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Trump rejects reopening Obamacare enrollment during pandemic — and sets up red states for disaster

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On Tuesday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is refusing calls from health care experts and insurers to reopen the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“President Donald Trump and administration officials recently said they were considering relaunching HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment site, and insurers said they privately received assurances from health officials overseeing the law’s marketplace,” wrote Susannah Luthi. “However, a White House official on Tuesday evening told POLITICO the administration will not reopen the site for a special enrollment period, and that the administration is ‘exploring other options.'”

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Under the law, similar to insurance plans provided through employers, Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges hold open enrollment periods at the end of each year, where people can apply for or change their coverage. Outside of these open enrollment periods, only a qualifying life event, like moving, losing your job, getting married, or a death in the family, makes you eligible to change coverage on the exchanges.

Because of Trump’s decision, millions of people who currently have no insurance and might want to get coverage amid the national emergency are ineligible to enroll.

The end result of this will likely be a widening gulf in the levels of coverage and care experienced in Democratic- and Republican-controlled states. Several states, mostly under Democratic control, have their own state-level insurance marketplaces outside of the federal system, and many of them have announced they will be holding special enrollment periods. Any state that uses the federal system — many of which are under Republican control — will be left out.

The Trump administration is also still moving forward with supporting a GOP-backed state lawsuit to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, which could throw tens of millions of people off their coverage and throw the entire insurance market into chaos if the Supreme Court rules in its favor next spring.


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2020 Election

‘Disaster and disgrace’: Regretful Trump voter disgusted by his handling of COVID-19 and race relations

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Joe Biden has opened a four-point lead over President Donald Trump in Ohio, which the Republican won by twice that margin four years ago.

A survey conducted by Your Voice Ohio found the Democratic candidate leading Trump by 46-42, and Biden seems to be peeling off some of the president's past supporters in the state, reported the Columbus Dispatch.

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White House suddenly orders ‘mandatory’ COVID-19 testing for presidential staff

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White House employees will now be subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19, an official said on Monday.

In a statement to CNN's Jim Acosta, the unnamed White House official said that staffers working near President Donald Trump would be forced to undergo randomized testing.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex, randomized testing of Executive Office of the President staff, which has been ongoing for several months, will become mandatory rather than voluntary," the official said.

White House employees reportedly received an email Monday morning with a stern warning.

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‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’: Famous anti-cult attorney explains what Trump has in common with notorious People’s Temple leader

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Los Angeles-based attorney/journalist Paul Morantz is famous for his work against cults — most notably, Synanon, which tried to kill him in 1978 by placing a rattlesnake in his mailbox. And in a scathing op-ed for his website, Morantz compares President Donald Trump to the infamous cult leader Jim Jones, arguing that Trump, in effect, committed “mass murder” by downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and encouraging large gatherings despite the dangers.

In 1978, the same year in which Morantz survived a rattlesnake bite, Jones was responsible for a mass killing in a remote area of Guyana — where the leader of the People’s Temple ordered his followers to drink Kool-Aid that was laced with cyanide. More than 900 cult members died at the Jonestown settlement on November 18, 1978, and in 2020, the slang expression “drinking the Kool-Aid” is still used to criticize people who blindly accept bad information.

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