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HHS Edited HealthCare.gov to Prioritize Private Enrollment Options

by Axios | Updated on 12.12.18

The Health and Human Services Department edited HealthCare.gov in a way that seems to subtly steer people toward other, private enrollment options, according to a review by the Sunlight Foundation.

Details: The edits, which were made roughly two weeks into the six-week enrollment period, affect the “How to Apply & Enroll” page on HealthCare.gov.


  • Two enrollment options — phone and mail — were removed altogether. Unpaid enrollment “assisters,” whose budgets have been cut significantly, were rolled in with agents and brokers.
  • The option to use HealthCare.gov went from the first option listed to the last.
  • Above it are links to external enrollment sites run by for-profit companies, including insurers’ websites. That’s consistent with HHS’ desire to open up more “direct enrollment” pathways, but some of those pathways may not list all of consumers’ options.

My thought bubble: On the merits, this does not seem particularly likely to set back overall enrollment very much. Hardly anyone enrolls by mail, and other parts of HealthCare.gov, including its homepage, still list the number of the call center for people who want help over the phone.

  • Still, coming as it does on top of outreach cuts and policy changes that weaken the Affordable Care Act, don’t be surprised if this sparks new criticism from the law’s supporters.
Axios

Written by Axios

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(24)
  • Catherine
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Just another underhanded dirty trick to try and eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Congress and the Senate should not take their accused for acceptable deportment from our disgrace of a president. Time to stop the cheating and the underhanded tricks. If you cannot win an argument or persuade your opponents to your point of view through discussion and respect then you are in the wrong job. Talk to Trump I'm sure he will hire you. He likes dirty underhanded backstabbing tricks.

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  • Miles
    Voted Support
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Obamacare is a joke, I’ve said it millions of times. I don’t care if it helps your uncle’s cousin’s nephew. Everything promised about it has proven to be false for the majority of people that have enrolled & it has added massive debt to our country. When we put the needs of the few over the needs of the many is when our country falls apart.

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  • Devo.1
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Everyone should have healthcare. It is that simple. But it shouldn’t be done (duh) by our government because they can’t do anything right. People who can work but chose not to do, get nothing. No food stamps. No welfare. No healthcare. Nothing. The decision as to whether one is capable of working need to be made by several doctors. Insurance companies do not allow themselves to be cheated, neither should our government. Most people can do something. And they should.

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  • Robert
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    We need healthcare for all in this country, and the single-payer system is the only way to achieve it.

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  • JTJ
    Voted Support
    12/12/2018
    ···

    I tried using the website three times over the years. The last time I got signed up with a fraudulent company that ripped me off. No thank you. Get the government out of healthcare.

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  • Glowurm
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    They will stop at nothing to destroy affordable healthcare. So much for the BEST healthcare ever the Turd promised us. That went by the wayside fast. Where do these people get off saying he’s fulfilled all his campaign promises? I know I wasn’t sleeping. Haven’t done much of that since he’s been around! Just see damage, damage and more damage, being done.

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  • Jann
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    It is not broken. It needs to be expanded on!

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  • Hillary
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    If the private options were for fully comprehensive plans it would be different but in my own shopping I had to weed out companies who didn’t offer real health insurance and who would drop customers for using their plans. This is depraved.

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  • Brian
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Yet another effort of Trump to undermine and destroy the Affordable Care Act and take people off solid, comprehensive health insurance. I hope consumers were educated enough about their options to know not to choose these lesser plans.

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  • John
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    These people are slimy, immoral bastards!

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  • OliverDaRion
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Again, the insurance companies have paid Trump enough money to promote their shitty insurance policies that are low cost options that cover nothing!!! Check them out on line. Failing the country yet again for his own personal gain!!

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  • David
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations. We need Universal Single Payer Healthcare.

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  • Chris ellen
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Are republicans purposely trying to rip off We the People?

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  • Catherine
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    I hope for the sake of this country we can get healthcare figured out! The problem is there is too much money being made by our current private system. No one wants to give that up and install a single payer type healthcare. It’s a travesty that will not change until we the people fight for it!

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  • Robert
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Why? Can we blame it on trump & his swamp minions?

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  • James
    Voted Support
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Government needs to get out of the healthcare business

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  • PascalG
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Republican effort to continue chipping away at the Affordable Care Act. they couldn't overturn it so now their tactic is death by a thousand cuts. Healthcare should be a national right, provided for and managed by the federal government along with heavy regulation of healthcare insurance and prescription drug prices.

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  • collins1129
    Voted Oppose
    12/13/2018
    ···

    We need to be working towards enrolling people in the ACA. These kinds of moves are meant to undermine healthcare for American people.

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  • Gary
    Voted Oppose
    12/12/2018
    ···

    Stop this you Lying Bastards

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  • Mary
    Voted Oppose
    12/13/2018
    ···

    A countless number of these plans cover very little. Buyer beware!

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  • Azrael
    Voted Oppose
    12/13/2018
    ···

    Put it up for a vote by the people of the us.

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