Obamacare repeal repeal is dead. Again. But in the meantime, the Trump administration is moving forward with its backup plan to simply sabotage the law’s exchanges by making sure the fewest possible people sign up for coverage.
Their latest move? Simply shutting down healthcare.gov on days when people are likely to shop for health coverage. Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News has tweeted that Department of Health and Human Services is planning to close the site from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. on most of the upcoming Sundays during open enrollment, which is only supposed to last a brief 45 days this year, thanks to a rule the administration released in April.
A Department of Health and Human services spokesperson told me in an email that the shutdowns were routine “maintenance outages” scheduled for the “lowest-traffic time periods.” Here was the full statement:
Maintenance outages are regularly scheduled on HealthCare.gov every year during open enrollment. This year is no different. The maintenance schedule was provided in advance this year in order to accommodate requests from certified application assisters. System downtime is planned for the lowest-traffic time periods on HealthCare.gov including Sunday evenings and overnight.