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Rumors about so-called "Trumpcare" are spreading around social media, and it's getting a lot of people confused.
The 9NEWS Verify team asked a health care professional to explain what “Trumpcare” actually is.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Sign-ups for “Trumpcare” on www.healthcare.gov are part of a joke - directing people to the official site of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
In fact, the Republicans’ latest effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act collapsed back in September 2017.
This week, television host Jimmy Kimmel started the fake “Trumpcare” campaign.
During his show on Tuesday and Wednesday Kimmel encouraged people to spread the word and sign up for what is technically the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but he switched the name of the program to “Trumpcare.”
On Tuesday Kimmel said, “I’ve spoken a lot about health care on this show, and I’ve been critical of what President Trump and half of Congress has been trying to do. But I’ll also say this, enrollment just started, I think it started Nov. 1, for the new healthcare plan, and it actually has a lot of good stuff in it.”
In his segment, he introduced an ad promoting “Trumpcare” enrollment.
The video claimed “Trumpcare” offers coverage for preexisting conditions, no lifetime caps and a package of essential benefits.
In an email, Luke Clarke, director of communications for Connect for Health Colorado, said these are provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law March 23, 2010.
Kimmel was at it again Wednesday night.
“Last night I encouraged people, even liberals who don’t like Trump, to think about signing up for ‘Trumpcare,’” Kimmel said.
The 9NEWS Verify team previously reported on Kimmel’s opposition to a GOP health care bill, but during this segment Kimmel seemed to fool some viewers. He read social media posts from President Trump supporters who praised the host – and apparently took the joke seriously.
One of the posts Kimmel read said, verbatim: “Is funny how he made fun of the president for ruining the health care but now that he’s actually proposing the great plan jimmy is praising it… stupid liberals could have been supportive from the beginning instead of giving those ridiculous speeches.”
Another said: “Last night even Jimmy Kimmel was in support of TRUMPCARE!!!”
One Tweet read: “Jimmy Kimmel has been pretty hard on the GOP and Trump, but even Jimmy would like you to check out this administrations HealthCare.gov website. You can sign up until December 15th! #GetCovered #TrumpCare”
He went on to play another ad for “Trumpcare,” which boasted no more government healthcare, stating people can get their insurance from private companies.
Although there is no such thing as “Trumpcare,” Clarke confirmed health insurance purchased through Connect for Health Colorado or healthcare.gov is private insurance.
Kimmel poked fun at the Trump administration’s recent cuts to programs promoting ACA health care enrollment, including the 90 percent cut in spending on ads promoting sign-ups.
“This healthcare deal is so good, the president can’t even advertise it,” Kimmel said.
Those cuts didn’t change the marketing strategy in Colorado.
“We are marketing this year as we did last year and the year before,” Clarke said.
COLORADO ENROLLMENT INFO
Enrollment works a little differently in Colorado because the state sets up its own health care marketplace.
“Healthcare.gov is the federal site for the 37 states who chose not to establish their own marketplace,” Clarke said.
Our state uses Connect for Health Colorado to enroll.
Open enrollment for individual health insurance in 2018 runs through Jan. 12, 2018 in our state.
According to Clarke, the period is shorter in states where the federal government operates the health insurance marketplace through healthcare.gov.
This joke about “Trumpcare” is just a guise for the Affordable Care Act – a staple of the Obama administration.