starts on January 31, 2017 and contains no positive Obamacare (PPACA) text (see the figure below).
Thanks to the Wayback Machine archives, we can still read the positive testimonials that collected before January 20, 2017 as shown in the figure below.
The present administration was not content with simply removing positive Obamacare (PPACA) testimonials from the HHS blog. President Trump’s first appointed Secretary of HHS, Dr. Tom Price, made a series of videos that featured short testimonials from various individuals (small business owners, individuals, and healthcare professionals) across the country describing how “burdensome” Obamacare has made their lives. The content of these testimonials will be the subject of a separate blog post.
Shouldn’t Americans be given the opportunity to see both good and bad testimonials about Obamacare (PPACA)?
The anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites makes learning about Obamacare (PPACA) much more difficult. The previous online link to Obamacare (PPACA) “Facts & Features” (describing how the law is making health care more affordable and accessible) is gone. In the anti-Obamacare political propaganda filled HHS websites, the American public can only expect to see the minimum (see the figure below).
Specific information about how Obamacare (PPACA) is making health care more affordable for the American healthcare consumer is totally absent on HHS websites today reflecting how little the present administration cares about it.
Summary—Anti-Obamacare Political Propaganda Filled HHS Websites
Seeing HHS websites turned into anti-Obamacare political propaganda machines makes me sick. As part of the executive branch, HHS is tasked with enforcing the laws enacted by Congress, not work to subvert them. By becoming a front for anti-Obamacare political propaganda (and possibly other Republican party agenda items), it has lost its legitimacy and worth to the American healthcare consumer.